I was struck by how several news events absolutely obliterated three of the top lies told by Republicans to try and bring down the president (no matter the cost to the country).
1. President Obama is soft on terrorism/won’t protect the country/is a Muslim sympathizer. From the time Obama took office, he has had to contend with a Republican campaign to portray him as weak on national security. The attacks really took off after the unsuccessful attempt by the “underwear bomber” on Christmas Day 2009, as the Republicans engaged in what Steve Benen brilliantly described as a “collective display of pants-wetting.”
But the record shows that Obama has been more aggressive than his predecessor was in targeting and killing terrorist group leaders, including authorizing more drone attacks. But the last couple of weeks really made the Republican scare tactics look downright silly. First, NATO bombed Muammar Gaddafi’s home, killing his son. Then, putting nearly 10 long years of frustration to bed, Obama authorized a daring and well-planned operation to kill Osama bin Laden at his retreat in the suburbs of Islamabad. (Remember, George W. Bush didn’t prioritize catching or killing bin Laden.)
And while terrorists may be able to strike in the United States no matter what precautions are taken by the president, it is telling that the greatest domestic terrorist attack of the last 100 years took place on Bush’s watch (despite being given a memo in August 2001 entitled “Bin Laden determined to strike in US”), but, to date, under Obama, no foreign attacks have been successful on U.S. soil.
Based on the week’s events, Republicans will look idiotic if they again try to engage in scare tactics based on an idea that Obama isn’t capable of keeping the American people safe.
2. President Obama wants to raise your taxes. These attacks were works of pure fiction, given that Obama campaigned that he wouldn’t raise taxes on anyone making more than $250,000 per year, and would cut taxes on most families below that range. And what did he do? Exactly what he promised. In fact, he went beyond his campaign promise, agreeing to extend the Bush tax cuts for everyone, including the wealthy. The result? The Bureau of Economic Analysis just found that Americans now enjoy their lowest tax burden since 1958.
You can argue the wisdom of extending the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy (I think it was a horrible decision that will further increase the deficit while helping nobody who needs assistance). But despite the fear mongering tactics of Republicans who promised the American people Obama wanted raise their taxes, he has been a tax-cutting president.
3. President Obama wasn’t born in the United States. The thing is, it’s not like anyone with a quarter of a brain actually doubted Obama’s place of birth. After all, he released a scan of his birth certificate in 2008, and Honolulu newspapers reported his birth at the time. But on April 27, as unnecessary as it was, Obama released his long-form birth certificate, putting the issue to rest once and for all.
Many Republicans claim they never questioned Obama’s place of birth, and that the birthers represented a small percentage of the party. But even days before Obama released his long-form birth certificate, a CBS News/New York Times poll showed that 45 percent of Republicans believed the president was born outside of the United States. And more importantly, most Republican politicians and pundits who claimed not to be birthers offered only lukewarm dismissals of such claims, refusing to condemn those that questioned the location of the president’s birth.
The release of Obama’s birth certificate has given Americans a lot of questions to ask themselves: Why did Republicans spend so much time on a patently ludicrous accusation, even while the country was grappling with important problems, including a struggling economy, two wars, and national security, just to name a few? What does it say about a party that would conduct its business that way? And why was this president hit with this kind of an accusation? Nobody asked John McCain for his birth certificate or doubted his eligibility for the presidency, even though he was actually born outside of the continental United States (in the Panama Canal Zone). To be clear, I am not challenging McCain’s eligibility. It would be ludicrous to do so because he was legally qualified to run. I am only pointing out that McCain didn’t have to endure this kind of scrutiny about his place of birth. Why do you think that is?
Barack Obama was born on August 4, 1961. He is a Democrat from Illinois. He has served the state of Illinois as a senator in the U.S. Senate since 2004. Prior to this he was a senator in the Illinois state Senate. The United States Senate Historical Office lists Obama as the fifth African American Senator in U.S. History.
Barack Hussein Obama II ,born August 4, 1961, is the 44th and current President of the United States. He is the first African American to hold the office. Obama previously served as a United States Senator from Illinois, from January 2005 until he resigned following his victory in the 2008 presidential election.
Born in Honolulu, Hawaii, Obama is a graduate of Columbia University and Harvard Law School, where he was the president of the Harvard Law Review. He was a community organizer in Chicago before earning his law degree. He worked as a civil rights attorney in Chicago and taught constitutional law at the University of Chicago Law School from 1992 to 2004. He served three terms representing the 13th District in the Illinois Senate from 1997 to 2004.
Following an unsuccessful bid against the Democratic incumbent for a seat in the United States House of Representatives in 2000, Obama ran for the United States Senate in 2004. Several events brought him to national attention during the campaign, including his victory in the March 2004 Illinois Democratic primary for the Senate election and his keynote address at the Democratic National Convention in July 2004. He won election to the U.S. Senate in Illinois in November 2004. His presidential campaign began in February 2007, and after a close campaign in the 2008 Democratic Party presidential primaries against Hillary Rodham Clinton, he won his party’s nomination. In the 2008 presidential election, he defeated Republican nominee John McCain, and was inaugurated as president on January 20, 2009. In October 2009, Obama was named the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize laureate.
President Obama signed economic stimulus legislation in the form of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 and the Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act of 2010. Other domestic policy initiatives include the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, the Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell Repeal Act of 2010 and the Budget Control Act of 2011. In foreign policy, he ended the war in Iraq, increased troop levels in Afghanistan, signed the New START arms control treaty with Russia, ordered US involvement in the 2011 Libya military intervention, and ordered the military operation that resulted in the death of Osama bin Laden. In April 2011, Obama declared his intention to seek re-election in the 2012 presidential election.