This post kind of follows yesterday's, being as how it's about perception vs reality. Today, let's take a good look at how the GOP has been painted by the Democrats.
First, it's important to gage the success of the Obama administration's policies and legislation so far. TARP, the Stimulus bill, Cash 4 Clunkers, the healthcare bill, the financial regulation bill were all passed with the promise of reducing the massive debt. Never mind that the deficit has been engineered by the Democrats in Congress during their nearly four year old control of that august body. Have their policies worked? The White House Budget Office said no in a report released last Friday. If that isn't an accidental indictment of failure, I don't know what is.
Next, let's look at how the Democrats want you to view the Republicans. They've painted the GOP as the "party of no." They want you to see the Republicans as the main enemy of the Obama agenda. Never mind that Republicans have a decided minority in Congress. They are so few in number that they are essentially irrelevant when it comes to passing legislation. The Democrats hold solid majorities in both the House and the Senate, enough that they have virtually unlimited power to pass any bill at any time, without regard or even acknowledgement of the Republicans.
But that doesn't stop them from needing a villain. Any opposition to their policies will do. Numbers and majorities don't matter. It's always those evil Rethuglicans who are standing in the way of progress. Unfortunately, it seems to work, because there are a lot of otherwise intelligent Americans who think that the GOP still controls Congress. Thanks a lot, Mainstream Media.
But, back to reality.
We're still a people who value results. Real, tangible results. And we don't see them. In fact, we're seeing the opposite from the Democrats in Congress and the White House. The economy is in the doldrums, the national unemployment rate remains roughly twice what it was during the Bush administration, and businesses are in a holding pattern, circling the airport, waiting for any break in the clouds that would allow a landing to refuel.
When it comes to the things that truly matter to the country, Democrats are the real party of "no." Their policies say, in essence, "no" to prosperity and growth, "no" to the aspirations of the American people, "no" to innovation, "no" to the entrepreneurial spirit that is ingrained into the nations' DNA.
No, you can't start your own business.
No, you can't provide for your family.
No, you can't chart your own destiny in the greatest country in the worlds' history.
No, you can't have the American Dream.
No, you can't break free of needless, unnecessary regulation and miles of red tape.
No, you can't set your thermostat at 72 degrees.
No, no, no, no, no, no, no.
Mama Mia! Let me go!
Which is the better message? Yes, you can or No, you cannot? Which is more in line with the human spirit, freedom or slavery? Granted, there are many subtle shades of both, but in the final analysis, it's either one or the other.
Psychologically speaking, control over others necessarily involves restrictions. While this is required for children, it's anathema to the mature adult. Time and experience, along with our conscience, show us what to do and what not to do. We won't always succeed and will occasionally veer from the proper path in life, but most of us regain our own footing. The odd disaster will even serve a purpose, too. At least we can learn what not to do.
And we are learning some very painful lessons from our collective political decisions.