Signs point to a GOP Majority ending in 2016 and not returning anytime soon.
Enjoy your majority while you can, Republicans, the future isn’t so bright that you need to wear shades. Indeed, signs are pointing to these next two years as being the last gasp of the GOP for a long time. This could have been a grand opportunity for Republicans to show America that they could govern in a rational way. That would have gained them some longevity.
There was even a brief moment, directly after the Midterms concluded, when it seemed sanity might prevail from the right wing. But it was not to last. Mitch McConnell went from talking about reaching across the aisle and making a broken government work to repealing Obamacare the very next day.
Republicans then appointed the author of a book about climate change being a hoax to head their environmental committee; fast forwarded the Keystone XL; and approved a bill for financial deregulation, which would put the country right back into the same danger zone that led to the 2008 economic crisis. Same old same old from them.
Fast forward a few months, and the Affordable Care Act has been upheld by the Supreme Court after multiple attacks upon it. The Confederate flag is coming down everywhere and the Rainbow flag is going up. Gun law reform is remaining in the national conversation. The Democrats are fielding not just one but two very strong candidates, while Republicans have expanded their 2016 clown car to a clown train. There are roughly 50 conservative candidates at last count.
And what do they campaign with? Traditional Republican go-to talking points, repealing Obamacare, opposing Marriage Equality, and various dog whistles for riling up a hateful base, are now all off the table if they hope to win a General Election. That stuff works with the right wing fringe, but doesn’t fly nation-wide. Americans do not really align with the GOP on very much.
Meanwhile the Democrats have learned their lesson from the Midterms. Blue Dog Democrats are out of work. Whoever chose to run away from Obama’s legacy and policies is mostly out of office. In short, the weak links of the chain are now gone.
Democrats appointed Senator Elizabeth Warren to a higher position in the party. Warren will not only keep progressive ideals at the forefront of future policies, she will have no problem facing down anyone. Ted Cruz, Joni Ernst, even McConnell himself will have to think twice before crossing her.
The President meanwhile, seems to be ignoring any claims that he’s a “lame duck,” and instead has cut a huge deal with China regarding the environment, surprising nearly everyone. He has appeared victorious in the Rose Garden two days in one week after massive wins handed to his Administration by the SCOTUS. Obama has also made it clear that his Executive Powers will be exercised; Action will be taken and Vetoes will be issued.
Yeah, the GOP is bitching about him doing that, but as they were going to do that anyway, what’s the difference? Nothing. Next, we can expect the President to cement his legacy with Immigration Reform after a staunch and successful defense of the ACA. We’re also going to continue to see more Republican legislation shot down.
Certainly the Democrats have a ways to go before they are all on the same page. Nancy Pelosi blamed an absence of Democrat voters for November’s losses, refusing to admit her party’s failure to inspire them in the first place.
Other Dems have already said they won’t participate in obstructing GOP bills, meaning they would rather allow Republicans to just roll over them. Not sure where their heads are at. Republicans wouldn’t reach across the aisle when they were the minority, they’re certainly not going to start now.
How do we know that? Besides the fact that they’re admitting it, you mean? Or that they’ve proven historically that they can’t? We know that because the GOP is a hot mess right now. They’re being pulled in many more directions than the Dems are. All they are capable of doing is shutting down Reproductive Health facilities and fast-tracking the NRA’s pet legislation. And they’re facing increasing pushback from the Electorate on that.
Where Obama’s party mostly shed dissenting voices in their losses, the Republicans took on more. With the addition of the hog-castrating Joni “Bread Bags” Ernst and “Yeah, I’m lying, but it’s working so I’m sticking with it” Tom “Leader of the 47 Traitors” Cotton, the nuts have grown even heavier on the right wing.
Meanwhile the Religious Right still has a death grip on directing GOP policies. Their zealotry and disconnect from the real world makes them wildly unattractive to the average American. Expect them to push for outlawing abortion even though Personhood Amendments were all defeated soundly. That sort of lobbying will appeal only to their hard line (and shrinking) base.
There is no compromise with the Religious Right. They are impossible to motivate without Scriptural fear-mongering. While a powerful political force on their own, they are traditionally more influential during the Midterms, when nobody else shows up.
Republicans are incapable of reining in the Christian Conservative faction of the party. Were they to try, they would be labeled RINOS and eliminated in their very next primary. Looking at you, Eric Cantor. Oh sure, he’ll be back, but he’s still enough of a warning sign to intimidate the rest of the GOP.
Oh, the NRA? Yeah, they got a huge wake up call from voters. After years of owning politicians and legislature, gun control measures were heavily supported when put directly on the ballot. November was a huge blow to gun lobby rhetoric, as Americans showed the NRA does not represent them. The 2016 campaign will certainly build upon that, and a staunch Republican ally could get removed from the board entirely.
In his piece, The Missing Story of the 2014 Election, Chris Ladd, a lifelong Republican, discusses the upcoming crash back to Earth that Republicans are facing in two years. Ladd points out how statistically the GOP, without a rapid and radical realignment of ideology, are out the door in two years.
How will that happen? Like this:
“The Blue Wall is a block of states that no Republican Presidential candidate can realistically hope to win. Tuesday that block finally extended to New Hampshire, meaning that at the outset of any Presidential campaign, a minimally effective Democratic candidate can expect to win 257 electoral votes without even trying. That’s 257 out of the 270 needed to win.“
“Republican Senate candidates lost every single race behind the Blue Wall. Every one.”
“Democrats in 2014 were up against a particularly tough climate because they had to defend 13 Senate seats in red or purple states. In 2016 Republicans will be defending 24 Senate seats and at least 18 of them are likely to be competitive.“
“Democrats will be defending precisely one seat that could possibly be competitive. One.”
Were the Midterms disappointing for the Democrats? Absolutely. But it’s the Dems buying shades for the future, not the GOP. Republicans have all the pressure on them now, and Obama has already proven he’s not afraid of them.
“If you thought Benghazi was a legitimate scandal that reveals Obama’s real plans for America then you’re an idiot, but these next two years will be a (briefly) happy period for you.”
Shoe’s on the other foot now, GOP. There’s about to be some serious payback coming to you for four years of obstruction. To top it off, barring major misstep, Obama will lead a streamlined Democratic Party into 2016 to maintain the Presidency and regain the Senate.
And you’ll have built that, Republicans.