Welcome to the new era of STFU Today. Right this minute this goes from an angry quote-and-rant blog to a full fledged political blog because this utter wankery privileged FULLY FALSE nonsense from Virginia’s governor (and GOP VP hopeful) Bob McDonnell deserves a full-fledged debunking. And here it goes.
Let’s start with his assertion that the “war on women” is nothing more than “political theater.”
- In the first six months of 2011 alone, more than 162 new laws were enacted with further restrictions on reproductive healthcare access. That’s only the laws that were actually passed, hundreds more were introduced, on both the federal and state levels. 2010 and 2011 were both record years in terms of legal challenges to reproductive healthcare.
- In 2012 for the first time since it was introduced, the GOP is dragging their feet on the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act on purely political grounds.
- A legislator in Georgia compared women with nonviable pregnancies to pigs and cows on the farm. A legislator in Minnesota said that women needed to just “find their old reasons for loving” their domestic abuser. A legislator in Idaho thinks that women have “rape issues.” The governor of Pennsylvania says that if we don’t “want to see” images from a forced pre-abortion ultrasound, we merely need to “close our eyes.” And all of that is just in the last two weeks.
And what’s that about President Obama’s “record on jobs?” We’ve all seen this, right?
Spending, the debt and the deficit. Let’s talk about spending, shall we — leaving aside that budgets don’t come from POTUS, they come from Congress, let’s talk about what’s important
about spending. The GOP would have us believe that spending is a bad thing, and that increases in government spending on a priori wrong.
But that’s just not true. In reality, here’s what’s actually important about government spending:
- Where the money is going
- Why the money is going there
- Where the money is coming from
Having said that:
- When George W. Bush took office in 2001, there was a budget surplus and the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) predicted we would continue to have such surpluses, to the tune of $850 billion through to this year, 2012. Then 9/11 happened and triggered a short recession, then we were mired into a decade of war, and financial malfeasance created and burst a real estate bubble that caused another major recession and a bounce-back shorter follow on recession. By 2009 when President Obama took office, the forecast was, instead of a surplus, a $1.215 billion deficit.
- The New York Times analyzed this roughly $2 trillion change in our fortunes, and determined:
- 37% was caused by the recessions and the business cycle
- 33% was caused by policies enacted by President Bush
- 20% was caused by policies enacted by President Bush and supported or extended by President Obama
- 10% was caused by new policies of President Obama
But the GOP and its mouthpieces like McDonnell continue to paint our current financial picture as solely and wholly the responsibility of the POTUS. Seem a little shady yet? Oh, and let’s look a little further:
That’s from last summer, but it shows whose policies and spending grew the debt more pretty clearly. Remember last year when everyone was talking about the cost of war and the Bush tax cuts that we needed to let expire, at least for top wage earners, and how the GOP nearly let the government shut down over those tax cuts, because how dare we say that the top 1% of earners not keep their breaks? (The origin of the 99%/1% idea.)
Here’s another nice viewpoint:
Note that recession (the gray area) in 2001? We never fully recovered from it by the time the recession of 2008 rolled around. In no small part due to having tax cuts and wars at the same time. Note that sharp uptick of recovery down there at the bottom of the trough starting at the end of 2009 and continuing through this day despite the GOP led house and their failure to pass a budget
? Who do they think is responsible for that growth? The magic money fairy?
The Republicans have held the House of Representatives for 444 days, and there has not been one bill to come out of the house to increase job growth, to reduce the debt or deficit, and for more than a year they haven’t even been able to fulfill their primary duty of creating a workable federal budget.
It’s not this President who can’t talk about these things on the merits of his own record.
And energy? In current Republican parlance, that means gas prices, which they’re trying to blame on President Obama, ignoring the role of unchecked investor speculation (and in fact trying to lessen regulation on speculative energy markets) ignoring the whole of the wider world economy, ignoring the role of the uncertainty of the Iranian situation.
To say that this President does not have a good energy record would require us to forget that the mantra of the GOP was and is “drill baby drill,” require us to look past their desire for unchecked tar sands exploitation, dangerous marcellus shale drilling (aka “fracking”) which is implicated in groundwater contamination everywhere and a series of earthquakes
, ignore that they’ve repeatedly held legislation hostage to a demand for a giant transnational pipeline that would be environmentally dangerous.
It would require us also to note that despite the vast Republican opposition, this President has held the domestic oil industry in check yet domestic oil consumption and production are up, and consumption of foreign oil is down — in fact, overall consumption of oil is down, in no small part due to increased CAFE standards which this POTUS champions while the GOP universally opposes, and domestic energy use decreasing thanks to a home weatherization program that was part of the Obama Stimulus, higher efficiency appliances and lighting which, again, the GOP universally, inexplicably opposes (remember Michele Bachmann’s almost bizarre fixation on the phase out of incandescent lightbulbs?).
The Republicans keep trying to turn their failures around on this President. (They’re even suggesting now that the Democrats are the ones waging a war on women, somehow.) It’s not going to work. The only way to do it is to lie, to obfuscate and to rely on the media to not be willing to refresh Americans’ notoriously short political memories.
In short, Bob McDonnell (and friends)? You liars, just STFU