Obama: The GOP Is Crazier Than You Thought

If there was a question President Obama tried to answer with his speech this afternoon to the Associated Press, it was this—“what happened to the Republican Party?” And to that end, he marshaled evidence from a century of political history to show that today’s Grand Old Party is dangerously unmoored from the American consensus, with a budget proposal that amounts to “thinly veiled social Darwinism.”

To a large degree, Obama’s speech was filled with the frustration of liberals who see the extent to which the Republican Party has rejected the notion of a government that works positively within the economy. “It was Dwight Eisenhower who launched the interstate highway system and made investments in scientific research … Reagan worked with Democrats to save Social Security … It was George W. Bush who expanded Medicare to include prescription drug coverage,” he said, citing Republican presidents who worked to strengthen the social safety net over the course of the last century. “What leaders in both parties have traditionally understood,” he declared, “is that these programs aren’t schemes to redistribute wealth … they are signs that we are one nation.”

Today’s Republican Party, Obama argued, has abandoned this traditional understanding, in favor of a “failed approach” of trickle-down economics. “In this country, broad-based prosperity has never come from the success of a wealthy few,” he said.

Case in point is Paul Ryan’s latest budget, which—like his Roadmap released last year—would require massive cuts to existing social spending and destroy any semblance of fairness in the economy, as the rich received huge benefits from an economy slanted in their favor. As Obama described it, “The Republicans have doubled down and proposed a budget so far to the right that it makes the Contract for America look like the New Deal.”

Indeed, Obama took the time to illustrate the extent to which the Ryan budget would demolish the federal government as we know it, citing the millions of people who would lose health care coverage with Medicaid cuts, the millions of children who would lose access to healthy food with WIC cuts, and the millions of students who would lose a shot at college because of cuts to Pell Grants and other programs designed to make school more affordable.

He pointed out that while Republicans refuse to say where they would make cuts, cuts have to happen if we adopt their budget, “Perhaps they will never tell us where the knife will fall, but you can be sure that with cuts this deep, there will never be a secret plan to protect the investments we need for our economy to grow. This is not conjecture, I am not exaggerating, these are facts.”

From his aggressive tone to his sharp and clear language, this was a campaign speech, and he took care to tie his likely competitor—former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney—to the policies pushed by congressional Republicans. “He called it ‘marvelous’,” said Obama, highlighting the degree to which the “Path to Prosperity” is the Republican Party platform for 2012.

I said this morning that thanks to the short-sighted ideological fervor of Paul Ryan, Obama can make a strong and clear case against the Republican Party. I didn’t realize that this would also be a brutal indictment of the party’s priorities. With his speech, Obama presented the GOP as the defenders of a failed ideology that would leave most Americans trapped in their station, struggling in a hostile economy. If this sounds far-fetched, look no further than the last three years—Republicans have either pushed to eliminate regulations and cut taxes on the rich, or they have stood against any effort to make the economy more fair, or put some restraints on those who caused the financial crisis.

Obama’s challenge is to convince the public that Republicans would continue on that path if elected to office. At the risk of sounding too certain, I think he can do it.

Comments

I hope you're right.

The only thing Obama answered is whether he intends to keep increasing the national debt at the rate he is presently doing it. Some independent voters like me are not in favor of that. In fact I am at present one of the few people in direct opposition to the President's plan for America. I am trying to pay the national debt while the President and Congress try to increase it. Last year Americans like me donated more than three million dollars toward payment of the national debt. If all of these people donated the same amount I did, there could be as many as 60,000 people in the United States trying to reduce the debt while the President and his followers try to increase it. What the President does not seem to realize is that there are some of his followers who feel guilty that they are not doing more. Warren Buffett and Bill Gates have already expressed their remorse for not paying more taxes. What will happen if they find out 60,000 Americans are actually trying to pay the national debt?

I'm not sure as to what you are getting at except that you want to relieve us from the national debt. What I don't understand, is how you think this should be done. First, we have two opposing parties that won't agree on how it should be done and I don't think they will. The huge deficit from paying for two wars, the addition of Medicare D for which there was no funding, the reduction of taxes for 11 years, and the collapse of the economy. The rest of the deficit was caused by us trying to buy our way back to an economy that functions on its own. The government still needs money for infrastructure and the maintenance of good programs. Just as our cost of living goes up, costs go up for the federal government.. Nobody wants to give up the most expensive programs or cut DOD expenditures. The rising health costs have been an enormous burden on our budget but are we just supposed to eliminate them? And the DOD? They don't want to cut there because the opposition party want to pave way to playing more wars in the Middle East and Iran. The amount of cuts they are talking about now will not even make a dent in the deficit even though they want to make cuts in all the social programs. A lot of people will suffer if they do that. What happened to our state's obligation to education? State colleges were free or had very low tuition costs and they keep going up and the states are making cuts to it, yet we need a prosperous society to succeed. The economy is going in the right direction but its recovery has been the total responsibility of the Federal Gov't. Where are our flourishing capitalists that should be hiring people and paying them a living wage? More people working, more tax money to increase revenues to help fund existing programs and budget in payments on the debt. With the vast differences in ideologies, nothing can get done. I'm all for a fund to reduce the deficit, the problem is where to get the money to put in the fund. Maybe the time has come to raise everyone's taxes. Are you saying that the money to reduce the deficit should come from private donors? Are you saying we should all donate 3 million dollars?
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What the Repoobs did while they had full control of the branches of government, left this country and the global economy in uncharted territory.

