Op/Ed by Avon Bellamy: AMERICANS BEWARE
(BALTIMORE - March 19, 2003) - Someone will have to explain the Republican leadership to me. Do they really believe that the rest of American citizens are stupid with a capital “S”?
The way they talked after President Barak Obama’s speech last month - one would think that they had the answers to our economic woes, but were waiting for a largely Democratic Congress to unfurl them. Do they think the rest of us were comatose for the last 20 years of Republican Party rule? It is their principles and de-regulations that set us up for the economic carnage we now suffer from as a nation. They allowed Bill Clinton a brief eight-year term and he left office leaving a surplus. Quite remarkably, he managed that while dealing with a deluge of Republican opposition that ended with a $43 million impeachment witch-hunt that turned up a semen-stained dress and evidence that he had oral sex with a chubby young intern. How’s that for pork? They then swayed the scandal-weary American voter into giving them another Republican president, George W. Bush.
Over the eight years of a Republican administration spearheaded by President Bush and Vice-President Dick Cheney, the American people were mislead into a war and watched the de-regulation of various industries, finance and oil among them, that allowed a few rich and powerful corporations and their banking buddies to get even richer and more powerful. And what did the Republican-led Congress do about it? It called various corporate and banking CEO’s to Capitol Hill to shame them into doing right. I didn’t see one look of shame on any of their faces as they left the “shaming” in their limousines and headed toward the airport to ride away on their private jets to claim their multi-million dollar bonuses for turning America essentially into a third world poor-house.
So what are they doing now? They are trying to get President Obama to knuckle under to their failed politically motivated economic ideas. Doing their 20-year reign, a lot of rich people got richer, but there was very little trickle-down; greed doesn’t trickle-down; the only trickle-down the rest of us felt during their reign of economic terror was neither in money or rain ... if you catch my drift.
Under the last dying breath of a Republican administration, both parties had to work together to attempt to stop the economic demise of our nation; when the boat is sinking, self-preservation becomes the order of the day. So what was the action taken? We gave $350 billion to the greedy snakes who feathered the financially toxic bed we found ourselves lying in as a nation. We gave it to them under a Republican administration without oversight or regulatory conditions fully expecting them to do what sound economic principles in a free market society demand – loan the money out because liquidity, the easy flow of money, is the life blood of a capitalist system. It is as essential to our economy as blood is to the survival of the human body. Instead, these greedy snakes, mostly Republicans I might add, held the money, bought up smaller banks to enhance their empires of greed and gave out humongous bonuses to their cohorts. However, most insulting of all is that they have turned their “spin doctors” loose on an American public made to think through the magic of politically motivated media ads that this economic tragedy has come upon us based on the things the Obama administration is doing now.
I will say one thing for these Republicans; they either have the biggest balls in the universe or they believe the American people to be the most gullible dunces in the dunce universe. Well sirs, I am not a dunce.
And as if that wasn’t enough, the Republicans are trying to re-invent themselves as a party that cares about people of color (too late for that because Kanye already warned us). They have elected Michael Steele as the Chairman of the Republican National Committee and they are bringing out Governor Bobby Jindal of Louisiana as a rising star in the Republican Party (he would do well to remember how long it took a Republican president to act on behalf of New Orleans). If this was a comedy sketch, I would expect a southern talking white man dressed in a greatcoat and top hat to come on stage with his arm around Jindal’s shoulder and say, “Look here, y’all. We have our up-from-the-boot-straps-humble-beginnings nigra, too.” Jindal’s rebuttal as the Republican Party apologist was a pathetic display of how desperate Republicans are. He sounded like a wind-up doll with a Republican Party sound track in his mouth. Even they were embarrassed. At least Steele is competent.
How many of you in the reading audience think that these maneuvers are just coincidental and have nothing to do with Barak Obama being elected president? This is the same wrong-headed strategy they used when they picked the unknown Alaskan governor Sarah Palin to run for vice-president because they thought they could capitalize on the female disenfranchisement demonstrated by supporters of Hillary Clinton when the Democrats chose Obama for their candidate. I guess Republicans are at their intellectual best only when it comes to enriching their good-ole-boy corporate network and saying "no" to any idea that jeopardizes that network.
I have always known that party politics was vicious - but vicious, ugly and stupid is more than I can handle under the present conditions. Republicans need to stop the BS and get down to the business of saving a nation ... our nation. In the end, as President Obama has so often acknowledged, we are all Americans. We have big problems, huge even, but like the examples intoned in the actions of the eighth grade student from South Carolina and the banking executive who gave away his $60 million bonus to his employees, we have within our deepest character as a nation the idea that we will never quit until we have won. I sincerely hope that in the deepest character of Republicans that same resolve exists and is powerful enough to cancel out the drive to be political at a time ill-favored for it.