Tuesday, October 26, 2010

It's Going To Be Ugly

Next Tuesday will tell the tale. Judging by the last two years the next two years are going to be an even more intense political disaster than we have seen so far., Regardless of whether the GOP takes back one or both houses of Congress, the obvious political success of the strategy of obstruction will encourage them to raise the ante even higher. The real question is whether we will just collapse into a complete paralysis or just wallow in  incompetence while the economy withers further and joblessness continues apace.
Paul Krugman wrote yesterday:
The resurgent Republicans have learned nothing from the economic crisis, except that doing everything they can to undermine Mr. Obama is a winning political strategy. Tax cuts and deregulation are still the alpha and omega of their economic vision.
And if they take one or both houses of Congress, complete policy paralysis — which will mean, among other things, a cutoff of desperately needed aid to the unemployed and a freeze on further help for state and local governments — is a given. The only question is whether we’ll have political chaos as well, with Republicans’ shutting down the government at some point over the next two years. And the odds are that we will.
No one can argue that their continuous obstruction has been politically popular as evidenced by the forecast gains in Congress. It also abundantly clear that, if anything, their obsession with reducing government and taxes is stronger and just as misguided as ever.  They refuse to admit or recognize that job losses peaked the month before President Obama took office and that now, after a severely weakened stimulus, we are now, after two years, finally seeing some private sector job growth. Somehow, in their very strange world view, they really seem to believe that the solution to improving the economy is doing nothing.

What is even stranger is that they seem genuinely proud of their paralysis and obstruction and they are already crowing that it will get even worse. For example, Mike Pence, the number three House Republican, pledges that the GOP will refuse to compromise with the Obama administration or Democrats in Congress on anything. His actual words were "Look, there will be no compromise" . Mitch McConnell the GOP leader in the Senate actually said,  "The single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president." that says it all.

One would hope, that in a saner world, the Republicans would take the message from the voters and make an attempt to actually govern for a change. That is not going to happen. The GOP are going to pursue paralysis with gusto....the hell with America's problems. It's going to be very ugly and if the GOP does retake the house we can look forward to basically nothing getting done over the next two years and we'll be lucky if they don't manage to shut down the government completely. The only chance for something positive to come out of this is for the President to fight them tooth and nail and for the Democrats to make clear that there is an alternative to just doing nothing. It is, however, going to take leadership by Obama and we'll just have to see if he has gotten over his insistence at doing everything to reach a bipartisan solution. The GOP is going to have nothing to do with bipartisan and it should be clear to the White House by now that the coming two years are going to require a little more spine.

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