Pleading ignorance isn’t usually a winning strategy, no matter what your game.
But that’s what you hear and read repeatedly when Democratic Party spokesmen explain why the U.S. economy still is lagging and why unemployment hovers just above eight percent.
“We didn’t realize how deep the recession was,” you’ve heard frequently enough to have it memorized by now.
So the reason or excuse for not turning the economy around is that President Obama and his advisors exhibited poor judgment in evaluating the depth of the problem. Or is there another way to interpret that plea other than confessing to failure?
No, no… it wasn’t just that the economic hole was deeper than anyone realized, it’s that the Republican minority was obstructionist. The GOP stopped the Democratic majorities in the House and Senate from passing bills to improve the economy. But, unless memory fails, it seems that the GOP was ineffectual in stopping the Democrats from passing the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, informally referred to as Obamacare.
Nonetheless, the apologists claim, the Republican Party, which lacked majorities in either chamber until 2010, was able to block economic reform, while not being able to stop legislation the GOP has derided above all others since President Obama took office.
It makes one wonder, what’s in store for the country in 2013 if the president is reelected.
There’s a very good possibility, the Republicans will strengthen their position in the House and gain a majority, although not veto-proof majority, in the Senate.
If that possibility should come to pass, how will the Obama Administration accomplish anything since it would face greater Republican opposition than it has the past two years? And the president’s success rate has been questionable against today’s odds. But truth be told, and opposition aside, he was unable to garner a single Democratic vote in the Senate to stand up for his budget proposal.
It seems likely, if the GOP prevails in the House and Senate races, that returning the president to the White House for another four years will promise only stagnation. He may well be able to successfully veto any attempts by a GOP majority to overturn his signature legislation, but a White House under siege hardly can provide the leadership the nation needs.
Gov. Mitt Romney, of course, is promising that leadership. He and his new running mate, Congressman Paul Ryan, R-Wis., say they’ll provide a new leadership to guide this country out of its economic Sargasso Sea.
And with a Congressional majority, it’s a certain bet they’ll find sufficient legislative cooperation for that purpose. Of course the first thing to improve the economy will be to jettison hated Obamacare “to remove the uncertainty facing U.S. small businesses,” another political mantra you’ve likely memorized by now. And if the Democrat minority is able to be obstructionist, have no fear, the GOP will concentrate all of its efforts on undoing the president’s bill, possibly more so than working on other more direct ways to improve the nation’s job market. If it means doing little else for the first couple of years, so be it, just as the Democrats acted when they held sway.
That’s the problem with hegemony in government. Whatever party comes into absolute power attempts to cram down the throats of the minority everything it failed to pass when it lacked total power. Cooperation and compromise become unnecessary and therefore nonexistent.
We saw what happened when President George W. Bush had his majorities under the Capitol Dome. We lost many of our individual rights – which have yet to be returned – because of the perceived dangers facing the nation after the attacks of 9-11. The Patriot Act and establishment of the Transportation Security Administration would hardly have passed a Constitutional smell test, c. 1787.
But the hysteria of fall 2001 and the complete control of government by a single party, with an opposition party patriotically silent, gave us laws we are just now learning to regret.
Single party rule also has allowed the majority party to venture into areas it previously shirked in attempts to maintain that majority. Bush’s unfunded Medicare Modernization Act of 2003, which created Medicare Part D prescription drug entitlements, is the type of legislation one would expect more from tax-and-spend Democrats than fiscally conservative Republicans. The philosophy seemed to be to give the people what they wanted without them having to elect the opposition to get it.
And that sums up this nation’s problem. We the People are getting the government and laws that we want, demand and deserve. If our government is ever to change; to represent the whole people; to establish reasonable immigration, energy, entitlement, economic and taxation policies; to protect our national interests without engaging in wasteful military adventures that cost us treasure and young lives; it will only happen when our political factions work together seeking a balance between their ideologies.
And that will never happen, unless We the People demand it.