The GOP’s Constipated Congress

This is the week Barack Obama declared political war on an obstructionist GOP, invoking Theodore Roosevelt.

In Osawatomie, Kansas, the President cited TR who came there in 1910 and “was called a radical…a socialist—-even a communist. But today, we are a richer nation and a stronger democracy because of what he fought for in his last campaign: an eight-hour work day and a minimum wage for women—-insurance for the unemployed and for the elderly, and those with disabilities; political reform and a progressive income tax…

“Just as there was in Teddy Roosevelt’s time, there is a certain crowd in Washington who, for the last few decades, have said, let’s respond to this economic challenge with the same old tune. ‘The market will take care of everything,’ they tell us. If we just cut more regulations and taxes—-especially for the wealthy—-our economy will grow stronger…

“Now, it’s a simple theory…one that speaks to our rugged individualism and our healthy skepticism of too much government…And fits well on a bumper sticker. But here’s the problem: It doesn’t work. It has never worked. It didn’t work when it was tried in the decade before the Great Depression. It’s not what led to the incredible postwar booms of the ‘50s and ‘60s. And it didn’t work when we tried it during the last decade.”

Barack Obama is no Teddy Roosevelt or even a Harry Truman who slugged it out against a “do-nothing, good-for-nothing” Congress and won reelection in 1948. But, regardless of whether he faces Romney or Gingrich, the 2012 issue is the same, and the question is: Will he fire himself up enough to meet the challenge of rallying voters.

As Republicans treat the payroll tax cut extension as just another occasion to hack away at social programs, GOP Sen. Susan Collins, who supports taxing high earners to finance it, is discouraged about how a bill could appeal to enough members to pass.

MORE.

Author: ROBERT STEIN

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8 Comments

  1. Obama is no Teddy R., no Truman, no Franklin R, no Kennedy and no Reagan.

    Bet he will stand out on his own for many years as the President who promoted division within the population. We know how that plays out in Venezuela, but how it turns out here will take awhile to play out.

  2. Thanks, RS, “Barack Obama is no Teddy Roosevelt or even a Harry Truman”, that says it all.
    He is a very good speech maker and maybe the next one will be at the Lincoln Memorial or Gettysburg.
    TR also said, speak softly and carry a big stick. Obama’s only stick is his oratorical prowess.

  3. RP
    You can attack Obamama for class warfare, but the truth is that wealth is in the hands of just a few, just as in Teddy’s day. I just hope BO finds the cajones of Truman and TR.

  4. Maybe he is none of those leaders. Even if he is just himself–Barry O.,that’s good enough right now.
    At least he is trying to mitigate the effects of the obscene concentration of wealth upon the rest of us. Otherwise we would be totally at their mercy. Unless you really expect Mitt or Newt to do anything to stop this alarming trend if elected.

  5. dduck don’t forget about the drone stick, the infantry stick, special forces stick,,,,

  6. “If this President is going to be a Teddy or Truman next year, he has a long way to go in turning up the heat before year’s end and girding himself for even more of the same [the aforementioned constipated GOP failure] in an election year.” – RS

    Agreed. His recent speech was a step in the right direction, but we all know the difference between talk and action. It’s high time this president came out swinging.

    RP, your suggestion that Obama has caused the divisions in this country also suggests that you managed to find a seat on the GOP clownshow bus.

  7. RP, can you really be thinking that Obama caused the divisions? Have you been unconscious for the last fifteen years?

  8. D.R., agreed, alas the non-military/U.S. sticks are smaller, see the remarks of left leaners, above, and in the media.

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