President Barack Obama's stewardship for the last five years has been marked with some setbacks. Certainly the "roll-out" of the Affordable Care Act left his administration open to ridicule. But the glitches were corrected and Obama exceeded the seven million mark by 100,000. But Republicans in Congress welcomed such news by the 55th attempt to repeal "Obamacare."
Also, they nit-picked good unemployment numbers of 6.7 percent, a great improvement over the 11 percent he inherited from President George W. Bush. Eric Cantor, the GOP leader in the House, decried the lack of progress on the domestic front. Nothing moves them, neither evidence or history can coax even a scintilla of sympathy from a faction that seeks to either ruin or rule.
Indeed, the GOP version of the Obama presidency would make little sense to liberals, already convinced that the White House has sold them out. For their money, Obama made peace with big business and conducted an orthodox foreign policy. Instead of being a progressive, Obama has positioned himself slightly to the left of Bill Clinton, which is to say centrist. Nothing in the Obama presidency would point to anything approaching contemporary liberalism, much less radical leftism.
Yet they ramble on, whether they be the special interests which are allowed to spend their wealth to cancel out or influence the joint majority of the American people, with the unrestrained use of money they can create hidden power which threatens the very essence of democracy. The Koch brothers are not un-American; they are, to paraphrase Lincoln Steffens, an American institution, the by-product of a people unwilling or uninclined to be free.
Nevertheless, the hatred for Obama, as with Clinton, was not so much for what they did but what they portended for the future. Clinton represented, for hard sells, the coming to power of the bad end of the baby boom. Forget that Clinton ended the aid to dependent children, grandly declaring that the "era of big government" was over, or his embrace of corporate America; he was somehow an incendiary.
Obama represented the coming of age of minorities, something that Southern white conservatives and their allies could not abide. Forget that his administration has been centrist and, on the whole, corporate friendly; he has been depicted as a form of curse on the republic by his ultra-right wing foes.
Indeed the great fear has distorted and confused American politics. Instead of a rational debate, we have heard cat-calls, even in the House of Representatives during the State of the Union Address. Despite the fact George W. Bush's election was questionable in 2000 and that he barely won in 2004, he was held up as more legitimate than two Democratic presidents with clearer victories.
In that attitude, there is a sense of permanent entitlement that means anything short of a GOP hegemony is unacceptable.
Despite some show at moderation, the passions of Republicans can never seem to be cooled. Particularly when it seems fueled by the notion that their supremacy is preordained.