Warehouse K
Hidden Manipulators
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GOP Playing A Dangerous Power Game

By James Donahue 

Statisticians say that voters tend to vote against the party in power when economic times are bad. We suspect this may be the game that is being played out by Republican legislators as they use every trick they can muster to block efforts by the Obama Administration to bring about a nation-wide economic recovery and extend unemployment benefits for millions of workers.

We have noticed a general trend that includes stalling, threatening to filibuster and giving the appearance of cooperating in exchange for legislative compromises that, in effect, carve the guts out of key bills before they are allowed to pass both the House and Senate.

Consequently, the national health plan that Mr. Obama promised and worked so hard to bring to fruition lacks in such important provisions as a public option, thus leaving the private insurance companies still in the driver’s seat. The bill, however, puts some controls on insurance companies and eliminates restrictions against such things as “pre-existing conditions.” Most benefits don’t kick in, however, until 2014.

The $17.6 billion job stimulus bill that finally squeaked through the legislative process offers tax breaks for businesses and infrastructure spending. While the Obama Administration has used this money to try to stir job growth . . . and for a while it looked as if it might be working . . . economists warned that the amount of money appropriated was too little to be effective. It now appears that they were right. Obama had asked for much more, but the Republicans blocked more spending saying they were concerned about the national debt.

The Republicans have been consistently blocking a proposed bill to expand unemployment benefits that this week ran out for millions of Americans.

Now instead of the slight turnaround and growth in spending that was causing the rehiring of workers, national indicators are showing another slump in spending, just at the start of the summer tourist season. That and the ongoing disaster caused by the Gulf Oil spill, has put a damper on the economy that threatens once more to send everything crashing.

While it is true that the practices of past administrations and especially those of the outgoing Bush Administration left the nation in a financial dilemma approaching the severity of the Great Depression, the stop-gap measures taken by our legislators since Mr. Obama took office are obviously not getting the job done. The Republicans point to a growing multi-trillion dollar national debt and say they refuse to allow the red ink to flow any deeper. Yet they have no problem appropriating billions more to continue a senseless war in Afghanistan.

Why would elected representatives of the people, no matter what their party affiliation, be willing to waste money like that blowing up rocks and sand hills in the Middle East, and ignore the plight of the millions of jobless, hungry and homeless people in their own back yard? Do they really think American voters will be so foolish as to vote them back into power this November and again in 2012?

That appears to be the gamble. The statisticians like Karl Rove and other wizards operating behind the curtain appear to be counting on an angry block of voters flocking to the polls this fall bent on one thing . . . change. And change always means voting out the incumbents and bringing in new blood. That could backfire on some of the incumbent Republicans, as well it should.

But if you look at some of the “new blood” getting nominated for those GOP posts in various primary elections, that ought to scare us all silly. We do not appear to be getting quality among the candidates. The people lined up for those jobs are so radical they could be dangerous. They are talking the language of Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh and the Teabaggers.

The bottom line to all of this is that if the Republicans are playing a calculated game designed to drive Mr. Obama and the Democrats out of power, they may, instead, be pushing our nation to the brink of total economic collapse.

Is this by design? Is it all sour grapes or is there something more sinister afoot here? Just who are these people and what is their real motive?