For decades we accepted two undeniable truths in American politics. First, the GOP was better at dealing with national security issues. Hence at times of potential international unrest it was important to have a Republican in the White House. Second, the GOP was more astute at dealing with the national economy. Thus, if we wanted to preserve economic stability and prosperity it was important to have a Republican in the White House. It is, however, a fact that neither of these so-called undeniable truths is true. All we need to do is look at the years since the end of World War II to see the inaccuracy of these truths. This isn’t to say that there was never a time of economic growth and stability or national security under a Republican President. It is, however, a fact that we more often saw this country economically wanting and facing national security crisis under GOP leadership than under Democratic leadership in the White House. Just compare the Clinton years to the George W. Bush years to see one glaring example. The truth is that neither party has a lock on either issue. To accept and present these as “undeniable truths” is to overly simplify the world and “dumb down’ the complexity of the world in which we live. However, that is precisely the goal of the GOP.
The national security “tag team” of McCain and Graham have worked very hard to present the Democratic party, and in particular President Obama, as hapless and ineffectual in the world of national security and international relations. They have been joined over the past couple of months by the self-appointed guru of national security, Dick Cheney. Together, they have second guessed and criticized every move the president has made in this area. The GOP boys choir has happily chimed in to add tempo and bulk to this effort. You can hear them perform on the Sunday morning talk shows, on that purveyor of fact and truth, FOX News and of course on talk radio. They do this with a straight face despite the fact that virtually every national security issue confronted by President Obama is a result of the naive and inept policies of the Bush Administration. I am well aware that that are those who say that Bush has been gone long enough so that we need to view what is happening now as wholly owned by Obama. These are the same people who deny climate change and still prefer women to hold the place they had in the 50s. Give me a break. To ignore how we got here is nonsense. However, the GOP is working very to hard to get us to believe all that is wrong in the world is a result of Obama’s policies. It is the only way for them to reclaim the “undeniable truth” about who is stronger on national security.
The outstanding leadership of Boehner, Ryan, McConnell and Cruz effectively slowed the economic growth of our country. They have worked hard to slow job growth, minimum wage increases, renewal of unemployment insurance, a jobs bill, an infrastructure bill or anything else that would stimulate the economy. They, of course, have done all of this while blaming the president for “his” slow job and economic growth. They did this not for the good of the country or of their constituents. They didn’t block these efforts because they fervently believed them to bad for the country. They did this for one reason and one reason only. They wanted to convince the American people that President Obama and the Democratic party were ineffectual, and worse, detrimental to the economic future of the United States. Of course, once again we can always depend on the GOP backup singers to chime in when asked to add their “expertise”. The voices of FOX News and talk radio predictably joined the song of doom for the American economy. They desperately want to reclaim that “undeniable truth” about the GOP and American prosperity at any cost.
Unfortunately, it is also an undeniable truth that midterm elections do not bring out other than the most fervent party loyalists. It is therefore important that the Democrats work very hard during this midterm election to replace this “undeniable truth” with fact. It is up to us to vote to ensure that this country is led based on fact and not myth.