A bad week for Republicans

A bad week for Republicans

I don’t believe I have ever described what it is like as a liberal looking up from this particular stretch of Old Route 66.  Politically speaking, we are like at the very bottom of an extremely deep canyon.  When we look up all we see are Republicans dropping mostly crap and an occasional few bread crumbs.  Last Election Day when Republicans did very well in most other heretofore middle-of-the-road locales from the Congressional races to the various state house contests and on down, in Oklahoma they posted one of their most thoroughly resounding electoral hauls.  As I have said before, for the fourth straight time the OKGOP delivered us Oklahoma Democrats yet another thrashing at the ballot box.  By all accounts, the Republicans had a very good evening last November.  Indeed, the Republicans won the election.  Judging from this week, while soaking in their embarrassment of riches, the GOP has been unable to capitalize on their majorities.  That and their deep well of hubris filled by their electoral success is beginning to hamstring some of their members.  Last month along this, the most conservative segment of The Mother Road, a member of the state House GOP caucus was forced to resign in the face of charges of sexual harassment.  Just this past week a “Family Values” OKGOP Senator resigned after being caught with a minor male in a motel room.  There are some spirited Dems looking to run for both these legislative seats vacated under less-than-honorable conditions.

At the Congressional and Executive level, things began going poorly on Monday morning.  That was when FBI chief James Comey informed the House Intelligence Committee that the FBI is investigating whether the Trump campaign colluded with a Russian operation to interfere with the election.  He also refuted baseless claims that have been made accusing the last President of wiretapping Trump Tower.  That was only the beginning of things not going the regime’s or the GOP’s way.  Other things that were going on concurrently with the Comey testimony was the confirmation hearings for Supreme Court nominee Neal Gorsuch.  After a thorough grilling, Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer went public on his opposition to the Gorsuch nomination and exhorted all his Democratic colleagues to follow suit.  They may not hold up this nomination for an entire year as did the GOP’s obstruction of Obama nominee Marrick Garland, however, they will drive home a point. The Supreme Court has been doing just fine with eight justices.  After all, is it appropriate to approve any SCOTUS nominee of any President who is currently under FBI investigation?        

The week’s hallmark Trump/GOP failure however was the flail and ultimate withdrawal of the the Affordable Care Act’s replacement bill by Speaker of the House Paul Ryan on Friday afternoon.  For all the wailing and moaning and gnashing of teeth over the passage of the Affordable Care Act seven years ago and all the posturing and wasted time and money with 60+ votes to repeal it, this failure underscores and validates what most of us have known all along…..the GOP never had a plan to replace the ACA nor do they now.  As it turns out the Affordable Care Act is more popular than any GOP member ever gave it credit for.  For all the bluster spouted by the 45th President in the 2016 campaign and all his promises of how fast he will repeal “Obamacare” and replace it with something much better, this failure is tantamount to an all out rebuke and rejection, including by of all people, members of his own party!  Perhaps all the angry town hall meetings had something to do with it.  After all, isn’t it the #1 priority of all members of Congress to get reelected?  I understand that is the sort of thing that transcends party affiliation but perhaps those in the majority may have gotten the message that their future tenure in office may NOT be guaranteed after all.  True to form, the 45th President refused to accept accountability for failure of this landmark legislation that served as one of the main planks of his 2016 campaign, and promptly passed the buck.  The huge downside for all Republicans, be they in the Oklahoma Legislature or in the U.S. Congress, is that when they have been in control of all levers of government for the past six years (in Oklahoma they have had control of both chambers of the Capitol, the Governorship and all other state offices and have controlled both sides of the Congress since 2011), they have nobody on whom to shift the blame for results of their governance.  So cry, Baby, cry.  Shall we get this week behind us?

1 Comment

  1. Carl A.
    Mar 26, 2017

    Right on, Stan! Great column… quick comment: leading a political party is not the same thing as actually governing a country. From that standpoint, the Republicans have yet to ‘govern’ anything – they are apparently unable even to unite their own political party enough to pass a piece of legislation that they have been clamoring vigorously for throughout the past 8 years.

    We have a two-party system in this country for a reason – both parties are supposed to work together for the good of everyone. When the Republican leadership stops kow-towing to the extreme right members of their party, and begin to encourage members of the Democratic Party to work with them in getting things done, then and only then will things begin to work the way they are meant to…

    ” And if a house be divided against itself, that house cannot stand.” Mark 3:25