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Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Year One : Attack Of The Teabaggers ( or ) Nice Try But Not Enough

By and large, conservatives became the party of paranoia, revisionist history, misdirection, and distortion on Janurary 20th of last year. This isn’t to say that they hadn’t already been steeped in these practices prior to the inauguration of Barack Obama, but they were certainly amplified to the Nth degree.

This has not been an easy year for Obama, The monumental task of repairing damage done the previous 8 years wasn’t going to be easy, yet his record has been molested into something completely unrecognizable in many respects. His successes have been marginalized or completely ignored by many in this country. In replace of substantive discussion regarding Obama’s actions as President, the majority of Americans are caught up in responding to specious accusations like Obama’s birthplace, alleged ties to “radicals”, his view of America, and those chosen to be in his cabinet.

Conservatives invested every ounce of energy they had in turning Obama into a morbid caricature of evil. He was labeled a Socialist, Totalitarian, Marxist, Communist - even though none of those can co-exist along side one another – that jaunted around the globe “apologizing” for America and was literally inviting a terrorist attack. There were no attempts at bipartisanship by Republicans in either House of Congress, even though there were cries for it by them. From the very start, Obama was faced with obstructionism from the entire Republican Party.

While he had succeeded in many areas, including the Stimulus, the beginnings of Cap and Trade, vastly improved the image of America around the world, and seated a US Supreme Court Justice. However successful these things were, they were quickly labeled as abject failures by conservatives. Not in-so-much as they were bad, but conservatives would not be seen as failures in their own right. They would do anything to ensure that Americans were convinced Obama had already failed.

Republicans, conservative “tea-party” activists or not, throughout the campaign claimed that Democrats revered Obama as a God-like figure that could do anything. However, they faced their own ironic deification of the man, as they set the bar so high that it was literally unapproachable. This isn’t to say that Obama didn’t try. The only problem was that he didn’t try hard enough. The stimulus wasn’t enough, the full implementation of Cap and Trade still hasn’t taken effect, healthcare reform became ensnared in too many Republican trappings, and he hadn’t effectively pushed-back at those conservatives that leveled inflammatory attacks.

Suddenly obstructionism, willful ignorance, and yes – racial animus ( though the later will be viciously denied despite conclusive proof of its existence ) were considered “patriotism”. Suddenly there had been no terrorist attacks during Bush’s term, that the economic collapse was solely the fault of Obama, that even pointing out the widely recognized and recorded history of the Bush administration was unacceptable. Conservatives were convinced that America did not exist anymore, that we were in danger of losing every freedom and liberty once the Oath of Office was taken by Obama.

It’s been a difficult year, and Obama has faced a great deal. He’s still got more work to do, but so do all Democrats. We can’t let ill-informed conservatives control the message or rewrite history any longer.

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