GOP Runs The Country Without White House
by Deacon Blues
I don’t want to be too pessimistic on the day before Independence Day 2014, especially with a decent jobs report hitting the street today. But in the wake of this staggering poll result yesterday, it appears that the American electorate is rating Barack Obama harshly, partly as a result of his own shortcomings, and partly due to a successful long-term effort by a GOP minority to destroy a Democratic presidency. It should be noted that Gallup finds Obama beating George W. Bush's ratings at this point in their presidencies, but beating W and Nixon isn't exactly a ringing endorsement.
I don’t usually like to ascribe too much strategic intelligence to the GOP, in light of their record during the Bush/Cheney administration, but Democrats need to confront the possibility that what we’re seeing play out right now is the execution of a long-range strategy to ensure that a political minority despite national voting patterns and all demographic evidence, will remain in power through a manipulation of the two branches of government not controlled by Democrats. How would the GOP do this? First, they craft a strategy that accommodates their inability to win a national election anytime soon by maximizing their control over the other two branches of government. They do this by taking over the governorships and legislatures to ensure gerrymandered House districts so that a conservative minority can be locked in for a generation to thwart progressive action at the national level, and to employ an obstructionist program to shut down the House and Senate. This has the effect of making Democrats look ineffective to their base and independents while doing no damage whatsoever to those same Republicans with their base.
Second, with the legislative branch effectively in minority control to ensure the Executive is neutered, the GOP sets about to take advantage of its decades-long effort to stack the federal courts disproportionately with conservatives committed to a pro-corporate, anti-progressive political agenda couched in a false judicial dogma of “original intent” or strict adherence to the Constitution. They do this by intentionally deciding which cases to launch in which circuit court of appeals to undermine progressive laws through anticipated victories at the highest court in the land, usually through convoluted and inconsistent legal decisions that are pure politics and not grounded in any identifiable constitutional theory. With control of the courts in hand, the right wing lays waste to the last one hundred years of progress, knowing that Democrats can never undo the damage through new federal legislation or constitutional amendments because the GOP already controls the statehouses and the Congress. Of course, this assumes the Democrats had a clue on how to carry out a strategy of their own.
Instead, Democrats falsely assumed that because they had a telegenic Chief Executive who could win national elections, it would be enough to use their demographic advantages with the emerging electorate to cement into place majority party status for years. What that naïve and inexperienced Chief Executive didn’t count on was the willingness of the opposition to declare total political war against him and his agenda from the two branches of government they could directly manipulate. Then, in the midst of that intentional lockdown of the legislative branch, you wait for the executive’s management ineptitude and lack of political ruthlessness to sink him, and Bingo! You end up with a failed presidency and damaged political party tied to that president, both saddled with the ashes of a signature policy initiative that is destroyed by poor administrative legal work, craven judicial undermining by the opposition, and the administration’s own management ineptitude. Along the way, that management and political ineptitude combined with a malignant legal overreach destroys the Democratic Party advantages on key issues, and what you’re left with is a successful effort by the GOP to drag both parties into the gutter of public opinion, with the difference being that the GOP base will continue to vote for their scoundrels while the Democratic base and independents will simply stop voting for Democrats.
And what you have, on the eve of Independence Day 2014, is the likelihood that the GOP minority will maintain control of this country for years, to the detriment of the majority, unless Democrats suddenly get smart on how to deal with an opposition governing the country without the Executive Branch.