Pres. Barack Obama and Republicans have had a contentious relationship to say the least. In the past few weeks the American public has been inundated with the ongoing drama regarding the debt ceiling. President Obama has done everything except use bleach to gain consensus from the Republicans. It appears that they are dead set on no, no matter what President Obama does.
To understand the Republicans resistance and recalcitrance on raising the debt limit, one must go back to the first President Bush. Many Americans may recall the first president Bush and his no new taxes pledge. Mr. Bush gained infamy for his campaign slogan, “read my lips.” As history shows, it wasn’t too long after Mr. Bush was in office, he was forced to raise taxes. This was a big part of the reason why he lost favor with Americans in general, and the Republican Party in particular.
Fast-forward to the present, and meet one Grover Norquist. He is the President of Americans for Tax Reform. He has cajoled and coerced practically every member of the Republican party in elected office. Mr. Norquist has made Republicans in Congress sign a pledge never to raise taxes. And therein lies the rub with our debt ceiling crisis. Mr. Norquist, appears to have unprecedented power over all elected Republican members of congress. There does not appear to be one among them with the chutzpah to cave in and compromise with the President Obama. To do so, one would be branded a traitor to the party.
The tea party caucus is another driving force that’s holding Republicans feet to the fire. these two forces have combined to make any type of compromise almost impossible between President Obama and the Republicans. Sadly, it appears that the Republicans are putting party before country and not the American people. The other Trump card, for the Republicans, is the 2012 election. If they compromise with President Obama, they fear that they will help him win reelection.
The Republicans goal, is to not repeat the faux pas of the first President Bush. At some point, the Republicans will have to smell the coffee and deal with reality. One would hope that the Republicans would not allow the United States to default for the first time ever in our history as a nation. To allow this to happen, would unleash financial calamity both at home and abroad. Let’s hope that the Republicans do the right thing, and put country before party.