GOP Wants More Obstructionism
by Deacon Blues
There’s a remarkable piece in Politico this morning, reporting that Republicans who are grudgingly supporting Hillary at this point out of disgust for Donald Trump, be they national security conservatives or Capitol Hill GOP members of Congress and staffers, are already signaling they will immediately begin opposing Clinton once she takes office. Flatly, the piece indicates that these reluctant Republican supporters will fight Hillary on any agenda items or appointments that are too progressive and not centrist enough for their taste, and they are already planning to go after Democratic senators and House members up for reelection in 2018 who cast problematic votes on Hillary’s agenda or appointments during the initial two-year period.
There are several takeaways from this boldness. First, it is incredibly stupid for the GOP to begin saying stuff like this, even though it’s clear this is aimed at giving cover to the Republican Party for abandoning Trump with a promise that they’ll get tough with Hillary once Trump is out of the way. At least Mitch McConnell and the House GOP leadership did their obstructionist planning on the very night of Obama’s inauguration in 2009 in relative secrecy until a journalist exposed it several years later. In this case, these morons are signaling to Hillary now what she already knows about them, which inexplicably escaped the naïve Obama until six years into his administration: Most Republicans are not interested in anything except your destruction, and any talk about “working together” is DOA with them. The big difference between Obama and Hillary is that she already knows what to expect from the GOP from her first day in office, and has the DNA to make their lives miserable behind the scenes while holding out hope publicly that both parties can work together.
Having said that, it’s helpful the GOP has clumsily admitted up front what they’ll be doing right after the election. Hillary can now develop her agenda and priorities accordingly, but such a strategy needs to acknowledge and counter what the GOP is planning to do to vulnerable 2018 Democratic incumbents. Unlike Obama, who didn’t use his political capital on a large stimulus bill or financial reform in the immediate aftermath of the crash, and instead made Democratic House members and senators walk the plank for the 2010 midterms by pushing through Obamacare, Hillary can learn from this and tailor her first two-year agenda around priorities with large political support in purple districts and states, and perhaps even in red states, and make it difficult for GOP incumbents to oppose those initiatives.
But she can go a step further. She can shine a bright light now on these revelations and start openly calling out the GOP for planning more obstructionism after the election, as if millions of disaffected voters don't count. She can also make the case that such overt intention to obstruct makes the case all the stronger to elect a Democratic Senate and House.