Sunday, 23 November 2014 / TRUTH-OUT.ORG

Are You Prepared to Shoot the Hostage?

Monday, 05 August 2013 14:25 By The Daily Take Team, The Thom Hartmann Program | Op-Ed
2013.8.5.DailyTake.MainSen. Jim DeMint speaking at Steve King's Conservative Policies conference in Des Moines, Iowa. (Photo: Gage Skidmore / Flickr)On Sunday’s edition of “Fox News Sunday,” host Chris Wallace asked Heritage Foundation President Jim DeMint if the Republican Party was ready to “shoot the hostage” and shut down the federal government over funding Obamacare.
 
Wallace asked DeMint, “But, Senator, what they say, you know, is you don't take a hostage unless you're prepared to shoot him.  And if you're going to go down this road, are you prepared to shut down the government? Because the Democrats are not going to go along with this.”
 
Unfortunately, DeMint dodged the question, and didn’t say whether or not Republicans were ready to “shoot the hostage,” in this case, the American people.
 
Jim DeMint refused to answer Chris Wallace’s question, but the real answer is that Republicans have been “shooting the hostage” ever since President Obama was first inaugurated. Their “hostage taking plans” were laid out back on the night of January 20, 2009, while the President and many others in Washington, D.C. were attending inaugural balls.
 
On that night in a private room at the Caucus Room restaurant in Washington, Republican leaders plotted to intentionally sabotage and undermine the Obama presidency at every turn, no matter how much damage it did to the American people.
 
Remember, at that time 700,000 people a month were losing their jobs and the American economy was in the most horrible tailspin since the Great Depression.
 
And the Republicans wanted to keep it that way.
 
As Robert Draper documented in his book "Do Not Ask What Good We Do: Inside the U.S. House of Representatives," on the guest list for the four hour “invitation only” meeting were Republican Congressmen Eric Cantor, Paul Ryan, Kevin McCarthy, Pete Sessions, Jeb Hensarling, Pete Hoekstra and Dan Lungren.
 
Republican Senators included Tom Coburn, John Ensign, Bob Corker, Jon Kyl and now-Heritage Foundation President Jim DeMint.
 
Newt Gingrich was also in attendance and on my radio show a few months ago, he bragged that the purpose of the dinner meeting was to come up with a plan to sabotage the Obama presidency.
 
After all, he said that, “the opposition party ought to sit down and try to figure out how to get back in power. That’s why they’re the opposition party.”
 
During the dinner, the Republican conspirators vowed to bring Congress to a standstill, regardless of how badly Congressional inaction would hurt the already hurting American economy and people.
 
In essence, they pledged to each other to obstruct filibuster and block any legislation that might improve the economy, and thus make President Obama look good.
 
While the meeting at the Caucus Room restaurant was top-secret, Republicans who were there very frank, just months later, about what had transpired.
 
Congressman Pete Sessions told the National Journal in March of 2009 that the Republican sabotage plan would borrow a page from the tactics of the Taliban terrorists.
 
He said that, “Taliban Insurgency, we understand perhaps a little bit more because of the Taliban.  Insurgency is the way they went about systematically understanding how to disrupt and change a person's entire processes. And these Taliban -- is an example of how you go about to change a person from their messaging, to their operations, to their frontline message. And we need to understand that Insurgency may be required when [dealing with Democrats on] the other side.”
 
The Texas Republican went on to say that, “If they [Democrats] do not give us those options or opportunities then we will then become Insurgency...I think Insurgency is a mindset and an attitude…”
 
At the Caucus Room dinner itself, Robert Draper quoted Congressman Kevin McCarthy as saying, “We’ve gotta challenge them on every single bill. Show united and unyielding opposition to the president’s economic policies.”
 
Looking back from five years later, we can see that the “united and unyielding opposition” that Congressman McCarthy called for is succeeding in harming America and thus preventing President Obama from having any significant progressive successes. Just ask Democratic Congressman Charlie Rangel.
 
In an interview with The Daily Beast published this past Friday, the New York Congressman said that Republicans in the House are doing more damage to American competitiveness, and to the American people, than any terrorist organization could.  
 
Rangel told The Daily Beast that, “What is happening is sabotage. Terrorists couldn’t do a better job than the Republicans are doing.”
 
And Congressman Rangel is right.
 
