According to FindLaw.com, first degree murder is (in most states) defined as an "unlawful killing that is both willful and premeditated, meaning that it was committed after planning or 'lying in wait' for the victim." Of course, first degree murder is among the worst crimes that one human can commit. The prosecutor describes to the jurors how the accused not only intended to kill the victim, but also planned the attack – all while the victim's survivors listen in horror.
On January 16 2009, Rush Limbaugh made his famous "I hope Obama fails" proclamation. There was a small media firestorm over the comment because most Americans knew that Obama's goal was to help America dig itself out of the Great Recession where we'd been left by the Bush administration but, as happens all too often, the moment is soon forgotten as the media turns the page for us. Besides, President Obama was about to be sworn into office with a majority in both houses, right? Right.
What we didn't know at the time was the plan being put together by the Republican Party to make a political comeback. Some light on their internal decisions is now being shed by Michael Grunwald in his excellent article in Time, and reading his article made me feel like a juror in a first degree murder trial. Why? Because I knew that the circumstantial evidence and particularly their unprecedented use of the filibuster, far more than at any point in the history of the filibuster, pointed to the Republicans' intentions to stop Obama from accomplishing anything at all, good or bad.
It wasn't that they were just stopping Democratic efforts that they didn't like; they tried to stop almost everything! Here's a short list of legislation that the Republicans filibustered, and many of them make no sense since the legislation that was filibustered was very often on issues that should have had front-and-center support by every Republican in the country! So why? Why would the Republicans filibuster or otherwise obstruct almost all legislation in the Senate (as this article from The Atlantic shows so well)?
Many Dems and liberals who were paying attention could see what was going on: the Republicans were saying that Obama's presidency was going to be a failure, and they were doing their damnedest to make sure of it. There was nothing, absolutely nothing, that Obama could do that was seen as good or right in the eyes of the Republican Party, and they fostered this perception to their rank-and-file. Even the congratulations that some Republicans gave Obama for the killing of Osama bin Laden were muted at best, and many gave him no credit at all for it, even when he was was given truly high praise by the admiral in charge of our SpecOps forces. What brought on this intolerance, this hatred of everything Obama says or does?