Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Is Republican sabotage treasonous?

This is the question that Thom Hartmann asks in a recent broadcast. Why? Republicans have done nothing but sabotage the economy since day one of Obama's Presidency in the hopes of making him a one-term President. "Passing the Senate version of the highway bill would keep 1.9 million Americans on the job building our roads and bridges." But Senate Republicans refuse to act on it and Senator Harry Reid rightfully accused them intentionally trying to crash the economy to achieve their prime directive above. He referenced Michael Brendan Dougherty of Business Insider on Real Time saying he was told by a Republican Senator that they plan to block any legislation on the economy for this very purpose.

Hence Hartmann's valid question. What do you call it when a group of people intentionally cause severe hardship on people of their own country for their own benefit? According to a new book by Robert Draper called Do Not Ask Us What Good We Do a group of Republicans met at The Caucus Room in DC on Obama's inauguration and plotted against the American people by agreeing to oppose all of Obama's economic policies. Gingrich attended, as did Representatives Cantor, Ryan, McCarthy and Senators Kyle, DeMint and Coburn. Also attending was Frank Luntz, the super propagandist discussed in recent posts. When this cabal met we were in a devastating economic depression after the financial crises, losing 700,000 jobs a month, people were losing their homes in droves, there were no jobs, wages were tanking for those with jobs, and this conspiracy wanted to keep it just like it was to blame Obama. Congressman Sessions after the meeting told the National Journal they were launching a "Taliban insurgency" against Obama.

Over 200 pieces of legislation that would help Americans were all shot down. Even though at the time Democrats held both houses of Congress, Senate rules allow one Senator to put a hold on any legislation, effectively killing it. Senator Coburn personally did so repeatedly on numerous bills. They even sabotaged the healthcare bill and the stimulus, watering it down to the point where neither could be effective. They reduced federal spending to the point where it was at a lower rate than any President since Eisenhower. This was the austerity bill of goods engineered in that meeting and Luntz was the front man in the propaganda war selling this bullshit.

Michael Eric Dyson also explored Republican sabotage while sitting in for Ed Schultz. Recall that McConnell said just before the mid-term elections: "The single most important thing we want to achieve if for President Obama to be a one-term President." Dyson also references Draper's book. He notes they time and again voted against they own ideas when Obama compromised (caved) on those provisions. For example, Republican used to support infrastructure spending. The latest example is the transportation bill. Cantor is blocking an agreement on the bill that could cost thousands of jobs. They used to allow deficit spending to get out of recessions, and did so under Reagan. Under Bush they allowed massive tax cuts, two wars and Medicare Part D. All unpaid for and increasing the deficit.

Dyson then interviews Norm Ornstein of The American Enterprise Institute and Thomas Mann of the Brookings Institution, co-authors of It's Even Worse Than It Looks. They agree that what Republicans used to support they now radically oppose. He played the clip of Dougherty referenced above. Mann reiterated themes above in that the Republicans wanted the failure of the economy from the beginning as a strategy to defeat Obama. And that they spin it as real, substantive differences with Obama, relying of course on Luntz the propagandist to correctly frame it this way and provide the same, repetitive talking points we hear inside their echo chamber. Part of that frame is hiding their insidious plan behind blaming teachers and Unions for the economy when they are the guilty party. Yet we know it works, to wit, the Wisconsin recall.

One problem is that Obama will not call them out on this deliberate sabotage and he should. By letting their specious frame go unchallenged with equal time and money, and the same kind of effective propaganda, he is in effect allowing his own defeat. The interviewees note that Obama is finally turning the rhetoric around, something he previously failed to do. And that he must do so hard and repeatedly to cancel the lying spin. This is what motivated the authors to write their book.

So what do we call this deliberate tanking of the economy that hurts the majority of Americans. While this is not equivalent to Nazis killing people in concentration camps, it is no doubt indirectly killing Americans from unemployment and lack of health care in the slowest, most tortuous manner. Is it treason to further their agenda? Perhaps not technically, but it is certainly a most heinous, despicable and egregious disregard for humanity that motives their petty political interests above the well being of the many.

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