Full employment? Dump GOP obstructionists
by Kevin Foley
September 14, 2012 12:00 AM | 2088 views | 11 11 comments | 8 8 recommendations | email to a friend | print
On the first day of Barack Obama’s term Republican lawmakers decided the best way to win elections was to prolong the misery of struggling Americans.

As reported in Robert Draper’s book, “Do Not Ask What Good We Do: Inside the U.S. House of Representatives,” 15 influential Republicans, including Paul Ryan, future House Majority Leader Eric Cantor and former Speaker Newt Gingrich gathered at the swank Caucus Room restaurant in Washington to plot a strategy aimed at denying Obama any legislative victories. They agreed to stall or kill nearly every bill the new president sent to Congress.

“You’ll remember this as the day the seeds of 2012 were sown,” crowed Gingrich as the group left the four-hour dinner meeting.

At the time the GOP conspirators met, the country was teetering on the edge of an economic abyss. In January 2009, the month their meeting took place, more than 500,000 Americans lost their jobs.

But Republicans didn’t care about helping the new president get Americans back to work. Their stated priority was making him a one termer.

“The Republican argument against the president’s re-election was actually pretty simple,” said Bill Clinton at the Democratic National Convention. “We left him a total mess. He hasn’t cleaned it up fast enough. So fire him and put us back in.”

President Obama has to be faulted for underestimating the depth of their deceit. He naively believed the “loyal opposition” would come together with Democrats to support the president during a devastating economic crisis, the worst since the Great Depression.

Obama was probably thinking about how every American, regardless of party, rallied to President Bush in the days and weeks after 9/11. How wrong he was.

In the first year of his presidency, Obama kept “reaching across the aisle” even as his hand was repeatedly slapped away by GOP congressional leaders.

The president should have called out the obstructionists by name and demanded action. Instead, “No Drama Obama” played golf with House Speaker John Boehner in the vain hope the Speaker would come around.

It’s an article of faith among conservatives today that high unemployment is entirely Obama’s fault, that he can manufacture jobs out of thin air. It’s a myth disingenuously promoted by Mitt Romney, Ryan and Boehner, and amplified by conservative media misinformation mongers.

But as Romney, Ryan and Boehner know full well, creating jobs can only happen through bipartisan cooperation.

Now, like Captain Renault in “Casablanca,” the same GOP leaders are “shocked, shocked!” that unemployment has stayed above 8 percent even as they derailed one Obama jobs bill after the next.

Moody’s Analytics said Obama’s most recent jobs bill would produce 1.9 million jobs. The Congressional Budget Office said the measure wouldn’t add a dime to the deficit. Republicans said no.

GOP duplicity has hit Cobb hard. We’ve felt the recession as acutely as anyplace in the country, with unemployment mirroring the nation’s 8.1 percent. Countywide, we’ve seen foreclosures, bankruptcies, home devaluations, and a drop in tax revenues leaving public schools and county services stretched to the breaking point.

In short, Republicans got exactly what they hoped for when they met in 2009. That includes our own representatives, Phil Gingrey and Tom Price, a pair of lightweights who didn’t make the Caucus Room cut but who nevertheless enabled the GOP’s obstructionist agenda at the expense of us, their constituents.

If you’re unemployed or underemployed, if your home is worth less than you owe on it, if your 401K is gone, then your anger is entirely understandable. None of this had to happen. But Republicans decided if they could make it worse, you’d blame Obama.

Dump the disloyal opposition.

Kevin Foley is a public relations executive, author and writer who lives in Kennesaw.
Comments-icon Post a Comment
Citizen Sane
September 18, 2012
I see a great similarity between the responders to Mr. Foley's writings and the street mobs trashing our embassies in the Middle East because these mobs refuse to consider the thinking of anyone outside their mob.

Hypothesis: Why do you read the entire Kevin Foley writing simply to react so VIOLENTLY against it?

Just stop reading it and try to remain-------sane.
September 14, 2012
It was Obama's third day in office when he called several congressional leaders from both parties to the White House to discuss his proposed stimulus. House Republican Whip Eric Cantor presented a list of Republican proposals.

