Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Why Republicans Are Ramping Up the Obama Derangement Syndrome

In case you hadn't noticed, lately the Obama Derangement Syndrome on the right has been ramped up a few notches.

It all started when people like Rudy Giuliani said that President Obama didn't really love America. Religious leaders on the right like Franklin Graham joined in by saying that this President only knows Islam and proceeded to mirror Sen. Joe McCarthy with his claims that this administration has been infiltrated by Muslims. Even Jeb Bush got in on the action by saying that President Obama is "the first president since World War II who does not believe that American power is a force for good" in the world.

Then we had the spectacle of the Republicans going behind the President's back to invite a foreign leader to address Congress in an attempt to undermine this country's foreign policy. That was followed by 47 Republican Senators signing a condescending letter to the leaders of Iran designed to undercut a sitting president in the midst of sensitive international negotiations.

All of that is why, by the time I got to the story yesterday about Rep. Sessions (R-TX) accusing President Obama of being responsible for "murdering Americans all over our cities," it was clear to me that Republican leaders have lost their ever-lovin' minds.

Of course right wing radio, Faux News and tea partiers went there a long time ago. But one has to wonder why Republican leaders are ramping up the ODS.

You always have to start with the fact that this Democratic President is black. That lays the groundwork for fears to be exploited. We also have to remember that this President took office just as Republican policies - both domestic and foreign - had shown themselves to be a complete and utter failure.

Given that reality, GOP leaders made it their priority - in the midst of the Great Recession - to obstruct anything he tried to do in an effort to ensure that he was a one-termer. That failed. But they could always blame him for the slow economic recovery. Added to ramped up fears about Ebola and ISIS, Republicans were able to exploit their advantages into a great victory in the 2014 midterms.

But let's take a look at what's happened since then. Just as Republicans were ready to celebrate and expected contrition from President Obama, his policies enacted over the previous years began to bear fruit (as he told Steve Inkeep). For example, in the latest NBC/WSJ poll, 68% of Americans say the economy has improved under President Obama. And while Republicans continue to rail about them, both Obamacare and Dodd/Frank have proven themselves to be extremely effective reforms. Our government's response to Ebola helped to stop a world-wide contagion and - as we speak - ISIS is being degraded - just as President Obama promised.

Meanwhile - and this one is a biggy - what have Republicans managed to do with their big victory in the 2014 midterms? They embarrassed themselves with their grandstanding about immigration and DHS funding and proved that, even with majorities in both houses, they can't govern.

On the horizon are two potential major victories for President Obama when it comes to foreign policy. First is the prospect of a deal with Iran to halt their development of nuclear weapons. As you may recall, David Ignatius called these "the most important diplomatic negotiations of the last several decades." A successful deal will be highlighted as one of this President's most important legacies. Second will be an international agreement at the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris later this year - something that previous presidents have failed to accomplish, but is a real possibility this time given agreements already in place with China and India.

I say all of this because, along with the success of his domestic policies, the fact that he is the President who killed Osama bin Laden, and that the people of South and Central America see him as finally ending the Cold War, Barack Obama is very likely to go down in history as - not only our first African American president - but one of our greatest presidents.

That makes all of the Republican attempts to obstruct and discredit him a failure. The ramped up Obama Derangement Syndrome is much like a toddler's ramping up of decibels when the adults in the room don't respond to their temper tantrum. We need to send them to their room for a time out.


  1. Republicans, in their zeal to burn the legislature down to the ground and jam everything up (after decades of bipartisan neglect on matters of executive power concentration), have inadvertently created an unbound executive that can act as a near-autocracy as long as the Treasury is flush. The only check on the administration's power is right-wing courts, who "lose" more often than not themselves.

    What does the President need congress for anymore? Not money. Not more than a handful of days a year. Not war. Not crisis response. Congress could take 350 days off, and we wouldn't notice. That's more or less where we are anyway.


    I read this and was fascinated by how much it applies to us in America. The administration has so few needs from the legislature. A couple continuous resolutions a year rolling over department budgets. They still have all kinds of wants but no pressing needs. There's no co-dependence. The government is basically self-running and shutdown threats fall flat. It's a scenario every leader on earth would kill for. The rival political organization is completely irrelevant, even if it nominally succeeds electorally. We've found the platonic ideal of the Strong Executive, married to Obama's personal progressivism.

