The Winter of Our Discontent

Republicans are Singing 'Let it No, Let it No, Let it No'

The party of NO, sometimes known as Republicans, has been consistent in its contempt for America.

President Obama wanted to continue the Bush tax cuts, but limit them only to those individuals earning less than $200,000 a year and families earning less than $250,000 a year. That would eliminate tax cuts for all but the richest 2 percent of Americans. The NO Party, which hypocritically emphasizes how much it wants to reduce government, demanded that all tax credits be approved. To extend the tax cuts to the wealthiest 2 percent would add about $854 billion to the national debt and do little to add jobs or stimulate the economy, according to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office.

Bill Gates and Warren Buffet, two of the richest people in the world, oppose extending tax cuts to the rich. A majority of Americans and Congress oppose extending tax cuts to the rich. But the minority in the Senate held Americans hostage.

They threatened to filibuster the bill and to block all legislation, no matter how critical, if the wealthy weren’t included in the tax break. Pending legislation would extend unemployment benefits to almost two million Americans. That legislation also had a majority approval in both house of Congress. The NO people have consistently used the threat of filibuster, which requires 60 votes in the Senate to stop it.

At one time, Republican and Democratic leaders met, discussed, argued, and reached civil compromise that advanced the interest of the American people. This has not been the case the past decade. The Republican NO, when it controlled Congress and the executive branch during the Bush–Cheney era, had demanded that legislation be passed on an “up or down” simple majority vote. Now in the minority, they have become the obstructionists to progress and the will of the majority of Americans. In doing so, they have now fused two persona — the school yard bully and the boy who strikes out, blames the umpire, and grabs the team ball and runs away.

Nevertheless, President Obama bought into the Republican extortion, stating that to protect the middle and lower classes, he had to yield to the rich. The NO Party then claimed that the President was truly bipartisan.   Falsely claiming it would protect Americans from runaway spending — while still asking for more than $1 billion in pork barrel funding — the NO Party then threatened a filibuster on the estate tax. The Democrats wanted the first $1 million to be tax exempt. The NO Party demanded a $5 million exemption for individuals and $10 million for couples, with the maximum tax above that 35 percent rather than the previous maximum, of 55 percent. If approved at the level the conservatives wanted, the new legislation would affect only 3,600 estates and add about $20 billion to the nation’s debt.

While protecting the wealthy, the NO Party also blocked a one-time payment of $250 for senior citizens receiving Social Security. There was no annual cost-of-living increase this year because federal guidelines showed that inflation was not at a level that would trigger the increase, even though medical costs continued to rise. The House voted 254–153 to make the payment, but 290 votes were needed under the House’s “special rules.” In the Senate, the vote was 53–45 for the special payment, and failed because of the Republican filibuster threat.

The same miscreants then blocked legislation to provide financial compensation for the nation’s first responders who were exposed to toxic ash at the 9/11 attacks and had to seek medical treatment. The Senate voted 57–42 to provide health care. But the No Compassion Party, which had already spewed millions of words about how they are more patriotic than anyone else, won by threatening a filibuster that ended any help to firefighters, police officers, and the thousands of volunteers who risked their lives to save others.

It isn’t only financial interests that cause the NO Party to block progress. Still proclaiming its objective is to block any Obama legislation and prevent him from being a two-term president, the NO Party also tried to block a bill to give women equal pay. Only four senators voted for that bill.

The Republicans continue to block a vote for the continuation of START Treaty, begun under Richard Nixon and pushed by Ronald Reagan, which involves reduction of nuclear arms.

Apparently, the NO Party, now dominated by the extreme right wing, by its recent actions believes it’s acceptable to harm the nation while protecting the rich and special interests.

Walter Brasch, during a 40-year work career in mass communications, has been a member of several unions, in both the private and public sectors. He is a syndicated newspaper columnist and the author of 16 books, including With Just Cause: Unionization of the American Journalist, Before the First Snow: Stories from the Revolution, and his latest Fracking Pennsylvania. He can be contacted at: Read other articles by Walter, or visit Walter's website.

6 comments on this article so far ...

Comments RSS feed

  1. Don Hawkins said on December 18th, 2010 at 9:24am #

    Apparently, the NO Party, now dominated by the extreme right wing, by its recent actions believes it’s acceptable to harm the nation while protecting the rich and special interests. Walter

    A million to start Capital one voice rattle this wall’s along with that third party.

  2. Deadbeat said on December 18th, 2010 at 4:41pm #

    What a crok. The Democrats said YES to the War on Iraq and Afghanistan. The Republican said YES to expanding spending on these Wars. This party of “NO” stuff is just asinine as both parties are the parties of YES when it comes to bailing out the rich and austerity for everyone else.

    Apparently, the NO Party, now dominated by the extreme right wing, by its recent actions believes it’s acceptable to harm the nation while protecting the rich and special interests.

    Really? What is the “extreme” right wing? Because a lot of members of the “extreme right wing” disagreed with the trillion dollar bailouts.

    Mr. Bills is making arguments over peanuts and “earmarks”. Where the real money is being “wasted” BOTH parties are YES men (and women).

  3. Deadbeat said on December 18th, 2010 at 4:42pm #

    My mistake. I meant to write …

    Mr. Brasch is making arguments over peanuts and “earmarks”. Where the real money is being “wasted” BOTH parties are YES men (and women).

  4. Charlie said on December 18th, 2010 at 4:43pm #

    I heartily agree, but at the same time, don’t we need to start putting responsibility for Republican arrogance and obstinance where it belongs? On the voters.

    The Republicans are an effect not a cause of bad government because good government requires an intelligent, well-informed, politically conscious electorate. Clearly, we don’t have that in this country, or the current crop of clowns in Washington–and those waiting in the wings–wouldn’t be there.

    There are many other things we don’t have in this country that exacerbate the problem: an unbiased media, universal health care, strong educational systems, intelligent social programs, fair taxation, effective regulations, and well-maintained infrastructure to name a few. In the sewer of corruption and hypocrisy that this nation is becoming, can we really be surprised by what floats to the top from the voting booths?

    Blaming the Republicans for being obstructionistic needs to happen often and loudly, but it has to be coupled with the realization that the typical American voter demands mindlessly simple answers to complex problems. The Republicans provide that–in spades. The candidate who barks the loudest has an edge, particularly if he/she can pepper the ravings with some jingoistic nonsense about God, country, and “real” Americans.

    Snake oil peddlers didn’t sell their elixir to doctors; they sold it to people who wanted cheap miracles. Politicians of both Parties do the same thing, and it has never failed them. The election winners are simply the ones who have a better sales pitch.

    Every single action by the Republicans has been sanctioned by the people who voted for them. Same with the Democrats. So perhaps instead of a Party of NO, we have a nation of NO: no progress, no compassion, no peace, no fiscal responsibility, no diplomacy, no nuthin’.

  5. hayate said on December 18th, 2010 at 10:27pm #

    If only the repugs would disappear , the usa would be a socialist paradise with all the nastiness gone where everyone had what they needed and had time to follow their dreams.


    These dem vs repug contrasts are like contrasting mussolini with hitler. It’s the fascism.

  6. hayate said on December 18th, 2010 at 10:28pm #

    “It’s the fascism. ”

    It’s the same fascism.