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Rich James: Maybe GOP does need a prayer

Rich James

Rich James

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Updated: January 23, 2012 3:24AM



For a group that controls most of the wealth in this country, Republicans really aren’t the brightest bulbs in the box.

The GOP is six months away from going headlong into the primary election process, and they don’t have a clue as to whom they will put forward to take on Barack Obama.

It’s so bad, that Texas Gov. Rick Perry might suddenly become the frontrunner when he announces his candidacy this weekend.

Perry is the guy who signed one of the biggest tax hikes in Texas history and suggested a few years ago that the state withdraw from the union.

And last weekend at Perry’s prayerfest — which he insisted wasn’t political — he said the nation has to turn to God to fix what ails us.

Such devotion may play well with the evangelical base of the party, but it’s not going to create the first job.

No, don’t look to God. It’s going to take Democrats and Republicans working together to right the ship. Instead of doing that, they just keep bailing.

You get the feeling that some Republicans think any of their announced candidates — including the very limited Michele Bachmann — can beat Obama.

After all, Obama hasn’t — in just over half a term — fixed the worst mess inherited by a president since FDR.

I so often wonder what the nation would be like today if the Supreme Court hadn’t stolen the election from Al Gore in 1980 and handed the office to an inept George Bush.

Think about it. With Gore, there wouldn’t have been wars in Iraq and Afghanistan or tax cuts for the wealthy. And without those things, the nation likely would be on pretty solid financial footing.

Anyway, back to reality.

Every time a Republican finds himself in front of a TV camera, he or she asks Obama, “Where are the jobs.”

You might want to pose that question to the wealthy who continue to enjoy the Bush tax cuts and stuff the money in their pockets rather than creating jobs.

There are two key elements in jobs and money. And each will play a major role in the 2012 presidential election.

Democrats know it. Republicans don’t seem to.

Republicans ask Obama about the jobs but offer no proposals of their own to create any.

You get the feeling Republicans don’t want to see a plethora of jobs all of a sudden.

You get the feeling they want to keep things depressed to enhance their chances to beat Obama.

That’s a mistake. The polls show the American people are a whole lot more upset with Congress than the president.

Obama’s approval rating still hovers at 50 percent. It’s about half that for those in Congress.

But the Republicans’ biggest mistake is their unwavering stance to protect the Bush tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans and their refusal to close tax loopholes for corporations, including for the oil companies making record profits.

Most Americans aren’t wealthy, and as the middle class continues to dwindle, there is more resentment toward Republicans protecting the rich.

Republicans started finding that out this week as they returned home and began hosting town hall meetings.

Sen. John McCain, the party nominee in 2008, was among those booed. And he doesn’t even drink tea.

Come to think of it, maybe Rick Perry is right. As pathetic as the Republicans seem to be — and don’t forget this is the party of Sarah Palin — maybe God is their only hope.

Rich James’ column appears on Fridays.



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