Angry impatient Americans are impatiently angered. They’re going to vote out those devils in Washington and vote in… some other devils.
Welcome to Election 2010.
The Republicans are hoping that history will repeat itself and a political sea change will sweep them into control of Congress, just as Election 1994 swept in the Newt Gingrich era to mess up Bill Clinton’s presidency after just two years.
There are differences, of course, between these elections. Clinton, a moderate Democrat, represented mostly a political party change after two Republican administrations (including the very popular Ronald Reagan and George Bush the elder), as well as a generational change.
Obama, a liberal Democrat, represents sweeping policy and philosophical changes after a very conservative and very unpopular president, George W. Bush.
But as Clinton stressed from the start, “It’s the economy, stupid,” and voters tend to throw out the party in power if the economy isn’t doing well. And unfortunately for the Democrats, the economy is doing very, very badly.
The Newt Gingrich Republicans had their act together. They were organized and unified, and came out with their playbook, the “Contract With America,” that they could rally around. In came a new era of deregulation, Wall Street whooping-it-up, tax cuts for the wealthy and a vicious scorched-earth style of politics. This was a political style in which the dominant party felt free to crush the minority party without regard for Congressional traditions and the fact that the other party will eventually resume control.
The 2010 Republicans are trying to recycle their winning 1994 strategy, this time calling it their “Pledge To America.” And Obama is certainly vulnerable, especially with unemployment stubbornly high and not likely to drop for a year… or two.
But Americans are angry, or so it’s been reported. Moreover, they’re impatient. Obama hasn’t fixed the economy. Never mind that he inherited a mess from Dubya and the Republicans, spurred on by deregulation and greed in the mortgage industry, on Wall Street, at Halliburton, Enron and the offices of many a corporate chief executive officer. Never mind that his government bailouts “” started by Bush “” have been widely credited with having kept the economy from being vastly worse than it is. Never mind that he pushed hard to enact health care reform for which Americans had been clamoring for decades… the Republicans think that destroying that reform is a winning ticket.
Actually, the Grand Old Party’s strategy seems mostly to revert back to how things were under the previous administration, which was soundly repudiated in November 2008. But they’ve ensured that Obama hasn’t been able to accomplish much, using their party solidarity to oppose him at every turn and do their best to ensure the Democrats can’t take credit for anything.
The Dems do control both houses of Congress, but by such a thin, insecure margin that Republicans can thwart them on nearly every move (unless the moderate senators from Maine break ranks), then “” and here’s the best part “” they can complain how the party in power is unable to do anything.
The G.O.P. has gotten in bed with the angriest Americans, those of the Tea Party persuasion, and have already been kicked in the head several times. The Tea Partiers don’t like incumbents, and some of those incumbents are… Republicans.
There’s a sexual saying some men swear by, “Never sleep with a woman who’s more messed up than you,” and that somewhat describes the G.O.P.-Tea Party hook-up. And the Tea Party has hooked up with more than a few out-and-out racists, “birthers” and those convinced Obama is a Muslim. Newt Gingrich himself has sneered at the “Kenyan” attributes of the president.
There’s another sexual saying (spurred on by AIDS and herpes), that when you sleep with somebody you are, in essence, sleeping with everyone they’ve ever slept with. Keep that in mind, Newt.
And America will wake up, groggy, on November 3rd, see the empty bottles on the floor and wonder who that person is in bed with them.
Let’s hope that America didn’t get too hammered and paid a little attention to whom they wanted to bring home.
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