Expect Another Do-Nothing Year in Congress
President Obama’s state of the union speech was actually the opening salvo in the mid-term elections. His reelection in November was not only the end of his 2012 campaign but also the beginning of a new – and vitally important – sales mission for 2014. The hope and change he promised America back in 2008 have yet to be achieved. And only the decisive defeat of the Republicans next year will make that possible.
The president is not likely to get anything done as long as the Republicans control the House and have that ridiculous filibuster rule in the Senate. But he can campaign. And he’s good at that.
That leaves the television pundits grasping for grist to chew on twenty-four/seven. Rachel Maddow is obliged to rehash the Big Lie that got Americans into that tragic Iraq misadventure, for example. And The Nation magazine devotes page after page to exposing the CIA’s “rendition” torture camps that flourished in the darkness during those bad Bush years of yore.
The Republicans are milking the Benghazi “scandal” in their desperate search for campaign issues. And vicious dolts like Ted Cruz are raising questions about malevolent organizations that Chuck Hagel might (or might not) have accepted funds from – if he accepted funds from anyone and if an organization named Friends of Hamas actually exists or ever existed.
As they say in Jamaica, “one fool makes many.” And Senator Rand Paul is living proof of that. Rachel played a clip last night of the Kentucky senator (and Republican presidential hopeful) expressing “concern” over the possibilities raised by Cruz and his allies in right-wing talk radio.
I’m sure they don’t believe any of the nonsense they’re suggesting; but they have to find some dark conspiracy to whisper about. The mid-terms are coming, you know.
It looks like a long year for political pundits.
I bet the news folk are thanking their lucky stars for the meteor that exploded over Russia and for those equally explosive rants from the NRA’s Wayne LaPierre.
I don’t know why LaPierre bothers. Congress probably won’t do much about gun control this year or next, regardless of the rubbish he comes up with – and regardless of the president’s heartbreaking eloquence.
I don’t expect Congress to do much about anything this year. Not even the so-called “sequester.”
Those loafers in Washington will take their paychecks and let the country drift while they enjoy the spoils of their campaign victories and dredge up “issues” for the mid-terms.
Of course, you’re going to hear politicians scream about the drastic budget cuts the sequester will bring. But they won’t do anything about it. What do they care if a million more Americans lose their jobs? Nobody in Congress is losing theirs – not until 2014, anyway.
Sadly, what with the rampant gerrymandering that has gone on over the years, their jobs get safer and safer. Red districts get redder, and blue districts get bluer. As a result, political extremism is rewarded and gridlock gets more predictable.
The only mitigating factor is demographic change. With Hispanics – especially younger Hispanics – making up more of the electorate each year, the red states are expected to grow increasingly purple.
But by that time, President Obama will probably be golfing in Hawaii full time, and codgers like me will be a faint memory.
For America to see hope and change anytime soon, voters will have to buy the Obama package next year. In the meantime, let’s yell our heads off for those rousing campaign speeches the president is delivering. It’s good TV.