Blog Credo

The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.

H.L. Mencken

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Conservatives Cannot Govern

The Republican Party has abandoned any pretense of being a responsible partner in government.  Of course, I think I wrote that in 2009, but still...

The problem is that our system is built to facilitate compromise.  Staggered elections and the divided government they bring means that for anything to happen, there needs to be compromise and tradeoffs.  But the GOP has completely abandoned any desire to compromise, because they fear the howling id of their party (the Tea Party) being unleashed on them in the primaries.

In 2014, the GOP will likely pick up some Senate seats and will almost certainly retain control of the House.  That is entirely structural, as the Democrats are defending a lot of Senate seats and the House is gerrymandered beyond belief.  Plus, the free floating sense that Obama is somehow mired in "scandals" which are more policy disputes will likely make it harder to draw the crystalline distinction that the GOP is simply not a responsible partner in governing.

And so immigration reform is dead.  Efforts to make ACA work better are dead.  We will see more assaults on women's reproductive freedom.  We will see more voter suppression.

But in 2016, we will almost certainly elect a Democrat back to the White House and the GOP will not have changed a bit.

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