Republicans on Capitol Hill have been relentless in blocking any legislation that may improve the economy and President Obama popularity.
 
Since President Obama took office, Republicans have filibustered a variety of bills that would have helped the American people and economy.
 
These include President Obama’s jobs bill, Nancy Pelosi’s “American Jobs, Closing of Loopholes, and Prevention of Outsourcing Act,” which would have prevented the outsourcing of jobs overseas, and the Small Business Jobs and Tax Relief Act, which encouraged small businesses to hire by giving them temporary tax credits.
 
Just last week, Republicans vowed to block President Obama’s attempts to cut corporate tax rates, something Republicans have wanted for years, because to let him do that would be to give him one small victory.
 
Republicans have also worked very hard to tear down America.
 
They’ve refused to increase funding to our nation’s crumbling infrastructure, leaving our country stuck in the 19th century.
 
They’ve voted to slash billions of dollars from social safety net programs like food stamps and Medicaid, and radically slashed unemployment insurance.
 
And, in the most blatant form of “shooting the hostage,” Republicans pushed the devastating sequester on the American people, and John Boehner bragged that he got 99 percent of what he wanted.  
 
Since Boehner’s sequester went into effect, millions of Americans have felt its impact.
 
In Michigan alone, federal unemployment checks have fallen by 10.7 percent since late March, sucking as much as $150 per month out of people’s budgets.
 
In California, the Contra Costa County Meals on Wheels program has been forced to cut its budget by 5.1 percent, and scale back the number of meals it brings to shut in, disabled and elderly poor people.
 
Meanwhile, as the sequester cuts continue to ravage our country, Republicans are refusing to support President Obama’s most recent jobs bill, which would have put millions of Americans back to work, and would help solve our nation’s poverty epidemic.  
 
Ever since President Obama’s first inauguration, on the night of January 20, 2009, Republicans have made it clear that they’re very comfortable with “shooting the hostage.”
 
It seems that even Chris Wallace is beginning to realize that when it comes to Republicans being willing to “shoot the hostage,” it’s really not a matter of “if,” it’s a matter of how much longer they will keep doing it.
 
This article was first published on Truthout and any reprint or reproduction on any other website must acknowledge Truthout as the original site of publication.

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Are You Prepared to Shoot the Hostage?

Monday, 05 August 2013 14:25 By The Daily Take Team, The Thom Hartmann Program | Op-Ed
2013.8.5.DailyTake.MainSen. Jim DeMint speaking at Steve King's Conservative Policies conference in Des Moines, Iowa. (Photo: Gage Skidmore / Flickr)On Sunday’s edition of “Fox News Sunday,” host Chris Wallace asked Heritage Foundation President Jim DeMint if the Republican Party was ready to “shoot the hostage” and shut down the federal government over funding Obamacare.
 
Wallace asked DeMint, “But, Senator, what they say, you know, is you don't take a hostage unless you're prepared to shoot him.  And if you're going to go down this road, are you prepared to shut down the government? Because the Democrats are not going to go along with this.”
 
Unfortunately, DeMint dodged the question, and didn’t say whether or not Republicans were ready to “shoot the hostage,” in this case, the American people.
 
Jim DeMint refused to answer Chris Wallace’s question, but the real answer is that Republicans have been “shooting the hostage” ever since President Obama was first inaugurated. Their “hostage taking plans” were laid out back on the night of January 20, 2009, while the President and many others in Washington, D.C. were attending inaugural balls.
 
On that night in a private room at the Caucus Room restaurant in Washington, Republican leaders plotted to intentionally sabotage and undermine the Obama presidency at every turn, no matter how much damage it did to the American people.
 
Remember, at that time 700,000 people a month were losing their jobs and the American economy was in the most horrible tailspin since the Great Depression.
 
And the Republicans wanted to keep it that way.
 
As Robert Draper documented in his book "Do Not Ask What Good We Do: Inside the U.S. House of Representatives," on the guest list for the four hour “invitation only” meeting were Republican Congressmen Eric Cantor, Paul Ryan, Kevin McCarthy, Pete Sessions, Jeb Hensarling, Pete Hoekstra and Dan Lungren.
 
Republican Senators included Tom Coburn, John Ensign, Bob Corker, Jon Kyl and now-Heritage Foundation President Jim DeMint.
 
