August 25, 2010
The 'Party of No' is the Party of the PeopleBy Chad Stafko
This past week, President Barack Obama campaigned and raised money for a number of Democratic candidates across the country. While campaigning, President Obama took the opportunity to lambaste Republicans as obstructionists and went so far as to seemingly insult the GOP as the Party of "no we can't."
What President Obama effectively did was label the Republican Party as the party of the people, as saying "no" to the policies of Obama and the rubber-stamp Democratic leadership, like the GOP has done, reflects the will of the American people.
The major policy victories of President Obama and his Democratic allies have come despite the fact that a majority of Americans were adamantly opposed to them. When Obama championed the need for health care reform such that all Americans would be required to purchase insurance, the American people said "no." Americans were also against the multiple corporate bailouts and massive increase in government spending that have characterized this administration and the Democratic leadership.
It is this governing against the will of the people that has caused Obama's approval rating to plunge to 44 percent, according to Gallup, near the low of his presidency, and for the approval rating of the Democrat-led Congress to drop to a mere 19 percent.
During all this, Republicans have been quite vocal in their opposition to President Obama and the Democrats, essentially acting as mouthpieces for their constituents and for a majority of Americans.
Recall the passionate speech of Republican Minority Leader John Boehner on the House floor during his last stand against the passing of health care reform,
Over on the Senate side, Republican Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has also been an unabashed critic of the bailouts, health care reform, and other Obama policies. Earlier this year, McConnell avowed, "The American people have made it abundantly clear that they are more interested in shrinking unemployment than expanding government. They are tired of bailouts."
Those comments by Boehner and McConnell typify what has been a rather united message among Republicans in regards to the policies pushed by Obama and the Democrats.
This unified message of the need to restrain an overreaching and spendthrift government is resonating with the American people in a profound way during the campaign season.
The latest RealClearPolitics (RCP) polling data show a tightening race for power in the U.S. Senate, where the Democrats currently hold a 59-41 advantage. RCP has the overall race to control the Senate at 48 Democrats to 44 Republicans with eight toss-up races. Based on the RCP data, the Republicans would need to win seven of the eight toss-up races to take control of the Senate. Among the eight toss-up races are two of the most liberal members of the Senate, Senators Harry Reid and Barbara Boxer.
The quest for control of the House looks even more favorable for Republicans, as the RCP data estimate that the GOP has the advantage 203-199, with 33 toss-up races. Democrats currently own a 255-178 advantage.
All of this united opposition by Republicans has come at a time in which Republicans have been powerless to stop President Obama and the Democrats from pursuing specific legislation and enacting their policies.
So it was rather amusing to hear President Obama describe Republicans as obstructionists last week. Obama lashed out at Senator McConnell's comments, in which he said, "I wish we had been able to obstruct more," in regards to Democrats being able to implement health care reform, fiscal stimulus, unemployment extensions, and financial reform.
At a fundraiser in Wisconsin, Obama said, "Obstruct more? Is that even possible?"
The people aren't being duped again by Obama like a majority was in 2008. Americans realize that Obama and his Democratic cronies have had full power to pass and sign into law whatever they could muster, while Republicans could do nothing about it.
The Republican Party has become the Party of the People, as the words of the GOP simply reflect the frustration held by many Americans. This will become crystal clear to Obama and the Democrats in about 10 weeks on Election Day.
Chad Stafko is a writer and political consultant living in the Midwest. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.