Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Short one: How a Republican '10 victory works out for Dems in '12

I was just reading a Media Matters post that said Republicans are looking forward to gaining the House in 2010 and bringing the government to a screeching halt. They are apparently nostalgic about the '95-96 shutdowns. They apparently don't remember that this handed the 1996 Presidential victory to Clinton, who came through this looking Presidential. People didn't like the obstructionism then.

There are very different times, though, than fourteen years ago. Obstructionism now gets enthusiastic approval from an increasingly paranoid and stringent GOP that feels its purpose in life is to do anything, anything, to stop the evil commie socialist Muslim jihadist President. This year, they are on a mission, and that mission is to rid America of any sort of compassion and charity, along with fire departments, police departments, roads, water, and anything else that involves paying taxes. I am not the first to point out that the original Boston Tea Party was to protest taxation without representation, not taxation as an idea. To many on the right, opposing Obama and ending all taxation are the same goal.

That's where I think they'll fail. (Don't mind that my prognostications are never right.) Defeatedly, I'm on the verge of accepting that we may lose the House this year. I've been hopeful all year that Teh Crazee would turn the independents out to vote against the ideologues this year, but Dems have the amazing ability to not capitalize on anything their opponents do, no matter how mad. So with three months yet to go before the midterms, and no organized anti-GOP strategy on the horizon, it begins to look like a White Sox game in the 9th inning when they're ahead by several runs. It's doomed to fail.

But this, I think, will be the Dems' salvation, and may be the last hurrah for the GOP. Yes, if they win in '10, the next two years will be excruciating. We won't see anything getting done. (And may I take a moment to say that what Obama has accomplished in a little over a year and a half is pretty amazing? It's not enough to satisfy us lefties, but it's more than any president since...I dunno...Lyndon Johnson? Maybe even FDR?) Not only won't things get done, but the drama queens who infest the Right will spend the next two years clamoring, posturing, making futil assaults on the Washington hierarchy, and eventually being sucked into the giant swamp that is Washington, DC. They'll have their hurrah, but when it becomes clear that they have no actual agenda beyond stopping the government from working, the independents will turn against them.

It's a little pie in the sky to hope for this, and maybe it's just a rationalization. Maybe I'm trying to find the bright spot in what may be a bleak November. My prediction, though (and take this with a small Siberian salt mine), is that if the GOP and Tea Partiers take back the House, and if they are able to effectively stop the Dems from accomplishing anything for the next two years, they'll be hoisting themselves on their own petard. (Look up "petard." It probably doesn't mean what you think it means. This is the voice of experience.) Just as we had to go through 8 years of GOP Hell to find out how evil they could be, we may have to go through 2 years of Tea Party Hell to find out how incompetent and truly crazy they are. I'm not saying we should give up on '10. I'm saying that if the Tea Partiers take seats and we lose the House, we may be given a great big lemon with a solid gold center.

Except the Dems will do anything they can to screw it up. It's in their nature.