Beyond the 2010 midterms
Congressman Jim Jordan of Ohio made an interesting statement this week, noting that should the Republican party win big in November, as they are expected to do, it should provide a springboard for the 2012 election.
Of course, the left side of the blogosphere is tsk-tsking the comments (how dare politicians actually think about playing politics!).
But I seem to recall back in 2006 that the liberals were openly applauding the idea of that year’s midterms as a “first step” in their agenda–that the election was just a building block for congressional majorities and the White House in 2008. Again, when the Left engages in politics, its for altruistic betterment of society. When the Right does it, it’s well—just dirty politics.
This kind of rhetoric is plain ignorance and propaganda. To the extent that what conservative activists are supporting is the antithesis of everything that the Obama Democrats stand for, then yes–2010 should be setting the stage for 2012. Part of that is making sure that Barack Obama is a one-term president.
But I digress.
Andy McCarthy is up with an interesting post agreeing with Congressman Jordan’s statement:
Even if the GOP takes back both chambers, they will not have veto-proof majorities (either in straight Republican numbers or in the sense of a “working majority” that assumes peeling off some Dems). The president is obviously not going to sign off on what he regards as his signature progressive achievements. Consequently, the best the Republicans can expect — and this would be pretty good — is to tee up repeal, force Obama to veto it, and set up the 2012 election as being about the president who is the obstacle to reversing policies the American people despise.
I don’t have great hope for repeal, though I devoutly hope I am wrong. In any case, though, it’s a project that has to take at least two election cycles: first developing a mandate for repeal and finally electing a president who is willing to execute the mandate. So if they win in ’10, they have to start the ’12 campaign instantly. Anything else means collaborating with the White House in the consolidation of Obama’s new New Deal — which, though it would force Obama to give some ground, would on the whole be a permanent victory for big government.
I’m just as pessimistic as McCarthy. I’ve written about this over and over. Sure, the GOP has a great shot at taking back the House and an extremely outside shot in the Senate. But in terms of having enough firepower to push-back on the progressive agenda (the crown-jewel of which, healthcare reform, has already been passed into law), the Republicans pretty much need the 2010-2012 strategy, as it were.
But take note conservatives, the most critical bit of McCarthy’s post, which I completely agree with:
If I am right that Obama is not a conventional politician, that he is a movement leftist who cares more about imposing his program than being reelected, we are in for a very difficult time, beginning with the lame-duck session right after the election. And if you thought the last two years were bad in terms of transparency, you ain’t seen nuthin’ yet.
As long as the president had commanding majorities in Congress (2009-10), he had a powerful incentive to ram through unpopular legislation. Legislation is a relatively open process. Even with all the backroom horsetrading, the process of passing laws requires public debate and public voting. But executive agencies conduct much of their business behind closed doors, and they are notorious for ignoring congressional oversight demands.
We could end up longing for the days when you had to pass the bill in order to know what was in it; soon, you won’t know what your government is doing until it’s already done.
Is there anything more socially and politically dangerous as a politician who doesn’t care about getting re-elected? We’ve been warned.