Obama's killing the economy on purpose!

A top Republican congressman says the president's strategy is to drive employment and stock prices lower as part of a power grab.

By Alex Koppelman
Published May 11, 2009 8:50PM (EDT)

When Republicans try to retake the House of Representatives next year, Rep. Pete Sessions, R-Texas, will be the man leading them. So he might want to come up with a more convincing message.

Sessions, who heads the National Republican Congressional Committee, doesn't just think President Obama's policies will harm the country. He thinks that's actually part of the president's plan -- a feature, not a bug.

According to the New York Times, in an interview with the paper Sessions said that the current administration wants to "diminish employment and diminish stock prices" in a "divide and conquer" strategy that's part of a power grab. He added that Obama's plans are "intended to inflict damage and hardship on the free enterprise system, if not to kill it" and that, come the fall of 2010, voters may again yearn for a time when, under Republicans, "many dreams were achieved."

For now, at least, the NRCC isn't retracting Sessions' remarks, though a committee spokesman did at least try to spin them a bit. The truth is that top Republicans simply can't say things like this, because they have to speak to independents, not just to their base. It's extremely unlikely anyone but the most die-hard Republicans will buy the argument that Obama's deliberately tanking the economy.

Of course, that doesn't mean Rush Limbaugh can't echo Sessions, and with fewer consequences. On his show Monday, the radio host was even blunter, talking about "forced reparations" -- and it's hard not to see a reference to Obama's race in that. His comments, via Think Progress:

As the economy performs worse than expected, the deficit for the 2010 budget year beginning in October will worsen by $87 billion to $1.3 trillion. The deterioration reflects lower tax revenues and higher costs for bank failures, unemployment benefits and food stamps. But in the Oval Office of the White House none of this is a problem. This is the objective. The objective is unemployment. The objective is more food stamp benefits. The objective is more unemployment benefits. The objective is an expanding welfare state. And the objective is to take the nation's wealth and return to it to the nation's quote, "rightful owners." Think reparations. Think forced reparations here if you want to understand what actually is going on.

Alex Koppelman

Alex Koppelman is a staff writer for Salon.

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