The Hate That Hate Begat

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[Black Star News Editorial]

Angry White men have never been angrier and more destructive in recent years.

Financed by the multi-billionaire Koch brothers, Charles and David, they have whipped up racist and religious bigotry, and used the manufactured fear to seize control of the House of Representatives.

Now that they have control of Congress, Republicans have announced that they will embark on the mission which they've been craving for since November 2008, when Barack Obama won the presidency--which is to undo his tenure. Since they cannot nullify the 2008 election --they tried by claiming that Obama was not a natural born citizen-- they will try to do the second best thing; repeal his legislative achievements.

There should be no pretense that this election, ushering in significant Republican gains in the House with 60-plus seats at last count, was about "philosophy" or about "Obama's policies."

It patently was not.

Rep. John Boehner, the presumptive new House majority leader and Speaker, yesterday declared that the Republicans' early priority is to undo healthcare reform and financial regulations legislation. The President, in his post-election press conference made it clear that while he accepted responsibility for the "shelacking," he was not going to roll over. He would accept "tweaking" of the healthcare reform legislation to improve it--but it's clear President Obama would veto any attempt to roll back the legislation.

Boehner, to his credit, didn't bother to pretend that the Tea Party's hateful rhetoric --condoned and approved by Republicans who never ever objected to the race baiting and religious bigotry-- was out of disappointment or frustration with the economy. It was precipitated by bitter antipathy towards the president. This was clear when some of Boehner's supporters, during his first post-election news conference, started chanting: "USA! USA! USA!" Of course this was an appeal to the racist notion, encouraged by the Tea Party and some prominent Republicans that President Obama is either not an American citizen or is, at least, un-American.

This strategy --it used to be called the Southern Strategy-- of demonization has excarcebated polarization and racialization in the country.

Now that the Republicans once again hold the keys to the car what will they do? Will they be able to compromise and work with the President and the Senate, where the Democrats cling to a slim majority?

They won't be able to.

Many of the Republicans owe their victories to the Tea Party, one of the most successful racist movements not to be classified as a hate group. For this reason, even if they were so inclined, Republican lawmakers won't dare to work with the President. One of the Tea Party's newly elected Senators, Rand Paul, has said it was okay for private establishments to discriminate.

Republicans smell blood in the water and they are in a vengeful mood. So what if unemployment is near 10%? They are willing to do anything it takes to destroy Obama's presidency, just to punish him, for having dared to win two years ago, even if it means ruining the United States' economy. That's what they mean when they say "We want our country back." How could anyone want the country that was on the verge of a Great Depression when Obama took office?

People are sensible enough to know that the President had no choice but to spend billions of dollars to prevent the nation from sliding into a depresssion. In fact, the complaint by prominent economists such as Paul Krugman was that the stimulus spending was insufficient.

Yet, captivated by the volatile rhetoric of the Republicans and Tea Party allies, voters handed the keys back to the drivers who drove the country over a cliff.

It's hard to see how Republicans and their Tea Party allies can co-exist. The Tea Party is the total retaliation wing of the Right wing, and within a few months could be in conflict with the we-have-to-look-like-we-are-doing-something Republicans.

President Obama should submit numerous legislative proposals and dare Republicans to shoot them all down. As in 1994, the whole country will see that the Republicans can't handle power and their momentum will dissipate. They will devour themselves.

"Speaking Truth To Empower."

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