As the headliner tonight in Charlotte, Bill Clinton may well make Republicans rue the day they perverted into an attack on small business President Barack Obama’s bullseye words about the public-private cooperation required to build America’s successful enterprises. Clinton seems likely to turn that twisted lie (which formed the upside-down foundation of the entire GOP convention last week) into a truth about what Republicans have and have not built. The Republicans’ vile campaign of voter suppression will also be a target.
In a preview Tuesday night, Clinton gave the Arkansas delegation to the Democratic National Convention a taste of the themes he will focus on:
“This economy that [President Obama] inherited was profoundly ruined. Nobody who’s ever served—no one, including me—has ever been expected to turn it around overnight,” Clinton said. “The economy failed and hit bottom six months after Republicans took office. Nine percent. That’s almost Depression-level shrinkage. And I’ll give you the details tomorrow night, but that’s quite a blow.”
“And it was really interesting to me that when [Obama] was trying so hard to put Americans back to work—two full years before the election—the Senate Republican leader said that their number one goal was not to put America back to work, it was to put the president out of work,” he added.
Failure was what the Republicans sought for Obama and the Democrats from the moment the party’s shadow chairman, Rush Limbaugh, opened his yap in January 2009. And they have assiduously followed that path ever, not caring how much damage to America would follow from their efforts to bring down the president. Their perverted patriotism has been in full bloom ever since as they blocked and blocked and blocked measures designed to put the jobless back to work and revive an economy shaken to its roots by recklessness, bad policy and inadequate government oversight.
And now, on top of everything else, they hope to win this election by pinning the growing national debt that is so very much the consequences of trying to repair the wreckage from that recklessness, from two wars of choice and decades of rotten tax policy on Democrats in general and Obama in particular.
Before hundreds of Arkansans, Clinton pointed to the debt clock the Republicans hoped would be a key focus of their convention until stumbling speeches and an empty chair took over public discourse. “You see that debt clock?” Clinton asked. A man in the audience said, “They built it!”
“Yeah,” said Clinton, “they built it. They built it.”
The reason President Obama did that stimulus is, when interest rates are zero, and there is no private activity, if the government does not step in to put people to work and to help people get through the day, they won’t make it.
So his contribution to that big ol’ debt clock that you saw is the $ 800 billion stimulus. All those other trillions and trillions of dollars? He had nothing to do with that.
Clinton concluded with a blast at Republican efforts to keep people from voting, noting in some detail the cases of Pennsylvania and Ohio:
“Do you really want to live in a country where one party is so desperate to win the White House that they go around trying to make it harder for people to vote if they’re people of color, poor people or first generation immigrants?
As Ari Berman, who has been brilliantly following the voter suppression efforts for The Nation, pointed out, this isn’t the first time Clinton has taken the Republicans to task for their efforts to make it tough for some people to vote. At the Campus Progress convention last year, he said:
“One of the most pervasive political movements going on outside Washington today is the disciplined, passionate, determined effort of Republican governors and legislators to keep most of you from voting next time. There has never been in my lifetime, since we got rid of the poll tax and all the other Jim Crow burdens on voting, the determined effort to limit the franchise that we see today. [...]
Why is all this going on? This is not rocket science. They are trying to make the 2012 electorate look more like the 2010 electorate than the 2008 electorate.
Source: Daily Kos