Looking Ahead to November

FLASHBACK:  “YOU CAN PUT AN END TO THE POLITICS THAT WOULD DIVIDE A NATION JUST TO WIN AN ELECTION…”

by Paul R. Hollrah, ©2014

How has the “fundamental transformation” worked out?

(Aug. 2, 2014) — In an October 30, 2008 campaign rally on the campus of my beloved alma mater, the University of Missouri, Barack Obama uttered words that will define him for all time.  He said:

“After decades of broken politics in Washington, and eight years of failed policies from George W. Bush, and 21 months of a campaign that’s taken us from the rocky coast of Maine to the sunshine of California, we are five days away from fundamentally transforming the United States of America.  In five days, you can turn the page on policies that put greed and irresponsibility on Wall Street before the hard work and sacrifice of folks on Main Street.  In five days, you can choose policies that invest in our middle class, and create new jobs, and grow this economy, so that everyone has a chance to succeed, not just the CEO, but the secretary and janitor, not just the factory owner, but the men and women on the factory floor. In five days, you can put an end to the politics that would divide a nation just to win an election, that tries to pit region against region, and city against town, and Republican against Democrat, that asks — asks us to fear at a time when we need to hope.”

It was all a big lie.  Since entering the White House on January 20, 2009, Barack Obama has done the exact opposite of everything he promised in that tirade.  And now, after five years, six months, and twelve days of his destructive leadership, the only hope the American people are left with is the hope that the next two years, five months, and nineteen days will pass quickly.

His idea of fundamentally transforming the United States was a clear miscalculation on his part.  What he clearly fails to understand is that the American people yearn not for transformation, but for fundamental improvement in the quality of our government and common sense solutions to a host of difficult and intractable problems.  They were not looking for someone to fundamentally transform what has been the greatest, most prosperous nation on Earth.

He leaves in his wake a longer list of failures than any president in history.  His most significant “contribution” to the nation is the all but certain reality that he will be forever remembered as the worst president in American history.  No previous president, of either party, has been responsible for the kind of self-inflicted damage that Obama has done to his own party.

During his first two years in office his greatest accomplishment was passage of the Affordable Care Act, taking control of seventeen percent of the nation’s economy, while running up more national debt and creating more joblessness than all of his predecessors combined.  As a result, the 2010 general elections proved to be an unmitigated disaster for the Democrat Party.

In that election, Republicans reversed their losses of 2006 and 2008, gaining a net sixty-three seats in the House of Representatives.  It was the greatest loss of House seats experienced by either party in more than seventy years.  In the Senate, Republicans gained a net of six seats, expanding their minority from forty-one to forty-seven seats.  Republicans took control of twenty-nine of the fifty governorships, while gaining a total of 628 seats in the state legislatures.  The state legislative victories gave Republicans control of twenty-six state legislatures, making it possible for right-to-work legislation to be adopted in heavily unionized “rust belt” states such as Iowa, Michigan, Ohio, and Wisconsin.

It was a whuppin’ of epic proportions, but it likely will pale in comparison to what awaits Democrats in November 2014.  With Obama’s job approval ratings bouncing around in the thirties and low forties and a long list of messy scandals that surpass the worst of the worst among “banana republic” dictators, there’s not much for Democrat candidates to run on.

In the 2014 Senate races, Democrats are forced to defend twenty-one seats to the Republicans’ fifteen.  Of the twenty-one Democrat seats, only eight can be seen as solidly Democratic, while fourteen of the fifteen Republican seats will almost certainly remain in Republican hands.  Most likely pickups of Democrat seats by Republicans are in Alaska, Arkansas, Louisiana, North Carolina, South Dakota, and West Virginia.  Those six seats alone would give Republicans a simple majority of fifty-one seats in the Senate.

However, of the remaining fifteen Democratic seats, Republicans are within striking distance of capturing seats in Colorado, Iowa, New Hampshire, and Oregon.  Republicans are also looking forward to potential wins in Minnesota and Montana where incumbent Democrats Al Franken and John Walsh, respectively, have been devastated by charges of plagiarism.  The one seat currently held by Republicans that is in some doubt is the Georgia seat of Saxby Chambliss, where Republicans will face Michelle Nunn, daughter of the late senator Sam Nunn.

