It has been two weeks since Republicans made significant gains across the country on Election Day.
The focus of the election was jobs and the economy. 56% of folks in a recent CBS News poll say the most important issue for the new Congress is jobs and the economy.
Yet as millions of Americans still deal with unemployment and underemployment, the Republican focus is on everything but jobs and the economy. Where incoming Republican governors have addressed jobs, it is to kill jobs by refusing already approved federal dollars for high-speed rail infrastructure projects.
* Republicans in control of the House of Representatives are planning nearly 300 investigations of President Obama. The last time a Republican House went after a Democratic President, it led to a destructive impeachment process. What excesses will we see this time?
* Newly-elected Republican Governors are killing high-speed rail projects that will create jobs. In Wisconsin, soon-to-be Governor Scott Walker received large amounts of campaign cash from road builders who have a direct interest in stopping rail projects.Wisconsin had an unemployment rate of 7.8% in September.
* The Republican President of the Kentucky State Senate, David Williams, declared his allegiance to the Tea party and said he supported repeal of the 17th Amendment to the Constitution. This amendment allows for the direct election of U.S. Senators. Mr. Williams believes that returning election of Senators back to state legislatures would move our nation back to the limited measure of popular sovereignty first written into the constitution. Many Tea Party supporters back this position.
Do you want to give your vote for United States Senator away? This is Tea party extremism in action. In September of 2010, Kentucky had an unemployment rate of 10. 1%. Yet what the Republican President of the State Senate is discussing is no longer allowing the public to vote for U.S. Senate.
* In Texas, Governor Rick Perry and Republicans in the state legislature are considering pulling out of Medicaid and out of the Children’s Health Insurance Program. This is being considered even though 3.6 million Texans use these programs. You can be certain that many in Republican rural Texas use these programs. Is this what these folks were voting for earlier this month? We’ll see about that when people find out that benefits are being cut.
What about all the people in Texas who work in jobs connected to health care? With such drastic cuts in funding, where will these people find work? Isn’t it good and honest work to be employed in health care so people can get better and go on with life? Where will we have any jobs in this society if we go after everything?
* The leader of the U.S. House Tea Party Caucus, Rep. Michele Bachmann, spent her time spreading a lie that President Obama’s trip to India was costing 200 million dollars a day. This assertion was simply not true.
What exactly is the point of undermining the President of the United States as he goes to visit a globally important nation like India?
For Republicans in Washington and in states across the nation, this election was not about jobs and the economy. Instead, the election was about extreme ideology that puts the jobs and the health of the American people at risk.
Anger at Washington is not going to get you a job. It is not going to pay the bills if you get sick. The Republican bait-and-switch is in already in evidence. These folks have no constructive thoughts. It is the same anger-driven politics that led to President Clinton’s impeachment and to the placement of Sarah Palin on the national ticket two years ago.
It’s up to all of us to be aware of what is taking place, and to make sure that Congress is focused on jobs and the economy and not on sideshow hearings and ideological tangents.