Barack Obama won the 2008 election. By a landslide.
This is especially true considering the lingering racial divide in the country and that he’s the first major party nominee who isn’t a white guy. The election was a very clear statement by the voting public that they wanted things to change.
And as soon as the results were in, the “birthers” and teabaggers did everything they could to try to delegitimize his presidency, saying he was born in Kenya, calling him a communist and socialist, claiming that Acorn had somehow manipulated the election results by creating non-existent voters. (They never saw their protest as a conflict with the only election that was arguably illegitimate – the 2000 victory of George W Bush, on a Supreme Court Decision to stop vote counting in Florida, but I digress).
Obama and the Democrats achieved another major victory in the past week when they passed major health insurance reform through the House and Senate and Obama signed it into law. It is unequivocally the biggest legislative achievement in domestic policy in decades, and while the bill is deeply flawed, it is also a hugely important first step in the effort to make health care in the United States effective and affordable.
So what was the Republican move? To attempt to delegitimize the bill by flat-out lying about its contents (death panels?) and by arguing that it was passed by circumventing the rules, even though the bill that passed got 60 votes in the Senate. They argued repeatedly that the country didn’t want the bill, even though many of those who said they were opposed to it were opposed because it was too weak. Many others were opposed because they were misinformed about what the bill contained, or just misinformed in general. People at anti-health care rallies were saying things like, “keep your government hands off my Medicare”. Yeah, that’s a federal government program. And others said that they were opposed to the bill but replied favorably about all of the bill’s components when broken down individually. That can only mean they had no idea what was in the bill, or they had the knee-jerk reaction of wanting to see Obama and the Democrats fail.
But the Republicans are the sorest losers of all time. They are never able to accept a loss, reflect on why it happened, and move forward.
No, they’re now planning the fall midterm election campaigns based around the idea of repealing the health care bill. That’s really their plan.
Let’s even assume for a second that there’s any chance of that happening. The fact is, no matter how heated up the low information voters are about their country turning to socialism (yeah, right) – that will fade by the time the election comes around. The polarization over health care will diminish and Americans will move on to the next issue. The economy is improving and the administration has shown it can get something done. If Republicans think they’re going to win back the House and Senate by complaining about health care, I would love to see them try. They’ll probably realize it’s lost its effect by June, and they’ll resort to calling Obama “weak on terror”, because the economy is improving and Obama’s agenda is moving quickly. It’s not hard to argue after health insurance reform passed, that Obama has had one of the most effective presidencies in recent history over this short time span.
But beyond any of that, the bottom line is that there isn’t a chance in hell that the Republicans could come anywhere close to repealing the bill. They would have to get a 19 seat swing in the Senate (impossible), retake the House (unlikely) and then Obama would still veto it. Are they running on being able to the bill after their successful (unlikely) presidential campaign in 2012?
No. They’re doing what they always do. Misleading people dumb enough to believe them. The only people who buy the Republican “repeal” campaign line are teabagger morons or people who are embarrassingly uninformed and shouldn’t be talking about politics with anyone in the first place. (Unfortunately, this voting bloc is big enough to make Fox “News” the #1 cable news network). It simply will not happen. Once the benefits begin to kick in, the health insurance reform bill will be every bit as untouchable as Medicare and Social Security. The Republicans won’t touch it. There will never be the political will to repeal it.
But that doesn’t matter, does it?
I’ve been into politics since college – the mid-late 90’s – and I’ve never once seen the Republicans campaign on issues. To beat Clinton, they talked about blowjobs and restoring “integrity” in government. Then they won and had every scandal imaginable while enduring a massive attack on our country, cutting taxes for the wealthiest 1%, torturing, wire-tapping Americans, politicizing the Justice Department, outing CIA agents, starting unnecessary wars, handing out no-bid contracts to friendly corporations, and spending more than any administration in history. And that win was, again, on the back of a Supreme Court decision.
The second win came after they denigrated John Kerry’s war service in Vietnam while making George W Bush, who skipped the whole war thing, look like a true patriot.
They have been behind history at every turn and it’s not changing. The fear card, the race card, the gay card, the abortion card…they’re all spent.
And they won’t win again until they find some new cards. How long can you be against civil rights before you’re just an outright racist? How long can you be against gay marriage until you’re just a self-loathing homophobe? How long can you be against abortion until you’re just a backwards Catholic supporting a policy of a Church which has institutionalized the rape and torture of young boys? How long can you cry about terrorism before the country realizes your wars aren’t ever going to stop it?
But everything stays the same. They lose. They will lose. They’ll keep losing.
And it’ll always be because the Democrats are cheating.
Someday the Republican party will just be the backwoods areas of Alabama and Mississippi.
And then Rick Perry will take Texas and secede.