Let me start this post by apologizing. I’m not sure that it will be coherent in any way. I have too many thoughts fighting in my head and too many feelings grabbing at my heart.
Only three days ago, anticipating a GOP Senate win but not the Democratic rout that occurred, I wrote a book review for Jonathan Alder’s The Center Holds: Obama And His Enemies, and I was hopeful. Hopeful that it all means something, that everything happens for a reason. That this has to happen now so that in 2016 we elect our country’s first female President and regain the Senate. What was I thinking?
Well, I was thinking that Charlie Crist was going to win the Gubernatorial election in Florida. I was NOT thinking that besides winning the Senate, the GOP would manage a net gain of four Republican governors (who were expected to lose), and increase their majority in the House by, well, here’s what Politico had to say,
After a night of punishing losses, House Democrats are deeper in the minority than they’ve been in nearly 80 years — and party strategists say it could take years — possibly until after the next round of political map-drawing in the 2020s — to dig out of the hole.
With votes still being counted in more than a dozen congressional districts, Democrats were on track to shed 13 to 16 seats, an outcome that would leave the party with as few as 185 of the chamber’s 435 seats. The last time Democrats had such a small House delegation, Herbert Hoover was president, Charlie Chaplin was making movies, and Alka Seltzer was just hitting the shelves.
Alka Seltzer, just what I need at this very moment. I’m sick to my stomach.
[Tweet “Today Republicans are realizing that extremism works, that they can get away with anything.”]
Today, we must face the fact that Senator Mitch McConnell, Politician Zero, in the obstruction campaign waged against President Obama by the GOP, will be the Majority Leader in the Senate. I watched his victory speech which included the statement, “Too many in Washington have forgotten they’re supposed to serve,” as if he were not one of the very first to have forgotten.
In a news conference following his victory he declared, “We’re going to pass legislation. This gridlock and dysfunction can be ended,” as if he were not majorly responsible for the gridlock and dysfunction.
The way I see it, one of two things can happen after McConnell takes the Senate leadership. He can work with President Obama in order to prove that Republicans can make things happen. The downside for the Republicans would be that President Obama will also look good. They really don’t want that.
The alternative that can, and will most likely, happen is that McConnell will often send President Obama legislature that he will be forced to veto. Then the GOP can build the narrative that the President is obstructing them, and that in 2016 America needs a Republican President that will work with a Republican Congress.
Speaking of obstruction, will the new Senate Democratic minority obstruct the Republican majority as political strategy and/or payback for what the current Republican minority has been doing these past years? Perhaps.
However, a more likely scenario is that Senate Democrats will cooperate with the Senate Republican Majority. First, unlike Republicans, Democrats will never adopt a scorched-earth strategy that hurts millions of Americans for political gain because they actually care about the American people. Secondly, Democrats are too wimpy to even consider a scorched-earth strategy.
But even with Democratic cooperation in the Senate, if the GOP’s strategy for the next two years is to make President Obama look bad (or worse), so that voters will be persuaded to elect a Republican President, then we will again enter a vicious cycle of gridlock and dysfunction because one of our country’s major political party is truly vicious.
I don’t usually borrow words from Dubya’s lexicon, but I saw a hashtag on Twitter that perfectly captures what I feel about the 2014 Midterm Elections results: #EvilWon.
Bless Help America.