The infamous trio of Obama, Pelosi and Reid, along with their normal backup group of people like Chuck Schumer, Paul Krugman, Debbie Wasserman-Schultz and most of the main stream media choir, are singing an old favorite of theirs: Republicans Are Obstructionists!
I can only offer a single response to this charge: You’re damned right they are!
A clear majority of Americans who have responded to reputable polling organizations have defined themselves as being conservative, or moderate/centrist with a bias toward the conservative side of the political spectrum. In August 2011, the Gallup organization released a poll that they had done spanning January through June 2011 which clearly showed an overwhelming difference in the number of self-identified Conservatives (41% among all adults) when compared to self-identified Liberals (21%).
Predictably, 71% of Republicans self-identify as Conservative or Very Conservative, while only 38% of Democrats identify themselves as Liberal or Very Liberal. Somewhat surprisingly, 35% of independent voters identify themselves as Conservative/Very Conservative versus 20% who identify themselves as Liberal/Very Liberal.
The self-identification of independents, while not quite at the 2 to 1 Conservative to Liberal ratio, comes in at 7 to 4, which is in line with the nation as a whole, with independents making up the largest of the three voting blocks at the present time.
Obama, Pelosi and Reid are among the most radical of the Liberal-Progressive-Democrats (L-P-Ds), who represent a small minority of Americans. After all, registered Democrats now make up about 32.7% of the electorate, and only 9% of Democrats identify themselves as Very Liberal. That means that the agenda of Obama, Pelosi and Reid are designed to please 9% of 35% of the total, or only about 2.9% of the population as a whole.
So in reality, the Obama/Pelosi/Reid axis is the actual minority.
As such they purposely distort the idea of minority rights to get their way.
In their view of minority rights, they hold to the theory that any opposition to the demands of a minority group is tantamount to depriving that minority group of its “rights”. Since Republican/Conservatives are doing all they can, as the minority party in the Senate, to slow if not stop the socialistic designs of Obama, Pelosi and Reid (and doing so with a moderate level of success), the L-P-Ds brand them as “obstructionists.”
When Republicans try to prevent or at least ameliorate such things as Obamacare, when they question things such as the Solyndra debacle or the “Fast and Furious” disaster, they are viewed as “obstructionist”. When they attempt to limit the President’s ability to spend vastly more than the nation’s tax revenues to benefit Democrat constituencies such as labor unions, or the environmental extremists, they are labeled “obstructionist”.
The L-P-Ds and their propaganda arm, the so-called main stream media, have smeared with the term “obstructionist” in the same way that words such as “racist”, “discriminatory”, “biased” and “reactionary” have been used in the past.
The interesting thing about the use of “obstructionist” is the fact that the accuser is even more guilty of the offense than is the accused.
Republicans in the House and Senate have, since the 2010 mid-terms, been pursuing an agenda that has coherent goals to achieve smaller government, lower taxes, a reduction of our national debt, reverse the erosion of our defense capabilities. Yet because of Harry Reid’s control over the scheduling of votes in the Senate, not one bill of substance that has been proposed in the Senate by Republicans, nor one bill already passed in the House has been allowed to come before the Senate for a simple up or down vote.
So Republicans and conservatives are the group that is truly stymied. In other words, the Democrats are even more guilty of obstructionism than the Republicans that they accuse.
But in no way are the actions of Republicans and conservatives impinging on the rights of the Senate majority.
The correct interpretation of protecting the rights of any minority group should be more akin to the prevention of the majority from developing laws that adversely impact a minority group specifically. Specificity is critical in understanding the issue of minority rights. The question echoes the ancient Latin phrase cui bono, to whom the good. If the majority is hurt for the benefit of a minority, then there is a real question of whose “rights” are being protected.
Anything that the government does, or for that matter what any private, non-governmental, group of people may do, will always have beneficiaries and those who are hurt. Taxes used to aid in disaster relief helps a small minority of citizens, while hurting (in the sense of increasing the tax burden) on the vast majority of citizens.
The difference in the case of disaster relief is that the legislation is of benefit not to a group of people who have voluntarily joined in association, say like a union, or belong to a racial, ethnic, religious or other group, but to a group of people who share one thing only – they were in the wrong place at the wrong time when Mother Nature decided to destroy their homes. The group who would benefit from such legislation is not pre-identified with any achievable specificity.
On the other hand, were a majority insistent upon taxing, say the so-called 1% at a tax rate that could be viewed as confiscatory and punitive, for the benefit of the majority, then that would clearly be a “Bill of Attainder” under the Constitution (Article I, Section 9, paragraph 3), and as such, not only be unconstitutional but would then clearly be a violation of the rights of the 1% minority. The rights of the minority would have been clearly violated with the specificity of the law being limited to their group and their group only.
Just as a majority must be prevented from imposing onerous rules that are detrimental to the free “pursuit of happiness” by the minority, the exercise of that minority’s constitutional rights, or undue financial burdens placed on that minority simply because they are a minority, so too must the rights of the majority be protected from the same sorts of impositions by that minority upon the majority.
National polling data suggests that the 2.9% who are the motivating force behind the Obama/Pelosi/Reid agenda are attempting to do just that. Republican and conservative efforts to end this minority tyranny are definitely NOT obstructionism.
One might be tempted to ask Obama, Pelosi and Reid if they felt that the activities of the Founding Fathers were obstructionist when they resisted the desires of George III.
If they choose to waffle on the American Revolution, perhaps they could answer the same question about the French Revolution. Was the French peasantry “obstructionist” when they resisted the abuses of minority power wielded by Louis, Marie Antoinette and the French nobility?
Or would that strike them as being a trio of villains that would appear much too similar to Barack, Nancy and the U.S. Senate?
So are Republicans, conservatives and Tea Partiers obstructionist? Yes they are. And they should be very proud of that label, since they have magnificent role models to follow, like Washington, Adams, Jefferson and Franklin.