In an article originally generated by the Associated Press and published on the FoxNEWS website, the cynical strategy originated by the Republicans after Obama’s 2008 election is revealed. Selected excerpts from the article:
All but wiped out in 2008, Republicans groping for a comeback strategy determined there would be no swift return to economic health under incoming President Obama.
They soon also agreed privately to oppose his major legislation. Over the next two years, they criticized, attacked, voted against and then attacked some more as Democrats struggled to pass an economic stimulus measure, health care legislation and a bill to rein in Wall Street.
Unemployment, 7.4 percent when Obama took office, soared to 10.1 percent, then barely budged for months.
On Election Day, those calculations made in Republican suites in the Capitol reaped dividends that must have seemed almost unimaginable even to the architects of their strategy: a gain of 60-plus House seats, enough to win a majority and end two years of Democratic dominance in Congress, as well as six new seats in the Senate.
… Many economists agree the economic stimulus, with its combination of tax cuts, aid to states and federal spending on construction and other areas, did create jobs. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke told Congress in July that “we should maintain our stimulus in the short term” to strengthen the recovery and help reduce unemployment.
It was not a point Republicans chose to acknowledge.
… Republicans correctly foresaw that unemployment would rise, and that if the economy remained weak, Obama and Democrats would get little or no credit from the voters for having stopped a near collapse. The GOP would not have fared so well if voters had agreed with leading economists who said things would have been much worse without those actions, or if Obama’s economic fixes had hastened the recovery.
… Ten months later, victorious Republicans met to plan their transition to power in the House — just as it was announced that the economy created 151,000 jobs.