It is easy to see how Republicans could gain a total of ten seats, perhaps eleven or twelve if all of the “stars are in alignment” on Election Day.  But what is seldom mentioned by political prognosticators is the possible outcome of House races in the shadow of a highly unpopular president and a do-nothing Democrat-controlled Senate.

In the House of Representatives, Republicans now hold a thirty-three seat majority over Democrats, 234 to 201.  However, a cursory analysis of House races, using 2012 margins as a benchmark, it appears as if Republicans could pick up a total of nineteen Democratic seats in the states of Arizona, California, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Massachusetts, Nevada, New Hampshire, New York, North Carolina, Texas, Utah, and West Virginia.  Those nineteen seats would give the GOP a comfortable 253 to 182 vote majority in the House.

Taken together, those gains in the House and Senate would represent Obama’s worst nightmare, making his last two years in office a living hell and giving minority leader Nancy Pelosi the ever-shrinking minority that she so richly deserves.  And while some observers may consider my predictions to be overly optimistic, I would remind them of the likely impact of major increases in healthcare premiums to be announced by insurers during the month of October, just days before Barack Obama’s Waterloo; the federal court’s ruling that the Department of Justice must turn over documents relating to the Fast & Furious scandal; and the beginning of televised hearings by the Benghazi Select Committee, chaired by tough former prosecutor, Trey Gowdy (R-SC).  These are issues that Democrat own, lock-stock-and-barrel, but wish they didn’t.

The importance of the 2014 mid-term elections cannot be overstated.  Although Democrats have taken the United States far down the road to a European-style socialist state, there is still time to reverse that trend so long as our electorate is composed of a majority of working men and women, tax payers, and property owners.  We simply cannot allow Democrats to import an additional ten or twelve million voters across our southern border… illegal aliens that Democrats will herd into the voting booths as they did in 1996, when they sent hundreds of thousands of letters, over Bill Clinton’s signature, to illegal aliens in California granting them the right to vote in the November General Election.

Of course, all of this depends on the ability of Republicans to recognize that, on all of the most important issues of the day, the American people agree with core Republican principles by large majorities.  One would think that the Republican Senatorial Committee and the Republican Congressional Campaign Committee would be able to develop a long list of talking points that would totally disarm Democrat candidates.  But that is far from a certainty.  For example, Barack Obama, his Kool-Aid drinkers in Congress, and their lapdogs in the mainstream media maintain a constant drumbeat on issues such as immigration reform, charging that Obama is unable to deal with the hordes illegally crossing our southern border because he is forced to deal with a do-nothing Congress.

To date, I have yet to hear a single congressional Republican pose the question: what good is it for Congress to pass “comprehensive” immigration reform when we are saddled with an outlaw president who cannot be trusted to enforce the law… not even statutes that he, himself, has signed… and a Democrat-controlled Senate that refuses to consider any Republican bill?

Nor have I heard a single congressional Republican challenge the Democratic members of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee as they turn the committee’s public hearings into IRS wrongdoing into a partisan political circus.  Not one Republican member has pointed out that most IRS employees are members of the 150,000-member National Treasury Employees Union… a union that gives nearly ninety-five percent of its PAC contributions to Democrats.  Is there really any doubt why Committee Democrats are so uncritical of their IRS benefactors?  The only person to make that connection publicly is Oklahoma attorney Cleeta Mitchell, who represents a number of conservative organizations targeted by the IRS.

It has become a cliché that congressional Republicans are so out of touch with Republican principles that they are often indistinguishable from Democrats.  It is exciting to contemplate what should happen in November, but given the poor quality of the Republican leadership and the meekness of the rank-and-file, the outcome is totally in doubt.  Left to their own devices, congressional Republicans can easily “screw up a one-car funeral.”

phollrah@yahoo.com

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