This past week has been amazing. According to the pundits, the election is already over and we should all just pack up and go home. John Boehner, I suppose, is probably beginning to gear up to take over the speakership and all the key “ranking members” of the house are getting ready to be called “Mr. Chairman”. But, here is a newsflash, though: This is July 21. Elections are not going to be held till November. So, to borrow a phrase from Mark Twain, the reports of the death of Democrats is highly exaggerated
The Republicans are truly emboldened. Eric Cantor came out last week and boldly predicted that the House will be taken over by the Republicans. Monday’s Front Page story in the Wall Street Journal talked about how the GOP can also take control of the Senate too. A number of the US Senate campaigns are rough going. Barack Obama’s old seat is one. But, it appears that Charlie Crist in Florida has gotten his second wind and seems to be charting a new path after the Marco Rubio juggernaut forced him out of the Party. The President’s Spokesman, Robert Gibbs, added fuel to the fire during his appearance on Meet the Press two weeks ago when he noted that there is a chance that the Democrats will lose. I viewed Robert Gibbs pronouncement as a wakeup call to all Democrats to pull together. I am with Joe Biden that Democrats will surprise the Country in November.
The news that the filibuster over Unemployment benefits was broken was good news for those who have no other means to get some money to put food on the table for their families. What was sickening was how the Republicans pushed the fiction of people becoming, “Lazy” as they continued to get unemployment benefits. It shows an absolute lack of care and concern for the person on the street that is simply beyond belief. But, the rest of the bill’s provisions were stripped out to allow it to pass. The provisions included help to keep teachers on board and other provisions that unfortunately will no longer be available. It took the two courageous Maine Ladies to side with the Democrats. I suppose there are at least a few reasonable Republicans left. I continue to yearn for the party that gave us Javitz, Goldwater and Reagan. I wonder if those stalwarts will truly recognize the Republican Party of today.
There is no question that the Democrats have profound challenges. The Republicans have done a magnificent job of dominating the debate. I marvel at GOP.Gov and the excellent publicity machine. The reality is that People have no jobs. When there are six applicants for every job opening, people become ever more afraid and will turn to whoever will promise them the world. But, their prescription is basically more of the same. They say they have common sense solutions. But, turning Medicare into a voucher program (under the guise of choice), tinkering with Social Security and pushing more tax cuts seems like the exact policies that got us in the mess we are in now. The Republicans ideological twins, the British Tories, have also instituted austerity. That austerity package has included tax increases —something that the New Republicans seem not to want to touch.
The right, though, seems to somehow want to not let go of the past. As the left continues to be chastised for noting how George W. Bush was handed the election of 2000, some group that calls itself the Minnesota Majority touted this “investigation” it conducted noting that Al Franken was handed the election because convicted felons voted. This is, of course, after an exhaustive State Process and a lawsuit by Norm Coleman. It did not get much traction—but it was sure amusing!!!!
The fascinating player, to me, remains Sarah Palin. She is becoming quite a force to be reckoned with. I wrote about it in OV’s Sister Site, Kitten Politics. What I found especially startling was spending $ 210,000 on consultants. That’s quite a bit. Although I am sure she feels she got her money’s worth, the fact remains that the pronouncements that the ghost writers put out are half-truths and not based on the facts. But, she has a following and my hat’s off to her for how she has been able to truly build a brand through a strategic approach as she gears up for a White House Bid. I think she would go for it—the question is whether she has the credibility to do so. But, she is one of many. Mitt Romney is around. He also had a book and has been making the rounds. There are many others. The Democrats, also, have their own star too: Bill Clinton. He would be quite a site to see in the Campaign. Whatever one may think of him, even his detractors note that he has got a keen political mind and is one of the best there is. He did stumble during Hillary’s Campaign–but he has gotten his groove back especially with his work in Haiti. Some in the left, though, disagree profously in light of how things continue to be as dire as ever there.
For the Republican juggernaut to slow down, there are some key questions that must be asked of them: What are they going to do to spur job growth? How are they going to make sure banks starting lending out some of the $ 1 Trillion Dollars in cash they are currently sitting on? How are they going to make sure that Corporations will also let go of some of their hoards of cash? What will they do to replace healthcare? Are they going to allow the healthcare companies to continue their old ways?
The President has been able to get quite a bit done. The question is whether the momentum he has sought to maintain will be sustained. The one thing the Democrats must drive through is this: Simply saying cut taxes and cut spending is not going to do. They have to present more substance. Staying on the sidelines and saying No is fine. Governing, though, is a whole different ballgame.