hardly know where to begin, the Republicans. There are so many things
they are against, they could be on the talking heads TV shows on
three shifts instead of just two.
if there’s one thing that the GOP does best, it’s fear-mongering.
They started in on the new administration with the former vice president’s
televised warning that President Obama’s actions on the world stage
were paving the way for enemies of the U.S.
to start another effort to harm us.
acted like he had some inside information, although we’d have to
put him back in power before he would share that information with
other Americans. Of course, we know that it’s not likely that he
has any such information, but, as he and his man Dubya ran the country
for eight years, he’s still running through the streets of America,
the Bush Administration has been out of office, Dick Cheney is just
the first in a long line of Republicans who are out on the radio
and television talk circuit carrying their buckets of fear and trying
to upend the Obama Administration, no matter what it or he tries
don’t like anything he does, so they are against everything he does.
After a while, the president might want to consider taking it personally.
They don’t like his method of dealing with the financial meltdown,
they don’t like the rise in the stock market because it could show
that the bail-outs and stimulus programs are working (although the
short-term rise in the market might not mean anything at all).
don’t like the idea that an American president would conduct talks
with the government of Iran, conduct any kind of diplomacy with
the duly-elected president of Venezuela, Hugo Chavez, or open up
or end the embargo imposed on Cuba, a lid kept on that country by
a parade of American presidents over the past half-century. More
they’re not careful, Republicans will soon resemble the Hole in
the Wall Gang and it will be tough to get in or out of their clubhouse
and few will make the effort. Perhaps, it’s because the people don’t
like the fear mongering.
a right-wing radio shock-jock said he wanted Obama to fail, there
was a scramble by some Republicans to disassociate themselves from
that kind of inflammatory rhetoric, but they seem to have recovered
and now they’re piling on.
latest Obama “outrage” for the GOP was the big summit of leaders
of Western Hemisphere nations, just ended.
During one of the sessions, President Hugo Chavez of Venezuela
arose, walked over to President Obama, put his hand out to shake
the U.S. president’s hand, and
handed him a book.
- gotcha! The photo that sent America’s
right wing on a trip to the stratosphere was captured. Obama actually
shook Chavez’ hand. Now, to get the entire picture, one has to remember
that Chavez was the one who, a day after George Bush addressed the
United Nations, stepped up to the same podium and declared that
he could still smell the sulfur of the U.S. president’s
say the least, Chavez’ remark - along with lots of others he’s made
over the past decade about Bush, Cheney, and the rest, especially
after the U.S.-supported coup attempt against Chavez - set off a
renewed round of vituperation.
was impolitic, but Chavez was, and is, far from a threat to the
U.S. The other “left-leaning” heads of state in
the hemisphere are far from threats to the U.S. Rather, Chavez’
biggest offense is that he is a leader in a movement to free Central
and South American peoples from the overpowering influence - viewed
as control by some - by a series of U.S. governments over those
countries, that goes back to the early days of the U.S. republic.
appears that the most visible and vocal Republicans are concerned
that there might be a lack of fear of America
among other peoples of the world. They like the idea of being feared,
and being able to justify that fear with the might of armies and
weapons systems that no other country possesses.
Gingrich said that the handshake shows America
to be weak. He actually said that and he may believe it. Clearly,
he would rather we had bombed Venezuela
- or at least invaded them - in the Bush Administration, just to
teach them a lesson.
parade of Republicans have expressed their chagrin at other nations’
loss of the fear of the “world’s only superpower.” They want that
power expressed, as it was in the war of aggression in Iraq,
and now Afghanistan and Pakistan. They want the power to be expressed
in Iran (possibly
through the U.S.’s
main ally in the Middle East, Israel).
They want the power, preferably military, expressed anywhere in
the world where a leader has had the cheek to talk back to an American
the tough-guy talk from the latest batch of Republican spokespersons
and their supporters and “leaders” among the broadcast bloviators
is just a bit hard to take. As far as their taste for war-making,
few of them have ever put on the uniform of their country, yet they
like the idea of bringing the benefits of war to innocents abroad.
Where and how did they get to be war-lovers? Surely, it’s not because
they have smelled war and surely not because they have lost half
their families in a war of someone else’s making.
talk is for soft-bellied politicians and those with tanning-bed
never have put themselves in harm’s way and the overwhelming majority
of them see to it that their children never are in harm’s way.
one agrees with Obama’s policies or not, he campaigned on bringing
some change in the way we do foreign policy: talk and negotiate
first, rather than “shock and awe” destruction first, last, and
American people seemed to approve that approach, since they voted
overwhelmingly for a new way of dealing with other nations and other
peoples. They voted for what Obama proposed and the Republicans
Republicans lost so badly and have been so disoriented since, that
they appear to have a radio shock-jock as a leader. But they haven’t
lost their taste for macho that was personified in the presidency
of George W. Bush and his sidekick, Dick Cheney, who preferred to
shoot first. What they planned to do after the shooting was never
made clear, and we’re left with their mess.
of the GOP stumbled a bit, about whether to support Obama or not,
then they reverted to type, seeing danger in every old lady’s handbag
or socks and under every bed in America, then warning everyone who
needed is a discussion of the issues, and there are plenty of them.
But the GOP, through its concentration on generating fear instead,
is making its hole-in-the-wall smaller and smaller, so that even
their base, which seems less inclined to support the “leaders” wholeheartedly,
might not even be able to find the entrance to their clubhouse.
BlackCommentator.com Columnist, John Funiciello, is a labor organizer and former union organizer.
His union work started when he became a local president of The Newspaper
Guild in the early 1970s. He was a reporter for 14 years for newspapers
in New York State.
In addition to labor work, he is organizing family farmers as they
struggle to stay on the land under enormous pressure from factory
food producers and land developers. Click here
to contact Mr. Funiciello.