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Wednesday, Oct. 14, 2009

Anti-American Republicans

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The president of the United States wins one of the most prestigious honors in the world and Republicans, rather than exhibit national pride, bitterly attack their country’s leader as unaccomplished and undeserving.

The same Republicans cheered when the United States lost its bid to host the 2016 Olympic Games sought by Obama despite the economic bonanza the world event could have brought to Chicago, Milwaukee and the financially stressed Midwest.

The angry opposition of Republicans to President Barack Obama now has deteriorated into opposition to anything that is good for their own country under Obama’s leadership.

Republicans wouldn’t have been so baffled by Obama’s winning of the Nobel Peace Prize if they had bothered to read the citation. The Nobel committee, which unanimously awarded the honor to Obama, explicitly stated the prize was not being given for what Obama might do in the future, but for what his election already has meant for the world.

The citation spelled out clearly the difference one person can make.

Obama’s election immediately transformed the world’s greatest superpower from an arrogant nation acting unilaterally without any regard for world opinion into a global leader in multinational diplomacy attempting to solve problems through negotiations.

The United States also immediately stopped feigning ignorance over whether climate change existed and began working with other nations to take concrete steps to meet a grave threat to the planet’s survival.

The Nobel committee didn’t mention race, but Obama also pushed open doors and provided hope and new opportunities for people of color not only in his own country, but around the world as well.

The lack of graciousness of Republicans toward a prestigious honor for our president—and for the United States itself—carries special irony for those of us who were accused of being unpatriotic in the past for protesting the policies of the United States when it got off track.

Those same Republicans who said we should support our country “right or wrong” now refuse to support it even when others around the world are heaping praise upon us for moving in the right direction.

There’s a big difference between opposing a president for escalating a war resulting in the loss of thousands of American lives and opposing a president for attempting to make affordable health care available to all Americans.

Spiting America

Anti-American Republicans oppose anything that would be good for the American people because it would make Obama look good.

That’s what’s really behind their vociferous opposition to passing health care reform that would benefit the majority of Americans who already are experiencing exorbitant increases in insurance co-pays and premiums coupled with disappearing coverage.

Former Wisconsin Gov. Tommy Thompson, President George W. Bush’s secretary of Health and Human Services, has now joined a small group of pro-American Republicans such as former presidential candidate Bob Dole and former Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, a physician, in advocating support for health care reform.

But there is no indication that the tone-deaf, anti-American Republicans in Congress have any intention of dropping their nearly unanimous opposition to anything that would reduce the overwhelming financial cost of health care for every American, every employer in America and every taxing authority in America.

More and more Americans are starting to notice that Republicans have crossed the line into trashing America itself and opposing anything that would benefit the American people.

The last thing Republicans want is for Americans to stop being driven into bankruptcy by catastrophic medical expenses after insurance companies refuse to pay for illnesses and major surgeries. That would be a victory for Obama.

Health care reform will pass because the majority of Democrats in Congress know defeat by the Republicans would be disastrous both for the country and for the Democratic majority.

After that, the next big battle between Democrats and anti-American Republicans will be over creating more jobs.

It’s widely acknowledged now that Obama’s first financial recovery package pulled the country back from the brink of a second Great Depression. (Those who claim Obama hasn’t accomplished anything seem to have forgotten that little item.)

But with economists suggesting the possibility of a “jobless recovery,” more needs to be done to provide assistance for those who remain out of work and to create more jobs.

In order to fight health care reform to benefit all Americans, Republicans had to make up outrageous lies about death panels plotting to exterminate senior citizens. They’ll need to invent even scarier plots to convince Americans that being employed and earning enough money to support their families would be a bad thing.

Republicans have to come up with something outrageous to keep their supporters good and mad. If those angry mobs ever settled down and thought rationally, they’d realize their party had been taken over by anti-Americans who oppose anything that is good for their country.