November 23, 2020

OPINION: Right lane closed ahead: How the GOP got the Obama presidency wrong and how it will backfire ­

There’s a saying in politics and the law: repeat something often enough and it becomes a fact. This has become the lynchpin of the Republican Party (GOP): repetition and fact fudging. Now, it’s not just them and there is plenty of blame to go around. The upcoming Democratic National Convention in North Carolina will almost certainly be just as overflowing with meaningless platitudes, empty rhetoric and book cooking as last week’s Republican National Convention (RNC) in Tampa, Fla.
Politics aside, there is something strange happening to the Republican Party in this presidential race — something we haven’t really seen before. For the first time, the party’s complaints about the incumbent democratic president are completely and totally false.
Governor of New Jersey and illegal dog-fighting racket operator (probably) Chris Christie, in his keynote speech to the RNC, said regarding the economy “It’s not important how we got here, what’s important is what we do next.”
This is, of course, totally false. Never mind that old saying about forgetting history and then repeating it: what kind of responsible lawmakers believe acknowledging nothing about the cause of our financial meltdown will help us fix it?
Not a word was spoken aloud during the convention about the president’s possibly-illegal drone strikes on American citizens, but thousands upon thousands on his “Medicare cuts.”
See, the president didn’t cut Medicare. The Congressional Budget Office projects savings for Medicare in the next decade resulting from the passage of the Affordable Care Act. So, naturally, the budget will be lower, as those savings are passed on to the taxpayer. But the GOP has decided a smaller budget means the president hacked more than $700 billion across 10 years.
It’s not fudging the facts. It’s not misrepresenting them; it’s just flatly denying them. The budget will be smaller because operation will cost less, not because they will be given less money. But of course, the explanation involving the CBO takes longer than “Medicare cuts.”
This kind of doomsday rhetoric, mixed with manipulating or inventing information to paint the president, is at new levels of head slapping. Remember when dozens of members of their party accused Obama of being Kenyan (literally painting him as un-American)?
President Obama is consistently center-Left and moderate. When passing the Affordable Care Act, he instituted an individual mandate — a creation of a conservative think tank as an alternative to the liberal notion of a government-run, single-payer system. Hillary Clinton pushed for single-payer in the 1990s when her plan failed spectacularly. The current president embraced an idea favored by Ronald Reagan.
Speaking of Reagan, did you know he granted amnesty to twice the number of illegal aliens as President Obama? You wouldn’t know it, considering Republican Representative Allen West called Obama’s immigration plan “another example of executive overreach.”
When Paul Ryan, Republican vice presidential nominee and walking self-contradiction, called the president a “tax and spend” Democrat, the crowd exploded. According to the Wall Street Journal, (a right-leaning newspaper owned by the nefarious, otherworldly demon, Rupert Murdoch) President Barack Obama has increased the deficit 180 percent less than the right-wing hero, Ronald Reagan.
Of the last five commanders-in-chief, President Obama has increased spending the least. George W. Bush increased government spending nearly $2 trillion annually. President Obama sits on a respectable $600 billion increase. He’s been, according to the The Wall Street Journal study, the most fiscally responsible president since the Vietnam War.
But these are just facts; elusive, tangible facts supported by credible evidence and gathered by experts. What the GOP has is something else — a story. They have a narrative about a Kenyan (sounds a lot like Keynesian if you ask me) socialist, collectivist, secular, anti-American dictator who is the one thing standing between American and universal domination and utopia.
And thus, the president’s strategy is fully revealed. You can argue with facts, but you can’t argue with crazy. You can persuade an undecided man, but you can’t budge rock-solid stubbornness.
It’s the political equivalent of the rope-a-dope. The GOP pounds away relentlessly with baseless, vitriol hatred that sounds more like the dialogue of a bad movie than a real public policy debate. The president just takes it, keeping safe and letting the beast wear itself out. That’s the great key to the rope-a-dope: as long as they can’t beat you, they beat themselves.

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