If one overlooks, as the politicians do, the real lives affected, it is sort of fun to watch politicians giving a decent imitation of cockroaches evading the light. Just now, it is the GOP in that position; the Democrats have been unarguably rejected for the moment; there is no place for them to hide.
President Obama is making lemonade of this, using it as a license to pursue policies anathema to the voters; he has been tossed under the bus by his party to encourage this as much as to isolate other Democratic candidates from his unpopularity. So, he is giving the fabled finger to the Republicans, proceeding with executive privilege … excuse us, with Executive Orders, keeping the borders open regardless of laws already on the books. His party wants that. So, in spite of their complaints, do the Republicans. It is just the majority of t the voters who disagree. Perhaps because those voters have to pay for the result?
The Dems are honest (Well, as honest as politicians become) in wanting immigration as immigrants vote Democrat, usually. The Republicans want it too, (read: cheap labor) but as the voters mostly don’t want job competition and so are against open borders, the Republicans must at leas, dissemble. Awkward, that. The position used to be characterized as that of a Mugwump: A political bird that sat on a fence with his mug on one side and his wump on the other.
So we see the dance starting in Washington: The Dems are scurrying from the President, freeing him to do the unpopular. The Republicans are pumping verbal testosterone about how they are ready to take down the Dems’ errors and save the populace. His Presidentialness raises The Finger at them. Fun!
And mostly we suspect, theater. The first reality we expect will arrive when, upon opening the new Congress in January, the Senate Republicans adopt the rules of procedure. You’ll recall that Chief Senate Demon Harry Reid arranged for abandonment of the cozy filibuster rules that Republicans had used to block legislation desired by majority Democrats. Dumping that procedure was considered a “nuclear option” when Majority Leader Reid arranged it. It certainly weakened GOP influence in the Senate.
So come January, will the Republicans imitate Reid on filibusters? Or will they become noble good guys, restoring what the Dems dumped? Without the blocking ability for the Democrats, the Republicans will have to put their money where their mouths have been: cutting spending, fencing the border, repealing Obamacare etc. But if the Republicans really don’t want those things, they need someone to blame for not providing them, right? And the Dems will block them sure enough, if they can. For that, they will need the filibuster that they threw out. So we will watch to see whether the filibuster is reinstated in the next Congress. If yes, the fix is in. If no, the GOP had better produce for its conservative minority. (Which it does not wish to do.)
Of course, the Prez may give the GOP an out; he could just vetpo everything after the Congress appproves it. But that could make the n2016 GOP presidential candidate more appealing; the Dems seem unlikely to desire that. Balance is needed …
The Grand Old Party has other conflicts: it rails against deficits but has been funding them all along. It wants to cut taxes but keep spending upon wars and welfare; it nor any can get there from here. And it REALLY doesn’t wish to be in the White House at the next stock market crash, but the recent Fed ending of “quantitative easing” puts that risk on the board. Republicans had one Herbert Hoover; they surely don’t wish another. (For the young, Hoover, (R) was holding the bag for the Great Depression.)
So how does a party committed to tax relief and against deficits, continue the spending that supports its donors and much of its elderly base? How does it pay for its wars under weak economic conditions? How does it impeach a President who is doing things that it wants but the Constitution doesn’t provide?
Seems to us, the GOP has achieved the kind of victory attributed to old King Pyrrhus … the guy who said that: “One more such victory and we are undone!” or something like that.
Come January, we’re going to watch whether the Republicans in the Senate restore the traditional filibuster. If they do, the fix is in. If they don’t, they’re going to have to produce or watch the Democrats take over for the next 60 years or so, as they did from the Great Depression. Any bets? Any arguments?