Commentary: GOP Engaged in Campaign to Erode the Democratic Base

Discussion of president’s birth certificate is just a big old smoke screen.

Posted: 05/02/2011 08:15 AM EDT
Filed Under Barack Obama

President Obama

The Republican Party seems to be engaged in a strategic campaign to erode the traditional Democratic voting base, thus thwarting President Barack Obama’s return to the White House in 2012.


By now, many of you have heard about the far right’s move to have Obama impeached under the guise that he was not born on U.S. soil—even though the president was born here and has the birth certificate to prove it.  


These right-wing extremists include a bevy of conspiracy theorists, tea baggers and some members of the Republican Party. This motley crew of anti-Obama supporters is the voting base that real-estate mogul Donald Trump is pandering to when he parades in front of the national media challenging the authenticity of the president of the United States birth certificate, a move so extreme that even some Republicans have asked Trump to lay off.

I won’t dignify Trump and his ilk’s absurd accusation with a rebuttal. That job has already been done eloquently enough by the White House and others. I will say that it is truly a sad day in American politics when partisan opponents of a sitting president feel the need to stoop so low as to question his U.S. citizenry. I guess all is fair in love and politics, especially when the ultimate goal is power. What’s sadder is the fact that American media spends so much time pursuing a right wing and somewhat racist conspiracy that was debunked during the 2008 Presidential campaign.  


Surely there are more pressing issues for people to look at? But maybe that’s the point of this political fiasco, because while the nation’s eyes are focused on the president’s birth certificate, Republicans and their strategists are busy cutting social programs to the bare bones and passing laws on a state-by-state basis that, when enacted, effectively hinder the ability of students, union members, Blacks and Latinos to fully participate in the electoral process.

If you have been following my commentary for the past few weeks, then you know that Republican states like Wisconsin, New Hampshire and Florida have either proposed and/or passed laws to this effect. Wisconsin passed a law that prohibits the majority of its state workers from engaging in any kind of collective bargaining with the state. The law also made it illegal for state workers to have their union dues automatically deducted from their wages. New Hampshire passed a law that requires college students to prove their parent’s residency of a year or more in order for them to register to vote in the city where their college or university is located. And Florida (whose track record with voter issues is epic in scope), has passed a series of laws that effectively make it harder for Blacks and Latinos to register and vote.

Since the unions, college students, Blacks and Latinos are a major portion of Obama’s constituency, the implications of these laws become abundantly clear: The Republican Party has a clear mission to ruin the traditional Democratic voting base. In light of this, the trivial controversy surrounding Obama’s birth certificate becomes nothing more than a convenient smoke screen that any progressive-thinking person can easily see through.


(Photo:Kevin Lamarque/Landov)