President Obama: House Republicans are the “Biggest Barrier and Impediment” to American Progress

obama-gopSpeaking at a fundraiser for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, President Obama said what liberals (and most Americans) have been saying for years — House Republicans are the problem.

During his speech, the president said:

“The biggest barrier and impediment we have right now is the Congress, and in particular the House of Representatives, that is not focused on getting the job done for the American people and is a lot more focused on trying to position themselves for the next election.”

Now, to be fair, all politicians are trying to position themselves to win the next election.  What I think President Obama was more specifically alluding to was the way in which Republicans blatantly pander to the tea party out of fear of facing a primary challenge from their own party.

And he was undoubtedly referring to their ridiculous obstruction toward anything that might have helped our economy leading up to the 2012 election.  Republicans deliberately tried to sabotage our economic growth, hoping that by doing so they might prevent Obama from winning re-election.

But for years House Republicans have been the problem.  Quite a few times the Senate has passed a bipartisan piece of legislation that President Obama said he would sign, only to have it die in the House of Representatives because Speaker of the House John Boehner wouldn’t even allow it to come up for a vote.

Our government shutdown was a perfect example of this.  Before the shutdown began, the House of Representatives was given a continuing resolution that the Senate passed, and would have kept the government open — except Boehner refused to allow the House to vote on a clean version of the Senate’s resolution.

Immigration reform is another great example of this.  A few months ago the Senate crafted bipartisan immigration reform which the president said he would sign — yet it sat in the House of Representatives, with Boehner saying the House has no plans to take up the Senate’s immigration bill.

While Republicans like to use the line that the House of Representatives “is the people’s house,” they always fail to mention a key fact — Republicans might control the House, but Democrats actually won the overall popular vote in the House last fall by over 1.5 million votes.

If it wasn’t for Republicans gerrymandering congressional districts in their states, Democrats would control the House of Representatives.

After all, you really can’t “represent the people” when the majority of the people who voted last fall didn’t vote for your party.

I just hope Obama’s remarks at this fundraiser are the first step in him taking the offensive against the Republican party.  Far too often he’s allowed Republicans to control the message.  However, heading into 2014, I firmly believe we must take the fight to them.

Allen Clifton

Allen Clifton is a native Texan who now lives in the Austin area. He has a degree in Political Science from Sam Houston State University. Allen is a co-founder of Forward Progressives and creator of the popular Right Off A Cliff column and Facebook page. Be sure to follow Allen on Twitter and Facebook, and subscribe to his channel on YouTube as well.


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  • Skip Patterson

    “However, heading into 2014, I firmly believe we must take the fight to them.”

    Absolutely, as one of the speakers said at the DNC convention last year, “Democrats need to grow a spine.” This is political warfare that we are engaged in which our type of government and our freedoms really are at stake.

    • Stephen Barlow

      If they had spine, Scalia and Roberts wouldn’t be on the bench!!! Neither would Alito, Thomas or Kennedy.

      We would get more and fairer justice from the Joker, the Riddler, Lex Luthor, Darth Vader and either Boris or Natascha.

  • Peter Gatliff

    The GOP sucker punched FDR nearly causin another Deppression by defunding new Deal Programs. This doesnt include delaying SSI checks form 1935 to 1941. And the iceing on the cake GOP and Corporations attempted a Coup De’tate with help from benito Mussolini of the US Government over workers laws such as unemployment insrunace, 40 hour work week and laws protect union labor. It was called the “Business Plot”. Fine bunch of Americans.

    • strayaway

      “Roosevelt himself called Mussolini “admirable” and professed that he was “deeply impressed by what he has accomplished.”” Mussolini also admired FDR prior to the war.

