I guess it was just a matter of time before someone would throw out the race card when it came to President Obama and the Debt Ceiling Crisis. The only question was who would be the one to play it? And the winner, or whiner if you prefer, is U.S. Representative Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Tx), a member of the Congressional Black Caucus.
According to The Hill's Floor Action Blog, Sheila Jackson Lee, said the following during a speech on the House floor:
"I am particularly sensitive to the fact that only this president — only this one, only this one — has received the kind of attacks and disagreement and inability to work, only this one. Read between the lines, what is different about this president that should put him in a position that he should not receive the same kind of respectful treatment of when it is necessary to raise the debt limit in order to pay our bills, something required by both statute and the 14th amendment?"
"I do not understand what I think is the maligning and maliciousness [toward] this president. Why is he different? And in my community, that is the question that we raise. In the minority community that is question that is being raised. Why is this president being treated so disrespectfully? Why has the debt limit been raised 60 times? Why did the leader of the Senate continually talk about his job is to bring the president down to make sure he is unelected?”
Sheila Jackson Lee went on to say that she hoped someone would step up and say what appears obvious to her is not in fact true.
Well, Ms. Lee, I too hope that isn't the case either.
I don't think it is, though. But, I do understand it given the angst among certain extreme segments of society. Let's face it, racism and bigotry is far too prevalent in our nation, even at this time in our history. Even though things have gotten better, especially after seeing the broad support Barack Obama received during his run to the White House, we still aren't anywhere near where we ultimately need to be. Especially when you consider what America stands for around the globe.
Yet, I believe that what is happening in regard with the Debt Ceiling Impasse is nothing but good old-fashioned nasty politics. And as we all know, our politics have gotten uglier of late due to the ascent of the Tea Party Caucus. As I have said a few times already, it is my belief that the original intent and membership of the Tea Party Movement was born out of frustration among everyday American Taxpayers and was not limited to a specific ideology. But, as I have also said, it is my belief that the movement was hijacked by the Conservative Right when they realized it wasn't going away, Unfortunately, that is when I made up my mind it wasn't going to be a good fit for me. As an Independent, I just cannot adhere to certain core tenets of either party. I guess I am a hybrid when it comes to social issues.
The Tea Party, in my opinion, represents the interests of an extreme right agenda. As such, there may be some members within that have been known to associate with groups having a racial bias, although I do not believe that to be true of all the members. Still, an extreme right agenda is all about favoring the wealthy and I can't accept that. The "Taxed Enough Already" Mantra sounded good, but when it became a code word for "No Tax Code Reform For The Rich," well that basically told me that they were saying screw the Middle Class. And that bothers the Hell out of me.
Even though I can accept the idea of giving a greater reward to those who take a greater risk - the notion that excessive loopholes be given the wealthy to evade paying their fair share is not. Besides. the fact that the Tea Party has no problem with letting Big Business continue their mega-mergers, union-busting and exporting of jobs, while trying to eliminate income tax deductions, like Mortgage Interest, which Middle Class Homeowners rely on, should be of great concern to everyone.
Heck, if I didn't know better, it would seem that the Tea Party is trying awful hard to eliminate the Middle Class. Of course that is not to say that many within the Democratic Party aren't just as complicit in that, because they are. Anyone routinely checking those hefty campaign contributions can see that Big Business has hedged their bets on both sides of the aisle.
Still, the Democrats have a problem because a core belief of the Party is to keep its' bond with the people in preserving The People's Safety Net; i.e. Social Security, Medicare and now The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA). Well, that just doesn't go over very well with those in the Tea Party Caucus and others in the Conservative Right.
Now, I can't deny that there are racists and bigots in society, including people who work in government. However, it seems to me that Sheila Jackson Lee is missing the bigger picture here. Are the Conservative Right, and its extreme fringes racist or are they Anti-Middle Class? Or could it be political payback for when, as a Junior Senator from Illinois, Barack Obama voted against raising the debt ceiling for former President Bush?
Even though I have my issues with the GOP these days, I just can't believe that this debt ceiling impasse is nothing more than the usual smoke and mirrors politics that has become commonplace. The Conservative Right obviously believes that Barack Obama is vulnerable and are going all out to discredit him. It isn't much different with the President going in front of the American People to plant the seed that the GOP refuses to bargain in good faith. I think both strategies suck!
Then again, I think Sheila Jackson Lee playing the race card sucks too.
Filed under: 2012 Election, Business, Democrats, Economy, Government, Headline News, News and Opinion, Op Ed, Politics, Racism, Republicans, Social Security, Society, Taxation, Tea Party, US Debt Ceiling