Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Get ready for two years of suck

With the Republicans taking over the Senate, both houses of Congress have Republican majorities.  The Republicans do not have a filibuster-proof majority in the Senate, but now that they have a majority in both houses, they have all kinds of opportunity to wreak havoc on the country.  Here's what I expect to see:

  • Attempts to repeal parts or all of the Affordable Care Act:  House Republicans have attempted to repeal Obamacare several times in the past few years without success, because the Senate squashed these attempts.  Now, the Republicans in the Senate will rubber-stamp them, most assuredly, so either the Senate Democrats have to filibuster, or President Obama will have to veto.  Will the Democrats bend or stand firm?  That's what remains to be seen.  
  • Attempts to pass a "defense of marriage" amendment: Chuck Todd, whose analysis I have pretty much despised since I first saw him on television, claimed that the Republican victories are a repudiation of President Obama.  I strongly disagree.   In every race where Democrats distanced themselves from the President, they lost.  In races where Obama was involved in the campaign, they won.  Tom Wolfe won in Pennsylvania, and he had no problem siding with Obama.  I think the Republican victories have to do with a few things, and one of those involves all of the states having their anti-marriage equality laws declared unconstitutional.  Given that the victories occurred in largely red states--religious states--it stands to reason that anti-gay bigotry fueled Republican turnout. 
  • Way too much compromise in order for Democrats to remain relevant:  This is the big potential mistake that scares me the most.  To get around the filibuster, which Senate Republicans used a record number of times during the Obama Presidency, the President and Senate Democrats compromised far too often with Republicans.  The best possible thing the Democrats could do right now is go into damage control mode and not let anything Republicans try to pass go through.  Make the Republicans compromise--which they are loathe to do--or don't let anything pass.  Unfortunately, I envision Democrats bending, just to make it look like Congress is doing something and the President is not a lame duck.  
  • Mandate:  Even though the Republican victories came in mostly red states and during a mid-term election where voter turnout is usually down, the Republican politicians and their media cheerleaders will label the takeover of the Senate a "mandate".  Now, to NBC's credit last night, they did not make that assessment; they said that the elections were too tight to call any of these victories a glaring indictment of Democrats.  
  • Impeachment:  I don't know if they're going to go this far, but I can envision a huge waste of taxpayer money on impeachment proceedings with a Republican majority in both houses of Congress.  Then again, impeachment could get them destroyed in 2016. 
My advice (for what it's worth) to Democrats: stay on the people who represent you in government.  Tell them to stand firm and use the tools available to them to stop Republicans from running roughshod over our country.  Look forward to 2016 and work for overwhelming victory till then.  And take a lesson from this mid-term election: these were tight races, and every vote counted.  If turnout would have been better for Democrats, we wouldn't have a Republican Senate.  Your vote matters in EVERY election.