Obstructionist policies and hate filled, violent rhetoric have been a part of the Republican Party for the last four years. Now you can add calls for secession to the list.
Before President Obama spent his first night in the White House, Republicans were scheming to find ways to block any new legislation, holding a private dinner on the evening of the January 2009 inauguration. According to a Guardian report, senior members of the GOP held a lengthy discussion about how to repeatedly block Obama and ensure he would not be re-elected.
In the Robert Draper book Do Not Ask What Good We Do: Inside the U.S. House of Representatives, it is revealed that House speaker John Boehner attended the meeting, along with Eric Cantor, Jeb Hensarling, Pete Hoekstra, Dan Lungren, Kevin McCarthy, Paul Ryan, Newt Gingrich and Pete Sessions.
During the four hour meeting, the Republicans came up with a plan to take back the House in November 2010, as well as the Senate and White House in 2012 according to a Vanity Fair article.
Part of the plan included challenging any bill the President and Democrats brought before Congress. Keven McCarthy insisted:
"We've gotta challenge them on every single bill and challenge them on every single campaign."
Gingrich told his fellow Republicans:
"You will remember this day. You'll remember this as the day the seeds of 2012 were sown."
Senate Republicans made good on their promise to "challenge" every single bill, filibustering and blocking a record setting 375 bills.
Some of the bills Republicans blocked passage of include:
H.R. 448-- Elder Abuse Victims Act - A bill aimed at protecting seniors from elder abuse by establishing elder abuse prosecution programs.
H.R. 466 –- Wounded Veteran Job Security Act - This bill protected veterans receiving treatment for wounds sustained in during their time in the service from being fired or demoted.
H.R. 911 -- Stop Child Abuse in Residential Programs for Teens Act - Sets minimum standards for programs that treat teens with emotional, behavioral, or mental health problems.
H.R. 1168 -- Veterans Retraining Act - This bill would pay veteran enrolled in an employment and training program aimed at helping them locate jobs after leaving the military.
H.R. 1171 –- Homeless Veterans Reintegration Program Reauthorization - Reauthorizes the VA homeless veterans reintegration programs.
Legislative bills were not the only thing blocked. High ranking Republicans also refused to participate in negotiations for raising the debt ceiling.
During bipartisan talks, Canor walked out of the negotiations, refused to return and said finding a solution was up to the President. Boehner said Republicans would not vote to increase the debt ceiling unless Democrats agreed to GOP tax policies. The Republican tactics resulted in a downgrading of the American credit rating for the first time in history.
Republicans also refused to work with Democrats on ways to reduce the debt ceiling. Boehner went so far as to introduce his own plan which involved no bipartisan efforts. Even fellow Republicans believed the plan would not work and voted to defeat the measure.
Congress soon became known as the "do nothing" Congress and the Republicans were dubbed "the party of no". Sarah Palin told attendees at the Southern Republican Leadership Conference that there was nothing wrong with being the party of no, saying it should be the party of "hell no".
Calls for Violence
Obstructionist policies were not the only tactics employed by Republicans. There have been numerous occasions where Republican candidates and commentators have called for violence.
Some of the most notable are:
When running against Democrat Harry Reid, Republican Sharron Angle said:
"I'm hoping that we're not getting to Second Amendment remedies. I hope the vote will be the cure for the Harry Reid problems."
Sarah Palin's crosshair map
After telling supporters "don't retreat, reload", Palin issued a map containing crosshairs on Democrat districts including the district held by Rep. Gabrielle Giffords. Many, including Giffords, warned that such graphics can have "consequences". After the release of the map Giffords and 18 other people were injured or killed by a gunman.
Conservative Republican Fox News host, Glen Beck, said that his viewers were going to have to shoot the "radicals" in Washington in the head.
Beck also stated:
"Hang on, let me just tell you what I'm thinking. I'm thinking about killing Michael Moore, and I'm wondering if I could kill him myself, or if I would need to hire somebody to do it. No, I think I could."
Rush Limbaugh told listeners:
"I tell people don't kill all the liberals. Leave enough so we can have two on every campus--living fossils--so we we'll never forget what these people stood for."
Ann Coulter tweeted: "My only regret with Tim McVeigh is that he did not go to the New York Times building."
The bombing killed killed 168 people, including 19 children.
After Obama was announced as the winner of the 2012 Presidential election, Donald Trump said: "We should have a revolution in this country!"
After health reform, also known as Obamacara, was passed, 10 Democrat members of Congress were threatened due to their health care vote.
Perhaps today's Republicans need to remember what Republican Horace Mann once said:
“Do not think of knocking out another person's brains because he differs in opinion from you. It would be as rational to knock yourself on the head because you differ from yourself ten years ago.” Call for Secession
Republican Peter Morrison has said the state of Texas should secede from the United States, calling for an "amicable divorce". Citizens from twenty-one states in all have filed petitions to secede since the election according to an Examiner report.
The petition by the state of Arizona says:
"The citizens of the great state of Arizona have the right to stand for their principles. That man is granted unalienable rights, which are not the dispensations of the government, but find their beginnings in God and come from God alone. These are the principles that our forefathers stood for, the principles upon, which our Constitution is based, and those in which we firmly place our belief and resolve."
The petition for Tennessee does not give a reason for wanting to secede, instead it simply says:
Helping the people of Tennessee.
What ever happened to the concept of majority rule? Have some of the Republicans forgotten that we are the "United" States of America. The "we" vs "them", "my way or the highway" attitudes have got to stop. Otherwise, the United States will continue to become more and more divided, and as Abraham Lincoln said:
"A house divided against itself cannot stand."
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of DigitalJournal.com