by Michael H. Cottman, BlackAmericaWeb.com
President Barack Obama gets no respect.
Even as Republicans vow to repeal Obama’s sweeping health care law leading up to the crucial mid-term elections in November, one Republican candidate, Paul LePage, says if he’s elected governor of Maine, he plans to tell Obama “Go to hell.”
LePage, who is backed by the conservative tea party movement, spoke at a Republican forum last week while stumping for votes.
“And as your governor,” LePage told the crowd, you’re gonna be seeing a lot of me on the front page saying ‘Gov. LePage tells Obama to go to hell.”
Why was that kind of profanity necessary? Who knows? It’s tough talk from LePage, a Republican hothead who not only disrespects Obama with his hateful comments, but he also disrespects the Office of the President.
Because Obama is America’s first black president, there is a question about whether LePage lashed out about Obama, in part, because he’s black. Would LePage have told a white president, who was a Democrat, to “go to hell?”
What’s clear is this: There will always be ideological differences between Democrats and Republicans but the tea party’s criticism of Obama’s policies usually turn ugly.
“If this is his attitude towards the president of the United States, I can’t imagine what he would say when a local legislator or constituent disagrees with him,” Arden Manning, who heads the Democrats’ Victory 2010 campaign, said in a statement.
LePage, like many other Republicans, is critical of Obama’s economic recovery efforts and reminds the administration that the nation’s unemployment rate is stuck at 9.5 percent.
On Monday, Obama tried to counter the GOP’s assault and announced an initiative called Skills for America’s Future, a new, industry-led plan to substantially improve industry partnerships with community colleges and build a nationwide network to create jobs.
“We want to make it easier to join students looking for jobs with businesses looking to hire,” Obama said at the White House Monday.
“We want to put community colleges and employers together to create programs that match curricula in the classroom with the needs of the boardroom. Skills for America’s Future would help connect more employers, schools, and other job training providers, and help them share knowledge about what practices work best.”
As part of this effort, the President’s Economic Recovery Advisory Board conducted outreach to private sector employers, labor leaders, philanthropy organizations, and policy leaders within the Administration to solicit views on workforce development challenges.
For example, McDonald’s will double its accelerated professional literacy program over the next 18 months, reaching an additional 1,000 McDonald’s managers in 30 sites across the country.
The program, which includes a series of four courses (210 curriculum hours) has won numerous awards, and leverages “virtual classroom” technology that allows rapid scale-up.
In addition to expanding the program, McDonald’s also will make its “virtual classroom” model available to community colleges.
And Gap Inc. will expand its community college partnerships by launching a new program with community colleges in seven cities.
The effort will include in-store job shadowing, interview and leadership training, and scholarships.
Gap expects to hire 1,200 students from community colleges in 2011, representing 5 percent of its annual hiring.
“And so I’ve said that by the year 2020, I want to see an additional 5 million community college degrees and certificates in America,” Obama said.
“To reach this goal, we’re making an unprecedented investment in our community colleges — upgrading them, modernizing them, and challenging these schools to pursue innovative, research-oriented approaches to educating.”
Only time will tell if Obama’s recovery efforts will be successful, but in the meantime, the president deserves the respect of the electorate – which includes Republicans like LePage – while Obama tries to fix a monumental mess he inherited from another misguided Republican: George W. Bush.