By Cash Michaels
Special to the NNPA from The Wilmington Journal
Rep. James Clyburn, the third most powerful member of Congress, charges that from the moment President Obama assumed office, Republicans in Congress placed party politics ahead of the interests of the nation.
In an interview last week on the WAUG-AM radio program “Make It Happen,” Clyburn said, “They met on the night that he was sworn-in, and took a blood oath to each other that they would be obstacles to [Obama’s] administration,” Clyburn maintained. “They set out to do so in a way that demonstrates the ultimate in disloyalty to the country.”
Assistant Democratic Leader Clyburn, added, “Every attempt by President Obama has made to ‘light a candle’ to help show the way for progress, for opportunity, for bringing us out of the darkness of the great recession that we just experienced, he had seen those candles, those flames blown out time and time again by these Republicans,” Clyburn charged. “And then they have stood on the sidelines cursing the darkness.” Democrats are holding their national convention in Charlotte, N.C. this week, hoping to draw a sharp contrast between the policies of Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney.
“We were teetering on the brink of [economic] disaster,” when President Obama first came in, Clyburn stated. “That is what greeted this president.”
He said Republican “trickle-down economics,” advocated President Ronald Reagan in the 1980s, failed. That was by two George W. Bush tax cuts that contributed to the national deficit. More than 2 million jobs were lost under Bush, crippling America before Obama ever took office.
The South Carolina Democrat credits Obama’s quick work to shore up the economy by pumping in tens of billions in stimulus, and saving the auto industry from bankruptcy.
But Clyburn also recalls how Republicans in Congress refused to work with the president to shore up job growth, even before the Tea Party took over Congress in 2010.
“The loyal opposition has been anything but loyal,” Clyburn said. “We expect for them to be in opposition to [Obama’s] policies, but we would hope that they would be loyal to the country. They have made it very clear, that the only reason for their existence… their number one reason…is to make sure that Barack Obama is a one-term president.”
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) stated publicly that the GOP’s No. 1 goal was to prevent Obama from being re-elected.
“…The number one priority for every elected official, especially those sitting up here in Washington, should be to protect the American people; to secure the futures for the American people; to maintain safety in our communities, and to keep moving our country forward,” Clyburn said. “When you tell me all of that should take a backseat to unseating a president, then I think it tells the public all they need to know about your priorities.”
Some of that opposition is based on race, Clyburn believes.
“There has been a theory put forth in this country, from its inception, that there are certain gene pools that are not as good as other gene pools, and by that I mean that some people are just inherently unequal,” Clyburn said. “[The theory says] there are some people who are just inherently inferior and not capable of doing certain things. When people see that this longstanding philosophy that [has been] perpetuated forever is getting a very, serious, in-your-face denigration of its own veracity or validity, then they try to fight it off.”
Warming to his topic Clyburn continued, “No African American is supposed to have the capacity, least more the capability, of being president of the United States. There are people who actually feel that way.”
He made it clear, however, that he doesn’t think that’s the view of a majority of White Americans. “But there is a big minority of White voters who are absolutely upset that an African American is president of the United States,” he explained.
Clyburn said voter ID laws that require certain state-approved identification is designed to curb the impact of Black voters.
“We can dress it up anyway we want to; we can talk about it anyway we want to, but you know the good Lord has allowed me to live long enough – I’m 72 years old – to call it as I see it,” Clyburn said. “That’s what the fact is.”