Sunday, July 28, 2013

Is 2014 going to be a rerun of 2010?

The GOP fear-mongered healthcare reform to a massive electoral tidal wave in 2010, sweeping their way to majorities in the US House of Representatives and state houses across the country.

That year, the GOP took advantage of the astroturf-generated tea party movement with, among other things, a series "town hall meetings" that were filled with anti-immigrant, anti-Democrats, anti-Obama, anti-healthcare reform, and anti-99% propaganda.

And since they've been in office, what little "work" that they've done has been based on the same propaganda (i.e. - the US House's 40th  dog and pony show vote to "repeal" Obamacare is on tap for next week).

It's not just the House Republicans either - the Republicans in the US Senate have filibustered nearly everything to come before them, even normally non-controversial executive branch appointments.

At the state level, they've been enacting voter suppression laws, anti-choice laws, tax cuts for corporations and the wealthy, anti-worker measures, and more, and always against the will of the people of their states.

In short, they've high-handedly postured for the last 2-plus years while doing nothing of substance that's beneficial to the whole country, like looking for ways to shore up the fragile economic recovery (actually, they've done just the opposite of *helping* the economy, but that's a topic for a wonkier post).

Now, the GOPers involved may not be honorable public servants, but neither have they allowed their arrogance to blind them to the reality that most Americans, and most voters, blame them for the decline in the US economy, society's infrastructure (both physical and social) and US influence abroad.

They fully understand that the elections of 2014 could be disastrous for them, in spite of the political truism that historically, the party that doesn't control the White House makes gains in the midterm elections during a president's second term (not absolutely accurate, but still a widely accepted truism).

They know that they can't campaign on their "accomplishments", because they don't have any, or what they consider to be "accomplishments" are things that actually work against the interests of their constituents.

Now, the GOP hasn't had an original idea in generations, so they didn't feel the need to look deep in their repertoire for a plan for forestalling defeat next year.

In other words, they're going to try to tea party likes it's 2010 all over again.

From Crooks & Liars, written by karoli -

July is winding down and our do-nothing House is close to having a month to do nothing but stir up general rage and anger. With that goal in mind, House Republicans have all received their August marching orders and field guides for activities inside their districts. I've put the entire document here below the fold, but here are some of the highlights:
Media Events
  • Invite representatives of 501c3 and c4 groups to speak about how they "could have been targeted by the IRS and explain how house Republicans are conducting oversight hearings to hold the Administration accountable." Members are further instructed to issue media advisories in advance and be sure to hold a press conference afterwards.
  • Have 'conversations' with health care providers, presumably to gin up some more hate for the Affordable Care Act.
  • Host a local jobs fair. Oh, the irony.
  • Target millennials with a health care forum designed to inform them of how screwed they are after Obamacare kicks in
  • Take a Red Tape Tour in connection with the local Chamber of Commerce so businesses can complain about excessive regulations.
Town Hall Meetings
  • Emergency Health Care - Carve out an hour to focus solely on health care, "addressing the myriad effects of ObamaCare on the people in your district."
  • Stopping Government Abuse - This is the "kill the IRS" themed meeting, with a dash of "kill all regulations" tossed in.
The original document is here.

I don't really expect the GOP scheme to work, buuuuuut...

As in 2010, a number of Democratic members of the US House of Representatives from competitive areas seem to think that appearing to be "Republican-lite" will win over some Republican voters.

In recent weeks, they've sided with the House Republicans and (among other things) -

Voted to allow funding for continued NSA spying on Americans (WaPo story)

Voted to support a measure to take the authority to regulate coal ash created by power plants away from the EPA and give it to the more easily cowed states (The Hill story)

Voted to delay full implementation of Obamacare (HuffPo story)

Voted to loosen oversight of the financial industry by giving them a loophole related to overseas operations (Mother Jones story)

Voted to hamstring the SEC (The Hill story)

In 2010, many of the Democrats in competitive districts did the same thing, some even becoming "Blue Dog Democrats (conservative pseudo-Republicans) in a mostly futile attempt to stave off defeat.

OK, "mostly futile" is my tactful way of saying that they got their asses kicked.

Three of the Democratic members of Arizona's delegation - Ann Kirkpatrick, Kyrsten Sinema, and Ron Barber - are members of the group that are going the "Republican-lite" route.

They should all know better - Kirkpatrick was one of the conservaDems ousted in 2010, Barber worked for former Congresswoman Gabby Giffords, who was nearly ousted, and Sinema is simply smart as hell.

But they don't seem to, because they all seem to be pursuing the strategy that failed so miserably in 2010.

And that may be the thing that does the most to guarantee R success in 2014 - as bad as the Republicans have been for the country, too many Democrats will be governing and running in such a way as to give the voters two bad choices on next year's ballot.

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