An e-mail I received today reminded me of an obvious fact: 2010 is going to be an election year of ugly politics. The note came from Rep. Pete Sessions, a Texas Republican, who chairs the National Republican Congressional Committee. That's the outfit in charge of electing GOPers to the House. He writes:
That's pretty harsh.
? Sessions sure doesn't have much faith in the fortitude of the American people. Does he think the United States is going to break apart? And that business about hijacking the health care system. Is he comparing the standard operations of our republican form of government to a felony? A majority of the House and Senate (make that a super-majority in the Senate), representing a majority of American voters, has played fair and square in voting -- after much compromising -- to reform the health care system (in a way that could work out quite nicely for the drug manufacturers and insurance companies). There's been no hijacking. Why does Sessions hate the American system of government?
Sure, hyperbole is as central to American politics as rum is to eggnog. And Sessions is merely trying to rile up his base supporters -- don't ask me how I got on his mailing list -- to squeeze out of them whatever last dimes they have after the US government has swiped all their hard-earned cash.
But this solicitation telegraphs how GOPers will be campaigning this year: pushing the Obacalypse. They'll be taking their cues from the Tea Partiers: claiming that Obama has stolen their
country. It's not merely that the president is wrong policy-wise; he's a betrayer, deliberately steering the country to ruin. I suspect we will hear assorted variations on this theme in the ten months between now and the congressional elections in November.
The Republicans do have an advantage: joblessness. If unemployment stays near 10 percent throughout 2010, voters will certainly be in a mood to toss out incumbents. No doubt, Obama, once done with health care reform, will fixate on jobs, jobs and jobs. What he can do in the short-run to improve the jobs picture is limited. Nevertheless, he can talk about jobs incessantly -- and hold White House meetings, town halls, forums, conferences and the like. Meanwhile, the Republicans will attempt to hold him accountable for a flailing American economy experiencing foundational problems unrelated to Obama. At the same time, the GOPers will continue their attack on Obama's health care overhaul. That will be rather easy for them, because most of the legislation will not kick in for several years -- meaning Republicans, in the absence of empirical data, can still depict this initiative as the Bolshevikification of the United States.
So prepare for the onslaught. It won't be about facts. It won't be about policy differences. It will be about the end of the United States as we know it.
In his fund-raising pitch, Sessions notes,
Americans are angry with the policies Nancy Pelosi and her puppets have passed into law, and they are ready to return our country to the traditional values we were founded upon.
What's he talking about? The traditional values of slavery? Denying women the vote? Would John Adams be in favor of letting insurance companies function as oligopolies and cheer when they cut off services to customers who actually get ill? Would Benjamin Franklin oppose setting up programs that protect little-guy consumers from rapacious financial firms and credit card companies? Would Thomas Jefferson advocate doing nothing when scientists say that the earth's climate is in threatened and there is a distinct risk of irreversible harm across the globe?
Oh, none of that matters. Not when the country is about to be destroyed by Obama and the Democrats.
By the way, while Sessions was frightening Republican contributors about the imminent collapse of America, his office was engaging in an Olympian act of spin
to deny Sessions' once-close relationship with alleged financial-scammer Allen Stanford. Turns out that hours after federal marshals raided Stanford's office last February, Sessions sent him an e-mail, proclaiming, "I love you and believe in you." How reassuring for Republicans that their party's House campaign is in the hands of a man of such sound judgment.
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