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October 30, 2014

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SO NOW WHAT? The scoreboard wins. As Americans have shown throughout history if you force stuff on them that they don't want then eventually they will change the leadership. Last night was no different. Despite continuous public debates indicating that the public was not happy with Obamacare, the pullback of America from the world trouble spots, the lack of job creation of permanent jobs, the favoritism of illegal immigrants over US laws and the continuous failure to lead the Congress; the President and Senator Reid spent the last four years shutting down the legislative function of Congress. The American people punished them for it. And, more so, they punished the incumbent Senators who won election saying they were going to Congress to change things only to blindly follow the President on virtually all the major issues. WV wants a coal industry. Supporting alternative energy and shutting down coal will not win there. Perhaps the best example was Mark Warner in Virginia. Thought to be untouchable, Warner dismissed Gillespie and continued to support the President on nearly every issue. He barely won and had the Republican party supported their candidate better he probably would have lost.

Now let me get to the lessons learned here that won't be followed. Americans want a functioning government that soes a few basic things:

1. Defends them overseas and at home.

2. Creates a safe environment that encourages businesses to flourish, grow and create jobs to secure their family's future.

3. Provides and education system to give their children a chance at a good living.

4. Funds and regulates as few things as possible focusing on the things their city, county and state cannot.

That's about it. And, if done well that is about enough. A healthy financial America will take care of the rest. We are them most generous people on earth.

So, Republicans now need to take advantage of this opportunity and govern for all America. That's what Americans want. Focus on this list. But will they? Based on what I saw last night from McConnell and more so from Cruz I don't think so. Instead this will be another pendulum swing far past center from it's resting position on the far left to a position of Far right. I'd like to say it isn't so but I can already sense the "pay back" coming. But, they need to be very careful for in 2016 they are vulnerable to a reversal in the Senate and they still have no emerging candidate for President that do not look far right. The anti McCain, Romney rhetoric is already in the air. No one seems to realize that while Obama was a disappearing act in 2014, the Clinton's failed to deliver in North Carolina and Arkansas, Mitt Romney delivered in 27 states for his Republican friends. And, Romney in his short analysis of the election results was SO Presidential and confident it reminded me of the magnitude of the mistake Americans made in 2012. Will he run again? Probably not as Republicans shun him, Jeb Bush, and Mario in favor of Cruz or Paul. Perhaps Kasich will emerge but for me a Romney-Cruz ticket would win it all and a Romney-Bush or Kasich ticket would govern like no twosome in our lifetime.

So, what is to come? It will begin with the President assuring the country he has the message. He will send Senator Reid into the library of un voted on bills and bring out those that he does not want to veto and will go the least harm. Then they will pass them in a lame duck session. Once the new Congress takes position the President will call together the leaders and he will attempt to negotiate a deal whereby he will not veto bills as long as one of his are paired with one of his. This will force the Republicans to compromise or once again look like obstructionists. The strategy of the two parties will immediately move toward 2016. Republicans passing bills to force the President to veto and Democrats trying to force Republicans to look as if they will not compromise. The best way for Democrats to win in 2016 is unfortunately to continue to make the Senate dysfunctional. That's my view. I hope I'm wrong and we actually see compromise and leadership.

THE SCOREBOARD before the vote closes:

1. Household income down for nearly 6 years.
2. Permanent jobs are still rare. Temporary and contract jobs are the jobs being created.
3. Iraq war rages. Special forces are redeployed.
4. Ukraine lost another segment to Russia this week.
5. College grads still cannot find jobs.
6. The primary creator of jobs in the past 6 years: oil is still on the President's hit list.
7. First time home buyers are renting.
8. Home values have turned down again.
9. 2 million Americans have given up looking for work.
10. Administration not ready for Ebola.
11. Iranian nuclear program still unchecked.
12. With no positive leadership Congress dysfunctional.
13. Infrastructure stays unattended to.
14. Unemployment rate for black youth remains high.

VOTE! We learned a hard lesson in our district when during the primary one of America's most high profile Congressional members lost to one of my son's college professors: David Bratt. In the end who knows maybe we will be better of as my son says Bratt is a brilliant professor. On the other hand it opens the door for the Democrat, ironically another professor at the same institution. Now, it is up to our district voters to turn out. Will the shock of Eric Cantor's loss bring the Conservatives to the polls? In the end this election and the results will be determined by whichever party gets people to the polls. A lot is at stake for both parties.

If as the Washington Post predicts the Republicans take the Senate then the assault on Obamacare will take a different turn: Republicans will bring a blizzard of changes to the ACA as well as bills to defund many of the parts of it and force the President to Veto them clearly showing where each party stands on that issue. The same will happen on Defense budgets. And, he will likely be faced with Tax reforms he does not like. While many analysts are saying that nothing will change--grid lock will endure. Perhaps but the political high ground will change as the 2016 elections come into sight. The President, who has been covered by Senator Reid's ability to pigeon hole all the House initiatives, will no longer be able to blame grid lock on the Republicans if he is forced to use the veto to save his key programs. Expect Keystone to be the one he "let's go through". Perhaps oil exports as well.

If on the other hand Republicans fail to get the vote out in the key races and do not take the Senate then Obamacare will remain as is for another 2 years and Republican candidates for 2016 will remain as the "blockers" who won't let the President have his way and the advantage will remain with Hillary. The President will continue to be shielded from using the veto to protect his agenda.

In the end this is a test of the will of the conservatives to defang and the apathy of the liberals to defend an unpopular President. If you want to be a part in this struggle: VOTE!

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