Saturday, November 8, 2014

Lame Duck Is Served

It is exactly two years until the next presidential election. By all measure, President Obama, his administration, leadership and policies were repudiated in the mid-terms this past Tuesday. The wave of conservative victory was nothing less than a vote of non-confidence in his “governing” (or, more aptly, incessant campaigning and vacationing) and disapproval for the direction of the country. However some leftist pundits, and the president himself, wish to spin it, this was a historically devastating shellacking from a livid electorate. We will not have to wait long before the mainstream media – for so long its best champion in propagandizing its rhetoric – begins distancing itself from the administration as well. While there are still a few clinging to hope and change, it is not hyperbole to state that for many the thrill is gone. (And remember when it was considered racism to disagree with the president? Clearly, that only applies to right-wingers given the hypocritical backlash toward Republicans like Tim Scott and Mia Love.)

As a handful of analysts have pointed out, the political shift is owed to the thrice-pronounced-dead Tea Party. In spite of mainstream Republicans perverse efforts to discredit and renounce these party insurgents, they are the ones who kept conservative ideas afloat in the battle against progressivism over these past six years. All but written off only a few years ago, they have handed Speaker of the House John Boehner and prospective Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell – unless an (unlikely) audible is called in deference to another candidate, like Ted Cruz or Rand Paul – overwhelming Republican control of Congress not seen in 85 years. Now, it is time for these two to deliver on the promises and desires expressed by voters at the ballot box. There can be the expected gloating and boasting, but complacency in standing high on political smugness and gluttony is ill-advised; for Republicans, it is time to go to work in right-wing leaning countermeasures and resolute determinism.

For some while, I have held a belief that Speaker Boehner was playing the long game. He knew he held only a slim majority in the House; what would have been the benefit or point in futilely pushing against the administration and Democrat-controlled Senate in that situation? Now, he has the opportunity to raise the stakes, call the president’s bluff and reveal his hand. Given the frenzied atmosphere before the election over the various scandals facing the administration, is impeachment realistically back on the table with the emboldening gains? Or, is the country better served by bipartisanism in mitigating and healing the wounds inflicted by the administration’s actions (and, in some cases, non-action) during its tenure? In either approach, it would seem best to abandon the ideologically frivolous and unproductive – without compromising the principles that led to the landslide victory – in order to concentrate on and address the most important matters and concerns facing the country.

According to a majority of pollsters, this means fiscal stewardship and accountability to reign in uncontrolled spending, spiraling deficits and dismal economic forecasts, with healthcare (i.e. Obamacare repeal), immigration reform and national security high on the agenda. In essence, the call to arms for a return to conservatism – limited government, individual liberty, free markets – was answered; it is time for that gauntlet to be picked up and the pledge for which it stands, in McConnell’s own words, be delivered to those who threw it down.

©2014 Steve Sagarra

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