GOP Imploding: Will 2012 Bring A Reversal of Fortunes For Democrats?

GOP Imploding: Will 2012 Bring A Reversal of Fortunes For Democrats?

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.


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  • The only thing I'm predicting is that if stuff continues as it is, the middle will stay home, and then the two radical factions can fight it out even more. Don't know what party that helps.

    On the House side, one has to withhold judgment until the suits on reapportionment are over. One has to wonder if prior losers like Foster and Duckworth stay in if a federal court informs them that the open districts the GA handed them on a platter are not still open. I don't know if Radongo alleged enough to get relief, but she certain described what the Dems' intent and effect were.

    I'd repeat that it is always "it's the economy stupid," except we probably don't know which side comes out on that issue. If you are talking national parties falling apart, it probably doesn't help that the Reps. don't have a strong presidential candidate yet. We also know on what side are the asphalt contractors and public employees, although both sides have those that don't pay taxes.

  • In reply to jack:

    Mornin' Jack, I think you were commenting on the latest post but it does bear on our politics here too.

    Naturally we have a problem with turnout here in Illinois and that has just added to Madigan's clout - but nationally, I think there will be a turnout. The Republicans not only have a viable national candidate yet, but the Tea Party Caucus has seriously divided the GOP. But yes the "it's the economy stupid" will always be the driving force. Never the less, as poor a job Obama has done on jobs - he has been able to divert the blame squarely back into the GOP's lap because the perception is that he has been willing to deal and anger his own party. So who does it benefit? Right now we could have a second term for someone that normally would have been booted. It's not looking good for the GOP Jack. The latest poll regarding Independents seem to confirm that.

  • I might be less concerned about whether it is not so good for the GOP as whether something is a counterweight to Democrats of the Reid, Pelosi, and Illinois kind.

    At one time, there were centrists in each party that could forge a compromise. Heck, even Teddy Kennedy was the prime sponsor of the Bush education bill.

    I think I mentioned here earlier that after some left winger was saying something about don't give into the House Republicans, either they have to deal or nothing will get done, and Obama understands that.The House apparently doesn't, unless it is just making political points that it knows will be shot down in the Senate. If you hollow out the middle, it will just get worse, unless one assumes that the best Congress is the one that does the least.

    As far as whether Obama gets reelected, whether the Tea Party fractionalizes the GOP seems less relevant, unless someone like Bachman gets nominated. Obama is going to have his far lefties sit out too (note reports that the Senate plan is going to have trouble in the House, not only from the Tea Party, but from Dems. who say that it cuts entitlements). Of course, he has the benefits that he "caught" Osama and the economy went to hell under Bush.

  • In reply to jack:

    In a nutshell - yeah! And yes we need those Centrists more than ever right now.

    Those perceptions of Obama, too, unfortunately are what they are. Ah the politics of it all. It sucks.

  • It sucks when the people's fate is decided by whoever runs the best PR campaign. The fact of the matter is that i have not seen a plan from the White House that appeases anyone...he isn't taking the lead but rather doleing out blame (oh and don't tell me that he doesn't have a vote so he doesn't need to come out with a plan, because he arguably has the biggest vote of all and that is the veto). If it doesn't work out he can always say, "well it wasn't my plan, blame Bush." I didn't vote for him, but why can't he lead from the front with a plan that will keep "entitlements" (I hate that word because no one is entitled to squat) steady for now, making cuts elsewhere other than defense (i.e. foreign aid), with a 2% increase in the top tax bracket. It's a band-aid, but that buys us time to then deal with entitlement reform. BTW, I am not a conservative nut job, last 4 elections voted: McCain, Kerry, Gore, Clinton (making me 0-4).

  • In reply to nolebron:

    Nolebron, I couldn't envision you a conservative nut job based on your comment. It is well reasoned and BTW, I didn't vote for Obama either. But I agree that it is a shame that it comes down to the better PR. I think my only point is that right now Obama is leading by, shall we say, default. The GOP has blundered. As for "entitlements" I am slightly conflicted as I am on Social Security these days, but I feel I paid into that system and have earned the little I get - but in the larger scope we have to still view it as a contract made between the people and government. Saying that, though, I totally agree it needs reform and that something has to change in the way it is administrated in the future. I hate the idea of all the fraud and people getting benefits that don't deserve them as much as anyone. And yes, we must look at the other big ticket items that choke the budget; i.e. the many, many, tentacles of the military. Not only do they have their own budget, but own a line in nearly every other budget as well.

    Oh yeah, my election choices haven't fared as well either. But let's keep voting anyway and for whomever that may be.

    Thanks for your comment.

  • In reply to nolebron:

    "It sucks when the people's fate is decided by whoever runs the best PR campaign."

    That is the core of the problem. Everything is run by PR, as exemplified by the same flack from Tampa running the Blago and Drew Peterson circuses, and Mike's post a couple of days ago about getting a nonresponsive e-mail from Boehner's office. And I know, I took a PR course.

    You might be right in saying that Obama should have gotten the "gang of six" (as characterized on Charile Rose) proposal out front before the House one, or show leadership in other ways, but apparently he and Biden have been presiding over fruitless negotiations.

    Admittedly, Obama has PR (that's what Axelrod was about), but I have said on this forum that if you take the substance of what he says, such as in the State of the Union message of 2011, there was darn little that he said (except about raising taxes) to which a Republican could not agree. For instance, he came out in favor of medical malpractice reform, something at least the Democrats supported by the trial lawyer lobby do not like, but probably essential to making health care cost containment work.

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