One can argue that it was inevitable that a House controlled by the most radical right wing party in the Nation’s history and an Executive Office controlled by one of its most progressive occupants would inevitably lead to stultifying gridlock.
The GOP gave up any pretense of governing last week when Speaker John Boehner threw his lot in with the BENGHAZI deadenders and formed a special committee to investigate what happened that day. (I’m sure you remember the committees he called for to investigate the 60 US diplomatic staffed killed under George W. Bush’s watch. No? Odd.) The Democrats can participate at a 7 to 5 disadvantage, or they can boycott; it really doesn’t matter. Boehner and the GOP are not out for legitimacy. They are, quite simply, having their final, very public nervous breakdown.
Obamacare has succeeded in the way it was designed to succeed. The GOP was rooting for its utter failure, goaded on by groupthink and the admittedly rocky technical problems of the first month. It drank the koolaid thinking that the glitches portended disaster for Obama and the Democrats, obviously unable to comprehend that a website can be fixed, and that dozens of groups would be working to ensure massive enrollment. It went through a brief period of “Obamacare Trutherism”, saying the books had been cooked, or that no one had paid their premiums yet. The final nail in the coffin was today’s testimony by health insurance executives who praised the ACA, frustrating GOP representatives.
And last week’s jobs report showed the economy adding 288,000 jobs in April, beating predictions, with the unemployment rate dropping to 6.3%. (More “cooking the books” on that good news.) Republicans have tried their damnedest to stifle the economy, making voters hurt for daring to elect and re-elect the skinny black guy to the White House. And yet, the funny thing is that people want to work, people want to start and run businesses, people want to make a living and have luxuries. The GOP can stamp its feet all it wants and that won’t change. So the economy grows, assisted by Administration and Federal Reserve policies. If Boehner & Co. had not obstructed, growth would now be greater and the unemployment rate below 6%. They can therefore claim no hand in the upswing in the economy; it was mostly due to Pres. Obama’s policies.
From failure to act on climate change, fixing the broken immigration system, and extending unemployment insurance for those still without work, the GOP has proven both unable and unwilling to solve problems. On any matter of national import it has abdicated responsibility for action. In any decently run company, all the Congressional Republicans would have been fired.
November shouldn’t be as close a run thing as it will turn out to be. Democrats—ESPECIALLY IN BLUE STATES—should be comfortably in the lead in the generic ballot. However, the polling varies wildly; a view of Real Clear Politics’ latest poll roundup for Monday, May 5th shows Rasmussen with Democrats up by 4 and CNN with Republicans up by 4. Anyone who claims he can predict what will happen in six months is a lying liar.
The one thing we can control, however, is voting. If Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents turn out in numbers similar to Presidential years, Pres. Obama will have a Democratic House and Senate for his final two years.
Yes, our good liberal friend Ed Schultz, six months before an election even more important than that of 2012, was on the air, fulminating about the TPP trade pact, decrying it as the most dastardly thing to have ever crossed his consciousness, and if Pres. Obama goes through with it then there’s not difference between the two parties and you may as well stay home.
And, of course, the liberal MSNBC spends most of its programming day cutting away at Pres. Obama, cut by small cut, griping large and small, while lauding the prospect of Hillary 2016. Call me crazy, but it’s almost as if many noted liberals have checked out, as they’ve been proven to be wrong on issue after issue during the Obama Administration, and are hoping for better luck with the next, more pliable Democrat.
Here’s the thing: fuck them.
They have only the power you give them. Pundits, like Apollo on the Star Trek episode “Who Mourns for Adonais”, suddenly wither away when viewers don’t watch them and readers don’t read them. They are the most ephemeral of media constructs, put in place to distract, dissimulate, and fill in the hours of programming with mindless blather. No, I don’t want to know Dana Perino’s or Dana Milbank’s opinions on the crisis in Ukraine. Why? Because they know nothing about it, except what they glean from other pundits. Likewise, their and their fellow pundits’ opinions on anything of passing importance is predicated on mere speculation and how it looks as political theater. They’re paid to talk, even when they know nothing about the subject.
With all due respect, Mr. Schultz, you’re paid vastly more than I am. I should be manning the barricades against TPP or any other “bad” trade pact. And I’m not. Firstly, because unlike you I trust this President. And secondly, you, Mr. Schultz, will continue to get paid your exorbitant salary regardless of what happens in November. The rest of us out here in the real world—and yes, Los Angeles is much more than Hollywood—need a functioning, progressive government. That won’t happen if we listen to professional leftists such as yourself and sit on our hands. You can either roll up your sleeves and join the work, or shut up. But listening to you whinge is not something we can afford to do again.
I will be writing about this at length again and again as we gear up towards November. Democratic voters have to be given a reason to vote. Citizenship should be enough. But, okay, here’s one: sticking it to pundits who think you’re too stupid to make up your own minds. Pundits who think you’re as infantile as Fox News viewers. Every time a liberal pundit expresses that voters should stay home, or waxes rhapsodic for the Second Coming of Clinton, that should be urging enough to go to your polling station—or, better yet, sign up for an absentee ballot—and vote straight Democrat. Do it. It will make Chris Hayes shed a tear while he Skypes with Glenn Greenwald.