Still rooting for failure

STILL ROOTING FOR FAILURE…. The first few months of the Obama presidency were marked by a depressing far-right development — in the midst of multiple crises, high-profile conservatives publicly admitted they wanted to see the president’s efforts to help the country fail.

The rhetoric was fairly new for the American mainstream. While any president’s detractors tend to think his policies will fail, this president’s detractors went further, wishing that things go poorly for the United States. It runs against certain American norms to actively, publicly hope that the nation’s fortunes take a turn for the worse. That these same folks claim to have the high ground on “patriotism” made this all the more ridiculous.

In time, these far-right voices moved on to other unhinged campaigns, but the root-for-failure tendencies have not disappeared altogether. Matt Corley flags this exchange between Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) and radio host Scott Hennen, aired yesterday:

HENNEN: I’m proudly accepting that label of rooting for failure for his policies, not for any one personal individual or anything else, but, I mean, should we, is that what Republicans are doing? Are we rooting for failure? Is David Axelrod right?

BACHMANN: We’re, we’re, we’re hoping that President Obama’s policies don’t succeed, exactly as you said.

Got it. President Obama has policies intended to help the economy, improve our national security, make quality health care more affordable and accessible, resolve the housing crisis, improve our existing energy policies, etc. Maybe those policies will be effective, maybe not. If they have the intended effect, we’ll have a safer, more prosperous future.

It’s fascinating, then, to see right-wing Republicans, including some currently in Congress, bypass the debate over the policies’ efficacy and go directly to rooting against the country. I don’t remember any similar dynamic existing with any other modern president.

This is such a simple concept, even Bachmann should be able to understand it: Americans should not root for America to fail. It represents literally the bare minimum of civic pride.

When Republicans hate their president more than they love their country, there’s a problem.