The Elephant in the Room
by Lyla Blake Ward
Am I the only one who thinks the Republicans are pulling a fast one here—that they don’t really want to put a Republican in the White House in 2012? Think about it for a minute--take a good look at the seven candidates we watched week after week on the Tuesday Night Show. Does anybody really think Michelle Bachman, who doesn’t seem to know which side we were on in the Revolutionary War, could be President? Or Herman Cain, who could pronounce Libya but wasn’t quite sure what their problem was? Or Newt Gingrich who carries more baggage than Samsonite? Or steady-in-the-polls, Mitt Romney, who could teach a chameleon how to change his colors?
No way. Those behind-the-scenes pols are well aware it’s the non- Presidents that can point the country in the right’s direction. The last thing they want is to have a Republican in the White House.
Look at history. Do you imagine for a minute these pros haven’t noticed even conservative Republican Presidents forget they are Republicans once they sit in the Oval Office; some going so far they almost begin to feel a kind of commitment to all the American people? Take Dwight Eisenhower, the unabashed father of the Interstate Highway System. Under his leadership Congress enacted the largest public works project in the country’s history, and funded it, sotto voce, by a tax on gasoline.
And then there was Nixon who had his Family Assistance Plan, a daring act predicated on the unRepublican belief that the Federal government has some responsibility toward impoverished families and should provide them with a minimum annual income; George Bush 1 who committed the cardinal sin of appealing to the deaf to read his lips : no new taxes, and then broke his promise because he was disloyal enough to think he had to act for the public i.e. national good. Even Ronald Reagan, that icon of conservatism, saw fit to ask Congress to raise taxes in 1982 in the midst of a recession; and George Bush 11, elected as a Republican, lost his creds when he initiated the Medicare Prescription Drug Act.
Can’t you see what they’re doing? Straw polls, shmaw polls--keep the cable news guys talking..Meanwhile Sarah Palin is free to ride around the country having Tea Parties and inciting angry Moms; Mike Huckabee can spread the Conservative gospel with impunity, from his cozy radio pulpit; Donald Trump, speaking from his golden headquarters, can expound on how government regulations have ruined business opportunities in this country.
A President, on the other hand, once he’s in office, has to adjust his principles. Remember 2009? Candidate Obama was strongly in favor of closing Guantanamo? News flash: it is still open. In that same campaign, Candidate Obama consistently took an antiwar stance. Was that the same guy who ordered 30,000 additional troops to be sent into Afghanistan? Candidate Obama called Wall Street CEO’s “fat cats.” Flash forward: 2011. Guess where the fundraisers are being held.
No, savvy Republicans know exactly which side their white bread is buttered on. They don’t want the White House back because they’re doing so much better without it. Earlier this year, they almost shut the government down by refusing to raise the debt ceiling. A President wouldn’t do that. As the Opposition Party they can be for repealing Roe versus Wade; the Healthcare Bill and Dodd-Frank; for privatizing Social Security; reducing Medicare and Medicaid; for eliminating the Department of Education, the EPA and Public television.
Once in office not many Presidents have been in favor of dismantling the government—it’s their meal ticket. The point is, you’re not going to see any plausible possible winner jump into the Republican primary race. Maybe it’s just a coincidence, or maybe it’s more shrewd Republican strategy that put the Republican candidates’ TV debates on Tuesday nights, because obviously they know on that night the biggest winner is none other than: The Biggest Loser.