Cheer up, Liberals.
I strongly suspect the ongoing GOP victory dance will be short lived.
The last time Republicans controlled both houses of Congress and the presidency, we got, hmmm, well, okay, lets see, we got the worst terrorist attack in history followed by two wars, one of which turned out to be under false pretexts but what the heck, right? So long as we’re bombing brown people, it’s all good. And hey, it wasn’t all for nothing, we got the Great Recession sparked by the mortgage industry collapse followed by a complete implosion of the investment banking industry which led to record high unemployment rates. So, then Republicans cut taxes and borrowed a couple trillion from China and deferred the payments to the next administration and America went from a budget surplus to the biggest debt increase since Reagan. The good news, of course, was that recession and war had almost no effect whatsoever on the rich and they grew enormously more wealthy from their failed business ventures while either blowing up our jobs or shipping them to India. And that’s the real difference between the Great Depression and the Great Recession: In a depression the rich take to jumping out windows and swallowing bullets, in a recession they just get richer while the rest of us lose our homes and livelihoods.
What I’m saying here is that last time Republicans were in charge? Think back, what happened? What did we get?
Yeah, we got America’s first black liberal president.
In a landslide.
Not everybody thought that was a good thing, but the tide of history would say that’s progress and America lurched just a little further up the beach and away from the primordial ooze.
Now, yes, once Democrats took over the White House and the Congress, they then proceeded to screw it up. Because, well, that’s what political parties do, shoot themselves in the foot, sooner or later. Every time.
However, last time, liberals being not quite as skilled with firearms as their conservative counterparts, they didn’t quite blow the appendage off like the Republicans before them. Still, first they lost the House and then when that didn’t learn them, they lost the Senate.
And so the wheel has turned yet again and Republicans are back on top.
Now, being politicians, Republicans, of course, learned absolutely nothing from the last go ‘round, last two go ‘rounds, last three, four, five, okay, ever. And this morning they’re already twirling their pistols and shooting up into the air like drunken rednecks on the 4th of July.
But it’s only a matter of time. Likely Conservatives will shoot themselves sooner rather than later since most of the reasonable Republicans are long, long gone, leaving lunatics like Ted Cruz to run the asylum.
With Cruz and his impeachment talk, you can already hear the click click of the hammer cocking.
The previous piece here on Stonekettle Station, Ted Nugent Is Just Fine And So Are You, was widely shared.
As is usual when this sort of thing happens, in response I get a lot of email and social media messages.
In this case, I got the usual unhinged poorly-worded spelling-optional yellow-eyed threats of death and damnation. And of course I got the expected deluge of gloating from smugly joyous conservatives celebrating the fact that their fickle God finally granted their grubby prayers and hallelujah amen! I also got a large volume of angry agreement from Liberals, mad their party crapped out, as they fully expected it to do, but still, it does tend to piss people off when their favorite team just gives up ten minutes into the playoffs. I expected liberals to be angry, and they should be.
It appears Democrats take it as a given that Obama will ride out his last two years as a lame duck, becoming more and more bitter and hated and ineffective.
They’re already looking to Hillary Clinton in 2016 as their savior.
"My only concern is if the Clintons can overcome his [Obama's] negative approval rating [in 2016, if Hillary decides to run for the Oval Office]"
My only concern…
I saw that comment on Facebook under a share of the Ted Nugent essay.
The commenter isn't the only one afflicted with Obama Disillusionment Syndrome. I've gotten a number of comments and emails like this from liberals (or non-conservatives anyway) determined to pessimism. A lot of these folks seem to believe the Democrats were right to distance themselves from the President during the recent election, and in fact they seem to feel that the only reason Democrats didn't win was because they didn't distance themselves enough.
If only Democrats had been more … Republican, they would have won. How that would be a good thing is beyond me, but there you go.
Liberals lost the House in 2010, they lost the Senate last week, and they've lost faith in Obama.
Democrats are filled with doom and gloom and they're sure the country is headed into the crapper. The only thing that can save us is Hillary.
But now having abandoned their president, liberals are desperately afraid Obama will lose them the White House in 2016 and they're just so terribly depressed over it all.
This amuses me.
It amuses me because the vast, vast majority of the liberals moping around America today didn’t bother to vote – well, not unless pot was on the ballot. A lot of conservatives didn’t either, but liberals overwhelmingly stayed home. And as I’ve said repeatedly, if you don’t vote, you voted.
If you didn’t vote, democrats, then you voted for the republican candidate.
If you didn’t vote, then you voted for the Tea Party.
You voted to restrict a woman’s right to choose.
You voted to spend trillions on a giant wall across Mexico.
You voted for war.
You voted to let poor people go hungry.
You voted to take away your own healthcare.
You voted to give the NRA free rein.
You voted to give the Koch Brothers a tax break.
You voted to let the seas rise and planet warm.
You voted to replace science in the classroom with creationism.
You voted for the Keystone Pipeline and you voted to drill in ANWR.
You voted to ensure the next Supreme Court Justice is a conservative.
You voted to send more of your own jobs overseas.
But hey, don’t feel bad, you got legal weed, that ought to help blunt the pain a bit.
And now? Now Liberals are worried that the guy they abandoned, that the Congress they put in place through their inaction and apathy, will lose them the White House two years from now.
As I said, this amuses me.
It amuses me for a number of reasons.
President Obama is currently looking at a 41% job approval rating, not great, not terrible. For reference refer to G.W. Bush's approval rating at the same point in his second term, or his low point which was right around 25% (which is even worse when you realize that Bush's high point, right after 911, was in the 90s). If Obama’s approval rating is anemic, Bush’s was downright manic depressive.
Obama is looking at 41% approval and about a 53.3% disapproval rating, a mere 11 point spread. That really isn't much. And while it isn't great, it honestly isn't all that bad either. In fact, it's about average for both Republicans and Democrats at this point in their second term.
Meanwhile, Congress' approval rating has been hovering in the single digits.
Today it's 12% with an 80% disapproval rating, nearly a 67 point spread with much of that directed at the Republican led House.
And yet, the House picked up Republican seats and the Senate swung to the right. Mostly because the public is dissatisfied with the direction of the country and blames whoever they're told to blame by media and politicians and their fickle fickle gut. Moreover, we always blame the president, any president.
And most of all, as I’ve already mentioned, because while Americans love to bitch and complain about their government, they typically won't get off their apathetic asses for the mid-terms and take responsibility for their own governance.
But, I don't think you have to worry about Hillary Clinton overcoming Obama's approval rating – one way or the other.
Voters have short term memories. More, we tend to live in the now, each election is a decision largely unto itself. Barack Obama easily beat his Republican opponents in 2008 and 2012.
Why? Because last time Republicans were in charge, they shot themselves in the foot.
When Democrats were last on top, the worst thing that happened was America got a crappy healthcare law.
But when Republicans were last in charge, we got two wars and a ruined economy.
Come 2016, you don't have to worry about overcoming Obama's approval rating.
If history is any guide, Republicans will do that all by themselves.
Painful? You bet it’s going to be painful.
These next two years are going to be extremely painful.
But that’s the price you pay when you stay home.