Dr. Eugene T. Paslov: GOP ignore history, twist the truth
I recently saw painted on the cab of a pickup, “Obama is destroying our country!” My immediate reaction was, Bush destroyed our country. Obama is restoring it. Conservative ideologues are advocating the truck owner’s slogan, and it’s through fear-mongering that they are misleading the nation.
During the Bush years, the Congressional R’s supported (without question) their administration’s major political and economic disasters. They advocated claims of non-existent weapons of mass destruction, off the book war spending, and tax breaks for the rich. They ignored illegal stock transactions and corporate usury.
As an added insult, the “Party of No” did nothing to resolve any of the major problems facing ordinary citizens – no health care, no market regulations, no job stimulation.
The Congressional Republican leadership, so powerful during the Bush/Cheney administration, now takes no responsibility for the economic crisis. Now the minority leadership carefully manages their negative message: “President Obama represents unmitigated, big government take-over, runaway spending, and is leading us down the path to socialism.”
It’s not true, but lies repeated endlessly begin to sound truthful. People become fearful and irrationally angry.
During the last hours of the health care reform debate, opposition crowds outside the Capitol hurled racial insults at black congressional leaders, spit on one leader of the civil rights movement, and yelled anti-gay remarks at Congressman Barney Frank. We haven’t seen this kind of ugliness since the Bull Connor days of the ’60s. Not one Republican spoke out against this outrage. How pathetic.
The Congressional Republicans voted almost unanimously against the stimulus bill. They did vote unanimously against health care reform. Both bills passed. Virtually all who are knowledgeable gave credit to the stimulus for stopping this country’s fall off the cliff into a massive depression. But the Congressional Republicans claim that the stimulus was a failure, created no jobs, reduced no taxes and was of no value to their states. They continue their vacuous campaign against health care reform.
The Wall Street Journal exposed Congressional Republicans who voted against the stimulus bill but, when they returned home, accepted stimulus money as saving jobs and stabilizing their communities. They took credit. They just didn’t call it “Obama’s stimulus.” They ignored the truth.
It’s this Congressional hypocrisy that upsets Americans; and it is what we can expect more of from Congressional Republicans if they regain control of the Congress. If they succeed, I believe we will, indeed, reset the national path, to failure.
• Eugene Paslov is a board member of the Davidson Academy at the University of Nevada, Reno and the former Nevada state superintendent of schools.