Here it is in 30 seconds: “You can’t rebuild America if you tear down the middle class.”

The Republicans have made it clear from the get-go – explicitly – that their number-one priority is Obama’s failure.

Why?

Is it because he wanted to start an educational race to the top? Or because he hoped to take out Bin laden?

No.

Is it because he wanted to reform the financial system and establish a consumer financial protection bureau?

No.

Was their concern that he wanted every American to have access to affordable health care, along the lines of the Mitt Romney model?

That he wanted to save the U.S. auto industry?

That he wanted to wind down combat operations in Iraq?

That he wanted to empanel a bipartisan budget deficit commission (their idea)? Or establish a free-market cap-and-trade system (their idea)?

Or modernize our decaying infrastructure?

Were they alarmed that a Nobel-prize winning physicist was named to head the Department of Energy or that investments were made to help the private sector fund potentially game-changing energy technologies?

Nope. None of that.

Could they have wanted his Presidency to fail because he would sign the Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act or initiate an anti-bullying campaign or encourage potentially life-saving embryonic stem cell research or appoint non-white-male-conservatives to the Supreme Court? Or include gays and lesbians and transgender citizens in his vision of America?

Because he hoped to tighten tobacco regulation or check the sale of assault weapons at gun shows?

Well, we may be getting a little warmer, but still no.

They have wanted him to fail (remember their cheering when Chicago failed in its Olympic bid?) because they want their power back – an inclination natural to both parties – and because they want to protect the rich and powerful (an inclination natural only to one).

The rich must not be taxed.* Corporations must not be regulated. Government is bad, especially to the extent it gives power or rights to the non-wealthy.

That’s the nub of it. To win, they need unemployment to be high and the economy stalled.

And the rest of us are caught in the crossfire.

Have a nice day.

*Or at least be protected from the tax rates they suffered under Clinton (let alone Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, Ford, Carter – or even Reagan, who set the tax on investment income at 28%, nearly double George W. Bush’s 15% rate.

 

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