Thursday, March 26, 2009

Letter From the Editor: It's Time for GOP to Come Up With Real Alternatives -- or Shut Up

Jindal Defends Limbaugh, Republicans Who Say They Want Obama's 'Dangerous' Policies to Fail -- But the GOP Has Yet to Come Up With Any Workable Alternatives and Their Insistence on Returning to Now-Unworkable Past Policies That the Voters Forcefully Repudiated Last November Is Falling on Deaf Ears

Gov. Bobby Jindal is offering a spirited defense of Republicans who say they want President Obama to fail.

Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal sharply defended Republicans who have publicly declared their desire for President Obama's policies to "fail" -- including right-wing radio talk-show host Rush Limbaugh. Former GOP Senator Fred Thompson joined the "Obama Fail" chorus as well. But while Republicans continue to bash the president, they have yet to come up with any coherent alternative policy proposals -- and the longer they fail to put any up, the more they solidify their image as a party of do-nothing obstructionists. (Photo: Getty Images)

(Posted 5:00 a.m. EDT Thursday, March 26, 2009)


Dear Readers,

Have you noticed that the Republican chorus that's been clamoring loudly for President Obama to "fail" has been growing louder in recent days?

Case in point: Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal -- whose official GOP response to Obama's State of the Union-style address to a joint session of Congress last month was universally panned -- now says that it's OK for Republicans to want Obama to fail if they think he's "jeopardizing the country."

He was quickly joined by former GOP Senator Fred Thompson, who, in an interview with CNN's John King, said he wants Obama's policies "that are taking the country in the wrong direction" to fail.

And, of course, the de facto leader of the GOP, Rush Limbaugh, continues his anti-Obama offensive. On his program Wednesday, Limbaugh continued to insist that the tax cuts Obama pushed through in his economic stimulus package are a "sham" and that "there are no tax cuts, there are no budget cuts, there are no cuts in anything except the military and freedom with this administration, zip, zero, nada."

That's easy for Limbaugh to say: He gets paid a whopping $38 million a year to spout his right-wing buffoonery three hours a day and his taxes are going to go up -- way up. So, not surprisingly, that's put him in a foul mood.

Limbaugh's rants about taxes are nothing more than sour grapes from a multimillionaire who makes more money in one year than most Americans can even dream of making in their entire lifetimes. When it comes to bearing his fair share of the tax burden, Limbaugh needs to keep his big fat mouth shut.


And so do the other Republican bigwigs. In the three months since Obama took office, the Republicans have done nothing but bitch, bitch, bitch.

The Republicans are bitching about the president's economic stimulus package being fiscally irresponsible. In his address at a GOP fundraiser in Washington, Jindal made a point to criticize Obama and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi for a "spending spree" that he said "is costing the taxpayers more than the Iraq war, more than the Vietnam War, and, near and dear to my heart, even more than the Louisiana Purchase."

Oh, really? Where the hell were you, Mr. Jindal, when your party controlled Congress for six of George W. Bush's eight years in the White House -- during which your party did absolutely NOTHING to stop Bush's wild spending sprees that resulted in the biggest budget deficits in the nation's history and which Obama inherited?

Indeed, the Republicans rubber-stamped Bush's reckless spending in much the same fashion that the Communist Party-controlled Supreme Soviet rubber-stamped their leaders' reckless policies during the bad old days of the Soviet Union.

And what was Fred Thompson smoking when he told CNN's John King that the president "has policies that will make us more dependent on China for our welfare in the future?" China -- whose parliament, to be sure, remains a rubber stamp for the Communist Party leadership -- has been a much more fiscally responsible nation than we've been in the past decade under GOP rule, to the point where Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao has publicly voiced worries about a total U.S. economic collapse bringing the rest of the world, including his own country, down with it.

The Republicans keep bitching about Obama's handling of the current economic crisis -- yet they've chosen to forget the fact that the seeds of this crisis were planted a generation ago by a now-deceased Republican president (whom their party still reveres almost 30 years after his election) and a Congress controlled by their party for six of that late president's eight years in office, during which they made a headlong rush to deregulate Wall Street.

That deregulation rush reached its peak in 1997 when a Democratic president was hoodwinked by the GOP-controlled Congress into approving the repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act, a vital Depression-era law that kept Wall Street investment banks and Main Street commercial banks out of each other's businesses. Not to mention keep banks and insurance companies separate from one another. Had Glass-Steagall stayed in place, we wouldn't be going through this mess.


The Republicans are bitching about Obama's determination to fulfill his campaign promise to shift the tax burden back to where it belongs -- on those who can afford to bear it the most (including the president himself, who became a multimillionaire from sales of his two books), while lessening the tax burden on Americans of more modest means who have been financially stressed to the breaking point by soaring mortgage payments, soaring fuel prices, soaring food prices and sharply declining health-insurance coverage.

The Republicans' "reverse Robin Hood" shift of the tax burden away from the wealthiest five percent of Americans toward everyone else -- while at the same time spending the taxpayers' money like drunkards -- also contributed to the ballooning deficits.

The Republicans are bitching about Obama's reversal of many Bush administration's domestic and foreign policies -- domestic policies that wrongfully politicized scientific research, dangerously eroded Americans' constitutional rights and needlessly prolonged a growing threat to our environment, as well as foreign policies -- starting with Bush's refusal to sign the Kyoto Accord on the environment and culminating with the diversion of resources away from fighting al-Qaida in Afghanistan after 9/11 toward the invasion of Iraq -- that severely damaged America's standing with the rest of the world.

Not to mention the GOP regime's wholesale disregard of the Geneva Conventions on the treatment of prisoners of war with Guantanamo Bay and so-called "extraordinary rendition" of "enemy combatants."


Yet while bitching about Obama's policies and openly hoping that those policies "fail," the Republicans have failed themselves -- they've so far failed to come up with any viable alternatives to the president's policies and proposals. Instead, they continue to call for a return to the disastrous policies of past GOP administrations -- policies that the voters loudly and firmly repudiated in last November's election.

It's obvious by now that the Republicans didn't get the message that the voters sent them. They're operating in deep denial of the new political reality.

But the Republicans aren't alone in this. Several major media outlets are also functioning in denial of the new political reality -- Fox News and conservative talk radio in particular. I do, however, have to give The Washington Times credit where credit is due: The capital's conservative daily recognizes the new reality and is taking into account the changed political landscape in sounding its conservative voice (although some of its op-ed columnists clearly haven't).

The Republicans are only digging themselves into a deeper political grave if they continue to operate in this full-throated attack mode without coming up with some serious, viable alternatives to the president's policies and proposals that are workable under existing conditions -- not those that existed when Ronald Reagan was president.

In other words, the onus is on the GOP to come up with modern, 21-Century solutions to the nation's problems that are in keeping with its conservative principles but which are practical.

It's time for the GOP to put up or shut up. Continuing to do nothing but bitch, bitch, bitch will get them nowhere -- and will only prolong their exile in the political wilderness.

Skeeter Sanders
Editor & Publisher
The 'Skeeter Bites Report

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Volume IV, Number 24
Copyright 2009, Skeeter Sanders. All rights reserved.


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