Much has been made about the probability that Republicans will take control of Congress in the fall. The conventional wisdom says yes, but there are a number of Dems who say they can defeat the odds. The truth is, the conventional wisdom is probably right. The open question is whether it will be a Republican blowout or a squeaker.
Clearly, the honeymoon is over, although The Messiah™ does have some residual goodwill in some quarters. Unfortunately, it’s mostly amongst the non-voting public. The G(N)OP would have us believe there’s a massive ideological sea change going on. One in which power is shifting right – waaay right – though polls don’t clearly suggest that. Injecting a little reality suggests that ideological movement is more a case of the tea baggers brewing a nice cup of Crazy Earl Grey and the opposition remaining silent to their lunacy. And, it’s that silence that’ll bite the Dems on their quivering, fraidy-cat asses.
Seeing Isn’t Necesarily Believing
It’s difficult for the public (and impossible for Republicans) to see– that The Big Guy™ has made some modest progress on his agenda. He managed to push a health care bill through, though it was deeply flawed, and one of the most spineless wins on record. Walking into negotiations already conceding ground isn’t a negotiating tactic that works well. You can say much the same for financial reform. We got something, though not much, and what we did get was preapproved by corporate greedheads so they can continue robbing the country blind.
He’s also lost chances on bushels of low hanging fruit. Gays in the military, offshore oil drilling, and rolling back many of the Bush policies on a range of issues from Afghanistan to Gitmo to portions of the Patriot Act would’ve all been easier than health care, kept his base engaged, and shown independents that he has a backbone.
The one-word strategy of the Republicans is an easy position. Repeating “no” like an idiot savant isn’t hard. It requires no real work or talent beyond the ability to form a single syllable. It’s easy for your base to understand – especially if your base is comprised of fellow savants – and gives you an ironclad response to almost anything. It covers over a lot of bumbling too. Can you say Michael Steele?
Yes is a Hard Sell
Yes is a much harder sell. It’s complicated. It’s sometimes scary. And, it requires voters that understand two or more syllable words. It also requires the ability to legislate without pissing your political pants because the Momma Grizzlies and their fellow-traveling blowhards call you a commie. Or worse yet, a liberal.
Republicans are, if nothing else, consistent to a pathological, almost savage, and bloodthirsty degree. Most of the time you couldn’t pry the fatheads off a position with dynamite and a backhoe. Look at them as the party of the Red Curtain. By comparison, Democrats have all the cohesiveness of a herd of cats. Look at them standing naked in their bathtub, hands over their sex-educated privates, with yellow rivulets running down their wrinkly, ancient legs.
Part of this is the nature of the people that populate the two parties. Conservatives want to drive their Franklin Steamers in reverse all the way back to 1909. Democrats have the car in drive, but can’t bring themselves to get off the brake and hit the gas…and they don’t have a map or destination they can all agree on anyway.
But, it’s not as though Republicans are immune from shitting in their own mess kits. Their sucking up to the tea baggers may end up making them as beholden to The Lipton Tea Men as they are to corporatist Czars like Tony Hayward, the new Potentate of Siberian Crude.
There’s no way to tell what the fall will bring, but if both parties don’t shape up, it’ll be a hell of a ride.
- The Politics of Winning Isn’t All It’s Cracked Up to Be (omnipotentpoobah.com)
- Democrats Draw Up Blueprints For Summer Messaging Campaign (huffingtonpost.com)
- The Senate’s Energy Failure (nybooks.com)
- How Screwed Up Is The Republican Party? (dvorak.org)
- Taylor Marsh: In the Post-Hillary Political Era, Sarah is Queen (huffingtonpost.com)
- Your Abbreviated Pundit Round-up (dailykos.com)
- Bradford Kane: Anger vs/ Vision at the November Midterm Election, and a Containment Cap for the Tea Party (huffingtonpost.com)
- Spewing smoke over the financial reform bill (theglobeandmail.com)
- Andrew Levine: So What If Democrats Lose? (huffingtonpost.com)
- Bart Motes: How to End the Filibuster and Drive the Republicans Crazy (huffingtonpost.com)
- Republicans block campaign finance disclosure bill (cnn.com)