SCOTUS Nomination Is Emblematic Of Obama Presidency.

In 2008, Barack Obama ran for president on a platform of change and hope – hope that he could end division and bring people together. He probably should have known better. After all, the Republican Party had long based their election campaigns on fear and division.

So it was no surprise when it became known that, after the election of President Obama, Senator Mitch McConnell rallied congressional Republicans to oppose every one of Obama’s initiatives with the intent of making Obama a one-term president.

It didn’t matter that, for the first time in decades, Obama nominated members of the opposition party to his cabinet. It didn’t matter that, instead of pursuing charges against those in the Bush administration who had collapsed the economy and led our nation into a misguided war, Obama chose to look forward, instead. It didn’t matter that, in order to make healthcare affordable for millions more Americans, President Obama chose to promote a Republican idea (now known as Obamacare). It didn’t matter that, despite Democratic majorities in the House and in the Senate, President Obama chose moderation over partisanship.

He was rewarded by Republicans who used the filibuster to block any and every one of Obama’s initiatives. They blocked dozens of judicial appointments. They blocked his promise to close the prison at Guantanamo Bay. They tried to block his budgets. They tried to block his healthcare bill. They even tried to block his stimulus bill which was intended to put millions of Americans back to work.

Not content with legislative obstruction, Republicans created the Tea Party, which challenged President Obama’s legitimacy. They portrayed him as the Joker…as the anti-Christ. They called him un-American. They called him a Muslim from Kenya. They rallied behind racist images of the president. They openly carried guns to their protest rallies and threatened to exercise their “Second Amendment rights” against the President.

Therefore, it comes as no surprise that, when the most rightwing ideological Supreme Court justice died, McConnell and his Republican caucus in the Senate vowed to block any Obama nomination to the Supreme Court. They claimed that, even though President Obama has nearly a year left in office, that he is a lame-duck president. They would have you believe that his current term is for only 3 years, instead of 4.

Likewise, it is no surprise that President Obama nominated a moderate to the Supreme Court vacancy – a judge who is respected by members of both parties. After all, contrary to Republican accusations, such moderation is emblematic of the entire Obama presidency. Indeed, Obama has exemplified moderation in everything he has done. That’s why he will be remembered as one of the nation’s greatest presidents. And it’s why history will remember McConnell and the rest of the Republicans in Congress as the worst ever – a Congress that did nothing but further contribute to political hatred and divisiveness.

GOP: 1.6 Million Jobs Don’t Matter.

There was a story this week that was overshadowed by Anthony Weiner’s penis, San Diego Mayor Filner’s hands-on management style and Congressman Steve King’s idiotic statements on immigrants. It was news that the CBO (Congressional Budget Office) reported that sequestration cuts forced by the Republican-dominated House will prevent the creation of 1.6 million jobs over the next year.

The report came as an answer to Speaker John Boehner’s oft-asked question, “Where are the jobs under the Obama administration?”

Yet the CBO report was met with a resounding yawn by Republican leadership. They are far more interested in preparing for the next debt ceiling crisis and moving to repeal “Obamacare” a few more dozen times. Indeed, Washington insiders claim that jobs are no longer seen as an issue by Republicans because the economy is growing despite their obstruction.

The economy may be growing, but not nearly fast enough. More important, salaries have not grown at all, except for those at the top.

Nevertheless, the Republican majority continues to ignore jobs in favor of cuts to Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. Since taking control of the House with the promise of creating jobs, Republicans have not presented a single bill that would create jobs or rebuild our failing infrastructure. They have refused to negotiate a budget deal with Democrats. They won’t even create a committee to resolve differences with the Senate budget bill.

Indeed, this Congress is on track to pass the fewest bills in history!

Think about that for a moment. Our population has grown dramatically. Our nation’s problems are far more complex than ever before. Our infrastructure is crumbling. Our electric grid is cobbled together with antiquated technology. Climate change is claiming shoreline at an alarming rate. (Maryland’s Governor O’Malley recently stated that the state is losing 1.6 acres every day.) A large portion of our population doesn’t know where the next meal is coming from. And a growing number of our military veterans are struggling.

The problems are many. But Republican solutions are few and very far between.