    1. That, as you recall, is precisely what this president ran AGAINST. The Right did nothing but become obstructionist, and the Left, it turns out, want an Imperial President but just one that did their bidding, however unConstitutional and illogical.

      Democracy is the foundational principle of President Obama's personal value structure, but it is WE who have failed to enact it. By 'sending a message' and not voting, citizens handed the Congress over to a Parliament of Whores who, as Cotton alone has shown, know nothing about our nation, its government, the Constitution. Cotton wants a Constitutional Amendment to abolish the prohibition of attainder that sets debt and exclusionary impacts upon succeeding generation. This is Biblical - the mandate that punishments descend unto the seventh generation. That we have a Senator so anti-American as that is horrific. This is what President Obama faces with this majority.

      So, in great opposition to his cherished ideal of a truly active, deliberative democracy, he has to shift his focus to policies that MUST be enacted such as the agreements with Iran. He has NOT become an imperial president, but he may have no other choice if the well being of our people and our nation is risked by letting the Barbarians block essential outcomes.

      The question for the future is whether we will reclaim democracy by participating in both elections and in advocacy around issues or whether we have abandoned democracy as too cumbersome, not immediately gratifying, insufficiently 'satisfying' when compromises have to be made. If we do the latter and yield to an Imperial Presidency, Cotton won't need his abolition of attainder - we will have cursed ourselves unto the seventh generation.

    2. Churchlady, you have hit the nail on the head. PBO said this himself in his ¨once-in-a-lifetime" speech at Selma. ¨We the people....¨ We are giving up our democracy as sure as we stand here and so many people are ignorant. It drives me crazy.

  2. Keep in mind, all of this will only get worse once Netanyahu either loses reelection or is held captive to a coalition peace government in seven days. Peace Process 9.0 is back on, baby! Kerry has his shuttle warming as we speak.

    21 months is still a long, long time, and Obama still has so very many pots to stir.

  3. "start with the fact that this Democratic President is black" ....you can also end there, as far as the GOP/TP is concerned. No president in history has been treated with the disrespect Obama has. Start with "You Lie" and take it from there.

    1. ^^Thank You. Race is definitely the main factor. PERIOD.

  4. The beginning, middle and end of it is The President is Black. But, yes, the Foreign Policy part of this Presidency is something that should be touted, because this President took away the foreign policy club from the Republicans and have been beating them over the head with it. And, I've loved every minute of it.

    A fellow blogger says that the GOP wants THIS President to go to War. That's what they want. And, Barack Obama's refusal, time after time, to involve American troops, and escalate on the ground troops, is what drives them nuts.

    1. Welcome back rikyrah! Hope you're doing well.

      I personally try not to separate out the "this President is Black." It is the foundation, not simply another issue.

      For example, the point I'm trying to make is that this President is going to leave an amazing legacy - including in the arena of foreign policy. The fact that a Black man is the one who will do so is what is unacceptable to the racists.

  5. President Obama came into office with strong support of the electorate, flushed and ready for the new "hope and change'. They made the mistake of not hearing Pres Obama, say "we are the change " we've been looking for. We were under the illusion it would be easy, but we failed to see the obstructive inaction and steady drumbeat of the republican naysayers. Fellow democratic leaders did little to have his back, and Fauz News et al., piled on. When we should have supported our President, the electorate left him high and dry, and even worse in 2014. We cannot have an Imperial President, but we need a leader, and we and our fellow Americans need to wake up, rattle our legislatures, and be that change.

  6. We have seen how Republican propaganda has convinced millions of Americans that the tremendously successful Obamacare has been a gigantic failure. May I suggest that this is exactly what is going on here? Obama (in cooperation with other countries) looks paused to pull off an unexpected diplomatic coup by getting a good agreement from Iran to control its nuclear program, so the Republicans are doing everything to get as many Americans as possible to see it as some sort of failure, when it happens. Nothing about this is the truth or an honest reflection on the agreement- it is one hundred percent about coming up to the 2016 election with as many people as possible seeing the last eight years as a gigantic failure.