Much has been made over the past several months (or years) concerning Republican opposition to President Obama. The race card being played against republicans is nothing new. However, the accusations have become more specific as the term has gone on. Now many suggest that Governor Jan Brewer’s finger in the face of Obama, Representative Joe Wilson (R-SC)’s “you lie” comment and Eric Cantor’s disrespect toward the president this past summer during the debt ceiling debacle are the outgrowth of a disrespect that is rooted in racism.
What is the proof? That this type of disrespect has never happened before. Therefore it must be racism. It is an infantile assumption. The problem is that complicated mathematical equations can’t be solved with simple math.
This president has been treated with disrespect. Some of it is regrettable, some of it is earned none of it is unprecedented. But it isn’t bigotry. It is frustration. Here is a simple equation for those playing the race card – never before have we had a president pass a law so brazenly against the will of Americans as he did with healthcare. Elections have consequences, but a lot of people on the right didn’t feel like it was a fair fight. After that, the way the right viewed Obama changed in a dramatic way.
Prior to “Obamacare” Republicans lined up in disagreement over the stimulus bill. But something fundamentally changed in modern America when the American people were (literally) screaming that they didn’t want our government to mandate us to do something. Tea Party’s rose up, a republican anti-health care guy won Ted Kennedy’s senate seat! The left of the party maligned the measure as a terrible bill. Every republican senator was opposed to it. Every republican Congressman (with the exception of Joseph Cao (R-LA)) was against this bill.
The bill smelled terrible. It was packed with earmarks and sweeteners for big business. It broke Senate rules by using a budget procedure known as reconciliation to pass healthcare reform. Then there was the Stupak debacle with added insult to injury. After all of that, the president flexed his muscle and pushed it through.
The will of the majority was ignored. Sure that is politics. The democrats won a super majority and that is what happens. I get it.
But if you really want to know why there seems to be a fundamental distrust and disrespect for the president it started back when republicans felt like that the president broke all of his campaign promises. He wasn’t only going to push a leftward agenda, he was going to run right over his fellow Americans. He ignored our voice in a way that is unprecedented in modern politics.
The healthcare moment was a moment when every American realized Barack Obama would never be the figure to rise above politics as he had promised. It is the moment that took us from simply disagreeing with his politics, to seeing that he was against us. We saw that he only represented a small, vocal minority of America and he didn’t care what others thought.
In modern history, no republican has ever pulled off a feat like this.
In the end, Democrats began hating President Bush with a vitriol unrivaled to the distaste for Obama’s policies. Yet, every decision Bush made that democrats disagreed with, took democrats to get there.
The Patriot Act passed with over FORTY Democrat votes! Every Dem, save Feingold (D-WI) and Landrieu (D-LA) was on board.
The vote to enter Iraq passed with 77 Senate votes.
Medicare Part-D was co-sponsored by democrats.
Even some democrats voted for the Bush tax cuts.
Democrats hated Bush for some of his legislation, yet none of it required them to do anything affirmative. Some of it may have hurt the country at large, but none of it hit them in the gut like mandates took the wind out of republicans.
Bush was treated badly too. Senator (Jim Webb (D-VA)) famously blew off President Bush for being amicable because he disagreed on the Iraq war.
Politics is politics, but through cheating to pass the bill (reconciliation) and buying votes through earmarks (Nebraska and Louisiana), something changed in the way the right viewed the President. You want to know the different between this president and others? It isn’t his skin color, it is his inability to let republicans know that he wants to lead the entire nation, rather than just half of it. Sure, republican leaders have been obstructionists, but that is there job. Maybe if Democrats had had the guts to stand up against the Patriot Act, we would be better off.
It is difficult to respect a president that doesn’t respect us. It is even harder to follow your leaders while Rome is burning. I speak for over 99% of conservatives when I say opposition to Obama has nothing to do with his race and everything to do with his policies.