      Quoting Roosevelt, “If we are to go forward, we must move as a trained and loyal army willing to sacrifice for the good of a common discipline. We are, I know, ready and willing to submit our lives and property to such discipline, because it makes possible a leadership which aims at a larger good. I assume unhesitatingly the leadership of this great army.…I shall ask the Congress for the one remaining instrument to meet the crisis—broad executive power to wage a war against the emergency, as great as the power that would be given to me if we were in fact invaded by a foreign foe.” Hitler called that power an enabling act. Muduro just received that Power in Venezuela.

      quotes from “Hitler, Mussolini, Roosevelt: What FDR had in common with the other charismatic collectivists of the 30s” found at reasonDOTcom
      The dark corporatist days of FDR were a far cry from the Harding/Coolidge era of peace and prosperity.

      • Stephen Barlow

        The Teapot Dome/Laissez faire era was peaceful because the Great War was OVER. There were no soldiers left to fight and no winning strategy available. The PRODUCTION of the new technologies (cars and planes) was what made those years prosperous.

        Had intelligent regulation been in force in1928, then 1929 would have been a banner year. Had THAT been the case, Roosevelt most likely would not have been needed, a growing America would have been able to stand up to Hitler and stomped the Versailles out of him before the Olympics.

        But NOTHIHNG Hrding nor Coolidge did was in ANY WAY beneficial to America. They were the primitive Bush Family nincompoops.

      • strayaway

        Faced with 11% unemployment in the first year of his administration partly due to the war ending and the troops reentering the workforce, Harding cut federal spending and taxes. He reduced unemployment from over 11% to less than 4% in two years.

        Money can be made out of all sorts of new technologies. China and Asian countries prove that.

        You confuse the administrations of harding and Coolidge with that of Hoover. All were Republicans but Hoover had a different response. He tried to implement make work policies and expanded government. Hoover was to Roosevelt much as Bush was to Obama. Roosevelt was able to do things Hoover wasn’t after he appointed his own Supreme Court which guaranteed perpetually high unemployment. After seven years of Roosevelt, unemployment was still 17%. He instituted the draft, devalued the dollar by a third, had farmers dumping milk while the unemployed stood in bread lines, and put Japanese Americans in prison camps. He was, in short, a president President Obama admires. Happy days are here again for you maybe.

        For myself, I prefer the smaller government, peace, and prosperity of the Harding/Coolidge administration to the opposite under Hoover/Roosevelt and Bush/Obama.

      • Stephen Barlow

        Hoover instituted massive austerity which magnified the problem, just as McCain would have done if elected. America might not have ended up like Greece or Spain, but more like Ireland. The WPA and CCC were ROOSEVELT IDEAS.

        If the Republicans hadn’t pulled a Boehner and scuttled the recovery by voting down a second stimulus… we wouldn’t have needed to wait for prosperity until AFTER the inevitable WWII.

        And imprisoning the AmJaps, while morally wrong and paranoid, is as shameful a blot as Abu Grabe, except without the Bush Regime Torture.

      • strayaway

        Really? Hoover was a massive austerity guy?

        from wikipedia- ” Hoover tried to combat the ensuing Great Depression with government enforced efforts, public works projects such as the Hoover Dam, tariffs such as theSmoot-Hawley Tariff, an increase in the top tax bracket from 25% to 63%, and increases in corporate taxes.” Hoover passed the ” Emergency Relief and Construction Act, which authorized funds for public works programs and the creation of the Reconstruction Finance Corporation (RFC). The RFC’s initial goal was to provide government-secured loans to financial institutions, railroads and farmers. The RFC had minimal impact at the time, but was adopted by President Franklin D. Roosevelt and greatly expanded as part of his New Deal.” ” Franklin D. Roosevelt blasted the Republican incumbent for spending and taxing too much, increasing national debt, raising tariffs and blocking trade, as well as placing millions on the government dole. Roosevelt attacked Hoover for “reckless and extravagant” spending, of thinking “that we ought to center control of everything in Washington as rapidly as possible”. Roosevelt’s running mate, John Nance Garner, accused the Republican of “leading the country down the path of socialism”. See? Hoover was to Roosevelt as Bush was to Obama.

        McCain is a big spender who also supported the Wall Street bailout.Since republicans were very much a minority party under Roosevelt, how could they have voted down a second stimulus prior to WWII?