Newt Gingrich was also in attendance and on my radio show a few months ago, he bragged that the purpose of the dinner meeting was to come up with a plan to sabotage the Obama presidency.
 
After all, he said that, “the opposition party ought to sit down and try to figure out how to get back in power. That’s why they’re the opposition party.”
 
During the dinner, the Republican conspirators vowed to bring Congress to a standstill, regardless of how badly Congressional inaction would hurt the already hurting American economy and people.
 
In essence, they pledged to each other to obstruct filibuster and block any legislation that might improve the economy, and thus make President Obama look good.
 
While the meeting at the Caucus Room restaurant was top-secret, Republicans who were there very frank, just months later, about what had transpired.
 
Congressman Pete Sessions told the National Journal in March of 2009 that the Republican sabotage plan would borrow a page from the tactics of the Taliban terrorists.
 
He said that, “Taliban Insurgency, we understand perhaps a little bit more because of the Taliban.  Insurgency is the way they went about systematically understanding how to disrupt and change a person's entire processes. And these Taliban -- is an example of how you go about to change a person from their messaging, to their operations, to their frontline message. And we need to understand that Insurgency may be required when [dealing with Democrats on] the other side.”
 
The Texas Republican went on to say that, “If they [Democrats] do not give us those options or opportunities then we will then become Insurgency...I think Insurgency is a mindset and an attitude…”
 
At the Caucus Room dinner itself, Robert Draper quoted Congressman Kevin McCarthy as saying, “We’ve gotta challenge them on every single bill. Show united and unyielding opposition to the president’s economic policies.”
 
Looking back from five years later, we can see that the “united and unyielding opposition” that Congressman McCarthy called for is succeeding in harming America and thus preventing President Obama from having any significant progressive successes. Just ask Democratic Congressman Charlie Rangel.
 
In an interview with The Daily Beast published this past Friday, the New York Congressman said that Republicans in the House are doing more damage to American competitiveness, and to the American people, than any terrorist organization could.  
 
Rangel told The Daily Beast that, “What is happening is sabotage. Terrorists couldn’t do a better job than the Republicans are doing.”
 
And Congressman Rangel is right.
 
Republicans on Capitol Hill have been relentless in blocking any legislation that may improve the economy and President Obama popularity.
 
Since President Obama took office, Republicans have filibustered a variety of bills that would have helped the American people and economy.
 
These include President Obama’s jobs bill, Nancy Pelosi’s “American Jobs, Closing of Loopholes, and Prevention of Outsourcing Act,” which would have prevented the outsourcing of jobs overseas, and the Small Business Jobs and Tax Relief Act, which encouraged small businesses to hire by giving them temporary tax credits.
 
Just last week, Republicans vowed to block President Obama’s attempts to cut corporate tax rates, something Republicans have wanted for years, because to let him do that would be to give him one small victory.
 
Republicans have also worked very hard to tear down America.
 
They’ve refused to increase funding to our nation’s crumbling infrastructure, leaving our country stuck in the 19th century.
 
They’ve voted to slash billions of dollars from social safety net programs like food stamps and Medicaid, and radically slashed unemployment insurance.
 
And, in the most blatant form of “shooting the hostage,” Republicans pushed the devastating sequester on the American people, and John Boehner bragged that he got 99 percent of what he wanted.  
 
Since Boehner’s sequester went into effect, millions of Americans have felt its impact.
 
In Michigan alone, federal unemployment checks have fallen by 10.7 percent since late March, sucking as much as $150 per month out of people’s budgets.
 
In California, the Contra Costa County Meals on Wheels program has been forced to cut its budget by 5.1 percent, and scale back the number of meals it brings to shut in, disabled and elderly poor people.
 
Meanwhile, as the sequester cuts continue to ravage our country, Republicans are refusing to support President Obama’s most recent jobs bill, which would have put millions of Americans back to work, and would help solve our nation’s poverty epidemic.  
 
Ever since President Obama’s first inauguration, on the night of January 20, 2009, Republicans have made it clear that they’re very comfortable with “shooting the hostage.”
 
It seems that even Chris Wallace is beginning to realize that when it comes to Republicans being willing to “shoot the hostage,” it’s really not a matter of “if,” it’s a matter of how much longer they will keep doing it.
 
This article was first published on Truthout and any reprint or reproduction on any other website must acknowledge Truthout as the original site of publication.

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