In this political season I keep hearing variations on two themes from both the GOP presidential and congressional (i.e. Trump and Reed’s) campaigns:
- “President Obama’s failed policies”
- “Hillary’s Baggage”
It seems that the GOP campaigns, along with surrogates (Fox News, talk radio hosts, national and local bloggers, social media orators) use those terms with few details explaining what these political idioms mean.
“President Obama’s failed policies” unofficially started even before our President was sworn into office. A group of GOP representatives lead by House Whip Eric Cantor and Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell convinced others to fight Obama on every political issue. “If he was for it we had to be against it,” former Ohio Republican Senator George Voinovich later explained. (A Time Magazine article, as well as many other articles, describes the Cantor-McConnell conspiracy in detail).
Remember this was during the worst financial crisis since the great depression; a time where leaders should be putting their country first, not their political party. The first major “failed policy” they attacked was the Economic-Recovery plan, aka “The Stimulus”. The GOP plan worked, they reduced the funds and delayed our economic recovery so they could report that the stimulus “failed”.
The list of Obama’s failed policies continued through out both terms, including the debt ceilings crises, government shut downs, the sequester, military actions (remember that Congress has yet to take a stand on Syria and ISIS), job programs, health care, immigration to mention a few without the help of Google.
The republicans worked hard to oppose Obama’s policies, and it was not easy. Ask Speaker of the House Boehner when he tried to get the Republicans House members to agree to anything, including goals and, heaven forbid, any compromises.
Now, their hard work has paid off…Republicans proudly declare in their campaign rhetoric that Obama policies have “failed”.
Hillary has been on the national political stage for a quarter of a century. Every step on the way from Arkansas to Washington to New York to being the Secretary of State she has had supporters and rivals. Political races and political decisions created winners and losers. There should be no question that there is an abundant of criticism collected by her (and Bill’s) competitors.
Collecting negative “facts”, and framing them as being important is a political cottage industry for Rush Limbaugh wannabes. Some of the baggage is probably well known because of loyal opposition is doing its job–digging for dirt and spinning it for political fodder. The GOP has been overly politicizing much of what they consider to be damaging to Hillary. That has damaged their credibility.
I understand that wanting to have a clear picture of what happened in Benghazi on September 11, 2012 is warranted. Some might think that having six House Committees, two Senate Committees and a non-partisan State Department’s Accountability Review Board studying the Benghazi event is just politicizing the tragedy.
More time and tax money has been spent on studying Benghazi than the following terrorists attacks which killed thousands of Americans:
- The 2013 Boston Marathon bombing,
- the 2000 attack on the USS Cole,
- the 1998 embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania,
- the 1996 Khobar Tower bombing in Dubai.
- the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing,
- and even the attacks of September 11, 2001.
House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, last September, boasted that the the Benghazi commission’s goal was to to discredit Hillary. Others Republicans later agreed. This was after the House Committee reported that there was “no wrong-doing by Obama administration appointees.” Donald Trump and Tom Reed pretend the official findings do not exists and still uses Benghazi to remind their supporters of the evils of their opponents.
Yes, Benghazi is only one piece of Hillary’s baggage. Other conspiracy-theorists’ “Breaking News” might be news for the 20-something year olds, but most of it doesn’t relate to the 2016 Presidential Campaign. Dragging up the Vince Foster suicide, or Bill’s affairs, or that Hillary did not past her first Bar Exam has nothing to do with the way she will respond to the challenges of leading our country between 2017-2021. Trying to discredit the positive projects produced by the Clinton Foundation shows the desperation of the GOP.
Both Obama’s failed policies and Hillary’s baggage messages fall into the category of: If people hear an opinion enough times, some will believe it is a fact. Isn’t that the goal of political campaigns ads?