Enough is enough of GOP leadership

Posted 10/1/08

The last eight years have been a devastating time, not just for my family and my community, but for our entire country. Thanks to Republican …

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Enough is enough of GOP leadership


The last eight years have been a devastating time, not just for my family and my community, but for our entire country.

Thanks to Republican deregulation of the services that Americans rely on — oil and gas, mortgage lending, communication corporations, the insurance industry — costs of sustaining our homes and caring for our families have skyrocketed.

President Bush’s stimulus plan masked the economic crises our country is facing. I’m willing to pay taxes, as long as that money gets to the classrooms, to police and fire personnel who ensure our safety, to protecting the environment, to building, maintaining and improving our roads, bridges, and levies.

Under the leadership of a conservative president, we’re paying more than ever, and getting less than ever. Sen. McCain promises to keep the $10 billion-a-month drain open and continue sacrificing the lives of our sons and daughters to protect the 2,300 American petroleum companies banking on Iraq oil and financing Republican campaigns.

Despite all that we have spent, we are even less safe than before. Osama Bin Laden still runs free, celebrating the death of his archenemy, Saddam Hussein, and the collapse of the American economy.

My husband is a rocket scientist for a leading defense contractor. Since we invaded Iraq — the country that had nothing to do with 9/11 — five years ago, defense programs and contracts have been dramatically cut. Congress can’t afford to invest in new technologies and security development. Our military resources are at an all-time low, and so is the morale of our servicemen and women.

These aren’t indicators of a strong national defense. These are the signs of strategic failure and flawed priorities. Just as it has taken us years to see the consequences of dismantling our regulatory programs, it will take time to feel the effects of depleting our military. But it is coming.

As North Korea and Iran become emboldened, we will not have the surveillance satellites, the machinery, the intelligence, the personnel, and especially not the diplomacy and international regard we had just 10 years ago.

It should be quite noteworthy that the Defense Daily publication, citing the Federal Election Commission, reported that Sen. Obama exceeded McCain in donations from defense aerospace company employees.

Now with our economy in a shambles and a national treasury plundered, Bush is asking taxpayers to bail out AIG.

Have we lost our minds?

When family farms asked for assistance, they were given the line called “free market principles.” Then, Republicans couldn’t secure our food supply, but now they are willing to spend your tax dollars to rescue private financial institutions.

Bankruptcies, unemployment, drop-out rates and foreclosures are at an all-time high and and still the fiscally reckless Republicans threaten that Obama is going to cost us.

It is the Republicans who have the long history of growing big government and waging expensive wars. The only president to balance the budget in the last two decades has been a “tax and spend” liberal. Remember that on Election Day.

During the brief time Republicans held the majority in Congress and the presidency, they consistently increased government spending and simultaneously sold out the American people to corporate lobbyists and CEO cronies for personal and political gain — all of which led to a record number of indictments and prison terms.

The numbers can be twisted, the lies repeated, but for those of us who haven’t gone numb in front of Fox television, we acknowledge the ongoing failure of Republican leadership.

Republicans know the score, so they were quite adept at shifting attention toward some lady from Alaska. McCain’s advisers finally found the balance to the candidate’s history of inaction with Gov. Palin’s drama, sparkle, and scandal.

The Republicans are gambling on their assumption that the American people are shallow and gullible. Their campaign team, loaded with pricey oil lobbyists, is hoping that you, the citizens of this country, will pay closer attention to seedy headlines than your energy bills, gas tanks, or your children’s future.

While the “fiscal conservatives” continue to deregulate our economic safeguards, religious fundamentalists like Palin threaten our personal liberties. The only McCain/Palin plan for Washington reform we will see is the regulation of our bodies and our bedrooms.

I’m a soccer mom from the suburbs and I’m hoping this small voice can be heard too. I vote, I pay taxes, and I’m fed up with the Republican way of life. My vote goes to Barack Obama and Joe Biden and public policies that actually serve the public.

I’m saying yes to bringing our troops home; ending No Child Left Behind; realizing energy independence; creating an affordable health care system; renewing international diplomacy; restoring our national defense; cutting taxes on the middle class; and returning to fiscal responsibility. Anyone who is sick enough to agree to another four years of sell outs and corporate fraud either swallowed the Republican fear pill, is afraid of a Harvard man with a black father, or simply isn’t paying attention.

Barack Obama understands, as we all must, that it is not just one man who will make the difference, but an entire country willing to finally stand up and say, “We expect more. We are better than this.”

It’s time. It’s more than time.

Angela Engel, a Centennial resident, was a 2006 Democratic candidate for the Colorado House of Representatives.


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