“I can’t stand it, I know you planned it…”
And plan it they did. Even before Mitch McConnell’s infamous, “The single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president” quote was uttered last July, the fix had been in for some time. After Obama’s thrashing of John McCain in the 2008 presidential election, many republicans were nervous about going up against such a popular new president.
However, Senate Minority Leader, McConnell rallied the troops by telling them if we just stick together and say ‘no’ to everything…well, you know the rest. So, say ‘no’ they did. Or in some cases–see John Boehner–it was a hearty HELL NO! They actually believed, if they blocked everything under the sun by using the execrable filibuster in ways that no one has ever seen (and in ways their predecessors never intended back in 1842), they could take back the congress in 2010 and the presidency in 2012.
Unfortunately, they have been–at least partly–correct. They did take back the House, and but for a couple of borderline lunatic candidates (see Sharron Angle and Christine O’Donnell), they might have taken the senate too. Now of course, they have their eyes set upon the White House and the senate.
To do this, they have not only said ‘no’ to the solutions the President has proposed to jump-start the economy, they have said ‘no’ to the solutions they have proposed themselves in the past.
–Lower taxes (for anyone but the rich)
Just to name a few. All of these remedies boast a long history of bi-partisan support, but not anymore.
This is the bet that republicans have made. They are literally rooting for unemployment to stay high and economic growth to stay low. Why? Because they don’t give a damn about my job or your job, they only care about one person’s job. Guess whose job that is?
“Because your crystal ball ain’t so crystal clear”
While politically, it’s hard to argue with their success, there are signs that this intransigent approach may not have legs. Recent polling has shown that the American public has begun to smell what the right is cooking, and they may just be willing to pass on their rancid, obstructionist meat pies. To that point, three different polls (Suffolk University, PPP, Washington Post/ABC) have recently concluded that nearly half or more of their respondents believe that republicans are intentionally holding back the economy for political purposes.
When you couple those findings with the fact that other recent polling data shows that Americans favor the President’s jobs bill(s), all of a sudden, the republican jobs bill blockade starts to look like questionable strategery. Not only that, an NBC/WSJ poll released yesterday finds Obama besting Romney in the general by 6 points, and Herman Cain by 15.
“You’re scheming on a thing that’s a mirage”
To date, the republican plan has been to lay a pile of crap on the doorstep of every American and convince you that if you keep digging, you will eventually find a pony in there. Too bad for them it looks like we might be wising up. Between the Occupy protests, the president’s stellar job of selling his jobs bill to the public, along with all the polls coming in against their malignant perspective, even they are showing signs of getting the message. Just today, senate republicans have publicly agreed to support the latest piece of the jobs legislation making its way through congress. Of course, the president had to shame them by including benefits and job training for returning veterans, but we’ll take it.
Hell, just last week, Speaker Boehner referred to their own personal ‘no tax hike’ guru, Grover Norquist, as “some random person.” Which is of course laughable, as I don’t know how many “random persons” the average American has signed an iron clad pledge with. However, if someone like Boehner–who has signed that pledge, by the way–is publicly reducing the significance of Mr. Norquist, then maybe something is in the air. A whiff of reason perhaps?
Nah, probably not. But maybe the stench of desperation is in the air. With an approval rating of 9%, those in congress may not be feeling so safe after all. And we all know that hanging onto their jobs is probably more important to them than taking Obama’s.
Regardless, if republicans aren’t careful, they might find that sabotaging the economy may just be the same as sabotaging themselves. In fact, they may find that they will end up in the untenable position of giving the President some victories heading into election year, or setting themselves up for defeat.
I guess that saboteur thing ain’t so easy after all.