I see pundits bewailing the divisiveness in our country and how both parties are at fault and need to work “across the aisle.” I also recently saw an old friend post a commentary about the harsh political rhetoric that is common. This friend blamed “both sides.” This amounts to a false equivalency.
I would posit that the source of the divisiveness is the Republican party and the Republican party alone.
On facebook I see truly hateful comments from Romney supporters about President Obama, They still spew the baloney that he is not an American, that he is a Muslim (and this in a country that claims to value religious freedom) or that he is a socialist/communist/fascist. Never mind that they don’t seem to know what those words mean.
But, more importantly, ever since Newt Gingrich was speaker of the House, the Republicans have done everything possible to keep Democratic presidents from succeeding.
First they went after Bill Clinton. They spent millions of taxpayer dollars to try to find something, anything about Whitewater to pin on him. And they spent more millions of dollars trying to impeach him. They dogged him for most of his presidency, prompting Hillary Clinton to call it a "vast right-wing conspiracy." She was right. It’s a wonder the man was able to accomplish anything, let alone the improved economy he left to the Republicans to demolish.
And now we have a Republican-controlled Congress. Let me say that again, the entire Congress is controlled by Republicans.
Yes, both houses are Republican-controlled because Republicans have a majority in the House and because in the Senate they block everything the President tries to accomplish. Filibusters skyrocketed when Obama took office.
Republican leaders even had a meeting the very night Obama was inaugurated, vowing to thwart everything Obama tried to do. And they have followed through on their agreement.
President Obama has attempted to work with the Republicans. In fact, he has gone so far to work with them that he has alienated some Democratic supporters. A prime example of this is when the debt limit needed to be increased. The Republicans refused to raise the limit, to the point that the USA’s credit rating was downgraded before an agreement was reached. And Obama finally agreed to extending the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy just so he could extend unemployment payments for American workers.
These Republicans don’t care about the citizens they are supposed to represent. They only care about power. They cry big crocodile tears about struggling Americans, but they absolutely refuse to help them because they have signed a pledge to Grover Norquist that they won’t raise taxes. They poured billions and billions of dollars into Bush’s ill-conceived wars, but only under this Democratic president do they cry more of their crocodile tears about the national debt. But the truth is that they are willing to leave the American economy in recession if it means President Obama doesn’t get a second term.
So do not fall prey to the false equivalency that both sides are at fault for the divisiveness. They are not.