When Senator John Kerry was running for President in 2003-04 and won the Democratic nomination for that election, he was famous for saying, “I was for it before I was against it”. Talking about a vote he made on an appropriations bill in Congress to fund the Iraq War. That he voted for, but then when it was amended and came up again, he voted against it and Republicans used that vote to refer to Senator Kerry as a flip flopper. And had a lot of success with that in 2004.
Well all partisan Republicans, especially the Republican Leadership, whether it’s healthcare reform or anything else, the phrase they should be known for, “I’m against if Barack Obama is for it”. And I say that, because in the first three years of President Obama’s presidency, they’ve taken positions that they once supported and are now against them. The big issues like healthcare reform and education reform. Twenty years ago Republicans Senators introduced the healthcare mandate in Congress. Senate Minority Leader Bob Dole, still supports the healthcare mandate and has never run against it.
And the late Senator John Chaffee, who couldn’t get elected as a Republican today, because he would be considered way too liberal, or perhaps a commie socialist Jihad supporting Un-American by the Neoconservative GOP, but Senator Chaffee and the Heritage Foundation back then, supported the healthcare mandate. This was a Conservative Republican idea, that all Americans would cover their share of their healthcare costs. That Progressive Democrats at least at one point were against, because they saw it as harsh. There other areas like in education reform, where the President supports charter schools, but would get accused as being in support of federal intervention of public schools.
President Obama could give a speech tomorrow, coming out against big government. Probably 20% of the GOP now believes President Obama is a Socialist and yet they would criticize him for that. “Saying no we need big government in America”. Actually they would have some credibility here, because Neoconservative Republicans do believe in a form of big government. But in a different form that’s authoritarian, where personal freedom is pretty limited.
President Obama could come out against the progressive income tax tomorrow and in favor of a flat income tax and Republicans would criticize him for that. And come out in favor of the progressive income tax and in favor of raising taxes on the wealthy and American corporations. Because President Obama now supports the flat tax. The Republican Party has moved so far to the right and have become so simplistic and so partisan and power-hungry, to the point, if their opponents support something, they automatically assume that position is wrong.
Because the GOP have such a huge craving for wedge issues and to look different from the opposition and have issues to use against them to gain power. And take the opposite position and you ask them what their position is on something. They’ll say “I don’t know, it depends on what my opponent’s position on that is. We are for what they are against and are against what they are for. Because they are wrong no matter what their position is. So of course we are going to be against it”. The modern Tea Party driven Republican Party.