You may be aware of the audiotape made at the large meeting sponsored by the Koch brothers to discuss strategy for the coming election. I have no idea how this tape was made or who made it but it is apparently authentic. I heard a small portion of it played in which one of the brothers said something to the effect of, “We have Saddam Hussein and are engaged in the mother of all wars.” This was interpreted by some as a reference to President Obama and the coming election. A spokesman for Koch claims it was not a reference to Obama and the phrase “mother of all wars” is commonplace. If I heard correctly, and if he actually said “we have Saddam Hussein,” I would think that clearly was in that context a reference to Obama. Whether it was or not, the fact that he said we are engaged in a “war” is revealing. I thought, foolishly I guess, we were merely engaged in a democratic election for the Presidency as we are every four years.
I think my naïve belief about the election has been unfortunately shared by President Obama and Democrats in general. Certainly Obama has gone out of his way to try to win bipartisan support for his various programs, only to be snubbed repeatedly by Republicans. Why Obama has persisted in trying to enlist Republicans for anything has been a mystery to me for quite some time now. Obama and the Democrats appear to have been living in the past when elections were more or less democratic with both parties playing the same game and more or less by the same rules. This is clearly no longer the case, for Republicans this is “war,” and for them this means all-out war with no rules, take-no-prisoners, and ends justify the means.
I believe this attitude started with Saint Ronnie the Boneheaded when he announced “Government is the problem.” I don’t think dear Ronnie thought of it as “war,” but it has become a war in the minds of Republicans and has now culminated in our present predicament. Republican tactics changed during the Clinton administration. When they could not defeat him in the voting booths they adopted, among other things, what I have described as “Roviation,” that is, sliming, denigrating, false accusations, outright lies, unprecedented sleazy attacks on his private behavior, and whatever necessary to bring down their opponents. Clinton outsmarted them by refusing to give up and also by becoming himself “Republican-like.” Republican tactics have grown more and more “warlike” since that time, witness what they did to Al Gore and John Kerry. During the 2000 election they even resorted to what were blatant “brown shirt” tactics, storming the vote count in Florida, pounding on doors, and shutting the process down. George W. Bush was elected only by the unconstitutional, illegal, and unprecedented action of a politicized Supreme Court.
Since Obama’s election their tactics have grown increasingly strident and desperate. They tried the “Obama is not really a citizen” path, then “he’s a Muslim” claim, also he’s a socialist, a communist, a dictator, has Kenyan anti-colonial views, and so on. While these false claims and accusations have mostly failed, they still insist in one way or another, subtley and not so subtlely, “he’s not like us,” he’s an “other,” determined to destroy our way of life. They only rarely come out in the open with their basic prejudice, he’s Black, but there is no doubt their racism plays an important part in their determination to bring him down. I guess you might describe this situation as a form of “asymmetrical warfare.” Republicans wage war and Democrats, especially Obama, turn the other cheek.
This “war” was not started by Democrats, but, rather by Republicans and most recently by the Koch brothers funded Tea Party. Having managed to get a number of Tea Party Governors elected these toadies immediately mounted an attack on unions, teachers and social programs the Kochs and their ilk have been after for years, Social Security, health care, Medicare, Medicaid, the EPA, the ESP, and so on. It has taken way too long but there are at last signs Democrats are waking up and beginning to fight back. Unions and public employees are furious, nurses are marching in the streets, Democrats are challenging Republicans so directly many of the latter have stopped holding public forums. There seems to be a great deal of “buyer’s remorse,” and there are recall movements in several states. The Tea Party fanatics have seriously overplayed their hands and will almost certainly pay the price during the next elections. Unless, of course, having virtually destroyed our economy and national reputation they can somehow convince the voting public that it is all Obama’s fault. They are attempting a not at all secret and bloodless coup. With corporate and enormous private wealth at their disposal, control of the MSM, many politicians already bought and paid for, the Supreme Court and who knows who all else on their side, the odds are clearly stacked against the middle class and the poor. Obama has to throw down the gauntlet and the real definitive battle must begin. This is one of those moments when the future truly is in the hands of the people, timidity will not do.