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Sun Dec 16, 2012, 09:08 AM

Why Republican Efforts to Block Obama Won’t Work This Time by Michael Tomasky

Why Republican Efforts to Block Obama Won’t Work This Time
by Michael Tomasky Dec 16, 2012 4:45 AM EST

Republicans came roaring back after defeat in 2008. But don’t bet on it happening again. Michael Tomasky on why the GOP’s obstructionist tactics are bound to backfire.


So the Republicans look like crap right now. The brand, as they say, is at a horrible low. Naturally I find this amusing and satisfying. But then I recall: Well, they looked pretty bad in December 2008, too. Remember? They were written off. But then they came roaring back and really showed some muscle and swept the next elections. So what’s to prevent them from doing the same this time? Three factors, actually. History may repeat itself, as the saying goes, but never so precisely that the exact same tricks will work a second time.

Think back to four years ago. Obama hadn’t taken office yet, but he was at some stratospheric approval number. Optimism abounded. Most of all the idea that the Republicans were going to greet the Obama era by just saying no to everything seemed absurd. And the phrase tea party still referred to, you know, an afternoon soiree, where they served, you know, tea. All that changed pretty fast once Obama took office. Yes, the Republican were outrageous in opposition, but nobody ever said they weren’t good in opposition, and so it didn’t take before the “Republicans have found their legs” stories started appearing. But that was then. Here’s what’s different now.

First, the economy. It was pretty easy for Republicans to make a chump of Obama when the country was losing 600,000 jobs a month and the unemployment was racing upward toward 10 percent and thousands of people were losing their homes. The economic crisis, in early 2009, was the context for everything else that was happening. And even though it was true then—and, entertainingly, it’s apparently still true—that people blame George W. Bush more than they do Obama, that fact didn’t prevent Hill Republicans from greeting each new bleak set of numbers with the cry that Obama’s policies were making things worse. Nothing to it.

But now, the jobless rate is falling at a decent clip, the Fed is evidently strongly committed to getting it down to 6.5 percent, confidence is up, and all the rest of it. Republicans will have no bleak numbers to bleat about. America won’t be doubting Obama’s ability to get results on his most important task. If the positive indicators keep going up, so will Obama’s job approval numbers, and Republicans will find the audience for their economic critiques to be both smaller and less persuadable.

-snip-

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2012/12/16/why-republican-efforts-to-block-obama-won-t-work-this-time.html

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Reply Why Republican Efforts to Block Obama Won’t Work This Time by Michael Tomasky (Original post)
DonViejo Dec 2012 OP
daybranch Dec 2012 #1
trueblue2007 Dec 2012 #2
starroute Dec 2012 #3
Cha Dec 2012 #4

Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Sun Dec 16, 2012, 11:14 AM

1. consider

I truly hope you are right but the problem lies in the House. I note many of the republican members of the House are from gerrymandered districts or otherwise safe districts which also limits their accountability to voters and increases their ability to serve their rich bosses without penalty. If we want to change the system. lets attack the disease- gerrymandering- rather than trying to stop the results only. Can you think of any real problem that would not be improved with elimination of gerrymandering? I know I sound lioke a one issue guy but it appears to be the most important issue facing our democracy.

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Response to daybranch (Reply #1)

Sun Dec 16, 2012, 12:59 PM

2. BUT SOME OF THESE MEMBERS HAVE DONE AN AWFUL JOB

hopefully these people can be replaced with democrats

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Response to daybranch (Reply #1)

Sun Dec 16, 2012, 01:21 PM

3. Gerrymandered districts are not necessarily "safe" districts

When both parties agree on a redistricting plan, the result is generally to provide safe districts for both sides.

But when the Republicans ram through the most extreme gerrymandering schemes -- the ones that give them 3/4 of the seats for 50% of the votes -- the setup is very different. It typically depends on having a handful of districts that are each 80% Democratic and a large number of districts that are 51% Republican, or not much more.

This means that those Democratic districts are truly safe, but the Republican ones aren't. It only takes a slight change in popular mood, or in demographics, for them to flip.

That didn't happen this year, partly because it was the first election following redistricting. But in 2014, and 2016, and 2018, we will be progressively further away from the voting patterns that kept Republicans in control of the House this year.

Whether things actually will flip -- either in the House or in the gerrymandered state legislatures -- is clearly still up in the air. But if I were a Democratic strategist, I would be looking very closely at those 51% districts, especially any which are experiencing significant demographic changes, and thinking about which ones could be picked off.

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Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Sun Dec 16, 2012, 04:44 PM

4. And, we did it all without their help.. in fact, inSpite of their Obstruction.

But now, the jobless rate is falling at a decent clip, the Fed is evidently strongly committed to getting it down to 6.5 percent, confidence is up, and all the rest of it. Republicans will have no bleak numbers to bleat about. America won’t be doubting Obama’s ability to get results on his most important task. If the positive indicators keep going up, so will Obama’s job approval numbers, and Republicans will find the audience for their economic critiques to be both smaller and less persuadable.


Thanks DonViejo

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