Should Republicans Sweep the Polls on Tuesday . . .
What would the political landscape look like should Republicans regain control of the US House of Representatives and/or Senate as pre-ordained by history and repetitively proclaimed this election season by the media establishment, pundits and pollsters? What would become of Obama’s progressive agenda?
Fore mostly, gridlock, gridlock, and more gridlock! The best articulation of the logjam that GOP victory at the polls this coming Tuesday portends came this week when while making the rounds on the conservative talk circuit (Hannity on Fox News), the Republican Minority Leader and Speaker of the House in-waiting, John Boehner stridently declared “this is not a time for compromise, and I can tell you that we will not compromise on our principles. To the extent the president wants to work with us, in terms of our goals, we‘d welcome his involvement."
“Welcome his involvement” and “work with us in terms of our goals?” Assuming that Boehner’s unpretentious impudence could be overlooked; does anyone really see a path to reasoned dialogue and bi-partisanship for the larger good?
The Republican Leadership and the odd assortment of Tea Party jokesters, revisionists and shock merchants they have formed an unholy alliance with have, to their credit, been very clear as to their aspirations and intentions as they relate to literally turning back the hands of the clock to a period in this county’s inglorious past when things were simple, predictable and comfortably monotheistic---white and male!
So, Rand Paul, the freshman Senator from Kentucky would push to water down the 1964 Civil Rights Act to allow private businesses the free hand to uphold discredited segregationist practices and introduce new legislation seeking to modify the 14th Amendment guaranteeing citizenship to "all persons born or naturalized in the United States" to deny birthright citizenship for children of illegal immigrants, and the blanket denial of visas to citizens of “terrorist” or “rogue” nations.
The health insurance industry would probably be one of the first industries to get in line to collect on its multi-million dollar electoral campaign investment. The recently enacted landmark health care reform legislation would be overturned to clear the way for a return to old sadistic practices (pre-existing condition clauses, etc.) and the indefensible pre-Obama status quo that left insurance companies making record profits even as nearly 50 million Americans were without coverage and many more were on the brinks of inexorable bankruptcy from mounting piles of exorbitant, price-prohibitive medical bills.
They would, of course, make good on the ideological mother ship of permanentizing defamed Bush tax cuts of 2001 and 2003 which in addition to lining the pockets of their wealthy patrons and financiers, would irrevocably add another trillion dollars to the very deficit they rode to power promising to liquidate.
Then Joe Miller, Christine O’Donnell and Sharron Angle would take the knife to a series of public agencies and programs they view as emblematic of bloated government. The US Department of Education would be eliminated. Social Security and Medicare would be privatized or, as Miller would say, “personalized.” The IRS code and both Freddie Mae and Freddie Mac would be terminated.
The marker consumer protectionist statutory measures that the Obama administration managed to eke out since January 2009 (the Credit Card Accountability, Responsibility and Disclosure Act, for instance) would be abridged or rescinded.
Deregulation, of the same flavor that birthed the sub-prime housing crisis and ushered a range of exotic, complicated financial products (derivatives and the like), or perhaps worse, would again be resurgent; which would unarguably go a long way in assuaging US Chamber of Commerce's undisguised interests during the elections.
But the degree to which all of the foregoing actually materializes hinges on the Republican legislative leaders’ ability to extract or instill discipline within its jarring, inharmonious, cacophonous, discordant ranks. Getting any bills through the legislative process to a point where they’d naturally face Obama’s power of presidential veto would depend largely on Boehner’s shrewd negotiation skills in dealing with tea party lawmakers with a host of irreverent, non-centrist positions on governance.
Thankfully, this is all hypothetical; the elections are still a few days away and we can still change the course of history.
The American people certainly aren’t as daft or guileless as these opportunistic vampires think they are. Tuesday’s mid-term elections are really like no other in recent memory. In fact, I happen to think that, in some respects, these contests are by far more important than the 2008 elections. It remains my contention that the choice before the voters is really very simple: an affirmation of the Obama administration’s tortured but steady striving toward a return to economic prosperity, increasing egalitarianism and governmental transparency or the Republican push for a return to the Bush years of disappearing civil liberties, unbridled plutocracy, corporate kleptocracy and total economic cataclysm.