Even though it is certainly true (as liberals believe it to be) that the Republicans have been totally obstructionist to just about anything that Obama and the Democrats have wanted to do about the economy, it is not true (even though liberals want to believe it to be) that the Republicans just decided to do this out of the blue for reasons primarily based on their attempts to take over the government and do anything to stop the Obama administration from succeeding even if it means that they hurt America in the process of stopping Obama.
In other words, Obama and the Democrats aren't the poor little innocent victims being bullied by the nasty old Republicans that they want to pretend to be.
Or, another way to say it is, Obama and the Democrats are reaping what they sowed, or so it seems to me.
When Obama and the Democrats were swept into power in 2008 after having been frustratedly and furiously out of power for the eight years of W, they over-read their mandate. Parties that win often over-read their mandates and decide that they have finally won an argument that has spanned decades and the country has decided that their side was right all along, and that the country is eager to go along with the winners' sweeping programs and totally change the face of the country. To the Democrats, it seemed like a new era of liberalism, and they were going to create a change in the country that would rival the watershed presidencies of FDR and LBJ.
So, the first thing that Obama did was create a $900 billion Keynesian stimulus plan (which is more money than has been spent on the war in Iraq!). There were three problems with this bold move. First, the Republicans didn't believe in Keynesian economics and thought it was a disastrous idea. Second, Obama turned the thing over to the Democrats in congress who, in turn, pretty much ignored, and certainly did not invite, Republican input to the stimulus package. And third, the huge quantities of money spent were not smartly targeted to stimulate the economy, but had far too much of the odor of sending vast sums to liberal fellow travelers and long treasured liberal pet causes.
A short way of saying that is that Obama and the Democrats did pretty much what they wanted to do with this gigantic fortune of taxpayer money and pretty much told the Republicans to shove it.
Indeed, it may have saved some jobs along the way, but certainly didn't have the impact on jobs that the liberals thought it would.
Then, the second thing that Obama did was create a massive reform of the health care system. There were three things wrong with this bold move as well. First, the Republicans didn't believe in a national health care system and thought it was a disastrous idea. Second, Obama again turned it over to the Democrats of congress who, in turn pretty much ignored and certainly did not invite, Republican input to the Orwellian named "Affordable Care Act". Republicans screeched in protest, but it was mostly conservative Democrats that acted as a moderating influence on the final law. And third, the final product never had a large support from the general public despite the avid enthusiasm of liberals. Obamacare did not come to life as a result of a uprising of popular will, but rather was passed by hard core political action that ran roughshod over the opposition - the Republicans.
A short way of saying that is that Obama and the Democrats did pretty much what they wanted to do with this massive overhaul of a major portion of the economy and pretty much told the Republicans to shove it.
Indeed, it may actually be an improvement over the old health care system, if it survives a constitutional challenge in the Supreme Court, but the health care costs and system will continue to be a terrible problem in the country for a long time to come.
So, guess what happened? The Republicans won a major electoral victory in 2010, and they... over-read their mandate.
The Republicans decided that they would do pretty much what they wanted to do and would tell the Democrats to shove it. So, they came up with the terrible tactics of holding the government hostage by refusing to pay its bills by extending the debt ceiling until they got what they wanted on budget cutting without raising taxes.
So, let's see what the score is: Democrats got $900 billion stimulus spending and massive health care reform, and Republicans got a small amount of budget cutting without increasing taxes.
Now, who have been the bullies?