For many on the right, racism is the root of an otherwise inexplicable resistance to the first African-American in the White House. A shrinking rump of older, rural, white America simply can't abide the country they assumed they would always rule now being in the hands of the "other."
- Robert Shrum
Writing in his weekly column for The Daily Beast, author and commentator Robert Shrum calls out the Republicans for their destructive behavior. Their relentless effort to destroy President Obama has been taking place since day one of his administration. Forget how harmful it is to the country. They have paralyzed Washington and any hope of constructive bi-partisan cooperation in the economic recovery or any other urgently needed program.
This is one of Shrum's best columns:
I've written that in the end, congressional Republicans won't agree to move forward on the budget, tax reform, immigration, job creation, or any other issues that matter to mainstream America before the presidential elections. But the fall of 2016 is a long time away, and they have to do something in the meantime. Now we know what it is.
It's not much different from what they've done, or haven't done, all along: obstruct Obama. Traduce him, delegitimize him—and slow economic recovery in hopes that voters will cast a protest vote for the GOP. It worked in 2010, and failed miserably in 2012.
Conservatives are back at it again because the GOP lacks any coherent program other than cutting taxes for the wealthy. Republicans are deeply divided—between the government-hating Tea Party Torquemadas and an establishment that dreads primary defeat, or in John Boehner's case, defenestration as speaker; between the isolationists like Rand Paul and the neo-cons and John McCain.
The animating principle of today's GOP is relentless animus toward the president.
The hard-core base simply rejects his reelection; 49 percent in a Public Policy Poll claim the White House was stolen for Obama last November by groups such as Acorn, Republican-demonized grassroots organization that had disbanded two years earlier. For many on the right, racism is the root of an otherwise inexplicable resistance to the first African-American in the White House. A shrinking rump of older, rural, white America simply can't abide the country they assumed they would always rule now being in the hands of the "other."
GOP members of Congress are—mostly—not that crude or overt. There is Oklahoma Sen. Jim Inhofe, a climate-denying fabulist and scowling denizen of the modern-day, flat-earth society, who has suggested impeaching the president for "the most egregious cover-up in American history." He means Benghazi, of course—a concocted conspiracy incomprehensible to most Americans.
Republican leaders in the Senate and House distance themselves from Inhofe, because of the inevitable backlash from voters beyond the fevered precincts of the far right. But fanning the fires of anti-Obama resentment enables Boehner to hold together his restive, fractured caucus—and lets Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell constantly revalidate his ideological credentials. They—and Republicans in general—are taking advantage of three events to bash the president.
The tactic—you can't dignify it by calling it strategy—may finally backfire. First, though, the GOP will prosecute month after month of a multifront war on the White House.