My humble suggestion
VANCOUVER ISLAND, CANADA – The Republican Party of the United States is in disarray at the moment.
The party is fragmented, in a thousand different pieces, each with a political hobby horse and each insisting that it is the actual, real, genuine Republican voice. Each faction calls all the others RINOs (Republican In Name Only) and demands that the entire mob adhere to one narrow agenda or another, no matter how crackpot. Looming over all that internecine feuding is a more fundamental rift; the real batshit crazies – the birthers, the proponents of forced vaginal probes, the creationists, the secessionists, as well as the really nuts ones – believe that it was a failure to tack far enough to the right that cost them the election and gave them another four years of having to live with Barack Hussein Obama as their president. Other, marginally more rational Republicans are coming to the realisation that such a view is frankly insane; they don’t buy the reasoning that allows their fellow Republicans to conclude that the really fanatically right wing voters preferred “left leaning” Obama to “severely conservative” Romney because 47% Mitt wasn’t sufficiently severe in his conservatism.
This chaos all comes in the wake of Obama’s first term during which the Republicans, starting on the day of Obama’s
inauguration, came together to establish their last consensus-driven agenda: to obstruct and undermine the President of the United States at every turn…to deny him a second term and to take back the Senate as well as strengthen their hold on the House. This they did, to great effect and damage to their country, but they failed in every one of their aims. They obstructed and undermined, but in 2012, Obama was resoundingly re-elected with a stronger mandate, the Republicans lost even more Senators and the Democrats moved up in the Congressional Representative tally. So where do they go from here?
Clearly there is some need for an overarching strategy for the next four years. The Republicans are frantic to develop one; there is talk of secession among those states that take the most from the federal government and give the least. There is talk of impeachment, but nobody can even suggest a high crime or misdemeanor now that birtherism is taken about as seriously as flat earth adherence. But what is unquestionable is that if the GOP goes into the next election cycle in this kind of shape, with no cohesion or agenda, they will be trounced even more soundly than last time; it could even be the end of the party of Abraham Lincoln. And yet a second viable party is critical to the governing of the United States of America. So, with the greatest of humility and respect, this commentator offers the following suggestion for a Republican strategy and agenda for Obama’s second term. If, as Republican members of Congress, you want your party to survive and even have chance at electing a president and more senators and representatives in 2016, think about this very devious plan.
Tricky, isn’t it? For you Republican true believers, that amounts to an absolute win-win strategy. Work with Obama; cooperate in the House; back up the President in the Senate. Get behind the Democrats’ plans and support their legislation. Make the Obama agenda work. Don’t you get it? No matter what happens, you win!
Here, let me walk you through it. I know you sincerely believe Obama’s economic policies will tank the economy; you’ve said so countless times. But then you’ve also demonstrated over and over again that you’re prepared to see a short term collapse; you’ve argued to let the country default on its debt, you argue now for a tumble over the fiscal cliff. Why not give the Obama plan its head and let it self-destruct? If an unfettered Obama plan blows up in his face, you’ll obviously blow the Democrats out of the water at the next election. A beleaguered public will be so pissed at the Democrats and so regretful that they turned their backs on you, they’ll carry your candidate to the White House on their shoulders and sweep you to resounding majorities in both houses. The failed policies of the Democrats will be forever exposed for the fraud you say they are and you will have every tool imaginable at your disposal to take the reins and steer the country back to posterity. If that happens, the Republicans will dominate the political landscape for generations; the Democrats will become a footnote to a punchline. All you have to do is give them enough rope.
Oh, debate vigorously, amend egregious bills; introduce legislation that will benefit your constituents, but always keep in mind what the last election has indicated as the will of the people, and meanwhile treacherously work like hell to ensure that the policies upon which Obama and the Democrats ran are implemented.
Ah, but what if, as the result of unforeseen circumstances, their policies actually succeed? Where will you be then?
Sitting pretty, that’s where! At the end of the second term, if the economic turnaround has succeeded, the country is prospering, people back at work, the deficit is being reduced, the people still can’t re-elect Obama. Whoever the Democrats field as a candidate will have just gone through a brutal and divisive primary and will be an unknown quantity to the voting public. But the GOP will be in a position to take credit for the economic turnaround because of their constant and high-profile support of the policies that have done the job. You can take credit for the current economic good news.
Moreover, this new spirit of cooperation, of rigorous bipartisanship will be recognised by the voters as being exactly what they want in their leadership; Congress’s dismal single digit approval ratings enjoyed by both parties will have climbed out of the toilet. Admitting to being a politician won’t be like admitting to being a child molester or venture capitalist anymore; Republicans will be seen as the party that rescued American politics from the bitter, rigid, demagoguery by which it is currently characterised. Once again, the Republicans win.
In other words, all you have to do is underhandedly and treacherously behave like responsible adults, recognise that the people have spoken, accept Obama as your president, and the world will be your oyster. I know this scheme is deeply Machiavellian, but it will get you want you want and save the GOP from the annihilation it faces at the moment. It might get you your next president.
Oh, yes. It’s better for your country too. Of course that’s just a side effect…collateral benefits, so to speak.