After Democrats were swept into office in 2008 on a tidal wave of anger and frustration toward the Bush administration, the Republican part was pronounced virtually dead. “It would be decades,” political pundits said, “until Republicans can regain control of the House, Senate or White House.”
Yet, in last month’s mid-term elections, Republicans took back the House and narrowly failed at gaining control of the Senate.
How did they accomplish such an amazing turnaround? Simple. They said “No.” Not just to a few key pieces of legislation, but to everything. They blocked hundreds of Presidential appointments. They voted against the Democratic stimulus plan that saved millions of jobs and lowered taxes to the lowest level in 50 years. They voted against loans for General Motors and Chrysler which saved, by most estimates, nearly 10 million jobs. They voted against health care reform which will give health care access to more than 50 million Americans. They voted against extending benefits to the unemployed. They voted against regulation of Wall Street (the very people who caused the Great Recession). They voted against regulation of off-shore oil drilling despite the worst oil spill in history. They blocked ratification of the START Treaty which will provide oversight of all nuclear weapons. If President Obama and Democrats were for it, they were against it.
And, in reality, they voted against the vast majority of the American people.
So how did American voters punish them in the mid-term elections? They put them in charge of the House. So now Republicans are in an even better position to block any initiatives by the President and the Democrats. Republicans will now control House committees and the budget. And they will still be able to block any Democratic initiatives in the Senate through the filibuster.
So what’s the outlook for the next two years?
Senator Mitch McConnell has already stated that Republicans’ primary goal is to ensure that Barack Obama is a one-term President. That means Republicans will continue to block any of the President’s attempts to further improve the economy and lower unemployment. And since their tactics worked before, what’s to stop Republicans from continuing to lie, block and delay?It certainly wouldn’t be a sense of conscience or concern for our country.