Newt Gingrich and I are in agreement on something (and no, it’s not philandering or attraction to bubble-headed bleached blondes): Republicans will squash the bi-partisan immigration reform bill because (1) they can, and (2) they hate President Obama.
Here are some things I know:
The confirmation – or, non-confirmation – of Chuck Hagel has Republicans purely gleeful, especially since they were able to make history by the first-ever filibuster of a Defense Secretary nomination. Once again, they have a platform to baselessly attack someone President Obama thinks highly of. The fact that their rumor-mongering has little basis in reality – and, as Huff Po’s Jason Linkins noted, Republicans, led by Lindsay Graham, are operating on the “Boy, it sure would be bad if Hagel did something terrible that I’ve no proof he’s done!” mode of attack – hasn’t stopped them yet. Sanity may yet prevail, but let’s not hold our collective breath.
Republicans will use the sequester to try to rid themselves once and for all of that pesky Obamacare (which Americans are now liking more and more). Lindsay Graham, laughably, wants us to believe that if we sacrifice Obamacare, the sequester won’t happen. He also wants us to believe that he actually cares about the deep social cuts that will result should the sequester occur. I laugh at both notions.
Republicans are, as we speak, working on an end-around to blame President Obama for the sequester, even though, as Jason Linkins wrote, the sequester is “something that Congress enthusiastically passed, and then fulsomely praised as a model of bipartisan cooperation that would change the culture of Congress.” Fox News’ Chris Wallace pointed out that Republicans will likely get the blame, should the sequester take place, because Republicans are “digging in their heels” to protect tax cuts. They will blame President Obama, and the American public will blame Republicans - rightfully so, because it’s their damn fault.
President Obama’s immigration reform policy is going to be roundly shot down by Republicans, and Hispanic warrior Rubio will be the ringleader. If I’m not mistaken, President Obama had the support of, what, 75% of Latino voters in 2012 – and as we speak, Republicans are losing the remaining 25%. It doesn’t matter that Republicans would normally agree with criminal background checks, expanding E-verify, and other elements of the President’s reform plan; it’s President Obama’s plan, and therefore the devil.
Bi-partisan gun control is going to be so watered down (or non-existent) because of the OOO of Republicans (Opposition, Obstruction and Obstinance) that we may as well shelve it until Dems can take back the House. It’s interesting that the people who would benefit most from gun control – minorities, Hispanics, and people in urban areas with high levels of gun violence – are the people Republicans should be courting shamelessly, considering that Republicans got almost none of that demographic’s vote in 2012. Only 18% of Latinos own guns; and Republicans are determined to piss off the other 82% by pushing back against sensible gun control legislation. As Marco Rubio – the thirsty Senator largely considered the Republican Party’s savior – said, he’s heartbroken about Sandy Hook, but “unconstitutionally undermining the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding Americans is not the way to do it.”
Republicans will continue to blame mental health issues, instead of guns, for gun violence. Even though the majority of mass killers obtained their guns legally, for some reason Republicans want to take guns out of the equation in the discussion of gun violence. Of course, their sudden, intense focus and alleged concern for the mentally ill is newly-created: After all, it wasn’t so long ago that these same Republicans were voting against measures to benefit the mentally ill. And, of course, the Affordable Care Act that Republicans are panting to repeal, provides increased benefits to the mentally ill.
This whole idea of raising the minimum wage to a whopping $9 an hour – which would still keep many people below the poverty level – will be OOO’d by the Republicans until the idea is driven out of Washington. Although there’s skimpy evidence (as documented here by the Center for Economic and Policy Research) that raising the minimum wage causes a drop in employment or foists other horrors on society, Republicans will continue to use this club against the President – under the guise of caring about the unemployed, but in actuality in defense of big business and their multi-billion dollar profits. Here’s a concept: How about trimming down some of those CEO salaries so the low-wage workers can get a boost out of poverty? What I know is that Republicans will never, ever go for this. They just don’t care. As Harry S. Truman noted, “The Republicans believe in the minimum wage — the more the minimum, the better.”
What I know about Republicans is that they’ll continue to be delusional, insane, cruel, selfish, petty, obstructionist and mean-spirited. They’ll continue to deny that insurance rates are rising now because of the greed of insurance companies - which hope to grandfather people in at higher rates before the Affordable Care Act takes full effect – and isn’t a result of the Affordable Care Act. They’ll continue to look at Ted Nugent as a patriot and not a violent extremist. They’ll continue to fight to preserve tax cuts for the richest Americans. If President Obama even thinks of something, Republicans will look for ways to oppose it. This is nothing new; it’s been the standard since 2008. But during the first term, Republicans had as their sole goal denying the President a second; in this, the President’s second term, Republicans want to make sure they deny him a legacy.