Quick assessments of what we can and should do are wrong. What will be right will become apparent over time. Witness the very slow improvement and you can be sure that what has been done since the collapse has been in the right direction.

Its absurd to listen to anything those who support the Repoobs say, given their clear record of economic and social destruction.

As for the Party; look up the history of the "Know Nothing" and "Whig" parties. It may be time again to say goodbye to a national political party.

The OWL
willigl.blogspot.com

I am glad that President Obama said what he said about the GOP and its so-called priorities. Ever since President Obama's election Republicans have played an obvious (at least to some) and repugnant game with a stacked deck of cards with four suits: Race, Religion, Fear and Obstruction. They have continually played to the basest instincts of their base, including: Tea Baggers, Birthers and Birchers.

The Republicans claim to want to shrink government, but not smaller than a woman's uterus. They claim to want to cut the deficit, and want us to believe that can be accomplished by cutting revenue ... or at least that which the rich contribute. they claim they want to "... restore America"; apparently they plan to do that by cutting education and Medicare/Medicaid budgets.

I am old enough to have been a Rockefeller Republican when the Democratic Party was still in the latter days of the Dixiecrats. When, due to Nixon's Southern Strategy, the south's segregationist Democrats switched parties, so did I. One must continue to marvel at what has become of the "... party of Lincoln" as it has morphed into a party that neither Lincoln, Eisenhower, Rockefeller or even Goldwater would recognize, much less be welcomed in.

That is what I was referring to when I said that our states no longer want to invest in education. When Nelson Rockefeller was the governor of NY, he believed in the power of education and research and was very generous. The NYS colleges were dirt cheap and provided students with the opportunity to get educated and be a part of a flourishing economy and to live comfortably. Costs and the increases in tuition and interest on loans, prevent many from even considering college. Some have to get a job to support a college education while having to work full time. I haven't observed his vision in thirty years or more. What happened to our priorities?

nd most of all he is perhaps the most blatent liar that had been in the Office of President.

Glad you've awakened from that coma that you were apparently in during the Bush administration. Let me recap a few things for you: Iraqi WMD (there weren't any); Gulf War will be a "slam dunk" (it wasn't/isn't); "Intelligence gathered by this and other governments leaves no doubt that the Iraq regime continues to possess and conceal some of the most lethal weapons ever devised" (they didn't) and, "[Saddam Hussein is] a threat because he is dealing with al Qaeda" (he wasn't); "I'm a uniter, not a divider" (not even!). Then there's the fact that Bush, who said the war could be done on the cheap and that his tax cuts were aimed at the "bottom end of the spectrum", swung the nation from a 10 year projected budget surplus of $5.6 trillion to a 10 year projected deficit of $6.2 trillion while adding $2 trillion in war debt and $3 trillion in red ink due to tax cuts. Heck of a job Dubya.

jonrod, you can again lose consciousness ... sleep tight.

Why don't you support that statement with some documented information?

I was once surprised just how easily fooled people are by the far right. No longer. Those who vote for republicans deserve them. However the rest of us do not. The right wing has become the home for reactionary elements. I respect conservatives because they often actually stand for something. Reactionaries on the other hand only have a single goal. They would turn back the hands of time. Good luck with that.

They would turn their backs on God if it was to their advantage. Now the priorities are to win all elections and create a dominion of their own, regardless of the consequences. Obama has been quite steadfast in his policies although he lost advantage when he was blessed with an infectious congress in 2010. New members who promised they would change things around and all they have accomplished is to obstruct any or all.

To become politically knowledgeable, you can't just listen to your favorite news program on the radio or your biased news station on TV, you have to listen to and read the propaganda from the other side too whether you like what you see, hear or not. This gives you a clearer picture on the important issues of today.

Thank you for a fair report on the President's speech to the AP. He could hardly improve on his current gloves-off aggressiveness. Now is not the time for Obama to be "cool." He is never abusive, unlike his opponents. But he is emotionally engaged, formidable, and accurate. There really is a wide separation between Obama and Romney in both intellect and statesmanship, to Romney's distinct disadvantage. Bravo! to the President.

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