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Posted by on Feb 19, 2015 in 2014 Elections, 2016 Elections, Featured, Government, Politics | 9 comments

Republicans Are Still Not Ready To Take Back The Keys To The National Car

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The Republicans’ own big takeaway from their 2014 election victories was that they would now show Americans what governing was all about. Ta da! This boast was rather strange since the party has performed a sort of demented Kabuki theater in lieu of governing — whether jointly with President Obama, Democrats or by their lonesome — over the last six-plus years in making the case that it still was not capable of taking back the keys to the national car. So it comes as no surprise that despite now controlling both House and Senate, it has been more of the non-governing same — and perhaps even worse.

In the few short weeks since the 114th Congress convened, the Republican congressional leadership has thumbed its collective nose at governing — which is to say making and administering public policy for the common good — in sweeping aside bread-and-butter issues of concern to many millions of struggling Americans.

It’s version of “governing” has included:

* In its first act, stoking the Culture War fires by a proposing a draconian law outlawing abortions after 20 weeks despite the fact that 99 percent of abortions occur before then, and polls show a healthy majority of Democratic, Independent and Republican voters, including a growing number of woman GOP lawmakers, believe reproductive decisions should be left to the individual.

* Tying itself in knots by holding Department of Homeland Security funding hostage — and risking yet another government shutdown — by linking funding to rolling back Obama’s executive actions shielding millions of wannabe Americans from deportation.

* Continuing to take endlessly meaningless votes to repeal the Affordable Care Act, which like the first 60 or so repeal votes have no chance of being enacted into law, while refusing (actually, being unable) to bring an alternative health-care plan to the table.

* Urging the Supreme Court to strike down subsidies for health insurance provided to millions of people in more than 30 states through the ACA while hypocritically criticizing the Obama administration because it has no plan to avert the hardships that would occur if they win in court.

* Embarrassing themselves by engaging in diplomatic thuggery by extending a unilateral invitation to Israeli Prime Minister and Obama foe Benjamin Netanyahu to address Congress, then lying through their teeth when the attempt to back stab the president blew up in their smug faces.

* Further embarrassing themselves by feeble criticism of the rebounding economy, including robust job growth, a signal accomplishment of Obama’s presidency, by offering their own feel-good prescription: Restoring the 40-hour work week, approving the Keystone XL pipeline, and rolling back regulation of businesses.

* In a welcome break with conservative orthodoxy, some Republicans have belatedly discovered the issue of income inequality. But these Republicans have no idea about how to confront the issue; it’s merely viewed as a wedge to drive between Democratic liberal elites and poor working stiffs, as well as float the usual tax-reform flapdoodle.

Reaching across the aisle in search of compromise and consensus was long the professed goal of lawmakers, but that continues to be antithetical to Republicans. Take the Homeland Security funding bill. If the parties cannot work together, they are supposed to work separately, yet it has become even more obvious since last November that Republicans can’t even work with each other — witness the abortion bill and Netanyahu imbroglio — and are imploding under their own obdurance.

And with more power comes more responsibility.

“The Republicans are like Fido when he finally catches the car,” Democratic Senator Charles Schumer remarked recently. “Now they don’t have any clue about what to do.”

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Copyright 2015 The Moderate Voice
  • Rcoutme

    By unscientific poll: who, here, is surprised by any of this?

    • Slamfu

      I for one am shocked to find gambling going on in this establishment.

      • Brownies girl

        This made me laugh out loud — thanks Slam!

  • shaun

    Hence the “So it comes as no surprise” line in the opening paragraph.

    I wanted to stay away from the 2016 presidential election in this post, but will note here that Kabuki theater will not play well with those crucial swing voters in crucial swing states no matter who the Republican nominee may be. This is because Hillary will make sure that candidate has to squander major time disassociating himself from Boehner and McConnell.

    • Rambie

      May you be right Shaun… I’ve become too cynical to believe the Democrats can run an effective campaign. Even though the improving economy & some of the GOP practically wrote the anti-GOP campaign ads for the Democrats in 2014 still ran from their own record.

      Sure, I know the excuses; Midterm, anti-democrats year, etc.

      None of that excuses the Democrats from hiding instead of standing to the GOP candidates and making a case for voters to vote for them.

  • shaun

    The Dems have not been as over-the-top fickle as the Repubs, but they must shoulder much of the blame for our dysfunctional Congress in particular and gubberment in general. And I will never forgive them for abandoning Obama en masse last election.

  • Slamfu

    “The Republicans are like Fido when he finally catches the car,”

    Watching Republicans try to govern I find is more like watching dogs eat grass till they throw up. It’s like, “Hey stupid, what ya doing? You know that’s only going to make you….ew yea do that. And now you’re eating the grass again…”

    This new Congress has only refined that sensation.

  • Greg

    It makes one wonder. If they are truly the free market types they claim to be, which I don’t believe for one second, do they not do anything because it is easier to think that all problems will just solve themselves through market forces rather than try to think of solutions and implement them? They take action against Obama’s anti-deportation orders, but are they trying to resume deportations? They hate the ACA but really show no interest in an alternative. Despite the obligatory rhetoric, perhaps they truly believe that no government is the best government.

    • DdW

      …perhaps [Republicans] truly believe that no government is the best government.

      I don’t know about “no” government, but Conservatives certainly
      tout the “small government” mantra except when:

      – Big government can be used for their own political ends

      – They are in power, such as after 9/11 when they were responsible for the biggest expansion of government — probably in U.S. history.

      – They want to go to war — the two most recent ones cost the American taxpayer approximately $4 trillion, and counting (Not even counting the incalculable loss in human life).

      – They want to deny or make it difficult for women to have an abortion, use contraception, etc.

      – They want to impose their religious doctrine and brand of religion on others.

      – They want to get into Americans’ private homes, bedrooms and lives and tell Americans who they can love, who they can marry and when they want to impose their beliefs and will on many others facets
      of people’s lives.

      – They want to have bigger security forces, border patrols, more marshals, sheriff poses, etc., to stop you on the streets or in
      your car because you look “different,” or fit a certain profile, or you wear a head scarf, or you have “calves the size of cantaloupes.”

      – They want to help big business, big oil, big banks, big tobacco….

      – They want to write more and more restrictive legislation regulating abortion, women’s rights, immigration, LGBT rights, minority rights, civil rights, voting rights, food stamps, education, etc., etc.

      – They want to fight climate change, evolution, etc.

      – They want to intervene in the most personal and private health and life and death decisions — Remember the Terry Schiavo “affair”?

      Need I go on?

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