I don’t know if Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell or House Speaker John Boehner read much history.
But this old history teacher wonders if the GOP’s stubborn refusal to seriously negotiate with the Democrats over the sequester cuts is more cribbing from Andy Jackson’s 1824 political playbook.
That year, Old Hickory lost the presidency to John Quincy Adams. Immediately, Jackson set out to make Adams a one-termer.
Jackson sent the word to pro-Jackson members of Congress: If Adams is for it, oppose it. If he’s against it, support it.
Jackson unseated Adams in 1828.
No sooner was Barack Obama elected president in 2008 than McConnell said the GOP’s top political priority was beating him in 2012. “Amens” rose from Boehner and the rest of the party. GOP lawmakers got their marching orders: If Obama’s for it, we’re not, and vice versa.
(This article, which first appeared on Equal Voice, includes information from Equal Voice News reporter Kathy Mulady and Associated Press writers Nedra Pickler, Jim Kuhnhenn and Stephen Ohlemacher. Please see Equal Voice’s infographic at the end of this post. Republished with permission.)
Unless sequestration is stopped by an act of Congress, the budget cutting will [contine], reducing funding to thousands of programs that took years to build, and provide a safety net for millions of poor working families.
Under the plan, every dollar approved each year by Congress [will] be slashed by a uniform amount, resulting in at least temporary layoffs for hundreds of thousands of public and private-sector workers. Programs like Medicare and Social Security are exempt, but the slashing of other programs will slow the nation’s fragile economic recovery.
On March 1 automatic cuts of $85 billion from a $3.6 trillion budget [began].
“In 1933 we reversed the policy of the previous Administration. For the first time since the Depression you had a Congress and an Administration in Washington which had the courage to provide the necessary resources which private interests no longer had or no longer dared to risk.
This cost money. We knew, and you knew, in March, 1933, that it would cost money. We knew, and you knew, that it would cost money for several years to come. The people understood that in 1933. They understood it in 1934, when they gave the Administration a full endorsement of its policy. They knew in 1935, and they know in 1936, that the plan is working.”—FDR, 1936
Eighty years ago this month, at the height of the worst economic crisis in our nation’s history, Franklin D. Roosevelt delivered on his promise to launch a New Deal for the American people.
Imagine a plot to undermine the government of the United States, to destroy much of its capacity to do the public’s business, and to sow distrust among the population.
Imagine further, that the plotters infiltrate Congress and state governments, reshape their districts to give them disproportionate influence in Washington, and use the media to spread big lies about the government.
Finally, imagine they not only paralyze the government but are on the verge of dismantling pieces of it.
Far-fetched? Perhaps. But take a look at what’s been happening in Washington and many state capitals since Tea Party fanatics gained effective control of the Republican Party, and you’d be forgiven if you see parallels.
Tea Party Republicans are crowing about the “sequestration” cuts beginning today (Friday). “This will be the first significant tea party victory in that we got what we set out to do in changing Washington,” says Rep.