NEW YORK DAILY NEWS MONDAY, OCTOBER 14, 2013, 10:38 PM
When I was a kid in Brooklyn there was a mock nursery rhyme: “In 1492/Columbus had nuthin’ to do/ So he sat on the grass/ And scratched his ass/ In 1492 . . .”
And 521 years after Columbus “discovered” America, on the holiday celebrating the noted explorer, America was still closed for business. And in 2013 Congress had nothing to do, so it sat on a hill of grass scratching its collective ass.
Even on Columbus Day.
Columbus and his band of European Christian white guys had sloshed ashore to civilize the “savage” red man. And half a millennium later words like “deadlocked,” “debt ceiling,” “fiscal cliff,” “sequester,” “continuing resolution” and “default” clogged the headlines and airwaves like a logjam of political inertia that has made us the laughingstock of the world.
But this isn’t about money, debt or deficit. It’s about race.
These extremists have not yet been able to accept, even after two decisive national elections, that a black man occupies the White House.
MICHAEL REYNOLDS/EPA——-The sun sets on the Capitol in Washington on Monday after another day of inaction.
For some of them, their single goal as members of Congress is to make this first African-American President fail.
President Obama has failed at many things all on his own, disappointing many in his own Democratic Party. He failed to close Guantanamo Bay, as he promised. He failed to bring a swift end to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. He failed to curtail the government’s invasion of our privacy. Obama has failed to remove the cop-of-the-world badge from Uncle Sam’s top hat after 12 years of awful, bloody, deadly war.
Obama and Secretary of State Kerry were itching to go to war with Syria until our old warmongering nemesis Russia persuaded Syria to agree to start dismantling its chemical weapon stockpile.
Not everyone who opposes Obama is a racist.
Nor did most opponents of his Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare, vote against it for racial reasons. Most Republicans voted against it for legitimate political and ideological reasons.
They are conservatives. Not racists. But this bill passed both houses of Congress, was signed by the President and upheld as constitutional by the Supreme Court. It’s the law of the land in a nation of laws. If you are a patriotic American, you will respect the law.
It was ratified once more by the American people with Obama’s overwhelming reelection last year in which his health care law was a central campaign issue.
Now a small crew of hard-core, right-wing extremist Republicans have hijacked their own party. They have led us to the brink of default and international mockery because they want Obama to renegotiate the Affordable Care Act, the single biggest accomplishment of his presidency.
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If a wiseguy on 18th Ave. in Brooklyn tried to squeeze someone like this, he would be collared on a RICO indictment.
This crew of right-wing loonies does not want Obama to succeed, so they hold the entire country hostage. It doesn’t matter that the latest Wall Street Journal/NBC Poll shows that their own Republican Party has sunk to historic lows in public opinion. That even sane, conservative Republicans like Sen. John McCain and Rep. Pete King warn of political blowback.
This small crew of frightened white men wants Obama to fail because they can’t accept a black President succeeding in their anachronistic vision of America.
The worst part is that the Republican Party allows this extortion to continue because its cowardly leadership fears primary challenges financed by the odious Koch brothers, who have bottomless pockets.
So just as this Congress failed to pass serious gun legislation after 20 kids were slaughtered — just before last Christmas — in Newtown, Conn., this Columbus Day, on Capitol Hill, with three days until the United States of America faces default, the Congress had nothing to do.
So it just sat on the grass and scratched its ass 521 years after 1492.