And so the media has awarded control of Congress to the Republicans to begin in January, 2015. I have no doubt that they are correct in their assessment and so I have a few thought on the subject.
For the Republicans, this now affords them the opportunity to follow through on their red meat promises like repealing Obamacare, eliminating (through defunding) Social Security, Medicare, the Departments of Education, Health and Social Services, Labor, the EPA and the rest of the programs they have labeled “government overreach” for years. They will control the purse strings to the Pentagon and, under the guidance of the war hawks like John McCain and Lindsey Graham, push us even further into an endless war setting around the world.
And what does this mean for the Democrats? Well if history is our guide, it will become a fundraising bonanza as they will now become the party on the defensive with the freedom to run around the country and tell progressives and liberals what they will do if they can only regain control.
The sad reality is that little will change. You see, the Republicans can’t afford to do away with the very things that keep their base voting for them. Oh, they will blame it on Obama’s veto pen but, in reality, it will be a well-orchestrated failure in the form of a bait and switch scheme. As for the Democrats, we've been down this road in the not distant past when, after giving Nancy Pelosi the Speaker’s Gavel, we found the major resistance to the promised progressive change from within the Democratic Caucus and, even most disheartening, a Democratic POTUS.
Of course there is even a more scary scenario where President Obama finally gets his most longed for opportunity to “compromise” with the Republicans; by which I mean he “loses” his veto pen on a couple of things here and there…but even I don’t want to go there. Let’s hope he doesn't either.
As the saying goes, “It is always darkest just before the dawn.” And so I am a bit more hopeful that it may be time to truly recapture that spark of liberalism that swept through the country with FDR and the New Deal. If the Republicans, under the rallying cry of their Tea Party masters, don’t completely burn the house to the ground, we will have an opportunity to rebuild based on a foundation of compassion for our fellow citizens and the belief that the purpose of government is the security and prosperity of the individual over the corporate overseers.
Maybe, just maybe, out of this looming period of darkness will come more beacons of light like Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Sherrod Brown, Allan Grayson, Dennis Kucinich, name your personal progressive hero that can bring the people together to rebuild a country united for the common good. A country where roads and bridges aren't the last thing we should spend our tax dollars on; where education is not denied to anyone based on their social status; and, most importantly, where healthcare is a right not a privilege. It’s sad to think we have to let the house burn down to achieve the home we all deserve but sometimes that’s just the way it is. Hopefully I’ll see you on the other side.
Chad (The Left) Shue