The GOP and their Political Illusion

It used to be that politics in Washington, D.C. was serious business. After all, to run the affairs of the most powerful country in the world and a country that has little tolerance for incompetence is no easy task. These days in Washington though, it does not appear that the GOP leadership and the GOP controlled House care about these things and that is why the Congress is called “A do nothing congress.”

The GOP controlled Congress has not accomplished anything significant to help the economic recovery and to help Americans feel optimistic about the future. If you don’t believe me then just ask yourself why is it that they have the lowest approval rating in the history of the Congress? Maybe it’s incompetence, poor leadership, or just President Obama spooking them. Ever since President Obama was elected in 2008, Republicans have stopped attending to the affairs of the country. It’s not that they are not busy because they are fully occupied with their anti-Obama crusade.

If the GOP is as bad as their record indicates, how do they get away with abandoning their elected duties of tending to the affairs of the country? The answer is that they have perfected the art of political illusion. That the GOP has been able to get away with their dismal record of ineffectiveness and their failure to support bills that would speed up economic recovery is mind boggling. Somehow they have managed to get a lot of support (presumably from their base) and some political pundits who believe they will retain control of the House and even pick up the Senate in the November mid-term election. That they have managed to get this support surely makes them the master of political illusion.

Magicians who are illusionist are able to pull off their illusion with hidden props and trustworthy assistants. With the GOP, they don’t need such things. All they have to do is demonize and smear President Obama. They know that they can get away with this because the president has marginal support from Americans. He was elected president twice by narrow margins and his approval rating is at 41% (July 21-27 Gallup Poll) which is pretty good considering that he gets no support on anything – even issues that the GOP supported prior to President Obama being elected in 2008.

During President Obama’s first term in office, the GOP made it no secret that they did not like him. After getting elected for a second term you would expect that the GOP would back-off their anti-Obama crusade. Instead they continued their relentless attack on the president. Most of the attacks were of a personal nature and had little to no political substance.

When magicians do their illusion acts they do so to provide entertainment. This is not the case with the GOP political illusion because it is quite frankly not entertaining. Shutting down the government, wanting to sue the president, calling for his impeachment, and doing absolutely nothing to help the American people are not entertainment it is downright disturbing. These actions along with the blatant disrespect shown to the president serve only to weaken the country, polarize people, and undermine democracy. If you don’t respect the president why should leaders like Putin respect America.

As with any illusion that magicians perform what you see is not reality. The GOP has spent almost six years demonizing and delegitimizing President Obama. They have done this by labelling him or making uncomplimentary comments that have no substance or objectivity to them. The illusion is that they say these uncomplimentary and disrespectful comments because he is black. I mention the president’s race because most of the comments are actually stereotypical of black men.

The stereotypical comments used against President Obama includes: he is a liar, he is lazy, he is unpatriotic, he is un-American, he cannot be trusted, he is aloof, he should be handcuffed, he is a coward, he is in over his head, he is incompetent, and he does not understand America. Incidentally, if a boss made any of these comments to a non-white employee without substantiating it, that would be grounds for racial job discrimination charge because they are racial stereotypes.

When the GOP is not busy doing their political illusion acts to fool the American people about President Obama, they try to find anything that they can use to discredit and demonize him. One way they have been doing this is to link him to scandals. The big scandal that they are pinning their hopes on is the Benghazi scandal. Rep. Daryl Issa, (R- CA) the Chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee has held several Benghazi hearings. Like Don Quixote, who fought windmills that he imagined to be giants, Chairman Issa sees President Obama as a giant who he believes is an easy target (most likely because of his race). With all these hearings coming up empty, Speaker Boehner appointed a Congressional Commission to investigate the Benghazi incident. Other scandals that have been covered but failed to get the desired effect the GOP wants are the IRS scandal, Fast and Furious, and the Obamacare Website.

The GOP talk of impeachment is perhaps the biggest political illusion that they are thinking of attempting. This is certainly a political illusion because there is simple no basis for impeachment. The only way impeachment could work is if the GOP controls the House, the Senate, and has a Republican President. Speaker Boehner when asked about impeachment said that it’s the president and the democrats talking about impeachment. The truth is that GOP/Tea Party members are the ones who have consistently and frequently talked about impeaching the president. Speaker Boehner meanwhile has initiated his lawsuit against the president for abusing his executive authority.

With all the shenanigans and hating going on in Washington, you have to wonder if the GOP leadership and Congress are incompetent or they are simply political neophytes. When political leaders and politicians don’t act in good faith at some point things will reach a critical mass. The consequences of this critical mass being reached are human tragedies (like the shooting down of the Malaysian Flight 17 commercial airplane). By not acting in good faith, the GOP is doing more harm than good to the American people. Let’s hope that the American people will do the right thing by not supporting politicians who spend all their time on the politics of illusion.