The re-election of Barack Obama to the presidency is not sitting well with those on the far right. Rather than accepting the loss of the 2012 election and acknowledging that the candidates they ran, the policies they espouse and their lock-step obstructionist tactics in Congress not only failed but alienated most voters, they are taking a page from their failed play book and doubling down.
In an interview on FOX News, radio host Mike Gallagher stated “We’re going to beat up on Obama for the next four years. We’re going to challenge everything he’s trying to do that we disagree with.” Seeing as they disagree with everything he says, it doesn’t bode well for the future.
The topic of the interview was how the Republicans will deal with Hispanics, who voted overwhelmingly for Obama. But that one line uttered by Gallagher speaks volumes about how much the Republican Party is still divorced from reality. They refuse to admit that Obama received a mandate from the electorate, even though George W Bush claimed exactly that after garnering 50.73% of the popular vote and 286 electoral votes in the 2004 election. In contrast, Barack Obama received 51% of the popular vote and 332 electoral votes in the 2012 election.
If what Gallagher said is true, then we can look forward to another four years of obstruction, another four years of gridlock, another four years of pain.
Tune in to any right-wing media and you will find calls for revolution, you will find Obama labeled a dictator, which is actually kinder than some of the epithets hurled at him, your will hear calls for secession and though there is no reason for it, impeachment.
There is a myth in Tea Party circles. We have all heard it. They even have a catchphrase for it. They call those who voted for Obama “takers, not makers” promoting the belief that all they want is “free stuff.”
Chiming in to their fantasy is lead fantasy spinner, Rush Limbaugh, who said on November 7, “Let me tell you, small things beat big things yesterday. Conservatism, in my humble opinion, did not lose last night. It’s just very difficult to beat Santa Claus. It is practically impossible to beat Santa Claus. People are not going to vote against Santa Claus especially if the alternative is being your own Santa Claus.”
Dick Morris maintains that the mandate goes to the Republicans, whom he says, “Need to stand up to the Socialist agenda he (Obama) is pushing.”
In short, the outcome of the 2012 election has done nothing to dampen the enthusiasm for the obstructionism that has become the hallmark of a party out of touch with mainstream America.
However, we would all be wise to remember that we are hearing the talking heads of the party, not those who will be doing the business of the people. We won’t know until things get going how those in Congress will react to the election results, particularly in light of the gains made in both chambers. The House may still be Republican but Democratic gains were made there despite Republican gerrymandering to improve their position and the majority in the Senate will be a force to be reckoned with.
No doubt, one will continue to find Republican senators and representatives who will continue their obstinate stance, biting the hand extended across the aisle, but 2014 is only a couple of years away and those who would like to keep their seats will find themselves forced to stop listening to the likes of Rush Limbaugh, Mike Gallagher and all the rest of the frothing at the mouth crazies and start listening to their constituents. We have a country to repair and we need both Democrats and Republicans to do the work.