Issue #69

Last Update October 31, 2010

National  GOP=Hamas? by Gerry Krownstein April 5, 2009   In the early years of the Clinton presidency the GOP members of the House and Senate adopted a scorched-earth, take no prisoners policy of non-cooperation with the Democratic president. The Gingrich Revolution accomplished nothing much in terms of policy, but did succeed in closing down the government for a while, a feat that earned them the contempt of the American public and restored Clinton's damaged ratings. They are attempting the same tactic against a far more disciplined and competent President Obama, who has a very worried American public very much on his side. Despite his outreach to Republicans, to the point of modifying legislation to make it easier for GOP legislators to vote for, he has very little to show for it when it comes to Republican cooperation, or even constructive criticism. Like Hamas, who maintain that a Middle East settlement is impossible without the destruction of Israel, the GOP seems set on a policy of Obama failure at any cost to the nation. This is not playing well in the polls. 

Mr. Obama is perhaps the most pragmatic president we have had in a long time, and his desire for civility towards the other party will not interfere with his clear focus on long-range goals, and on the restructuring of important elements of our polity. GOP obstructionist tactics will, perhaps, have a delaying effect on Obama's progress, but if Republicans and other conservatives (the moderate wing of the party has long since been excised) want to actually have an impact on results, they need to do three things: prepare realistic policy alternatives of their own that actually take into consideration current conditions and the role their past policies had in putting us in the mess we are in; be prepared to accept compromise and trade-offs to see at least a portion of their program adopted; and begin listening to those Republican Governors out there who have signed on to at least a portion of the Obama program to benefit their troubled states. The "Just Say No" stance will not work in the current economic, environmental and foreign policy crises any more than it did to prevent teen pregnancy. 

Hamas' aggressive intransigence has intensified the misery of the people they purport to lead and care for. Congressional Republican intransigence will make it more difficult to prevent harm coming to Americans, while further marginalizing the party as out of touch and unconcerned. If they feel Democratic policies will not get us out of the mess we are in, let them come up with alternative policies that make sense, instead of just digging in their heels. Otherwise they will indeed be the party of Rush Limbaugh, and very few others. 

New York Stringer is published by For all communications, contact David Katz, Editor and Publisher, at

All content copyright 2010  by