Maryann Tobin

How far will Republicans go in their quest to oppose President Barack Obama?

House Republicans have already demonstrated a willingness to endanger the economic safety of America. With tensions heating up between the US and North Korea, will GOP political hostage-taking attitudes expand to national security issues in an Obama second term?

Under the GOP House majority, the US came dangerously close to defaulting on its debt in 2011. It was a self-inflicted wound caused by House Republicans, who thought it more important to advance their radical anti-abortion agenda than to safeguard the US economy and world markets. It may also have been part of Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s efforts to make Obama a “one-term” president, which clearly failed.

It apparently wasn’t enough to have the debt ceiling debacle cause America’s credit rating to be downgraded. Tea Party obstructionism and outright refusal to govern led to an historic level of dysfunction. The 112th Congress went down in the record-books as being one of the least productive and most unpopular in US history. Republicans in the Senate earned the title of most abusive use of the filibuster – ever.

What it all adds up to is Republicans accomplishing almost nothing when it comes to solving America’s problems.

Now, all eyes have turned to the Senate, where McConnell, up for re-election in 2014, is running to the radical-right on the job-killing automatic spending cuts in the sequester, which is the product of the August 2011 debt-ceiling deal.

“Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said Tuesday that last-minute partisan moves by Senate Democrats to replace $85 billion in looming automatic cuts mean those cuts will go into effect,” according to The Hill.

“It is pretty clear to me that the sequester is going to go into effect,” McConnell said.

And it should be “pretty clear” to the American public that Republicans will stop at nothing to advance their vendetta against the president. If the entire country is collateral damage, Republicans do not seem to care.

But here is where the anti-Obama war becomes unthinkably dangerous.

On Monday, North Korea test-detonated a nuclear weapon underground. The bomb was so powerful, US Geological Survey seismic instruments measured it at 4.9 on the Richter scale.

Around the world the North Korean nuclear test has been viewed as a “serious threat” to the United States.

And how do Republicans respond to such a serious threat to America’s national security? By threatening to filibuster Obama’s nominee to head-up the Department of Defense, former Sen. Chuck Hagel.

At every turn, Republicans continue to demonstrate just how little they care about protecting the American people.

The more tenacious Republicans are in their war against Obama, the more it looks like an increasingly dangerous obsession that can only end in disaster.

Behaving like spoiled children who can’t get their way has become standard procedure for Republicans and is being used as an excuse to threaten the economy and national security.

If Republicans believe this is the best way to win over more voters in the next election, they may be in for a surprise.

It’s one thing to act like sore losers, but quite another when playing politics becomes a game that puts the future of a nation is at stake. There are some lines that should never be crossed, even by the most reckless Republicans.

Sources and more info:

GOP foiled as funds flow to Planned Parenthood

Obama, GOP divided over sequester risk to economy

McCain leaves open the door to a Hagel filibuster