Monday, September 20, 2010


After Republicans take over the House and nearly take the Senate, should we expect a government shutdown and impeachment efforts? Maybe ... or maybe the Republicans are just going to continue giving us talk radio rather than governance, not really caring whether any of their nutball ideas are implemented, because they believe they're going to get two more years in which the worse things get, the more the White House and the Democratic Party in general will be blamed.

This is from The Wall Street Journal (emphasis added):

Eyeing a potential Congressional win in November, House Republicans are planning to chip away at the White House's legislative agenda -- in particular the health-care law -- by depriving the programs of cash....

Republican leaders acknowledge many of these salvos will fail. At best, the party will gain a majority in the House and a razor-thin hold in the Senate in November's elections -- short of what's needed to overcome a presidential veto....

But Republican lawmakers portray the anticipated drama as foreshadowing the far bigger brawl of the 2012 presidential elections and a clash of visions with President Barack Obama. A vote in the House to repeal the health-care overhaul would be among the GOP's top priorities.

... Republican leaders are also devising legislative maneuvers that might have a bigger impact, using appropriations bills and other tactics to try to undermine the administration's overhaul of health care and financial regulations and its plans to regulate greenhouse gases. GOP leaders also hope to trim spending, return unspent stimulus funds and restore sweeping tax cuts....

So they're going to keep selling these ideas, but I think they figure if they win a few of the battles, it's gravy -- losing most of the time would actually reinforce their message that Obamaism is a jackbooted unconstitutional juggernaut running roughshod over Freedom. They probably recognize that we're still going to be in bleak economic conditions two years from now, and they'll want to run then, as now, on the message that they're the cure for the disease. So whether they know their Laffer-curve, Atlas Shrugged talked is malarkey or whether they really believe what they're saying, they won't necessarily want to have the power to change the course of the country, either by getting their way on everything or (obviously) by meeting Obama partway to try to solve the country's problems. They'll want to win on fear and despair next time, too. Then, they assume, they can seize the reins of the whole government, in a seemingly endless economic emergency, and go all Shock Doctrine on the nation with every cockamamie scheme in their repertoire.

I could be wrong, but that's my hunch -- they could well be content with being the Party of an Even Louder No, just as long as the Democrats control the White House and (nominally) the Senate, and can still be blamed for everything that goes wrong.

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