November 9, 2016
Obama's sweeping victory in 2008 gave the Democrats control of the White House, the House, and the Senate. But on the day he was sworn in, top Republicans got together and vowed to make Obama a one-term president, utilizing a strategy of obstruction we would all become familiar with. They created a pretty simple strategy: if the president can't get anything done, the American people will kick him out in four years. So they tried to stop him from getting anything done. Obstruct anything and everything. Doesn't matter if it's good for the country, doesn't matter if he proposes something you like, doesn't matter if he joins on to a Republican idea. Doesn't matter. If Obama is for it, the GOP is against it.
Oh and remember that when Obama took office, the US economy was losing 700,000 jobs every month. He was trying to stop us from falling into a depression, and that's the moment the GOP picked to try to prevent the President from doing anything.
Obama had two years with control of both houses, but not a filibuster proof majority, so he had to compromise. Want a stimulus package to get the economy going? Nope, can't do it. The president might get credit for something good. When it came to healthcare, the left wanted things like companies no longer getting to decide that it's more profitable to let you die, and for giving that up, Republicans wanted something in return. The result that was cobbled together was Obamacare. Recall that the left's real dream was universal healthcare that takes all profit-motives out of healthcare, you know, the kind of thing that most other civilized countries have. But instead we got a compromise, and the GOP has been fighting against it ever since. The GOP has been actively trying to sabotage Obamacare from the start.
In the 2010 midterms, the Dems lost control of congress, largely as a backlash to Obama, the struggling economy (which was totally his fault), and dire warnings about Obama appointing Czars, Government Death Panels that will kill grandma, and conspiracy theories about Obama not being a "real American." Because we have a census every 10 years, the winner in 2010 was able to draw the new district lines, and so that election has meant that the GOP was able to totally gerrymander the country, giving themselves such a huge advantage that in a nationally close election, the Republicans will win big in the house.
In 2012, the Republican obstruction plan failed, as Obama was able to beat Romney. They continued with obstruction anyway. Obama has spent the last nearly six years as president with a Republican congress that wants nothing more than to do nothing and wait for yesterday. Their strategy is simple: the democrats hold the White House, so if Washington is gridlocked and do-nothing, then the American people will vote for "change" and put a Republican in the White House. They've been sabotaging the country, doing everything in their power to stop the President from being able to do anything, obstructing everything for eight years just so they could win.
In February, Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia died, and within hours of the news breaking, the GOP declared that Obama would not be allowed to name his replacement because it was an election year -- a bullshit rule they just made up. In fact Reagan put a justice on the Supreme Court in February of 1988 (an election year). Many Senate Republicans said that Obama could name a justice if he picked a consensus choice instead of a far-left judge, many even offered up a name, Merrick Garland. Orrin Hatch specifically cited Garland as a good choice, but said Obama wouldn't pick him because he's too moderate and Obama would pick a super liberal. Obama then picked Garland, a centrist, compromise pick. The Republicans who had just said Garland was great suddenly backpedaled and had to be against Garland.
When it looked like Hillary would win and then she could name a super-liberal, some Republican Senators like Jeff Flake said they should go ahead and approve Garland, the centrist, after Hillary wins but before she takes office, against the wishes of both Obama and Clinton. I.e., they'd wait until Obama was an actual lame-duck to then stop obstructing and approve his pick in an election year because they didn't like how the election went. Other Republican Senators like Richard Burr and Ted Cruz suggested that if Hillary wins they would continue the obstructionism and stop Hillary from appointing a Supreme Court Justice for four years, leaving Scalia's seat vacant for 5 years, usurping the power of the President. This is an unprecedented and unconstitutional tactic, a shocking degree of obstructionism.
So after 8 years spent on a tactic of stalling, obstructing, filibustering, and doing everything in their power to stop the President from doing anything at all (six years of that with control of congress), the Republicans just won control of the White House, the House, and the Senate. The American people have just rewarded the Republicans for sabotaging the country for eight years by giving them everything they wanted. This is appalling. They've put party politics ahead of the country so that they could run on a platform of fixing Washington, and the American people are apparently dumb enough to not realize that the Republicans are the party that broke it and they did it on purpose.
This is not just a gross miscarriage of justice, it's a dangerous precedent to set. If both parties adopt a strategy of total obstructionism when they're not in power, betting on taking control back in 4 years, then we're going to end up with a failed state. This is how a country dies.
The Republicans are the ruling party. They Control the gerrymandered house, they control the Senate, and have had a majority on the Supreme Court since the '70s, 31 of the 50 governors are Republicans, and they control 33 state legislatures (only 16 controlled by Democrats). But the President is a Democrat. The American people seem to want change, they want an outsider that will "fix" Washington, so they just gave even more power to the party that's already in power. This will go well.
Trump in the White House in a narrow victory (maybe not winning the popular vote, we'll see), plus now they'll get to add a supreme court justice that rightfully should have been picked by Obama, giving the Supreme Court control back to Republicans (currently it's 4 democrat appointees and 4 republican appointees).
They just got everything they wanted.
What's it look like when Republicans have total control? Let's ask Kansas how they're doing.
But they don't have 60 votes in the Senate...Maybe the Democrats are getting together right now and making a strategy of obstructing everything Trump wants to do. Obstruct, obstruct, obstruct. Might we spend the next 4 years, or 8 years with Democratic obstructionism as they wait for their turn to be in power? Or will the Dems be willing to compromise and actually try to help the country instead of putting party first? And if the Dems do compromise and work with the other side, will the American people interpret this as the Republicans getting things done as opposed to those do-nothing Democrats that couldn't do anything when Obama was in the White House? If the Republicans don't let the Democrats do anything when they win, should the Democrats do the same? Should they be the bigger people and gracious losers and compromisers for the good of the country? Or would that just reward the Republicans for their obstructionism and further encourage them?
Too bad Obama couldn't run again, with his approval numbers, it looks like he would have won a third term against Trump. But he couldn't run again, because the last time the Republicans lost more than two Presidential elections in a row, they pushed through a constitutional amendment to stop popular presidents from winning a third time. It's obstruction all the way down.