Robert N. Taylor

*Buoyed by their recent midterm election successes the Republican Party and its allies in the ultra-conservative Tea Party Movement have taken a nasty hard line against President Obama and the Democrats.

They have, in effect, threatened to destroy the Obama presidency. In a nutshell, they are making plans to undo or deny funding to all of the improvements the Democrats enacted over the past two years including Obama’s signature accomplishment national health care reform.

The Republicans did not achieve enough election victories to enact any legislation of their own but by retaking control of the House of Representatives; the GOP secured sufficient legislative strength to make life for Obama a living hell of gridlock over the next two years.

Thus, all progressives can probably agree with the assessment of the MSNBC commentator who labeled the president’s first news conference after the election debacle “disheartening.” While the Republicans are launching an attack and destroy mission, Obama was talking compromise saying at one point “I believe there’s room for us to compromise and get it done together.”

Such statements are ridiculous. How can you possibly compromise with Republicans who want to undo your health care reforms, cut up to $100 billion dollars from social programs while maintaining funding for the disastrous no-win wars in Iraq and Afghanistan? In addition, they want to further reduce the regulation of big business – the same businesses whose banking practices caused the meltdown in the housing market.

From the housing crisis to the oil spill in the Gulf, it was the lack of proper government regulation of business practices which was a major contributor to the problems. This country needs more regulation of business not less.

The Republican efforts and so-called “Pledge to America” have been labeled a “government of less.” Supposedly, this will mean a massive reduction in government spending more than it collects in taxes and less interference in the operations of businesses. But when one takes a look at what these conservatives support and what they oppose, it is clear that a government of less actually means less for the poor and the middle classes but more for war and for the wealthy.

What other explanation can there be for their current efforts to extend or make permanent former President Bush’s “tax cuts for the rich” (those families earning more than $250,000 a year). If the Republicans truly want to reduce the deficit, they would allow those tax cuts to expire so that the rich are forced to pay their fair share of taxes.

But Obama has even indicated that he is willing to compromise on this issue by extending the “tax cuts for the rich” a while longer but not making them permanent. Please Mr. President, you appear too willing to compromise and not willing enough to make a firm principled stand.

Obama’s present posture is making him look weak and rendering him incapable of doing anything for the people who put him in office. We need you to fulfill the promises you made when campaigning not kowtowing to Republican demands under the cover of being a man of compromise.

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