Reprinted from the Guelph Mercury, October 1, 2011
By Gerry Barker
We are witnessing the attempted political assassination of U.S. President Barack Obama.
The American right wing, authors of the worst recession since the Great Depression under the leadership of George W. Bush, have confused and obstructed the third rail of the U.S. political system, the executive branch headed by the President.
Under the guise of misinterpreting the Constitution, the Republican Party leadership has made it clear that they are out to defeat President Obama without regard to economic policies that will bring the country out of the current recession.
No matter what the President proposes, the Republican leadership troika of Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell, House Speaker John Boehner and House majority leader Eric Cantor, have thwarted any attempt by the executive branch to stimulate the economy and create jobs.
With more than 14 million Americans without jobs, the focus of the Republican Party is to defeat the President.
For his part, President Obama has attempted to strike a bi-partisan approach to work with the Congress and bring America out of the economic funk.
How has this happened?
The Democrats, who had a majority in 2010 in both the Senate and the House of Representatives, underestimated the strength of the Tea Party ultra right wing movement. Some 58 Tea Party members elected to the House stalled the government by refusing to accept balanced budget programs to reduce the huge U.S. deficit.
While the president recommended cuts to several programs, the Republican dominated House refused to allow increased taxes for the wealthiest of Americans. They continued to allow multi-billion dollar subsidies to major corporations including the integrated oil companies.
On Friday, September 2, the U.S. Labour department announced not one new job was created in August as the economy continued to stagnate. The underlying reason was the collapse of the U.S. political system captured by radical members of Congress who refused to give on their so-called principles.
The President has no choice but to face the electorate in November 2012. The gloves have to come off and he must pointedly blame the failure of the economy squarely where it belongs: On the Republican leadership and its hidden coterie of wealthy supporters. Instead he must promote positive policies to create jobs.
He is fortunately facing a divided panel of Republican presidential candidates vying for the nomination. Quality is definitely lacking. The potential Republican dream team for Obama to take on in2012 is Texas Governor Rick Perry with Michelle Bachmann as running mate.
Nevertheless, the outcome of this weighs heavily on Canada and our economy.
The U.S is our biggest trading partner as we are theirs. So why do the environmental activists attempt to stop the flow of oil and gas from Canada on the premise of pipeline leaks and so-called dirty oil from the Oil Sands? Why do they treat Canadians crossing the border as potential terrorists? Why do the states ban Canadians bidding on infrastructure projects? Why does the U.S Labour Secretary get criticized for trading in her limousine for a Chevrolet Equinox that happened to be assembled in Oshawa, Ontario?
Why are some Americans failing to recognize that Canadians are their best friends and spend millions to prove it?
In the next 25 years, America will need us more than we need them. It will be the need for safe energy supply and water to a projected population of more than 400 million.
Thinking Americans understand the important of our unique relationship. Let’s hope they remember it in 2012 when they go to the polls.
Gerry Barker is a retired newspaperman living in Guelph, Ontario. He writes freelance articles for the Mercury and other newspapers. Reach him at – firstname.lastname@example.org