When you get right down to it, things are going pretty well for Republicans governmentally. They control both the White House and the Supreme Court and while they no longer control the House of Representatives their control of the Senate gives them veto power over the Democrats in the Congress as a whole. Judging from the way they have chosen to govern, however, one gets the impression that Republicans believe this cushy arrangement is going to last forever, that they will never have to face the wrath of a government controlled by angry Democrats. This is a foolish mistake.
The nature of American politics is cyclical. One party may control the government for four or eight years but then for reasons unknown the people decide it’s time for a change. That’s when everything goes topsy-turvy for the party that had been in power. This is why it’s so important to govern prudently and without anger or revenge. This is because while the nature of American politics my run in cycles, the essence of American politics is often based on retaliation. If the party that takes over from the other feels as if it has been treated unfairly or has been abused it’s only natural for that party to get its full measure of revenge. It seems to me that Republicans have forgotten this basic element of American politics and it’s entirely possible that they will have to pay the price for this oversight.
To a certain extent this is perfectly understandable. Recent history tells us that Democrats govern like wimps, while Republicans govern both harshly and ruthlessly when they get the opportunity to take over the reins of power. I think this explains, in part, why Republicans have been so silent when it comes to the nonsensical style of governance Donald Trump has foisted on the country. Frankly, they’re not afraid of losing power to the Democrats because they know the Democrats won’t treat them as harshly as they have treated the Democrats. It seems as if Democrats are great at expressing righteous indignation when they’re out of power, but they’re pretty much hapless when it comes time for them to govern. Yes, they’re angry when they assume governmental authority and they certainly feel justified in venting that anger, but when the rubber meets the road Democrats take the position that they don’t want to govern as mercilessly as the Republicans. It’s as if they have determined that they don’t want to stoop so low.
At least that’s the way it’s been in the past. Judging from the results of the mid-term elections, however, there’s a new breed of Democrat out there, angrier and more determined to respond in kind to the depredations inflicted on them by their Republican opponents. They have seen President Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell push the collective faces of the Democrats in the muck and mire, and not only have they treated Democrats harshly and without respect, they have taken great delight in doing so. That’s why so many of the Democratic class of 2018 have been duly indignant at the disrespect hurled down on their leaders and their party, thus sparking the anger of this new breed of Democrats in the Congress and stoking their desire not only for retaliation but revenge.
Republicans should understand that whether it happens in 2020 or 2024, a Democrat will once again sit in the White House. But that Democratic President is not likely to forget how his or her party was treated by people like Mitch McConnell or Donald Trump and will be more than will to extract the last full measure of revenge for the ill treatment they have received at these gentlemen’s hands. And rest assured, when the retaliation starts to hurt you can be sure Republicans will scream bloody murder. They’ll start talking about things like accountability and respect for the rule of law. And the attitude of that Democratic President will most assuredly be, “What accountability, what rule of law?”. You guys killed those concepts years ago.
Oh, it’s possible Republicans can get lucky. The Democrats can elect an old-fashioned politician like Joe Biden for President and he will sing that old siren song that we have to all try to get along, even after Mitch McConnell has spent a full year kicking him in the teeth legislatively. But I would warn my Republican brethren that they may not be so lucky this time around. It’s not beyond the realm of the possible that an Elizabeth Warren or a Kamala Harris might end up in the White House and those two women are unlikely to roll over and play dead for Mitch McConnell or any other would-be Republican bully. Rather than chant the refrain, “let’s get along together!”, they may well shout out loud and clear, “revenge is a dish best served cold!!”.
Filed under: Politics