Either way, the problem is Republicans

By Amanda Marcotte
Thursday, July 21, 2011 19:40 EDT
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So, I posted earlier today about what jackass crazy fuckwits run the Republican party and that's why we're in this current crisis, I suppose the inevitable thing happened in comments: I got scolded about my priorities.  Apparently, I'm supposed to be focusing like a laser on how Obama is actually a double agent for the GOP and this was his evil plan all along to gut important social programs.  Okay.  I can actually sympathize with that point of view, since I remember being a newly minted lefist in college and feeling the allure of "rah rah Nader, Bush and Gore are no different".  It was a fairly useless point of view, but it made me feel self-righteous, and at 21, that felt really fucking good.  Now I'm older and tired and I look back at Clinton and realize I was being unfair, because while he's far from perfect, suggesting he was the problem is like having cancer and suggesting your hair falling out is your major problem. I was thoroughly cured by 8 years of Bush of this kind of thinking, and am mildly surprised to see how quickly everyone forgot about all that.  

Either way, I reject the notion that the complete batshit craziness of the Republicans is merely a distraction from the Real Problem that our who-knew dictator Obama isn't so benevolent.  For one thing, I seriously don't think he has as much power, due to the constitutional republic thing, as his angry critics are attributing to him and therefore the theory that he's selling the farm in a desperate bid to stop the crazies from driving this country over the cliff remains a persuasive theory.  But more importantly, I don't think it matters. 

Yes, I'm saying it right here: whether Obama is a secret Republican or whether he's a well-meaning Democrat who is simply being blackmailed is irrelevant.  The problem, either way, is Republicans.

Let's look at the competing theories to see what I mean. 

Theory #1: Benevolent Obama Theory.

This theory holds that Obama is a moderate Democrat who, while made uncomfortable by deficits (which isn't unreasonable, per se, but should be a secondary concern in an economic crisis) , still believes in a more liberal economic theory when it comes to recessions, due to the fact that history proves those theories correct.  In this theory, he's offering deep cuts to beloved and necessary programs because the Republicans are holding the very state of the world economy hostage, willing to plunge us into a Depression if he doesn't start giving away the farm.  

The problem: Well, basically the Republicans.  If it wasn't for the batshit crazy Republicans willing to destroy our economy to get their way, none of this would be happening.  

Theory #2: Evil Obama Theory.

This theory holds that Obama passed himself off as a moderate Democrat to get elected, but is in fact a secret conservative who has been aching for a chance to destroy Social Security, amongst other programs.  I found this theory a little confusing at first, because it seemed to me that his secret plan would have been easier to enact when he had a majority party in Congress, so I asked around on Twitter, and this is the explanation I got: he couldn't destroy Social Security then, because there's enough liberals in the Democratic Party that they could have stopped him.  It was only after Republicans got control of the House and went crazy that he had enough cover to do what he always hoped he could do.

The problem: Well, basically the Republicans.  If the batshit crazy Republicans weren't there giving secretly conservative Obama cover, none of this would be happening. 

So, from my point of view, no matter what evil or non-evil lurks in Obama's heart, the problem is that this country keeps electing frothing-at-the-mouth crazy Republicans, and if voters would stop doing that, we wouldn't be having one politically provoked crisis after another.  Sure, if Obama is a secret conservative, that is a problem.  But we can't actually know that.  But what we do know for a fact is that no matter what lurks in Obama's hearts, none of this would be happening if Republicans didn't win the House.  So I think that my priorities are just fine, thank you very much. 

And because I'm going to be accused of being a partisan shill for Obama, I just want to say that I'm really not.  If he's a secret conservative, that concerns me greatly.  But even if he's not, I do think he's failed repeatedly to present his best game in negotiations with Republicans.  But at the end of the day, I'm unconvinced that the greatest negotiator on the planet could beat people who are willing to pull the trigger on the entire world economy.  

Also, I'm just generally trying to let go of the intoxicating illusion of control.  Quick fix solutions that will roll back decades of this country moving to the right appeal to that illusion, but don't actually do much good.  So I'm trying to let go of that and start thinking more broadly about what good can actually be done with the tools that are actually at hand, with the full realization that some times, the bad guys do win. 

Amanda Marcotte
Amanda Marcotte
Amanda Marcotte is a freelance journalist born and bred in Texas, but now living in the writer reserve of Brooklyn. She focuses on feminism, national politics, and pop culture, with the order shifting depending on her mood and the state of the nation.
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