Unrestrained obstructionism as a political strategy practically guarantees that the epitaph on the GOP’s 2012 presidential aspirations will read “too stupid to quit while they were ahead.” Is John Boehner serious about not holding a vote on tax cut extensions for the middle class because he thinks it might pass? Can House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, the Republican who has completely and utterly failed at his primary function—keeping the party as united as possible when holding roll call votes—see that he stands a good chance of replacing Ebenezer Scrooge as the epitome of a cold-hearted miser on the eve of Christmas?
Every conservative in Congress these days claims they are either a Tea Party Republican or a Reagan Republican, but they are all really Reactionary Republicans, ready to demonize anything their political opponents support at the drop of a hat. There is a point, though, where the demonizer can become the demon. The general public doesn’t care about the political pickle John Boehner is in. What they see is a guy who won’t hold a vote on their tax cut extensions, tax cuts that will otherwise expire in 11 days because Boehner knows it might pass.
“The gop has become so reactionary it has no longer has any guiding principals. They define themselves by taking the opposite position to their political opponents and now they don’t know what their talking points will be until they know what to be against. No wonder they are rudderless”
Anonymous comment on political blog
The Republican Party ceded any hope of holding the moral high ground during the 2012 presidential elections way back in 2009, when they let all of their attack dogs off the leash. Now they have nobody to blame but themselves for befouling their own nest with everything from the birther controversy to the endless stream of presidential debates that showcased the party’s potential nominees at their worst.
In some ways, it as if the White House has FedExed the GOP contingent deliveries of kryptonite for Christmas. The airwaves right now are chock full of negative GOP narratives involving the Republicans in Congress, the Republican presidential nominees, and the massive recall effort in Wisconsin to oust GOP governor Scott Walker that is guaranteed to garner national press attention for the next three months. This synergy has a very good chance of rendering moot the influence of much of the outside PAC money waiting to be spent in the 2012 general election.
But will any of this compute inside the Beltway, where conservative political pundits who think the American public isn’t really paying attention to these ridiculous political shenanigans will continue to egg on the kind of juvenile behavior being displayed by House Republicans?
Not a chance.
Even as I write this, the House Republican caucus has decided to double down on their Audacity of Nope strategy after stacking the deck. With less than two weeks left in the year, the GOP’s latest antics might just be the catalyst for what seemed impossible a month ago—raise President Obama’s approval rating over 50%.