Published on November 28th, 2012 | by James Schlarmann0
The Majority (Is Supposed To) Rule
A new ABC/Washington Post poll shows that 60% of those polled want to see taxes on those households earning $250,000 or more annually to go up. So that of course means that Congressional Republicans will see the poll results, combine them with the election results of a couple weeks ago, and have an epiphany. They’ll all figure out that they need to drop the anti-tax nonsense they’ve been holding onto with white-knuckles and agree to some kind of deal with the President that allows rates to go up, right?
And then everyone reading this laughed so hard that fluids shot from their noses.
No, despite a top Republican House Representative, Tom Cole, saying he supports taking the deal that the president offered to extend the Bush Tax Cuts to 98% of the country, and letting them expire for the top two percent, Speaker John Boehner, via his orange-tinged mouth hole, said “You’re not going to grow the economy if you raise tax rates on the top two [percent].” Just in case anyone thought that the tone of civility that Boehner showed on election night would continue, or that the president winning election while campaigning on a platform of raising taxes on the wealthy in this nation would force the Speaker to acquiesce, here we have definitive proof that the Republican party is truly unconcerned with what the majority of Americans want.
How else can you explain the insistence of the GOP leadership to bitterly stick to their guns on an issue that so many Americans, people they are supposed to represent, disagree with them on? How else can you explain the fact that so many economists have told us that raising taxes and cutting spending wisely is the way out of our deficit problem and yet Boehner and others just ignore that counsel? The 2012 elections were about facts trumping the mysticism of Republican-Land. No, the polls were not skewed. No, Democrats didn’t steal the election. And no, Americans by and large don’t see any harm in raising tax rates.
What I can’t seem to wrap my head around the notion that a party can lose an election run on a very clear ideological question, and still insist they have the mandate. I don’t understand when this country decided that the majority does in fact not rule. Instead, we’ve all become hostages to the right wing’s sycophancy when it comes to taxes. They are completely ignoring the fact that rates were exactly where President Obama wants to put them back in the mid 90’s when Bill Clinton was in office. They are ignoring the fact that those tax hikes, combined with sensible budget balancing that Clinton and Congressional Republicans and Democrats worked out, gave us a massive surplus. Of course, given that they are conveniently glossing over the fact that their rampant Defense spending on two unfunded wars helped blow a hole in the budget that has yet to be repaired. But who needs to focus on that when you can continue to demagogue the president into oblivion?
This week we’ve learned that Republicans care more about tossing the political football of four dead Americans around than fixing the economy. We’ve also now seen that the GOP has no intention of actually listening to the will of the people who spoke on November 6th. Their ideals lost. Their insistence that President Obama’s plan for the economy was wrong was rejected. And yet through it all they remain stubbornly entrenched in the “no new taxes” shelter they’ve built around their party.
So once again we are faced with the inevitability of going over the Fiscal Cliff, right? Maybe. I still hold out a glimmer of hope that mounting public pressure will force the Republicans’ hands. It’s downright tragic that they can’t at least agree to extend the tax cuts to the overwhelming majority of Americans and pursue tax relief for their overlords down the line. But if they insist on ignoring the American people, then yes, we will barrel right through the warning signs and barriers, and we will tumble over the cliff, taking perhaps another hit to our credit rating as we go, should Boehner’s intention to hold the debt ceiling hostage again go through.
But this is the crossroads we as Americans are at. It’s not an easy road to navigate right now, knowing that perhaps the best thing for this country in the long run is to hand the GOP the rope they need to hang themselves with by allowing them to take us over the cliff. Perhaps President Obama could spare the spending cuts by executive order, but I would implore him not to do so. That’s just going to fuel the fire of the opposition’s anger and insistence in his imperialism. Instead, we need to force the right wing to own their stubbornness. We need to force them to take the fall for being the group most responsible for avoiding compromise.
Why on God’s Green Earth would President Obama budge on tax hikes? He won just over 50% of the popular vote, and got three million more votes than Mitt Romney. In places where reality is not sublimated by rhetoric, in other words outside of Fox News, The Wall Street Journal and other right wing media outlets, Obama did in fact obtain a mandate through his victory over Mitt Romney. That mandate is further protected by the fact that he now can focus solely on his job, and not on winning another term. Maybe it’s time for another petition to hit the White House’s website. Perhaps a petition to insist that John Boehner and the Congressional Republicans yield to the American way, and the American people and allow the majority to rule.
Gee. Looks like someone just put that very petition up. I wonder who did that?
No, seriously, I started this petition. Think we can work together to get 25,000 signatures?