      • Stephen Barlow

        You said it yourself… AUSTERITY!!!! The Hoover Plan did no address the needs of the people, it was solely designed to salvage Corporate interests. Much like TARP, which did nothing to STOP the high dive of the economy into a little tiny cup.

        (Ever wonder HOW the most successful banker in Goldman-Sachs history “didn’t see it coming”, yet still managed to pull out a ready made plan to ‘solve the problem’ within 5 business days of his announcement that the Economy was imploding? Ask yourself ‘What was the real purpose of the 1008 Tax Rebate?’ Was it to shove the foreseeable implosion into the next administration under cover of an artificially manufactured 3.9% GDP? You know… the ‘fundamentals of the economy’ that were fine a month before the Big Bang!)

        “The RFC’s initial goal was to provide government-secured loans to financial institutions, railroads and farmers. The RFC had minimal impact at the time, but was adopted { better wording = improved on and expanded} by President Franklin D. Roosevelt and greatly expanded as part of his New Deal.”

        A tiny dose of public relations voodoo wasn’t going to fix a PREVENTABLE VIA REGULATION AND OVERSIGHT (which is where your Harding/Coolidge worship comes in) disaster. Funny how history repeats itself. The ONLY reason FDR’s EXPANSION of the “Hoover Plan” worked so well was the SIZE AND SCOPE of it! Which was AUSTERITY plan.

        That and the VERY FACT that Hoover gave money to the rich and created no jobs for the poor! No different than TARP, which just funded bank mergers and did nothing to reduce toxic debt. Or reduce ‘too big to fail’. if anything TARP magnified the ‘too big’ and all but insured another fail.

        HOW did Obama STOP the bottomless dive of the markets and STOP 750,000 and growing job losses per month?

        WITH A REAL JOB AND INFRASTRUCTURE stimulus. TARP failed to stop the exsanguination of the stock markets because it was “the Hoover Plan” all over again. It just funneled money to the few without benefiting the many and most affected.

        The REASON Obama’s stimulus worked so well and so quickly was that he caught the ball before it hit the ground and didn’t let Republicans punt it around as a fumble. Had FDR NOT been entrenched so deeply by 1000 days of ‘the Hoover Plan’ magnifying the problem… Maybe it would have only been a recession.
        (Japan in the 90’s had a similar problem of too austere of stimulus programs. They were not strong enough nor closely administered enough to make a real impact on their economy. (Which is why Republicans pointe to the failure and yet again, publicly drew the misinformed conclusion.)

        But then again, if Obama had dragged his feet a little longer, maybe the PPACA would have turned into as great a success as Social Security and the New Deal a whole lot sooner.

        I really enjoy intelligent discussion, particularly without the insulting rhetoric so popularly unprofitable these days. We need to clone you and send you to Washington.

        Have a great dinner and Happy CAPITALISM after the ball games.

      • strayaway

        “The ONLY reason FDR’s EXPANSION of the “Hoover Plan” worked so well was the SIZE AND SCOPE of it!”

        Now you are agreeing that they were on the same page. However, I wouldn’t call FDR a success. He had over 17% unemployment after being in office for seven years. Austerity worked though under Harding/Coolidge; Harding having driven down unemployment from over 11% to under 4% in a couple of years. That is success, not 17% or even 7.3% unemployment. Did you even read what I wrote? Why am I talking to bricks? Hoover started building dams and even FDR’s VP called Hoover a Communist. Senator Obama lobbied for and voted for TARP by the way. Where’s Obama’s Hoover dams to show for all the money he spent?

        Obama’s porkulus did not work. The Fed is still pouring $85B/month into the economy. Had porkulus worked, that wouldn’t be necessary. Then there is the $7T of debt offsetting whatever little good porkulus and the Fed do. It’s like me getting a bank loan to have a brand new Cadillac in my driveway. All the neighbors are impressed with how good I am doing but the bank note is coming do.

      • Stephen Barlow

        the ’36 and ’38 elections changed what majority Roosevelt had in ’32 and ’34. Most people who knew less then than the trailer parkers in the South do now couldn’t see that a cast doesn’t heal a broken bone, it only allows support while time, care, nurture and change do their work.

