Gumming Up The Works
Now that the midterm elections are over I’m looking forward to a future of government leadership with cooperation between the two parties. But I have to admit that even though I don’t believe in Santa Claus, I also look forward to finding an Aston Martin DB9 in my driveway come Christmas morning. But it should be noted that the inevitable outcome of the midterm election is that people want change and they’re ready to do anything to get it. Democrats had promised change. But they squandered their majorities and allowed themselves to get mired in politics that made them look rather ineffective and incompetent. They forgot that rule that goes, use it or lose it.
One thing that should not be overlooked, President Barack Obama’s job should become a lot easier. Before this election, with the Democrats controlling both houses of the Congress and the White House, the Republicans had the advantage of being barriers to getting things done. They could filibuster anything and everything and the Democrats were more than happy to act helpless and play right into the Republican’s strategy. When it came time for reelection, most Democrats abandoned the President and tried to distance themselves playing right into a classic divide and conquer maneuver. The drubbing that was given to the Dems was a textbook example of how to win and lose elections.
But now that they own a bigger piece of the government’s control, the Republican’s now share a bigger piece of the blame of things don’t work out. They no longer have the luxury of sitting back, digging their collective heels in, and simply watching as the nation’s goes down the drain. Republicans can no longer sit back and say that they hope Mr. Obama fails because now they own a piece of the steering wheel. That is truly a good thing.
People compare what’s coming in the near future to what happened between former President Bill Clinton back in 1994 when the electorate voted the Democrats out of the legislature for a large chunk of Republicans. Led by people like House Representative Newt Gingrich and Senator Bob Dole, the Republicans overplayed their political hand by butting heads with Mr. Clinton and shutting the government down for a brief time. The people didn’t appreciate that. And when 1996 came around, the people let their displeasure known and Mr. Clinton, considered possibly irrelevant after the Democrat’s drubbing while he was in the White House, easily won reelection. Will history repeat itself? I would hope not.
If the Republicans want to dig their heels in now and keep government ineffective and ineffectual, they’re going to have to take responsibility for it, and they’ll take their own drubbing come election time in 2012. But on the other hand, if the Republicans and Democrats work together in some form of political euphoria and things go well, people will see no need to make change and Mr. Obama would be sitting pretty for reelection. Either way, Mr. Obama really is sitting pretty. The Democrats’ lost really is his gain. The Republican’s win is his win as well.
Unlike some people who like to wear their politics on their sleeves and openly hope for our government leaders to fail because they happen to follow a different political philosophy, I sincerely hope for our leaders’ success regardless of their political leanings. Unfortunately, I don’t see cutting back on education and other social programs or letting corporate America run over people and our environment with deregulation and other measures meant to get government out of the way of business is a good idea. I like the fact that somebody’s making sure we have clean water and clean air and our children are getting educated. I can’t put a dollar amount on how important those things are. Like the tag line from the MasterCard commercials, that stuff’s priceless. And if business people truly had what’s best for everyone at heart, we would’ve never needed regulations in the first place. Nevertheless, I hope our political leadership can work together for the benefit of us all and the rest of the world.
If we see our government officials truly committed to doing what’s best for everyone then we will truly see better times. And that’s long overdue. I for one am tired of the partisan bickering that has reached unheard of levels lately. I’m sure that a lot of people would welcome a new era of political cooperation that we’ve haven’t seen in a very long time.
But it is also an unfortunate reality that there are people on both sides of the political divide who won’t accept anything other than complete political control. There is little doubt that there are people who would rather continue to root for the lethargic malaise that has become synonymous with our political process. Some of us don’t want a change to the rancor. Some people like things just fine the way they are and would be more than happy to continue, or start, gumming up the works of this new version of our political machine all over again. Anything to make the other side look bad.