Reality has a tendency to invade and conquer fantasy, especially in politics. The number of days before and after a specific event leave a lot of time for fantasy, and for attempting to create an image that hopefully will spin itself into reality, but ultimately, there comes a time when a decision gets made, and the fantasy evaporates. It’s called an election.
Americans are tired of government gridlock. And they are blaming the Republicans in Congress for causing it. That may not be completely fair, but on the other hand, some of them have taken pride in declaring that their goal is not to achieve anything of value for the people they represent, but to simply deny the President the opportunity to get any legislation he wants through Congress. So the polls, not the ones the conservative media used to predict the outcome of the presidential election, but the ones that got it right, are showing that the voters are placing the blame on them.
There is evidence to support that claim. Speaker of the House John Boehner has been unable to control his party, and in some cases hasn’t been able to produce enough Republican votes to pass Republican proposals. The House has fit the definition of insanity by attempting to repeal Obamacare 40 times, with the same outcome each time. And the divide in the Republican party between the more and less sensible positions has been given a voice in the exchange between New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and Kentucky Senator Rand Paul. You can guess which one I think represents the sensible position.
The time has come for the Republicans to find a way to work with this President, instead of against him, and to find a path back to a two party legislature that thrived on the concept of creative tension achieved through compromise and consideration. The current “winner take all” or obstructionism reigns position is untenable. One party dominance is not too far down the road, and the party that is going to dominate will not be the Grand Old Party.
Beating dead horses in numerous investigations of alleged “scandals” related to Benghazi and the IRS are already creating a backlash that is going to have a negative impact on Republicans running for Congress in 2014. Benghazi has been investigated a dozen different ways, including a comprehensive, independent FBI investigation, and there’s nothing to point to Presidential wrongdoing, lawbreaking, or even incompetence. Same with the IRS investigation. And those nagging polls, the ones which accurately predicted the results of the 2012 election, are showing that Americans increasingly see these things as politically motivated, and that indicates the real possibility of a backlash at the polls in 2014.
Attempts at voter suppression have also contributed to the increasingly negative perception of the GOP. Decreasing the window for early voting, demanding photo ID for voting, and some other draconian proposals are being made under the guise of “voter fraud.” The problem is, there has been almost no voter fraud to speak of, nothing at all that would warrant the kind of measures being taken in Republican controlled state legislatures. One state legislator in Pennsylvania made the mistake of announcing that these measures helped the GOP and cut into the Obama vote in the state in 2012. Oops. First of all, the voter ID law didn’t go into effect until after the election, and if cutting into the Democratic vote was the intention, it is probably not a good strategy to announce publicly that you are trying to suppress the other party’s votes. There are those who think that the same kind of laws in Florida actually encouraged and motivated minority voters to turn out in large numbers, and hand the state’s electoral votes over to the President, with similar reaction in Ohio. My guess is that it will be one of the key issues, along with support for genuine immigration reform, which tips the balance and motivates the Democrats to turn their voters out in record mid-term election numbers, which spells doom for the Republican majority in the house.
The Republicans need to be focusing on rebuilding and strengthening the economy, along with creating jobs. They are not currently focused on those things. But the time has come to change the tactics, and start finding ways to work across the aisle to accomplish an agenda that benefits the people. If they don’t do that, and soon, then 2014 will be disastrous for the GOP.