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2014 Post Mortems

November 10, 2014

Did you vote?  Once again a lot of people didn’t, and the pundits will be slicing and dicing the “why” of all that again, for the thousandth time. Be that as it may, the people that did vote may have voted as much out of frustration as they did for any other reason.

In a highly unscientific poll, also known as a coffee shop post mortem,  most people were simply voting to get things moving again in Congress, and they saw the Democratic party as the biggest stop light in Washington.

One lady said she voted as much against Harry Reid as she did the President or his policies.

The upshot of all that is that the Republicans are now pretty much without any excuses for gridlock in the Senate, at least on issues that only require a normal majority to move forward. If the Republicans can’t convince at least six Democrats to vote with them on at least some of the issues, then they will lose the tenuous support they gained.

If the right does have a coherent vision for American, and a plan to achieve it, this is for sure the time for them not just to unveil it, but to make it happen.

If, after the new members are sworn in, they still seem to be afraid to offend their “base” or at least what they perceive as their base, then all the angst, money and effort that went into 2014 will be wasted.

This may well be the shortest “honeymoon” post-election phase in history. The so-called Republican mandate is really a voter mandate to get moving.

What most people want to see is “stuff” moving out of Congress to the President’s desk. If he vetoes it, fine. At least he won’t be playing rope-a-dope with the country.

And they want that “stuff” to be about us. You know, Americans. Not some  targeted political voting demographic, but all of us.

Republicans were given a chance, but no more than a chance, to prove that they can flood the White House with “stuff” that reflects the things people feel impact their lives.

There are as many suggestions for what that stuff should be as there are people around the coffee shop tables, and none of them are focused on the Middle East, and even less on the 2016 elections.

Of course the question now is, even if Congress does move forward with some or most of the 300-plus bills ol’ Harry has in his desk, will the President sign any of them that don’t totally agree with his master plan for transforming America?

A lot has been made out of his supposedly being bored with the job of being President.

Small wonder. A big part of the job is signing or vetoing legislation, and this President more than any other in even semi-recent memory has been prevented, or shielded if you will, from having to do that. It’s been hard to know if that was at his behest, or whether he was simply being a compliant party member.

It doesn’t appear that he has been terribly taken with the idea of being relegated to the background, as he was during the 2014 campaign season.

No matter what you think of his policies, his vision for America or his motivation for acting the way that he does, he has a chance in his last two years to strike out on his own to some extent.

With his almost immediate post-election declaration that he was going to move ahead with an executive order on immigration, it would appear that he may try to do just that.

It remains to be seen if he kicks over the traces and does his own thing, or if the party leaders can keep him reined in.

If Democrats truly want to have a shot in 2016, they can’t be seen as being the obstructionist party again.

There is obviously no shortage of things for Congress to tackle, craft into legislation, and send to the Oval Office.  Even with Harry Reid as the minority leader, some Dems are going to vote with the majority at some point, if for no other reason than plausible deniability.

It will be an interesting two years.

From → op-ed

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