Why Do We Allow Republicans To Ignore Election Results?

In 2008, voters repudiated conservative politics by electing Barack Obama as President and voting for overwhelming Democratic majorities in both the House and Senate. But, based on the actions of Republicans, it would appear that they have simply chosen to ignore the results. The House has passed bill after bill in order to live up to the campaign promises. The President has repeatedly reached out to Republicans. Yet the Senate Republicans have stonewalled virtually every initiative with parliamentarian tricks. They have placed secret holds on more than 100 Presidential appointees. They have threatened to block many more. And they have used filibusters a record number of times.

This level of obstructionism is unprecedented in U.S. history and voters should make Republican candiates pay for it this November. But according to early polls, it appears that the Republican strategy may work. Voters are angry at incumbents – all incumbents – not just those who have stalled reforms. And voters are angry at President Obama for not doing more about the unrelenting gusher of crude in the Gulf of BP. Never mind that the cozy relationship between Bush/Cheney appointees in the Minerals Management Service allowed BP to apparently cut corners with safety. And never mind that the best minds in science and in the oil industry seem stumped as to how to proceed.

It would seem that many in the public won’t be satisfied until the President dons a diving suit, descends a mile under the surface of the ocean and personally shuts off the wellhead himself.

Seriously, people, there are only four submersibles in the world capable of operating at that depth and none of them are owned by the U.S. Moreover, they are incapable of doing any more than the underwater robots. So the problem has spilled into the ocean and onto Obama’s lap.

Like the financial crisis, the unemployment crisis, the immigration crisis, the national debt and the two on-going wars, the oil gusher is a mess created by the Bush administration. And the Obama administration has been left with the job of cleaning it up. To make matters worse, the Republicans in Congress have done nothing to help.

If there’s any justice in American politics, the Republicans will pay at the polls. But I suspect an uninformed public will reward them for their antics. Republicans will then be able to obstruct even more reforms. And voters will continue to wonder why nothing ever seems to change in Washington.

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