America #1?

On a post on Media Matters, the commenters discussed Fox News’ thesis that Sarah Palin is wildly popular and that other station just can’t stop talking about her. MMFA pulled up a TVEyes report showing, actually, that Fox News mentions her more than anyone else does. Oops!



One of the right-wingers on the comment thread asked why, in comparison, President Obama gets so much more commentary. A leftie responded that “Well, for starters Obama is the president of the most powerful nation in the world” and Palin is a comparative nobody (Duh!). Another right-winger responded with this link about some Chinese claiming they’re #1 and that the US is no longer in the top spot. Reading the piece, the piece throws a bit of cold water on that idea, with the Chinese People’s Liberation Army merely claiming that they’ll overtake the US in a few decades. But the right-winger asked “What does the American left say?“



I thought that was a good question and responded that Republican policies certainly weren’t helping matters and that developing clean, renewable energy sources would be a really good thing for the US to focus on. But that exchange started me thinking about how the new Republican majority in the House will either help or hinder the ability of the US to remain at #1 in the world.



Certainly, the foreclosure crisis isn’t helping matters.



A record one million families lost their home to foreclosure last year. Each of these foreclosures has damaged a family, set back a community, and chipped away at an already weak national economy. … as long as families continue to lose their homes by the hundreds of thousands, even the most inspired economic policies will likely fall short.



It’s not just that families are being foreclosed upon and that they’re being tossed out on the street, it’s that the foreclosures are being carried out by an industry that



has kicked Americans out of their homes without cause, used falsified and backdated documents to do so, broken into occupied homes and changed the locks, added illegal and unjustified fees, deliberately pushed homeowners current on their payments into foreclosure and basically done whatever they wanted in total violation of the rule of law.



Regardless of what happens with an exhausted US military, it really doesn’t help the cause of US supremacy for US families to be tossed out of their homes for reasons that have nothing to do with real and general shortages. The US economy is very clearly not suffering because there’s any shortage of resources or because we clearly must reduce government expenditures. The desire to reduce government expenditures is an entirely arbitrary one and has nothing to do with any real necessities. The accusation by House Republicans, for instance, that the Affordable Care Act “kills jobs,” is simply inaccurate.



The basic problem that the Republican majority is having at the moment is that governing is hard.



You have to get your members to agree on a single piece of legislation. You have to make the tough tradeoffs that are the hallmark of governance. You have to explain how you’ll do things, rather than merely what you want done.






Democrats did that for health care. They fought ugly fights in their own party over the public option, the financing of the legislation, the levels of coverage in the bill, the way abortion would be treated in the exchanges.



What’s the plan of the Obama Administration to fix the problem with the US economy? Unfortunately, they appear to be fixated on the wrong end of the problem. They appear to think the US is suffering a supply-side problem. It isn’t. The US is suffering a demand-side problem, with insufficient sales being cited as the number one difficulty.



Unfortunately, the US appears to be doing everything possible to exacerbate that problem. House Republicans want to keep non-defense discretionary spending at 2006 levels. Actually doing that



would result in billions of dollars in cuts to vital and popular programs and agencies like Pell Grants, the FBI, the Coast Guard, the National Institutes of Health and the federal prison system.



Fortunately, the proposed plan would do no such thing. Speaker Boehner has no idea what he wants to cut, but he wants to start hacking and slashing away at the budget anyway. And, of course, despite all of the demands from the Tea Party wing of the Republican Party, Republicans plan on no cuts for defense.



Ah, but Republicans are not planning on wasting any precious time in useless hearings on stupid or meaningless subjects. No sir! They’re planning on vitally important hearings on subjects critical to Americans!



Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) joined the growing chorus of Republicans clamoring for hearings to look into the threat of “creeping Sharia law.”



Yup! The US suffers from the dread threat of Muslim-inspired laws taking over our legal system! Yeah, we’re sure to get a handle on those other problems mentioned here any day now. You betcha!

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