greenlyfe, I don’t see anything wrong with saying you do not want any political leader to succeed in his policy goals. It happens all the time, and is the basis of a free democracy.
Let’s put aside the absurd notion that the very existence of “free democracy” hangs in the balance. What intrigues me is the assertion that this happens all the time.
I remember 2000 and 2001 pretty well. I was a Republican at the time, and we have talked before about how excited I was to vote for Bush. I remember not being able to sleep, waking up early to go vote as soon as the polls open, and I remember going to see a movie during the afternoon to take my mind off the election (I even remember what movie it was- Charlies Angels, which was brand new in the theatres, and I went with my friend’s girlfriend, who was just dying to see it, but he refused to go because he thought it would suck. He was right. They later got married.). I remember coming home and watching the returns until late in the morning, I remember the sinking feeling over Florida, and thinking “We are going to get screwed. The Democrats are going to steal this.” I remember all of that.
Many of you will have a hard time understanding this, because one thing we as a country aren’t very good at politically is putting ourselves in the opposition’s mindset, but I remember at the time thinking the whole process was screwed up and the Democrats were trying to pull a job over on the Republicans. Why was Al Gore only asking for recounts in a few select counties that just so happened to have huge Democratic majorities? Why were all these mistakes just magically appearing in Democratically controlled counties where Democrats were the ones who designed the damned ballots? Theresa LaPore, anyone? Why were the standards for counting votes changing with every day? WTF is a hanging chad? Voter intent? How convenient.
Again, most of you won’t understand it, but the Republican base was just as convinced the Democrats were screwing them as the Democratic base was convinced the Republicans were stealing the election. Both sides were equally convinced the other was up to no good.
I also remember the aftermath, and I do remember a lot of anger. I remember the “Selected, not Elected” stuff, I remember protests and a sullied inauguration, I remember a lot of anger. People are just pretending if they say there were not a lot of angry people on the left. It was there, and it was real. Democrats who try to deny that today are full of it (and in fairness, I see very few people who deny that there was a lot of anger). I don’t remember it among the mainstream of the minority in Congress- they sort of seemed resigned to the fact that Bush was President and mouthed stuff about working with him.
I also remember what was going on at the time. There was a mild economic downturn, but the country overall was in pretty good shape. The big crises in the first couple of months in the Bush administration was the story about “W” keys on the White House keyboards (since debunked), the continuing fallout of the Marc Rich pardon, the sad case of the US submarine that t-boned a Japanese fishing ship, and I remember an Air Force plane being forced to land in China. That was the “big stuff” in the early months, if my memory serves correctly.
Other than that, the big issue was the tax cuts. Our surplus was going to be too big, and we had to return the money to the people. I remember Alan Greenspan concern trolling the country about too much government ownership of private companies. I know, I know. We got the government ownership of companies anyway, Alan, and this all sounds like the history of an alien universe considering the mess we are in right now. And I remember a lot of Democrats were really opposed to the tax cuts, and called them irresponsible and said they would lead to real financial problems (how did that prediction work out?) and that we had a lot of stuff to pay for (like the national debt). I remember them repeatedly saying it was bad policy and it should be stopped.
But here is what I don’t remember. I don’t remember one single Democrat standing up on national television and loudly proclaiming “I hope George Bush fails.” I simply do not remember it happening at all.
So until Michael Scherer and others can show me the clips or transcripts of Democrats sitting around rooting for Bush and this country to fail, I think he and everyone else defending the Republicans and Limbaugh, who are explicitly stating they want President Obama to fail and stating it at a time of FAR greater consequence than we had in 2001, can quite simply just shut up.
And just so we are clear, until shown otherwise, what I remember is the following:
2001, time of mild economic downturn but with a large budget surplus projected as far as the eyes can see, and Democrats stated the tax cuts are bad policy and should not be adopted.
2009, during two wars, a financial disaster, an economic crisis and massive unemployment and trillion dollar deficits as far as the eye can see, and the Republicans and Limbaugh are rooting for Obama to fail so they can regain some political power.
Until I am shown otherwise, that is how I see things. What is happening right now is nuts, and there simply is no comparison. Show me the tapes. Show me the transcripts. Show me Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid standing in front of a camera saying “I want President Bush to fail” just like we have seen Mike Pence and the parade of other Republican leaders do in the past few days. Bring it on, and I don’t mean some random jackass on the internet or some crazy tenured prof at a community college somewhere. I will admit my memory was wrong if it happened, but I want to see it, because I don’t remember it. And I’m not merely talking about opposition to policy. I mean stating that they wanted the President to fail. And then when you are done, you can show me the video tapes or transcripts of all the Democrats groveling and begging for forgiveness at the feet of Michael Moore (who, by the way, is fat) after dissing him.
*** Update ***
Also, when a real crisis happened on 9/11, I remember the Democrats rushing to do whatever Bush wanted. I remember hand-holding and singing on the Capitol Steps. I don’t remember them hoping Bush’s response would fail.
Edited for clarity.