Friday, May 4, 2012

Opposed to everything

On Jan. 20, 2009, as the country was celebrating a new president, a group of Republicans gathered to decide how to oppose Barack Obama in absolutely everything. On the very first day of a new administration, with the U.S. economy teetering on the edge of a second Great Depression, Republican operatives were focused on one thing: making sure the new president failed.

The revelation comes in Robert Draper's new book, "Do Not Ask What Good We Do: Inside the U.S. House of Representatives." By 2010, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell was openly acknowledging that his primary objective was to make Obama a one-term president.

On the fateful January morning, more than usual was at stake. Obama inherited a high-cost war in its sixth year, falling tax rates, shrinking revenues and economic chaos created by financial gaming and banks too big to fail. Real estate and some retirement accounts were suddenly worth pennies on the dollar. Credit card interest rates were doubling or tripling. Jobs were evaporating. The world's economy was beginning to feel the shockwaves.

The country needed elected officials focused on these issues. But it is now clear that since 2009, Republicans in Congress focused only on their own power.

To move beyond current financial disasters and begin to rebuild the American dream, the Republicans and the far right will have to decide whether they want to join in that effort.

If they choose not to, voters should make sure they are not available for a repeat performance beginning on Jan. 20, 2013.

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