Well, it's been a few weeks since the Republicans took over the Kongruss. The leadership made some bold predictions, and surely they'd take their new-found power to new heights by passing some actual legislation?
The Clay Hunt act notwithstanding, it seems like the new Kongruss is doing just as well as the old Kongruss. The problem isn't the members of that august body, but rather the President.
Yes, it's true. No legislation is going to pass as long as Mr. Obama is in the White House. It really is that simple.
The opposition of Kongruss to anything and everything that the President says or does is already past the level of farce. We've said it here before, but I believe it to be true; if the President declared next week to be "I like breathing week", the Republicans would immediately oppose it and would do all they could to encourage not breathing during the course of the event. (Which, come to think of it, might be a good thing.)
But what is their strategy? Tempering the debate is one thing, but the outright opposition to anything and everything rather boggles my mind. It's difficult to grasp what their aim is, but a brief review of some of the things that have happened
in the last few weeks might be insightful.
WASHINGTON — The determination of conservative Republicans to thwart Barack Obama at every turn was clear from the first days after his election in 2008, as their Senate leader Mitch McConnell publicly vowed to make him “a one-term president.”
That goal got a significant boost in the 2010 midterm elections, in which the Grand Old Party won control of the House of Representatives. It failed, however, in Obama’s 2012 re-election, but the campaign to derail his liberal agenda was resurrected in 2014 as the GOP took charge of the Senate as well, making McConnell the majority leader.
Over the previous six years, though, he and House Speaker John Boehner had been able to stymie most of Obama’s domestic agenda, except the prime Republican irritant, The Affordable Care Act, contemptuously labeled Obamacare. Nevertheless, after taking full control of both houses, the new GOP leaders declared they were ready now to show they could get Congress to work together.
Yet they raised the curtain last month with a nonstarter, the 56th failed attempt to “repeal and replace” Obamacare. They followed it with a scheme to scuttle Obama’s immigration plan to delay deportation of millions of undocumented aliens of long residency, including those who came here as children.
The Republican leaders hitched that effort to the funding of the Department of Homeland Security budget, due to run out next week. They were undeterred by the terrorist threat that was continuing to grow, from Western Europe to Africa and the Middle East.
The request came as Obama was also asking Congress for a new authorization for use of military force (AUMF) against the self-described Islamic State, as well as old al-Qaida offshoots from Libya to Yemen. This latest bid was greeted with mixed enthusiasm in both parties, as were continued Obama diplomatic responses to Russian military adventurism in Ukraine and Iran’s evasive negotiations over its nuclear weapons pursuit.
As if the American president didn’t already have his hands full, a conservative Republican federal district judge in Texas has now piled on the get-Obama scrum, with a ruling blocking a start to his enrollment of immigrants seeking work permits and protection from deportation. Judge Andrew Hanen, a George W. Bush appointee, has temporarily held up the enrollments in deference to a pending lawsuit filed by 26 states including Texas challenging constitutionality and legal procedures employed.
I'm encouraged that the GOP will continue on the path it's on; there's still two years left before the next guy moves in to the White House, and that means there's plenty of time to obfuscate, mislead, and oppose. The trouble is, we always think the American People will see through the shenanigans, but the fact that JEB BUSH is perceived as the front-runner proves that most Americans are dumber than a box full of hair.
It would be like me voting to repeal the affordable care act. My job, my health, and indeed my life are directly tied to that legislation going through. But the GOP believes and encourages the concept that voting against your own best interests is what's good for America. Isn't that the definition of insanity? Doing something again and again and expecting a different outcome is one of the widely accepted signs of such a thing - but they'll do the same thing they always have. Americans voting them in just encourages that behaviour, and we all suffer in the end.