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Democrats have made much hay over House Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s post-2010 midterm speech at the Heritage Foundation in which he says “our top political priority over the next two years should be to deny President Obama a second term”. And rightly so. If a party decides denying Obama a second term takes priority over all else, it’s a given that it will do its best to trash the economy. After all, it’s an established fact that the one thing that can lose a president re-election is a bad economy. So, while it might seem like a no-brainer to have as a primary goal the unseating of an opposing president, the implications are quite severe. Could attempting to unseat Obama, for instance, necessitate something as bad for America as a credit rating-lowering debt default fiasco? So, obviously to people who follow politics, Republicans adopted a strategy of denying Obama the votes to get anything done to improve the economy while simultaneously highlighting how bad the economy was.

All this was fleshed out recently in a Michael Grunwald column in Time, which is unfortunately behind a firewall. He details a series of meetings in December 2008 of the Republican House leadership where (in true Nixonian fashion) excerpts from George C. Scott’s opening speech in Patton are played to give Republicans the gumption to do what they believe to be their best strategy: oppose everything. “If [Obama] was for it,” former Ohio Senator George Voinovich explained, “we had to be against it.” And bills that did get passed, such as PPACA and ARRA were misrepresented ad nauseam. It’s worth a read.

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