English: Invitation to attend the 2009 Inauguration of Barack Obama. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
2013 is almost over and it’s goodbye and good riddance. The GOP refused to accept the will of the American people in November, 2012, and continued the obstruction that began on President Obama’s inauguration day, January 20, 2009. The do-nothing Congress of 2013 was the worst in history, and we can expect even less from Congress in 2014, an election year. It is likely to be the most intense and expensive mid-term election ever, perhaps rivaling a presidential election. It also represents our last chance to end GOP obstruction while President Obama is still in office.
2014 is going to be a very political year. If the Democrats capture the House of Representatives and a super majority in the Senate, it will be possible to end the lingering effects of the Great Recession as well as enact some of the many needed reforms to start our government working again for all Americans, not just the politically well-connected. If we fail, the price will be two more years of obstruction as well as an attempt to impeach the President. The TEA Party must go, and if the GOP will not let go of the TEA Party and they go with it, so be it.
English: President Barack Obama’s signature on the health insurance reform bill at the White House, March 23, 2010. The President signed the bill with 22 different pens. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
No longer the Grand Old Party or even the Grand Opposition Party, the current GOP have degenerated into the Party of No. No matter what President Obama proposes, the GOP are against it. Not by principle, but by politics, the GOP put politics ahead of country. For example, the Affordable Care Act is based on a proposal from the right-wing Heritage Foundation and echoes Romneycare, enacted in Massachusetts while Mitt was governor. If the Affordable Care Act were Heritage Foundationcare or Romneycare, the GOP would support it. Since it is called Obamacare, they oppose it.
It is the essence of an opposition party to oppose the party in power, propose alternate solutions, and then compromise for the good of the country. The GOP no longer do that. Instead, they oppose for the sake of opposing and refuse compromise. That is why they are now the Grand Obstruction Party. The solution is fragmentation of the GOP with the rational bits and pieces re-assembling themselves into a functioning opposition party. Where are the Republicans with the courage to say “no” to obstruction?
Official photo of Florida Governor Charlie Crist (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
The governor’s race in Florida in 2014 will pit former GOP governor Charlie Crist, now running as a Democrat, against current GOP governor Rick Scott. Since the GOP supported Crist when he was governor, they will be forced to reverse themselves now to attack him. They plan to run a Mitt Romney style campaign, one not limited by facts. In other words, the Scott campaign will lie a lot.
English: The western front of the United States Capitol. The Neoclassical style building is located in Washington, D.C., on top of Capitol Hill at the east end of the National Mall. The Capitol was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1960. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
The approval ratings of the GOP and Congress are near historic lows, roughly 28% for the GOP and lower for Congress. In the recent vote to end the Federal government shutdown, 38% of House GOP members voted in support and 62% opposed. Those numbers were almost exactly reversed in the Senate, 61% in support and 39% opposed. If you subtract one number from the other, the difference is 23% in both cases which is almost the same as the GOP approval rating. A coincidence? Maybe not.
English: President Barack Obama makes a statement in the Brady Press Briefing Room at the White House announcing a deal in the ongoing efforts to find a balanced approach to the debt limit and deficit reduction, July 31, 2011. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Now that the government shutdown and debt ceiling fight are temporarily over, who won and who lost? Certainly President Obama won by refusing to negotiate with the hostage-taking GOP. However, the GOP won too by reducing our confidence in government, which has been one of their main goals for years. Reducing confidence in government will make it easier in the future to reduce government funding. The big losers in the fight were the American people.