Obama stated he would consider them and then advised, "Elections have consequences, and at the end of the day, I won."

It wouldn't hurt Obama to attend a Dale Carnegie seminar. Obama has never reached across the aisle and Republicans are called obstructionists.

If anything, Democrats are obstructionist. The Democratically controlled Senate has not brought to the floor a budget resolution in over 3 years. Why is that?
September 14, 2012
Mr. Foley don't you find it difficult and even personally demeaning to try to defend the indefensible?

I would accuse you of being intellectually dishonest, but in your case it's obvious that intellect has anything to do with your obtuse opinions and nonsenscal ramblings.
Evan Thomas
September 14, 2012
Another stunningly delusional, distorted, and dishonest column. As expected from Mr. Foley.

But.......it did provide for a good laugh. Thanks, Kev.

Your rants are so far off base in terms of analytic accuracy, they end up as nothing more than comedy.

Happy Friday to you.
Kevin Foley
September 15, 2012
Mr. Thomas - Kindly provide for us any example of something in this column that's "dishonest."

Just me
September 20, 2012
The sentence "GOP duplicity has hit Cobb hard" is a complete falsehood, Kev. What's hit Cobb hard is the remnants of Democrat Barney Frank's refusal to reform Fannie and/or Freddie way back when and the ensuing consequences that were widely WARNED about by Republicans, including GWB. As the chickens of that came home to roost, it was unsurpassed numbers of local foreclosures and the failing real estate market (despite Obama's inneffective and basically failed Making Homes Affordable program), the influx of illegal immigrants sucking public funds dry and monopolizing local government's time (see Sam Olens comments in the past). It's Home Depot, Lockheed and other corporations having to make deep cuts due to the ripples from Democrat over-regulation, the scare over the disasterous Obamacare passage (and Dem Nancy Pelosi who said we'll find out what's in it after it passes), etc. etc. While Dems have refused to propose a workable budget, have failed miserably at the war in Afghanistan and Middle East policy, here in Cobb you write it was all the GOP's fault. Good luck in future endeavors, Kevin. This isn't going well for you.
Just me
September 14, 2012
Angry white Democrat, ranting about republicans because he's disappointed at Obama and can't believe things are going so badly for his administration, the country as a whole and his neighbors in general.

This is the guy who throws the baby out with the bathwater. The country is in a crisis, so he's going to vote Obama again and make it even worse. I feel sorry for him.
Bob Johnson
September 14, 2012

Pull your head out of the sand. The only thing you got right is " it din't have to happen". I still can't believe that the MDJ waste the space to print you distortions.
Bob S.
September 14, 2012
Hey Kevin: Did you miss the fact that Dems had a majority in both houses of Congress for TWO years? You didn't include that in your column. How could Republicans be obstructionist? The fact is that Obama doesn't know how to lead - from behind or any other way. Just look at the mess in the Middle East right now. He's had two years to prepare for this.

He picks a "Jobs Czar" (Jeffrey Immelt) whose company pays no income taxes and has downsized and outsourced more jobs in the past two years than total jobs created in the U.S.

Maybe one day you'll write a column that you can back up with actual facts....
Not funny anymore
September 14, 2012
Hey, MDJ - the waste of newspaper space that is the now weekly Kevin Foley the hack's column isn't entertaining anymore, just irritating. If I wanted to read this rehash of Rachel Maddow, I would tune in MSNBC. We get enough of this mindless trash in the MSM. What gives?

Foley, try to say "jobs" and "Keystone pipeline." While chewing gum.
Samuel Adams
September 14, 2012
Ditto, MDJ. This guy, who states his profession as a PR professional, has been regurgitating MSNBC talking points for months, with far less factual information or even coherant arguments to back any of it up. If he's a local guy, where is his local angle? Other than trying to trash two very respected local congressmen, I see nothing of insight into local affairs. I'd like to know what qualifies this guy to comment on national affairs...his background as a media hack?

If ya need a local lib "balance" how about someone who's actually worked in local politics around here. Foley's a Michael Moore wanna be, at best, and gives us nothing but rehash.
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