All the projections I’m seeing say that next Tuesday the Republicans are going to take control of the House in something approaching a landslide, and may take the Senate. Which means that Wednesday morning, John Boehner and Mitch McConnell will proceed to try to make Barack Obama into the most irrelevant president of our lifetime. How the hell did we get here?
Flash back to November 7, 2008. As the election results sunk in, people spoke and wrote of the end of anti-intellectualism, of a new wave of optimism, of how the Republicans had been dealt a devastating blow that would set them back for years. Nobody realized that “years” meant “two”. A bungled health care bill, an economy that refused to recover from the damage of the Bush years, and a skillful Republican spin machine that managed to deftly shift blame from themselves to the new Democratic administration combined with a seemingly clueless liberal strategist camp that forgt they needed to accomplish three things:
- clearly define the problem
- tell us what they were going to do about it
- tell us how they were going to do it
In the ensuing vacuum on the left, the Tea Party’s “know nothing and say stupid things” game dominated the field, and Republican strategists effectively rode the wave of anger and frustration that washed over those few who tried to point out that Republican policies caused much of the mess. So next Wednesday morning we’ll awaken to the sight of this country holding open the door to the national henhouse and inviting the Republican foxes back in.