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UI Republicans mirror the State of the Union

BY GUEST OPINION | FEBRUARY 06, 2012 7:20 AM

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The University of Iowa College Republicans gave another of their countless, and certainly not their final, response to a Democratic president on Feb. 3. Rather than discussing substantive reform to solve our nation's economic troubles, the College Republicans chose once again to waste a minute of our editor's time with campaign slogans and empty rhetoric.

I must admit I didn't write that entire first paragraph myself. The College Republicans wrote the basic outline and said things that were more or less true. Of course, they conveniently left out that their op-ed in The Daily Iowan is exactly the same and offers absolutely no constructive policy points.

This economy is a bipartisan disaster. Democratic President Bill Clinton negotiated with Republican House and Senate majorities to repeal the regulations that would have prevented the economic crisis. Republican President George W. Bush concocted the idea of the "ownership society," backed up by the Republican House and Senate majorities, which encouraged everyone to buy a house, regardless of whether or not they could afford it and oversaw bank practices that were not only reckless but possibly criminal, even after the Gram-Leach-Bliley act of 1999. Even after winning the majority in the House in 2006, Speaker Nancy Pellosi decided let things deteriorate even further, and her House blocked the first iteration of TARP, only to pass the second with "bipartisan" support, and an extra few hundred billion in earmarks.

Even when President Obama was swept into the White House with a historic House majority and a not-insignificant Senate majority, he has been absolutely wrong on economic issues. Both of his economic-stimulus bills have been too small, too light on real, stimulative programs, and implemented merely for show, not for success. Meanwhile, the Bush holdovers in the Federal Reserve have kept their jobs even after making $7.77 trillion in secret loans at below-market rates to the banks.

You might think that this was limited to the Democrats' and Republicans' policies towards the financial services sector, but it goes beyond that. The Wikipedia blackout on Jan. 18 was in protest of two "bipartisan" measures, the Stop Online Piracy Act and the Protect Intellectual Property Act. These two measures were written by some guy in the media industry who got an "Internets for Dummies" book and thought he figured out the piracy problem, and because our elected representatives have already been paid for by the Motion Picture Association of America and other similar lobbying entities, it received "bipartisan" support when brought to Congress. Even after the blackout, Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid tried to force the measure through.

Being politically astute, Obama of course came out with a non-condemnation of the bills, saying that they were unacceptable as is, but that the core idea was good. He liked it so much that he signed the United States into an international agreement known as the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement, which includes its own section on Internet piracy that is just as ineffective at its stated purpose and even more dangerous than the policies proposed in Congress.

This is not to say that the Democrats and Republicans are exactly the same. After all, one party has a donkey as their mascot and the other an elephant. What I am saying is that on the issues that matter most, Democrats and Republicans have some terrifying similarities and that both Democrats and Republicans are the single, greatest cause of all the problems in America. Greater than government, greater than secular progressives, greater than the Tea Party, and even greater than China. We need to stop thinking of a vote for a Democrat or a Republican as a necessary vote for the lesser of two evils, as something we have to do to prevent disaster.

Both parties have lied to such an extent that they cannot be trusted with our vote anymore.

Cody Childs is an undergraduate student in mathematics and computer science at the UI.


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