Mr. Obama, the Democrats, and a painful lesson

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Since the beginning of September, we have all been bombarded by the “news” coming out of Washington about how the Republicans in the House of Representatives are blocking the government’s abilities to pay its financial obligations.  The Democratic Party, with the assistance of the left-leaning media, began to lament that it was the extreme right of the Republicans in the House, those Tea Party Conservatives, that were ecstatic for a federal government shutdown.  Since those early days in September, we have heard stories about Social Security benefits, Veterans’ health care and benefits, and everything else being held up because of the extreme right that simply will not compromise with the President.


Just in the last two weeks, the stories included national monuments and parks being closed – and its now taking more federal manpower to keep them closed and unwanted American trespassers out than it did to just keep them open. We have heard about World War II veterans being faced with arrest when they attempted to visit an outdoor open air memorial that was dedicated to their service at a time when our nation asked them to exchange the carefree days of young adulthood for the horrors of war.  We have heard stories of Medicare and Medicaid payments being delayed to health care providers, and in some cases, these providers are owed hundreds of thousands of dollars by a system that constantly does not make its payments on time.  And while all this drama is unfolding on the national stage, President Barack Obama has repeatedly stated that there will be no compromise on the nation’s fiscal crisis.  Since this moment, the mainstream media has tried to portray the Republicans within the House of Representatives, under the leadership of Speaker John Boehner, as being extremist, obstructionist, and blocking the will of the people, and even has gone so far to demonize Republicans by calling them terrorists, blackmailers, hostage takers, and so on.

If the truth is told, Mr. Boehner has just as much right to be obstructionist as Mr. Obama and the Democrats have a right to pursue their party’s agenda.  Yes, Mr. Obama was correct in ;ate 2009 when he predicted further Republican losses because of their lack of support for the Affordable Care Act.  After passing the legislation without any bipartisan support, Mr. Obama stated that elections have consequences.  No, he was not correct, the Republicans did not lose representation, but gained control of the House and made some minor gains in the Senate.  The mid-term election of 2010 did have consequences – America rewarded the Democrat Party for their blatant game of partisan politics by giving control of the House to the Republicans; the bulk of those new Republicans identifiable by their Tea Party or Conservative positions.  It was the first signal to the White House and Democrats that moving forward, a general consensus acceptable to both parties would have to be met to get additional legislation through.

 Now brings us to the current crisis.  Mr. Obama is demanding that not only the Affordable Care Act be fully funded, in spite of its obvious shortcomings, but that the debt ceiling be suspended indefinitely. According to the Obama Administration, this is the only reasonable course of action for the nation.  Even the mainstream media has reported that the Republicans in the House are willing to compromise, providing that the administration delay the implementation of the individual mandate until next October – the exact same delay that has been given to employers.  Since the passage of this hallmark legislation, the administration has given exemptions and extensions to political allies and supporters while demanding the American public comply with the full provisions of the law.  In reality, the executive branch has no such authority to pick and choose which people can be given an exemption – the law must be equally enforced.  This is not the first law enacted that the Obama administration has either ignored or interpreted powers for itself that never existed.

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Boehner and the Republicans in the House of Representatives do have the legitimate right to refuse the president’s demands and agenda.  According to Article 1 of the Constitution of the United States, the legislative branch is divided into two chambers, the Senate and the House of Representatives.  Yes, although rudimentary political factions did exist during the days that the drafting of  the Constitution did happen, there is no mention of party or party affiliation within the document.  This was intentionally done to prevent the emergence of factions that had occurred within Parliament and as a means to protect the concept of the democratic-republic. No president is entitled to enact their agenda just because their party is the dominant party and in control of the presidency and Congress.  It is not a “simple majority rules” construct and is designed to assure that the rights of the minority are also protected.

Continued on next page.

Alan Simmons

Alan Simmons is an adjunct instructor of history at Henderson Community College. He has been teaching at the college/university level since 2004. Within the scope of his degrees, his areas of emphasis are U.S. foreign policy, public policy history, political history, and U.S. history.

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One response to “Mr. Obama, the Democrats, and a painful lesson

  1. Obama is not interested in seeking common ground with the Republicans or anyone else. He wants everyone to come over to his side, but he’s not willing to meet anyone in the middle. It’s really sad that anyone could be so proud, arrogant, and full of himself.