Congressman Jim McDermott yesterday held his 17th Annual Potato Festival. McDermott holds the safest Democratic Congressional seat in the state but that did not stop him from from going after the Republicans in the House of Representatives. Last year’s election swept Democrats across the country out of office, putting them in the minority.
Many of the newcomers were unknown and wound up in office because voters were looking to blame someone for the financial mess the country was in and the personal financial strife many voters were experiencing. That resulted in many Republicans coming into office who the public didn’t really know, as incumbent Democrats suffered the consequences of the lingering recession brought on by the Bush Administration.. Unfortunately many of those in office now don’t understand and don’t care and don’t want to care about what really is needed to help our country and its people.
McDermott cited as one example of the Republicans not understanding, their focusing on NPR as if that was going to fix the national debt. Issues like defunding NPR and Planned Parenthood are not about dealing with our debt, they are ideological battles the Republicans have been pushing for years. Republicans in the last Election accused Obama of not focusing on creating jobs. So is trying to defund NPR and Planned Parenthood about creating jobs? No way.
And besides, the cutting of government funding that the Republicans are focusing on will not create jobs. Removing public money from the economy will in fact cost jobs and increase job loss.
Another example McDermott cited is the Republicans denial of global climate change – something the vast majority of scientists agree upon. Yet the Republicans in the Energy and Commerce Committee in the House voted that they did not believe in climate change and voted to take away the power of the EPA to regulate greenhouse gases. They were voting to support a priority of increasing corporate profits over the ability to protect the health and welfare of our citizens.
McDermott also talked about the Republican push to repeal the health care law passed last year. This same philosophy that puts profits over the welfare of our citizens is an integral part of the Republican push to repeal the health care law. Republicans ignore the reality that as more and more citizens understand the details of the new health care law they support it. They support the new benefits – like having their children covered until they are 26,and not being denied insurance because of preexisting conditions and stopping insurance companies from dropping patients who develop serious illnesses.
McDermott said citizens want health care security. He emphasized that people also want financial security and again noted current Republican efforts to attack the new consumer and financial protections passed by Congress last year. Rather than trying to increase protections, Republicans are working to again deregulate banks and other financial institutions. Republicans are trying to stop efforts to allow consumers from being able to readjust mortgages and not lose their homes.
This Republican hatred of government is insidious and mean spirited to say the least. McDermott’s view is that Republicans are intent on trying to dismantle Government as an agent to help people on anything, whether it be health care, financial protection, social security or consumer protection. Their focus is more on power – their power, than on helping people. They are in their third year of having their top Legislative priority being to get Obama out of office. It is not about creating jobs or increasing health care coverage or protecting consumers or keeping people in their homes or protecting the environment. It is all about power – Republican power. McDermott equated it to their illusionary view that the White House is their House and Obama is an interloper.
We can only hope that Americans wake up to the true mission of the current crop of Republicans before more damage is done. Excess corporate profit and greed is a false God that Republicans seem to be worshipping. We need an America that cares about all people, not just a few with lots of money and their desire to have even more.
Unfortunately the Republican political philosophy of trying to dismantle and diminish the Federal government’s role is American society is not one to benefit and protect the people; instead it is one which is ever increasing the role of large corporations and concentrated wealth in running our country for their benefit. We are seeing the result in ever increasing amounts of wealth being concentrated in the hands of fewer and fewer people.