Thursday, February 20, 2014

Washington Watch: "Who's Your Lame Duck?"

Are the Republicans in Congress determined to bestow upon President Obama, 'lame duck' status?

Since they won back the House in 2010, it sure seems like it.

Within the political realm, the term lame duck generally refers to a politician who is about to leave office and is awaiting a successor to take over. Lame ducks are seen as place-holders only.

Again, some in the Republican Party started thinking of Barack Obama as a lame-duck back in 2010. They assumed he wouldn't get reelected. They were wrong.

Still....they won't play ball with him. They have no desire to get in the game. Instead they are sitting on the ball.

In the past, they sat on the ball and shutdown the government. Today, they will sit on the ball when it comes to raising the minimum wage; passing immigration reform; reducing gun violence; extending benefits for the long-termed unemployed; and confirming needed judicial appointments. And, in what has been their only play: Will there be more votes (think we are up to 40 already) to defund Obamacare?

Seems like it is Congress that is in lame duck status!

Boehner and his gang are waiting and hoping for a Senate take-over in this year's mid-term elections so that they can thwart ALL legislation, except their own, from reaching the President's desk. Not only that, they will continue to block his judicial nominations. They will let him veto their legislation (if they are lucky enough to win the Senate, they won't have enough votes to override his vetoes. Unless weak Democrats cave. Could happen.) Instead, they will work toward regaining the White House in 2016.

Why is the GOP-led Congress so against this administration?

Is it racism? This comes up a lot in discussion, and there is no doubt there is an element of racism involved, but not entirely. Many of the right-wingers would accept an African-American ultra-conservative in the White House.

Is it ideology? Yes, but again, not entirely. There have been cases where the President has put forth ideas previously supported by the GOP and they are shot down.(electablog lists ten here in the article: ("10 ideas Republicans loved until Barack Obama became President")

Is it what and whom Obama represents? Bingo! Our current President represents the changing American landscape many are not ready for.  He represents a confluence of minority, immigrant, gay, young, female, technically-savvy, and progressive Americans, whom together are able to tip the scale in their favor. Democracy at its best.

It seems the GOP's only options are: to limit the voting of the aforementioned groups, to become more inclusive and representative of today's America, or to hope for low turnout in the midterms, which will favor their candidates. The irony is, if they do recapture the White House in 2016, it will be with a moderate candidate that will put forth many of the items on the Obama agenda.

Will things change anytime soon?  Well, there is the recent CNN interview where speaker Boehner suggests his party may go on offense this year as opposed to being the party of 'no.' (From "Boehner warns Obama headed for 'brick wall'," 1-28-2014)
"The Speaker conceded that his party has spent so much time railing against the President's agenda, they have gotten off track over the last several years in putting forward their own policy prescriptions – something he hopes to help correct this year."
In the Washington....there is lots of quacking but little getting accomplished.

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