Republican Victory Anthem: Second Verse? Same As The First.
So. It’s all over but the howling. One-third of America’s registered voters bestirred themselves to get to the polls and offer up a vote of confidence for the worst Congress in US history—approval rating? 14%. Fortunately, for Republicans, that dismal turnout included two of their biggest fans: the Brothers Koch.
House Speaker, John Boehner, of course, sees that as a “mandate.” Not really. He can’t actually be that deluded, but he’ll take it and run with it even though it means his tour in legislative hell has just been extended [unless, of course, the crazy caucus writes in Allen West to replace him].
John Boehner, himself, enjoys only a 20% approval rating among voters in his own state. A majority—59%—disapprove of his work in Congress. Even Republicans are only lukewarm on Boehner: 37% approve, 34% disapprove.
When the 114th Congress is seated, in January 2015, Republicans will choose their House speaker, so times like these inspire Boehner to rear up on his hind legs and let out a Speaker-ish bellow.
He did not disappoint:
I’ve made clear to the President if he acts unilaterally on his own outside of his authority he will poison the well and there will be no chance for immigration reform moving forward in this Congress. It’s as simple as that.
When you play with matches, you take the risk of burning yourself and he’s going to burn himself if he continues to go down that path.
That Obama! just like a naughty child disobeying his betters. Look for the “poisoned well” to become a Republican meme.
Wolf Blitzer figured it would be fun to get Bernie Sanders (I-VT) take on Boehner’s remarks, so, this happened:
BLITZER: Let me just ask you, I want to get your quick reaction to what we heard from speaker of the House, John Boehner. He was very blunt. He said if the president goes ahead and, through executive action, unilaterally, without going through Congress, tries to change the status of illegal immigrants here in the United States, that will be very dangerous, he’ll poison the well. And it’s as simple as that. He says the president better not even think about doing that. Your reaction?
SANDERS: Well, my reaction is the people of this country overwhelmingly want to see the minimum wage raised. Is the Republican Party going to do what the American people want? The American people do not want more tax breaks to the wealthy and large corporations. Is the Republican Party going to poison the well by going forward, at a time of massive wealth and income equality, giving more tax breaks to people who don’t need the tax breaks? Boehner is talking about a political attack on the president.
BLITZER: Will you support the president if he goes around Congress and takes that executive action to change the status of illegal immigrants?
SANDERS: Look, what I support is Congress and the president doing everything they can to address the serious problems facing the American people. Immigration is one of those issues. In the Senate, we passed a bipartisan bill. The House did nothing. Let’s do something together. That’s the preferable route. Most importantly, let’s not turn our backs on the middle class of this country and ignore the enormous economic problems they are facing. Let’s not simply work for the rich and big campaign contributors who control the United States Congress. If we can do that and respond to the needs and the pain of the American people, you know what, I think you’ll suddenly find that Congress is regarded more favorably than is currently the case.
Good points. Republicans have bought themselves [literally] two years to prove how marvelous they are at governance and to actually do something constructive for Americans - all of them, not just 1% of them.
So, I wonder what they’ll tackle first: raising the minimum wage? or, perhaps raising taxes on the wealthiest Americans? or closing the loopholes that allow corporations to evade their fair share of taxes?
Maybe they could put the brakes on the demolition of American public education.
Republicans say that they are going to focus on jobs, so maybe they’ll launch a nationwide program to rehab America’s crumbling infrastructure [and save some lives in the process]. Or maybe they’ll get to work on alternative energy sources and put a lot of Americans to work on that?
Maybe they’ll throw themselves into cutting back on the military-industrial complex and using some of the savings to care for the thousands of military veterans who were damaged during their last neocon escapade?
Maybe they’ll pass the bipartisan immigration reform moldering away in the Senate?
Color me cynical, but I suspect that they’ll: pass the 52nd repeal of Obamacare; pull the trigger on the Keystone XL pipeline; slash entitlement programs; pass some version of Paul Ryan’s tough love budget or maybe even a balanced budget amendment; shut down the government once or twice, start work on a 40 foot electrified fence on the border with Mexico and maybe erect a Ten Commandments monument in the Capitol rotunda.
Perhaps they’ll just cut to the chase and go straight for impeachment?
Or, maybe they’ll just keep on keepin’ on and do nothing. Fight with each other, dither and bloviate, mount castle intrigues, filibuster, pass inane resolutions, name post offices and do whatever they can to cheapen and emasculate the executive branch.
And dread the day that Americans go back to the polls and elect Hillary to hand them their asses.