Postponing the Inevitable
The House Republicans voted this week to delay the next fiscal cliff. They voted to raise the debt ceiling without demanding the administration cut spending wholesale. They are postponing the inevitable.
President Barack Obama’s Inaugural Speech struck a defiant note; in essence, he dared the GOP to attack him and his policies. In answer, the Republicans chose to spend that weekend in a Virginia “retreat,” trying to figure out strategy. They didn’t look at themselves.
In an interview Tuesday, Wisconsin’s Paul Ryan, the GOP vice presidential name on November’s ballots, blamed the terrible loss on a lack of communication and organization, ignoring absolutely the reality: Conservatives are mostly white and male – an eroding demographic. Their female supporters tend to be their wives, but not always: At a Christmas party for TheTentacle.com writers, I announced I may be the only Democrat present; a female voice spoke up, saying she was not Republican and pointed to someone else, our hostess.
In fact, everything the GOP offered the electorate was beyond its liking, as too extreme or unfair. Despite the Newtown massacre of 20 kindergartners and their seven teachers, noisy Republicans offered comfort to the National Rifle Association. They depicted their party in favor of the biggest magazines, capable of holding many bullets. American mothers didn’t like that, as they didn’t cotton to the idea of government dictating abortions.
Republicans ridiculed Social Security and Medicare as “entitlements.” In the Tuesday interview, Mr. Ryan contradicted himself on the trail, saying they were paid for by salary tax deductions – which voters believed all along. (The fact that pay checks saw two percent less than December’s gave solace to very few; but that was a tax imposed by Mr. Obama in the recession depths, to encourage employment.)
Before the Ripon Society, described as Republican-leaning, NBC’s Mark Murphy reported “House Speaker John Boehner charged that it was the Obama Administration’s goal to ‘annihilate” the Republican Party and “shove” it “into the dustbin of history.”
All the while, Congressman Boehner and the party’s leaders are “shoving” themselves off the board. The House’s approval poll is into a single digit and Mr. Obama is ranging above 50 percent. And the Republicans appear to run the disparity higher.
Newt Gingrich warned current Speaker Boehner, on MSNBC, that he risks losing control of his conference without a more coherent strategy. The former speaker has stood for the party’s nomination a couple of times. “He can’t keep the way he’s thought the last few months without having a disaster on his hands.”
Barack Hussein Obama is at the nation’s helm, guiding Social Security, “Obamacare,” equality for sexes and races and other “liberal” matters. He served notice in Monday’s Inaugural Address that he is less inclined to compromise, not as far as “his way or the holiday” – but more or less.
His second four years in the White House should be “very interesting,” as Peter Lorre said, smiling a very evil smile.