Politics Nation's Al Sharpton and Sen. Bernie Sanders respond to some of the recent attacks by Republicans that Think Progress highlighted here -- VIDEO: As Republicans Spread ‘Politics Of Division,’ They Hypocritically Accuse Opponents Of Doing The Same:
Over the last few weeks, Republicans have begun decrying the “politics of division” supposedly emanating from the White House and Occupy Wall Street, climaxing with Budget Chairman Rep. Paul Ryan’s (R-WI) speech at the Heritage Foundation on Wednesday. Clearly, these Republicans suffer from some memory loss, or a lack of self-awareness, or both. For some time now, these same people crying about “pitting Americans against Americans” have been enthusiastically labeling various people or groups in American politics as enemies, painting political disagreements as stark divisions over morality and worldview, and describing the Obama administration and Democrats as destructive, tyrannical, and un-American. ThinkProgress has the video report.
Sanders responded by pointing out how Republicans have been doing everything in their power to protect the upper one percent while pushing to destroy what's left of our social safety nets for the other ninety nine percent of us. They also discussed David Axelrod's recent appearance on CNN where, as Steve Benen noted, he was the latest to raise the issue of whether Republicans are sabotaging the economy on purpose for political gain.
David Axelrod, a senior campaign strategist for President Obama, talked yesterday with CNN’s Candy Crowley, who asked whether it’s surprising that the White House has had “a hard time with Congress.” Axelrod responded:
“I think this is something — something different going on right now. When you have the leader — the Republican leader of the Senate say, ‘Our number one goal — in the midst of this economy, our number one goal is to defeat the president,’ and they’re acting like it.
“They don’t want to cooperate. They don’t want to help. Even on measures to help the economy that they traditionally have supported before, like a payroll tax cut, like infrastructure, rebuilding our roads and bridges and surface transport. These — so you have to ask you a question: Are they willing to tear down the economy in order to tear down the president or are they going to cooperate?
“And, listen, there’s a reason why the Congress is at 9 percent in some polls, approval, lowest in history. Because this is different than we’ve ever seen before.” [emphasis added]
[...] In other words, the “sabotage” question — concerns that Republicans are deliberately hurting the country, holding back the economy on purpose, for the express purpose of undermining the Obama presidency — is gaining mainstream traction. No one close to the president has been willing to broach this provocative line, and now we have one of Obama’s top political aides raising the question on national television.
Greg Sargent added, “At the very least, this may be the first time a top Obama campaign official has linked this argument to the idea that this GOP behavior may be historically unprecedented, and that it may be a key reason for Congress’ historical unpopularity — it’s a broadening of the indictment.”
As Steve noted, it's hardly shocking that people are wondering out loud if Republicans are trying to damage the economy on purpose. I just have to wonder why it's taken this long for many of them to finally say it.