Gainesville Daily Register

October 4, 2013

CCRW meeting includes thoughts on shutdown, Obama

Staff Report

Gainesville — By GREG RUSSELL

Register Staff Writer

Thursday’s regular meeting of the Cooke County Republican Women (CCRW) featured partisan perspective on the ongoing government shutdown.

The meeting also included feedback from an African-American Republican guest speaker voicing opposition of the current presidency — an attempt to dispel a common viewpoint, she said, that all right-leaning criticism of Barack Obama comes from racism.

CCRW member Sheila Cox cited an article by Washington Post writer Dylan Matthews chronicling the 17 federal government shutdowns conducted since 1976, and observed prior to the shutdown of federal funds observed beginning Tuesday when Republicans and Democrats failed to find compromising legislation for the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, also known as “Obamacare,” in time for the beginning of the 2014 federal fiscal year.

Cox said those 17 shutdowns — launched over topics ranging from nuclear power to abortion to government welfare to Medicare premiums — were all resolved with compromise.

But she cited President Barack Obama’s recent declaration that he “will not negotiate” with the Republican-led House of Representatives, despite the ongoing shutdown, and said this will prolong the present crisis.

“This is the news that you’re reading and hearing from the liberals, blasting and blaming the Republicans,” she said. “Because they do not want to this to be successful. They want the funding to be passed and they want Obamacare to be the law of the land, with no choice for Americans. So we’re going through this and we’re seeing no room for negotiations.”

Thoughts from Karen Watson

Visiting speaker Karen Watson, promoting her self-published Being Black and Republican in the Age of Obama, said the new work is mainly about perspective.

“Being black and Republican? People think that’s an oxymoron,” she said Thursday.

Watson said later that the issue of race is relevant in the current presidency — since African-American support for Barack Obama primarily on account of his race is “splintering” America, enabling policy she and her party don’t support.

And the “cart used against Republicans,” she said, occurs when their derision of Obama is wrongly attributed to racism.

“There are so many black people who don’t even know that Abraham Lincoln was the first Republican president,” Watson said. “I’m not a black American; I’m just an American. We live together and we die together. The $17 trillion we have in debt right now is not just caused by old white guys. We all do this.”