There was a stretch of time from 1952 to 1994 during which the Republican party had not held a majority in Congress even once. When, in 1994, the Republicans finally regained the legislature, they called it the Republican Revolution. With it came the end of the Conservative Coalition and for all intents and purposes, any form of bipartisanship. Newt Gingrich took control of the House and instituted a policy of complete conservative isolation from the liberal side of the aisle, giving birth to modern partisanship.
Fast forward to the 2008 elections. As the extremely unpopular Bush Administration enters its golden years, the Democrats are nursing a majority in the House and a split in the Senate (with tie-breaker privileges going to the most evil man alive, Darth Cheney). The writing is on the wall at this point; the Democrats are about to absolutely clean house in the coming elections. The Republican congress had more than overstayed its welcome, and in one of history's greatest examples of choosing poor timing to fuck up, the Republican administration had mired itself in two costly wars, one of which was unpopular enough to all but guarantee change in party regardless of who ran.
If the Republican party wanted us to think they didn't realize this, they wouldn't have nominated the single most moderate member of their party, John McCain, as their potential President elect. Of course, his team screwed it up by talking him into Sarah Palin, repelling any and all moderates, and the rest is history. And now we find ourselves with Democrats in control of 2 and a half of the 3 branches of government. The GOP must be wondering where they went wrong...or are they?
The Republican Gambit, as I refer to it, is the GOP's all-in strategy to regain power of as much of the government as possible. It is a get-rich-quick scheme, and like all schemes of that type, it carries with it considerable risk and a high liklihood of failure, which seems like an odd course of action for a party that describes itself as conservative.
The Republican Gambit is simply this: sacrifice everything, EVERYTHING, to see that Obama fails. As a person, Obama became a symbol of hope and change for the people of America. And when he won, the Rpublican party no doubt saw it coming, because they already had a plan in place to confront it. That plan was and still is to stonewall everything and to label Obama as failure from the start.
This is kind of like a football team claiming it has won a game when it leads the opponent three to zero at the end of the first quarter. Unfortunately, there are three quarters to go and anything can happen. If the gamble pays off, the braggart team look like geniuses brimming with confidence. If not...well, the term "laughing stock" comes to mind, as does the phrase, "death rattle."
The GOP has chosen to declare Obama the worst President this nation has ever seen. Most of the fringe right were making this statement as early as March. I think most polite people with a modicum of intelligence would find this to be premature and odd behavior. Those of us with less manners would describe it as batshit insane. Football games don't end after one quarter and neither do Presidencies end after one year.
But the GOP will stop at nothing to convince those in the middle that Obama has already failed. They lead tea party rallies and cover them substantially via puppet network Fox News, implying that 50,000 people represent the majority of America (population 300 million if you were curious). The somewhat more sensible ask simply, "what has he done so far?" Or, if they are feeling daring, they tell us, "Obama has accomplished nothing, even with a Congressional majority." But it sounds less like a statement of fact and more like a desperate grab at the fleeting wisps of power.
What some in the GOP must realize is that they are facing a very grim set of circumstances. America sent a very clear message in the last election; Democrats are, well, Democrats. Moderates and Independents had grown weary of the dishonest methods of the supposed party of personal responsibility. And the Republican base? Well, as a minority, they've split off and gone the other way, wanting to be given free reign over their money and power and seemingly nauseated that they must share this nation with the common man. The result is a party with no identity, no support and potentially no hope. And so they make the only move that they think they have left. They active the propaganda machine and try to destroy what stands in their way.
As Democrat numbers slowly ebb away, Republican numbers also continue to dwindle. The GOP doesn't care. Times are too dire to worry about the nuisance of public appearance. There is only once chance. Act as dead weight and ensure that Obama accomplishes nothing, then run on that as the only thing you have resembling a platform come election time. Conservative values are last decade. Liberalism has a huge head of steam. If the GOP can just make Obama look like an underachiever, they might have the slim chance of retrieving the power they so crave, the power the grew drunk on and addicted to. But the penalty for failure is huge. If the GOP cannot claim either the White House or at least a split in power in one of the House of Congress by 2012, then the gambit has failed. The results could be as tame as decades of irrelevance or as dire as the death of the party and the birth of a new, likely socially moderate, conservative party in its stead. After all, the lifeblood of the conservative fringe is the prominently older generation, those that can remember strong careers under Reagan, as opposed to those of us only learning about him in school.
The GOP has to go all in because they've been bled dry of new life. They have to hope that by declaring victory now, they will be vindicated in a few years and look like the prophet saviors of Patriotic America. The consequence of failure is probably utter destruction.
Here's the problem; the Republicans want to convince the rest of us that the Democrats are failing. But are they? Let's take a look at what Bush II accomplished in his first year as President.
- June 7: Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2001
- September 18: Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Terrorists
- September 28: United States-Jordan Free Trade Area Implementation Act
- October 26: USA PATRIOT Act
- November 28: Internet Tax Nondiscrimination Act
- January 29: Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act
- February 4: Children’s Health Insurance Reauthorization Act
- February 11: DTV Delay Act
- February 17: American Recovery and Reinvestment Act
- March 30: Omnibus Public Lands Management Act of 2009
- April 21: Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act
- May 20: Fraud Enforcement and Recovery Act
- May 20: Helping Families Save Their Homes Act of 2009
- May 22: Credit Card Accountability, Responsibility, and Disclosure Act of 2009
- June 22: Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act
- August 6: Cash For Clunkers Extension Act
- October 22: Veterans Health Care Budget Reform and Transparency Act
- October 28: Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act
- October 30: Ryan White HIV/AIDS Treatment Extension Act
The only thing left to debate is quality of law, since quantity clearly favors the current administration. The former will of course be highly subjective. For some, neutering the freedoms of America in the name of preventing future domestic terrorism trumps the rights of women to receive equal pay, gays to receive protection from violent discrimination, AIDS/HIV positive individuals from traveling freely in the country, and every American's right to be treated fairly by their credit card company. Others do not actually have their heads up their asses.
But one fact is clear: the GOP's kamikaze attack against Obama is not only likely to fail, its already failing. It was an ill-advised strategy to begin with because it is so transparent. But now, as much as the fringe right will try to convince us otherwise, it is in the process of eroding at the foundation, and the structure of propaganda and misdirection above is threatening to topple. If the GOP needs one more reminder why, just think about the legislation listed above being signed into law. Obama was elected by a clear majority to pass exactly the things he is passing above. His support may be dwindling a bit, but the voters voted for those laws. Come election time, what makes you think they are going to do an about face and vote for someone who is going to tear that down as opposed to someone who is building, just slower than was hoped? Think about it, or think about anything at all for a change instead of just talking out of your ass. It would do you all some good. Sphere: Related Content