        If there had been a second phase of the newDeal allowed by the ’36 and ’38 Congresses… the economy wouldn’t have flatlined in late ’37 and stayed down until the middle of the war.

      • strayaway

        Always excuses. FDR had Democratic majorities in both houses and he appointed a rubber stamp Supreme Court. He devalued the dollar by a third and he still couldn’t get unemployment down without a World war.

    • Stephen Barlow

      Same thing happened with the 113th Congress!!! Obama saves the world and the Republicans screw everybody to jink their salvation.

  • Jim Bean

    When liberals get full control, what do you get? Detroit. California. But hey, there’s no question they meant well and after all, isn’t that what really matters?

    • Stephen Barlow

      Funny, I thought we got the biggest, longest lasting economic BOOM in world history!!!

      I really thought we got out of THREE Republican Depression/Recessions!!! Or was that Nixon Ford thing just runaway inflation as a product of that stellar Hoover/Reagan/Bush/Bush jr economic fallacy the REDS are always lying about.

      3 recessions under Reagan, the S&L implosion under Bush Uno, The BOOM during Clinton despite Ken Starr and his National Inquirer level report, then three recessions including the once a Century one under Dubya….

      Gimme a Truman, a Kennedy… Even a Carter before another RED assed BABOON!

      • Jim Bean

        The ‘recession’ you think you’re in now is the result of the housing bubble burst. The housing bubble was a period of artificially high and wholly unsustainable economic activity caused by a left wing social engineering experiment (subprime mortgages/fairness in lending/Community Reinvestment Act) that was poorly thought out and horribly mismanaged (Reno suing banks for not making bad loans) that became a runaway train. The economy is right now, where it would have been all along if Reno hadn’t stuck her nose where it didn’t belong. Dems create tragedies that don’t materialize until someone else is in office (just like Obama is trying to delay the Obamacare tragedy for the next administration to endure) and then they blame them for the outcomes.

    • charleo1

      Then, why are all the Red States sucking up all the government
      money, if Republicans have all the answers? Now, if having the
      lowest wages, the most poverty, the highest dropout rates, the
      most children living in poverty, and of those who are poor, and
      remain in those States, being the most likely to die like they lived.
      That’s not my idea of America. Republicans left to their own,
      devises, are much like the guy who wants everyone to think he
      quit smoking. When all he did was quit paying for the habit.

      • Jim Bean

        Maryland is the richest state. Cumberland MD is the 8th poorest city in the country. It is one of the western-most cities, is in Appalachia, has less population (and therefore less voters) per square mile than the eastern regions. If you can connect the dots on how this city came to be the 8th poorest, you will have figured out for yourself why red states need the most aid and why the blue regions are to blame for it.

      • charleo1

        I know. The Blue States are to blame for all of it!
        They freed their slaves. But the plantation mentality
        is alive, and well. Now what they claim is, the Dems.
        are just a buying votes, with other people’s money.
        Heard that? Thought so. So why are the Blue States
        paying the taxes, and the people in the Red States,
        the dems are given out the money to, supposedly to buy their votes. Keep voting straight Republican? I live in a Southern State. The rednecks will cash their disability checks, live in their subsidized housing, go to the doctor on Medicaid, collect unemployment, and cuss Democrats? I guess we should join the Republicans, and let ’em starve. Or better yet secede!

      • Jim Bean

        Blues could campaign for an 800 billion dollar stimulus package to go exclusively to Red states to foster job creation. You on board for that? Didn’t think so.

  • rally2xs

    The GOP is the President’s biggest problem in his quest to remake the USA into a mediocre Euro-socialist country. I’m going to keep voting for people that will make it tough for the President to complete his goal. Now maybe people will understand what Rush was talking about back in 2008 when “O” was elected, and Rush said, “I hope he fails.” So do I. And its unfortunate that he succeeded with O’care.

    • Stephen Barlow

      How decrepitly unAmerican of you. Bet you were the kid who took you ball home when no one picked you to play.