Sunday, April 5, 2009

GayPatriot Rewrites History Yet Again

Any excuse to criticize the current administration is good enough for GayPatriotWest/Dan Blatt. This latest post, with such an unfocused message, still manages to criticize the President for so-called reneging on campaign promises, supporting blue collar workers, and even criticizing the current President for not being Ronald Reagan. That's a lot of crazy to deconstruct in one post but here goes.

To the first point, from his own website the President has called to support blue collar workers with the ability for easier organization of unions. "Obama and Biden will strengthen the ability of workers to organize unions. He will fight for passage of the Employee Free Choice Act." The Obama campaign vigorously courted unions for their support all through the primaries and general election and has always made passing EFCA a campaign priority for blue collar workers. It simply doesn't make sense to call his support of EFCA "further evidence of rhetorical subterfuge of his campaign rhetoric." What does that even mean?

This administration makes it clear daily that blue collar workers are not a secondary concern nor a special interest group. Putting EFCA into place doesn't obligate anyone to form a union, but rather makes it easier to form a union. Despite what GayPatriotWest would have you believe by his own rhetoric and his one shady link, there have been numerous independent studies showing that union busting is a systematic and insidious practice by business owners with a multi-billion dollar fee to the the firms that specialize in that work. It saves the employers billions more ensuring that the individuals that need solidarity most to guarantee fair compensation and labor conditions are the most often denied. If the national interest, not special interest, is not in ensuring the welfare of those most likely to suffer as a consequence, then what is? "Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore...and I'll make sure to keep them that way?"

Not that it makes any difference. GayPatriotWest's main argument is one Rasmussen poll that seems to indicate that non-union workers generally do not want to join a union. The question at hand isn't that the EFCA legislation obligates anyone to join a union. It doesn't. The practice that EFCA seeks to resolve is union busting for those that do want to join a union. Rather than facing the battery of programs aimed to dissuade employees from forming a union that accompanies secret ballot voting, EFCA provides a simpler arrangement that leaves the question of unionization more to the conscience of the employees. For GayPatriotWest/Dan Blatt to be against EFCA while at the same time regularly promoting these "Tea Party" rallies around the country highlights his partisan political agenda, not any higher principles of ethical government. He's not supporting the common man, but rather privatized privilege.

Finally it should be obvious to the most jaded Republican/conservative that the election of President Obama was for a leader altogether different than what Ronald Reagan represented. We had the opportunity to elect an aged, charismatic conservative and the electorate said "no thanks, we know how that story turns out." If anything, the repudiation of McCain was an extended repudiation of the Reagan's presidency. The philosophy and policies that were begun during the 1980's have seen their climax in the new century. American international intercession and nation building, increasingly privatized wealth, and the promotion of private interests over common goals were continuously at the fore of Republican politics. That has all changed.

Something that hasn't changed is the revisionist history and myth-making of the Reagan era by Republicans/conservatives though. "[Reagan] did not cast aspersions on her[sic] adversaries, blaming them for our nation’s problems," says GayPatriotWest. Apparently Reagan just had these wonderful ideas that were obviously the best path to everyone...except it isn't true. Notes the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette in August 1980 of Reagan's battle plan for the election, "Throughout the primary season and in his acceptance speech at the Republican National Convention in Detroit last month, Reagan blamed Carter for increases in the inflation and unemployment rates, and said the president had betrayed the working classes that supported him in 1976." Reagan complained the Carter record was "a litany of broken promises." And Republicans/conservatives regularly blame Carter for the the recession that came so early in the Reagan presidency. Newt Gingrich even late last years blamed Clinton and Carter for the mortgage crisis. It's clear that Republicans always have, and always will blame their "adversaries" in times of crisis.

But there's a striking difference between that kind of blame and the current crisis. Obama has only rightly pointed out how the current crisis came to be, that the actions he's been forced to take at the fore of his administration come from actions of the previous administration and congressional leadership. This is history, not blame. He doesn't accuse previous administrations and leaders for any lack of progress or responsibility now that he is leading the effort though. Contextually he squarely places any blame on himself if his plans to resolve the crisis don't work out. And frankly for Republicans to question that responsibility while continually playing politics instead of working with the President to that end is shameless. And coming full circle, it's that particular shamelessness of political hackery we see from GayPatriotWest in posts like this latest. The more President Obama's policies continue to improve the economic crisis by policies supporting common people over wealthy special interest and the more tough choices he must make requiring everyone responsible for this recovery, you can be sure the swirl of misleading partisan rhetoric will only increase at GayPatriot.net.

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