Republican Presidential candidate Rick Perry, threatening Federal Reserve Chair Ben Bernanke, over his efforts to boost the economy:
“If this guy prints more money between now and the election, I dunno what y’all would do to him in Iowa but we would treat him pretty ugly down in Texas. Printing more money to play politics at this particular time in history is almost treasonous in my opinion.”
Perry believes that efforts to help the economy are “politics” because helping the economy helps President Obama in the coming election. Perry’s comments brought into the open the Republican mindset about the economy: They want it to tank – and are working to tank it – because they believe a poor economy will help them in the coming election. They see helping the economy as “politics” that help Obama.
Hostage-Taking And Intimidation
Republicans recently threatened to take the country into default, which brought about the “credit-rating downgrade” from Standard & Poors. The result of this hostage-taking was an economy-killing deal to take trillions of dollars out of the economy, immediately sending the stock market and economic indicators like consumer confidence into a dive. Republicans previously used hostage-taking to keep tax cuts for the wealthy, thereby dramatically increasing deficits and economy-killing income/wealth disparity. Then they used hostage-taking threats to “shut down the government” to force economy-killing cuts in services to regular people.
Time after time Republicans are obstructing, delaying, bullying, doing whatever they can to keep the economy from recovering. Hostage-taking, intimidation, bullying tactics, and they are not even above use of physical threats to get their way.
JFK Assassinated In Texas
This flyer was circulating around Dallas in the days before Kennedy’s assassination:
Governor Perry threatened Fed Chair Ben Bernanke’s safety, using language echoing 60s-era accusations against President John F. Kennedy. A person who could be the next President accusing a public official of the death-penalty crime of “treason” is about as serious as it gets. On top of that, it is not easy to forget what this kind of talk means in Texas. President Kennedy was accused of “treason,” too, and Texas treated him “ugly” in November, 1963. There is no possibility that a Governor of the state of Texas is not very aware that this event occurred there, and of the political climate in Texas at the time it occurred, and of what saying to a high federal official that “we would treat him pretty ugly down in Texas” necessarily brings to mind.
Cut Him Slack?
In response to Perry’s threat against Bernanke, President Obama said he will “cut him some slack.”
“Mr. Perry just got into the presidential race. I think that everybody who runs for president, it probably takes them a little bit of time before they start realizing that this isn’t like running for governor or running for senator or running for Congress, and you’ve got to be a little more careful about what you say,” Obama responded.
“But I’ll cut him some slack. He’s only been at it for a few days now,” he said.
Cut him slack for threatening the Chairman of the Federal Reserve? Cut him slack for saying that efforts to get our economy going are “treason?”
Mr. President, you were elected by We, the People to empower and protect us. You have a duty to take on those who threaten us, and threaten our livelihoods and prosperity and wish to harm our government. You owe it to us to be tough in the face of intimidation and hostage-taking.
Mr. President, do not “cut them some slack” when they threaten us and take hostages! Confront them head on, shame them, call them out for these actions. If you “cut them some slack” the bullies will continue to do these things again and again, as they have been doing for some time. You owe it to us, to We, the People, to put a stop to this and we gave you the power to do that.
Dave Johnson (Redwood City, CA) is a Fellow at Campaign for America's Future, writing about American manufacturing, trade and economic/industrial policy. He is also a Senior Fellow with Renew California. Dave has more than 20 years of technology industry experience including positions as CEO and VP of marketing. His earlier career included technical positions, including video game design at Atari and Imagic. And he was a pioneer in design and development of productivity and educational applications of personal computers. More recently he helped co-found a company developing desktop systems to validate carbon trading in the US.
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