The Amnesia of Republican Governors

The Amnesia of Republican Governors

In an article entitled “Breaking: Governors say governors make awesome presidential candidates,” Sean Sullivan passes on a quotation from a U.S. Chamber of Commerce event that occurred today. NBC News, which was covering the meeting, claimed that Governor Chris Christie said, “I am convinced that the next president of the United States is going to be a governor, and it needs to be. We have had the experiment of a legislator who’s never run anything getting on-the-job training in the White House. It has not been pretty.”

Governor Christie’s statement goes far beyond the realm of amnesia, and I am not so certain of Sean Sullivan’s ability to be anything other than an ideological hack. To have a “columnist” quote a set of Republican governors about the feasibility of a Republican governor running the nation and then not mention the most recent such example is almost audacious enough to leave one in a state of flatulent admiration. Excuse me, Governor Christie and Mr. Sullivan, but were the two terms of former Governor George W. Bush so successful that one yearns for another summer of 2007 to happen again? President Obama has been a substantial disappointment, but the nation at the present moment is not poised on the brink of utter economic collapse.

I agree that it has “not been pretty” to watch President Obama ignore the plight of working-class and middle-class baby boomers as our lives get thrown in the dumpsters of underemployment or unemployment. How many baby boomers born between 1946 and 1954 would say that their lives are better off now than four years ago, when Obama had been in office for two years? Less than a third, I would hazard to guess, and that is why I did not vote for him in 2012.

On the other hand, the debacle of Bush’s presidency, in both foreign policy (especially in regards to the invasion of Iraq) and domestic economy, is on a scale that dwarfs Obama’s failure to provide a jobs program that meets the on-going crisis of employment and equitable wages. Perhaps, though, in yearning for a Republican governor who will equal if not surpass Bush’s ability to send the nation hurtling towards systemic implosion, the commentators quoted by Mr. Sullivan are unwittingly giving the remnants of the Occupy movement such hope for the future. After all, the next time the entire banking system is in such bad shape that it needs to ask for hundreds of billions of dollars in assistance, I doubt that the Occupy movement will need more than 48 hours to bring foot traffic for anyone but protestors to a complete halt.

I profoundly hope that this country does not reach that point of confrontation, but I am not optimistic that such an outcome would not happen, should another Republic governor be elected President. One only has to remember the presidency of another Republican governor, Ronald Reagan, to find another example of a major banking crisis in the second term. “Be careful what you wish for,” is ancient advice. Republican governors may well get their wish and rue the outcome during the third decade of this century. It won’t be another version of Obama who follows as a consequence of that economic catastrophe. It will be someone who makes Elizabeth Warren look middle-of-the-road.

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