In an unprecedented demonstration of both statesmanship and bipartisanship, President Obama attended a House Republican Conference and then took questions after his opening remarks. While one would think that this was merely a routine occurrence in a mature and functioning Democracy, our Democracy barely functions and it certainly isn’t mature! Ours is basically a two party system and it can not function properly where one of those parties has adopted a legislative strategy devoted to obstructing the President’s agenda! One of the things that makes this strategy so offensive is that it has been adopted by the party which the American voters had just rejected at the polls. While the list of Republican screw ups from the last decade (when they controlled both the White House and Congress) are too numerous to mention, suffice it to say that they were rejected by the American voters for the completely irresponsible and breathtakingly incompetent way they governed. All they seem to do is criticize the President for the policies he supports and charge him with playing partisan politics because he refuses to adopt any of their policy ideas! Of course, when he does adopt a Republican idea, they vote against it!
It’s clear that Republicans (and their poodles in the media) have now discovered the concept of bipartisanship, but when they controlled the Congress the idea of working with the Democrats wasn’t even and afterthought. In fact, the House of Representatives operated in a way that prevented true bipartisanship as a matter of policy. Any legislation that made it to the House floor had to have the support of the “Majority of the Majority” as that unofficial procedural hurdle was called. Under this self imposed, but stridently enforced (they don’t call Tom Delay the Hammer for nothing) bipartisan legislative straightjacket, even where a majority of Democrats joined with a minority of Republicans to form a bipartisan majority, their legislative aspirations would never be given a full debate on the House floor!
After suffering through the colossal mess the Republicans made of their country, the American people (belatedly) came to realize that Republicans were “unfit to govern and unable to lead” and threw the bums out! Now, although not one American has lost his or her job as a result of any Obama policy, the folks who caused all the job loss complain about unemployment and hypocritically charge that Obama refuses to adopt their policy ideas to fix the problem! Remaining undaunted by the fact that their ideas likely caused and would certainly exacerbate the problem, they continue their relentless, factually unsupported and politically motivated hectoring! To paraphrase something President Obama said in response to these baseless charges, the American people want us to be concerned about their job security, not ours! As a result of their constant criticizing of the President and his policies, while offering nothing of substance to fix any of America’s problems, the Republican Party have reduced itself to being little more then the “Siskel and Ebert” of legislative bodies!
One of the reasons the Liberal Examiner has been so tough on the media (print and broadcast) http://www.examiner.com/x-21075-Baltimore-Liberal-Examiner~y2009m9d29-Meet-the-Press, is that, in deference to the Republicans, they refuse to subject any of their, often slanderous and outlandish claims, to any fact based scrutiny. When Americans reflect on a time when the media was considered the Fourth Estate of our government, the near complete collapse of this, once respected institution, is both disheartening and revealing. In most cases, the media’s intentional inattention, or their feigned inability to understand basic concepts (like truth) can be attributed to their concern for their own financial bottom line http://www.examiner.com/x-21075-Baltimore-Liberal-Examiner~y2009m11d11-Killing-Two-Birds-with-One-Gemstone, but in the case of their coverage of President Obama’s appearance at the House Republican Conference, it is clear that the media is motivated by something else!
By virtue of his vast intellect, superior political skills and his unparalleled command of public policy, President Obama was able to expose the numerous fictions inherent in the Republican’s talking points. In doing this, he revealed, without expressly saying so, that the media had abandoned all pretense of being anything but stenographers (poodles) for the GOP! If they say it, the media reports it! Members of the Republican conference took turns asking President Obama politely worded and frequently hostile questions based on and couched in Republican talking points. In response, President Obama would, without being dismissive or disrespectful, clearly demonstrate that Republican proposals weren’t rooted in objective fact! As an example, the Republicans in the House, after relentlessly criticizing the President’s stimulus bill, actually submitted an alternative stimulus bill WITH NO NUMBERS ATTACHED! Not to be outdone and consistent with their hyper-partisan version of “Fair and Balanced” news coverage, FOX news actually cut away from the President’s remarks to provide live coverage of the critique of the President’s remarks offered by his critics!
The only thing more offensive then the Republican’s completely lack of seriousness and disinterest in solving the problems that continue to plague the American people, is the complicity of the media in this shameful charade! The media has partnered with the Republicans and they are equally responsible for the hyper partisan environment that has taken over our politics. The Republican Party has devolved into a gathering of irresponsible and self interested politicians for whom public service is an afterthought and the media has worked overtime to assist them in hiding this fact from the public! The media, which has gone to great lengths to disappear the irresponsibility and hyper-partisanship of the Republican Party, is vested in keeping the American people from seeing it because exposing it, after working so hard to both enable and hide it, would illuminate their own irresponsibility!