Republicans: Cynical Paralysis

The Republicans’ strategy for winning the U.S. midterm election next November is simple: Pose small questions and do nothing. It is difficult to make an error when one’s political philosophy is inaction. A Republican leader recently confided to Time magazine, “Ideally, we’d freeze things the way they are in amber until November.” Eloquent. In 2014, Congress could be even less productive than in 2013 — too bad for American citizens.

With a bit of luck, the next session in Congress could be the least productive in nearly a half-century. During its last session, less than 60 bills were passed, which almost sets a record.

Republicans, who were seven points behind after the two weeks of government shutdown (47-40 percent), are now ahead (44-41 percent). Political commentators had already started to bet that John Boehner, the House speaker, would lose his majority this November. Today, however, the situation has been reversed. The GOP has been greatly assisted in its comeback by the disastrous launch of Obamacare.

However, good economic data, notably a 4.1 percent growth in the last trimester, could still allow the Democrats to pull ahead.

The GOP’s strategy will remain the same: mostly to not do anything that could sway voters, which begins with the tea party. Boehner attacked these extremists in his party who protested against the budget compromise put forth by Paul Ryan and his Democratic colleague, Patty Murray.

These groups used the shutdown to increase their strengths and to raise millions of dollars. They wanted a new government blockage that employs their most extremist forces.

Elected Republicans, however, do not want anything else, especially since nothing is changing. Because of cynicism, the House of Representatives will pass a rhetorical bill on immigration that will be rejected by the Senate. But this is merely a ruse to try and win votes from the Hispanic community.

However, doing nothing could be just as dangerous as risking the offense of base voters. Inaction could make voters want to look for replacements for current members of Congress.

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