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Thursday, Feb. 6, 2014

Obama in Tea Party’s Waukesha County

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What in the world was President Barack Obama doing two days after his State of the Union address braving the wilds of Waukesha County, one of America’s most virulent centers of right-wing Republican Obama hatred?

Actually, the president was proving once and for all before enthusiastic Wisconsinites happy to see him that the rumors of his blood-sucking demonism have been greatly exaggerated.

One of the most Republican counties in the country was the perfect place to demonstrate just how reasonable Obama has been as president and how unreasonable most of his opponents are.

This is the president who, from the moment he was elected, has been vilified by Republicans as a radical socialist born in some anti-American Muslim country harboring a secret agenda to destroy democracy.

When the first African American president wanted to speak directly to school children about the value of education—something that might inspire closing the racial achievement gap—Republicans angrily rose up to object to the president of the United States brainwashing innocent children with his far-left views in favor of education. 

Many Republicans are intelligent enough not to believe such claptrap, but since the rise of the tea party not a single intelligent Republican has publicly repudiated such ignorant racists and extremists. Republicans want their votes.

Worse, with Obama taking office during the second worst economic disaster in U.S. history, Republicans adopted a brazenly unpatriotic policy of opposing every single effort by Obama to lift up the economy and improve the lives of Americans.

For some reason, when Congress fails to pass measure after measure that would improve people’s lives during an excruciatingly slow economic recovery, it’s often reported by the media as Obama’s failure to pass his agenda, instead of the failure of Congress—specifically, the Republican House of Representatives—to pass measure after measure that would improve people’s lives.

That’s why Obama didn’t just call on Congress to act as presidents routinely do in State of the Union addresses. He said he would take any action he could through executive order. That’s because he knew most Republicans wouldn’t pass even the most common-sense measures to ease the lives of Americans in hard times.

Speaking directly to ordinary working people in Waukesha and other stops, Obama made it clear how completely unradical the proposals of this allegedly far-left president really are.

They are the common-sense proposals of any moderate Democrat, which is what Obama really is. In the past, such sensible measures won bipartisan support from moderate Republicans. But, of course, that was before moderates were driven out of the Republican Party by the tea party.

When millions of people are still out of work, you create jobs to put people back to work. When people go through job-training programs that still don’t lead to any jobs, you reform training programs to connect people directly to real jobs that exist right there in Waukesha.

When there are still far fewer job openings than people who want to work, you extend unemployment benefits to provide a minimal means of survival for the unemployed instead of cutting off unemployment benefits for 1.3 million Americans at Christmastime as Republicans did, claiming it would force people to look harder for jobs that don’t exist.

And, oh yeah, if all anyone can find is a job that pays minimum wage, Americans working full time should not be living in poverty, so raise the minimum wage.

 

Scott Walker Mimics Chris Christie

One interesting sideshow to the president’s Waukesha appearance was Republican Gov. Scott Walker greeting Obama to press his case for federal government assistance in relieving a shortage of propane gas for home heating during this year’s dangerous cold.

It was exactly like New Jersey Republican Gov. Chris Christie embracing Obama and the federal government before the 2012 presidential election when Christie needed the president’s help in cleaning up after Hurricane Sandy.

Both Walker and Christie have opposed the federal government helping to provide health care to those without it and major federal transportation programs in their states that would have created jobs for the unemployed. They are small-government Republicans who routinely rail against big government and slash public assistance.

But, boy, do Walker and Christie want assistance themselves from that big, bad federal government when it might help them get re-elected.

Some folks in the media claim moderates are disappearing from both political parties. They’re half-right. Moderates have almost completely disappeared from the Republican Party.

But anyone on the left will tell you President Obama is certainly a moderate Democrat. That is way better than Republicans, who think the only purpose of government is to help the wealthy who don’t need it. But Obama has no problem campaigning in even the most Republican areas of Wisconsin.

Only the looniest tea party Republicans think creating jobs and putting people to work during an economic crisis are radical, left-wing proposals.