It was never going to be easy for the Biden Administration. Divisive politics in the US is nothing new, but it appears to me that since Barack Obama was elected, the Republican Party were so fearful of a Black man in the White House, that they decided to use every tool available to make sure it will never happen again. If you look back at the Obama Administration, he came to power after the previous Republican President had not only embarked on tax cuts for the rich, but had also entered into 2 wars. It was the fiscal equivalent of a tsunami of debt, where he knew he would not be there when the bills became due.
It is often glossed over by the Right, exactly what the rich did to American society, particularly in the second term of the Bush Administration. America is the land of the free, where NOTHING is for free and no truer was it illustrated when the banks decided to embark upon the biggest fraud on the American people in history. Not for the first time, the cancerous influence of dark money had literally become stage four greed on a level never seen before. It really is hard to articulate just how pervasive corporate influence had become. It had infected government policy at the very highest level and was through deregulation of financial services, creating a crisis that could quite easily have completely destroyed the American economy, whilst throwing world economies under the bus.
The crash that happened in 2008 was the result of banks literally robbing the poor. It was like an episode of an inverted Robin Hood. What's more, they did it in the cruelest of ways, by selling the American home ownership dream to people that had no way to afford what they were huckster-selling. That didn't matter to them, all they had to do was get millions to sign of the dotted line to borrow money they couldn't afford. This then enabled them to perpetrate a fraud on the global markets and get sucker banks all around the world to buy debt packages that were in reality a fiscal nuclear time bomb. The only trick required, was to make sure they weren't holding the device when it went off.
So why do I cite this in the conversation of today? I cite it simply because it goes to the arrogance and total disregard that the top 2% have for the American people. When your government gives the green light through deregulation, to make a heartbeat the only qualification to borrow money, then you crush any sense of moral and social responsibility to society. Republicans time and time again, try to portray themselves as the party of fiscal responsibility, but there is absolutely not one shred of historical evidence that they have come anywhere near being fiscally responsible at any time. Their definition of fiscal responsibility, is to block Democrats spending anything to repair the catastrophic damage they have done to society whilst they were in power.
There have been few examples of governmental failure, that rival the way Bush handled the collapse of Lehman Brothers in September of 2008. Those that had encouraged deregulation and created an environment where banks were too big to fail, detonated the bomb which caused a fiscal dam to break and wash away the future of tens of millions of Americans. It was of no concern to Republicans, because any Republican that mattered, was insulated from what was about to befall families across America. They could simply walk away and let a Black man pick up the fallout. Just for a laugh, they were then in a position to use the filibuster to embark upon a 2-term campaign of obstruction and division for good measure. Their cynical actions to block everything President Obama attempted to do, didn't just meet their politically racist agenda, it crushed any flicker of hope that many now destitute families faced in the first term of the Obama Administration. They effectively turned 'Yes we can' into 'No you won't'.
By now a light should have come on in your brain. It is EXACTLY the equivalent of what Trump left behind after his genocidal mismanagement of the pandemic. It is not in question that while the vulnerable, the poor and minorities suffered disproportionately, the rich simply got MUCH RICHER. The difference this time, was that it wasn't about just losing your home or your job, it was about losing your life! Republicans had crossed the Rubicon. In their quest for power they managed through propaganda to normalize death, making dead Americans acceptable collateral damage in the pursuit of four more years.
The similarity between the two REPUBLICAN Administrations is not an accident, it is reflective of the Right wing doctrine of political Darwinism. It is who they are, its in their DNA, but the really frightening reality is that now, absolutely NOTHING is off the table in the pursuit of power. Insurrection, sedition, election denial, deliberate disinformation is now all part of the GOP campaign toolkit. I could spend days talking about the dangers they pose to democracy, but you already know that, so the question is, what can Democrats do to counter this domestic terrorist attack on everything that real Americans hold dear?
Tomorrow we'll begin that conversation. I just wanted to use today as a political palette cleanser to focus on understanding the recent past, because without that understanding, developing a strategy for 2022 is that much more difficult. When GW Bush left office in 2009, his administration had made their friends in the financial sector too big to fail, but the American people certainly weren't too big to throw under the bus. Trump's approach was a mirror image of profit over people, but this time he was prepared to kill Americans to achieve it.
What President Obama achieved in his tenure at the White House is often overshadowed by peoples' expectations of what they wanted him to do. Let me tell you straight, what he achieved against a background of obstruction, division and hate from the Right was nothing short of remarkable. By the end of his second term, yes there was more work to do, but not only had he saved and stabilized the economy, President Obama provided previously unavailable healthcare to millions and stamped the reputation of America on the world stage. He was living proof that an educated, articulate thinker that has moral decency and integrity in his DNA, is what it really takes to Make America Great.
President Biden learned from the experience of the Obama years, just how obstructive the Republicans can be, but I'm convinced he never contemplated just how far Trump had taken the country towards an authoritarian vision for the future. I was skeptical that he would be able to get the American Rescue Plan passed, but the man got it done and that's why, I have faith that he can bring about transformational change in America. What I wasn't prepared for, was that it would be those in his own party that would stall his agenda. As we all know, historically the opposition do well in mid term elections as Obama found out much to the detriment of his policy agenda. So the challenge now is to build an electoral strategy that defies the norms and to do this despite a concerted effort by red states to suppress the Dem vote.
Tomorrow, I want to begin to explore how we can begin to put that strategy together and what it's going to take to stand any chance of retaining the Senate and the House. Be under no illusion, the challenges are huge and it will take a monumental collective effort to make it happen. It is not beyond reach my friends, but strap in, because it's going to be a very bumpy ride.
Thanks for stopping by, I look forward to continuing our chat tomorrow. Stay safe out there.