Just a few weeks ago Republican Congressman Paul Ryan stepped up to a mic saying to a national audience that his party was not an opposition party but a proposition party. It was quite an expensive joke as they promptly voted in complete lock step against the stimulus plan. At the time I commented that if the Republicans were not an opposition party then that particular vote proved that they were certainly an obstructionist one. That point has been confirmed with the vote taken yesterday in the U.S. Senate. Only 3 Republicans, out of 41, voted for the greatly compromised stimulus plan in the Senate. I don’t know what definition Ryan and others use for “obstructionist” but I’d say that only 3 votes out of 219 Congressional Republicans fits almost anyone’s definition.
First they ran around falsely declaring that the plan was “full of pork” when they were largely only complaining about just over 2% of the spending in it. Their misinformation campaign was fairly successful for a short time as the media focused on that small percentage rather than on the 98 % that will help our ailing economy and create millions of new jobs. Having a good week of manipulating the media and obstructing during this economic emergency brings only limited political benefit while the downside could make their November loses look like child’s play. The public can and should be very fickle with politicians during such hard times. Hopefully the public will make Ryan and the other obstructionists in Congress pay a heavy price if they continue to play political games while there is so much crisis all around.