The tides of discontent swings like a pendulum. As Democrats found out during the mid-term elections of 2010, if you anger the public - there will be repercussions. The Tea Party seized the moment and the balance of power shifted to the GOP in the House of Representatives.
Americans wanted change and more importantly an end to the partisan gridlock that has become an art form in Washington. But, a funny thing happened on the way to the office - the GOP decided that the gridlock they were supposed to end could wait until they maneuvered for the bigger prize - complete control in 2012. The problem, though, is that people were again left holding the bag and the anger is higher.
It wasn't hard to foresee that the Democrats were in a world of hurt for 2010 and that they were going to lose seats. The only thing that wasn't known was how many. But, just as I said then - Republicans just winning wasn't going to be enough. They had to get rid of the perception of being the Party of No and the Party of Big Business. And if they couldn't do that between the mid-terms and the 2012 Election, there would be a reversal of fortunes for the Democrats.
Look, it doesn't take a sage to see the disillusionment among the people. In spite of the fact that the Right and the Left may have a dedicated and fervent base, the key in any General Election will always hinge on how Independents think. There is a significant enough portion of the population that doesn't subscribe to extremism from either side. So, both Political Party's have a Moderate base to contend with and when you couple that with the Independent Voters - it will determine the outcome of elections.
Just as President Barack Obama was able to get the crossover votes during his meteoric rise, so did Ronald Reagan with his Reagan Democrats. As I see it, Americans are just independent enough to still believe in enough is enough, right is right and wrong is wrong to send a message to its elected leaders from time to time. I don't know, maybe I am a dreamer when it comes to the idea that the right principle for the moment, will always win out over a flawed one. And maybe people think I am wrong in my assessment, but as I have said too - I have never once voted a straight ticket and believe there are many more like me and politicians have to heed that.
No one will deny that we need to address the issue of soaring debt and the out-of-control spending that, by the way, both political party's engage in, but, this notion that the Nations Debt absolutely must be solved, right at this very moment is flawed logic - in spite of the nobleness of the principle. I believe that people are smart enough to know that the economy just hasn't rebounded in a manner that is conducive or consistent with growth. Sometimes you just have to forgo the principles and work on alleviating the pressures at hand.
No one says that there won't come a time when this showdown will be absolutely necessary but it just isn't now. Anyone who follows the key government economic barometers can see that the financial experts and their rosy outlooks are self-serving at best. However we must deal with reality. Not only are we still dealing with high unemployment (whether official or unofficial), but home foreclosures and steady business closings are growing at a rate that outstrips any significant gains made. And unless you live in a cocoon you have to accept those realities.
Personally, I don't see how we can move forward as a nation if our elected leaders can't understand what real compromise means. Besides, isn't politics at its core supposed to be about diplomacy and negotiation? Unfortunately, both sides of the aisle have forsaken the people in favor of special interests and corporate greed. The mess we are in is largely their doing! Yet when the shit hits the fan then all of a sudden we get this word principle tossed around as if it really meant something. Well, where were those principles before?
As I said in my previous post, the GOP has raised the debt ceiling 7 times without dissent during Dubya's tenure, yet no one tried to stiff him by adding debt reduction as a condition. Hey, I ain't real happy about the debt ceiling constantly rising either, but I also understand that there has never been a honest effort made to make the cuts where they were actually needed either. So, instead of blaming Social Security or Medicare - politicians need to man up and look at the real culprits. But they won't because both sides don't want to admit that their principled stand isn't really all that principled when it comes right down to it.
So far as the the Tea Party Caucus goes, well, they need to recognize when the fight is winnable and right now I just don't think it is. And much of the reason for that is that they too aren't bargaining in good faith. That is probably part of the reason that Americans are now beginning to agree with President Obama's assertion that the GOP obstructionism is very real. It also doesn't matter whether that is just a perception or a hard truth, people are just tired of being held hostage. From a political standpoint it appears to me that Republicans have misplayed their hand. However, the worst part of it may be that the GOP has become too fractured with the Tea Party on one side and the more moderate Republicans on the other to be taken seriously.
So, if it seems as if the the GOP is imploding, well it may very well be, but only time will tell for sure. Never the less, I predicted something very similar not all that long ago - and I have to say things look eerily the same.