Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Axelrod: GOP had a 'diabolical' strategy to oppose Obama

Once again, when our country was staring into the economic abyss -- even the most conservative economist feared an economic collapse/melt-down that would dwarf the Great Depression -- the country overwhelmingly elected candidate Barack Obama.

His mandate: Fix the economy and save our country from economic ruin. 

Candidate Obama promised not only to restore our economy, he promised to usher in a new era of post-partisan politics. As he frequently campaigned: There are no red states or blue state, there is only the United States.

I have no doubt that Obama meant what he said and intended to govern bi-partisan. However, the GOP leadership and their big money sugar daddies (billionaire Koch brothers and Fox CEO Rupert Murdoch) had other plans:

As President Barack Obama was celebrating his inauguration at various balls, top Republican lawmakers and strategists were conjuring up ways to submarine his presidency at a private dinner in Washington.
The event -- which provides a telling revelation for how quickly the post-election climate soured -- serves as the prologue of Robert Draper's much-discussed and heavily-reported new book, "Do Not Ask What Good We Do: Inside the U.S. House of Representatives." source
From the party that loves to drape themselves in the American flag: where was the patriotism? America was in throes of a gripping economic crisis and their most urgent meeting was on: conjuring up ways to submarine the president.
Obama senior strategist and former White House aide David Axelrod says it best:
"I think it was the diabolically clever strategy of the Republican leadership from the beginning to deprive the president of bipartisan support on any major issue because they knew that that would be to his political benefit," Axelrod said in an interview with PBS' "Frontline" that aired Tuesday.
"It makes for a tough environment when the leadership of the other party is enforcing with an iron fist a policy of non-cooperation," he said, pointing to a 2010 interview Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell gave where he said his top goal was to make Obama a one term president.
Axelrod said it was clear to him from the very beginning that Republicans would oppose Obama's agenda simply for political gain
"One of the most disturbing auguries of those early weeks was when the president went up to speak to the House Republican caucus about the need for this recovery package, and before he even arrived, a statement was issued saying that they were going to vote unanimously against it," Axelrod said. "It was a very strong signal that we were not going to get a lot of cooperation on this issue. And if we weren't going to get it on this issue, it was doubtful that we were going to get it on many others."

Axelrod also said the crisis atmosphere of late 2008 and early 2009 dampened the administration's ability to work across the aisle.
"There wasn't a lot of time to ponder how do we forge these alliances, because simultaneously you had groups of Republican leaders meeting, even on inauguration night, to plot for the undermining of the administration, which is kind of unthinkable given the times we were in. I mean, it was a time of national emergency, but nonetheless that's what we faced,"  source

My parting question or lament: Why do so many Americans, time and time again, fall for the same O-Ke-Doke -- even when it's against their economic interest?

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