Mashed Potato Bulletin

A journal grappling with the mish-mash of American politics

Brian Carter

Brian Carter
Northern, California, USA
October 23
My professional and academic background is fairly broad including a Bachelor's in Cultural Anthropology, a Master's in Environmental Science along with a hefty injection of world history in the mix. Professionally, my experience is in public health and environmental health where I have been lucky enough to work with people from varied backgrounds and cultures. I started the Mashed Potato Bulletin to explore answers to questions not being asked and to insert, hopefully, a broader perspective into the current conversation. -----------------------------------

JANUARY 21, 2013 7:18PM

What are Republicans’ Priorities Now?

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In 2010, the Republicans’ leader in the U.S. Senate, Mitch McConnell, stated publicly that the party’s number one priority would be to deny President Obama a second term. This decision was made during a quiet, behind closed doors meeting of GOP luminaries both past and present on inaugural eve 2009. They determined it was better to pursue a strategy of obstructionism meant to halt any Democratic legislation rather than taking action to the address the economic calamity the country, and the world, was facing at that time. It was deemed more appropriate to ensure a return to political power than helping the average American during a severe crisis.

Now that this goal to make President Obama a one term president, in the same vein as Jimmy Carter, has failed miserably and all that expended energy proved wasteful, what will the Republican Party’s priorities be now for the next four years? Will they assist with continued job creation? With common sense gun control? With immigration reform? Will they participate in crafting a long term, sustainable and balanced fiscal path for the country?

Or will they continue to deny the message from the last election and sentiments of the majority of the public and return to the gridlocked state in which Congress currently resides?

Given the events since the election it seems the GOP will take a stance similar to the President’s first term. The dealings surrounding the debt ceiling and fiscal cliff show Republicans will bide their time, taking small incremental steps in a attempt to wear on Obama’s political credit and take advantage of the public’s attention deficit to eventually get their way. Also, at the state level, along with gerrymandering and voter ID laws, the party is attempting changes to elections themselves by altering the manner in which electoral votes are appropriated in a transparent effort to shift future results in their favor.

In a world still reeling from the lasting effects of a vast economic disaster, the Republican Party of one of the most influential countries in the world is more concerned with regaining power than it is with fostering certainty and progress in the middle of a precarious recovery. For each major conflict within the halls of the U.S. Congress the world holds its breath in hopes the gridlock will break and progress will win the day. As the country enters a new cycle many only foresee more ideological battles, all the while our economic partners wait with clouded foreboding hoping their economic partner can find some solid footing once again.

So where will Republican priorities lie? Unfortunately, appearances foretell a status quo. Those demanding a return to moderacy and compromise may have to hold out hope for a leftward wave in the 2014 midterm elections, for therein lies the greater chance of progress.

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Very keen observations.

I think you're right about the republicans hoping to take advantage of the public's general ADD, but I'm not sure how much good it will do them. They had a simple enough goal: one term president, and failed at it. They lost on that, and gay marriage, and lost more seats in the senate.

The more they lose the more people remember them as being, well, losers. Which is what the democratic party seemed to struggle with for so long.

I think that republicans are also stuck between a rock and a hard place-- they can't really be moderate (which is a code-word for "reasonable") because of the unreasonableness of their base. They all fear a tea-party revolt from their right in 2014.

So I think that a lot of what they might do is just talk tough, try to delay any real decisions so they don't get caught being reasonable, and hope for the best in 2014.
They should try for something achievable, like denying him a third term.
Don't give 'em no ideas. Lol.
Don't be 100% sure about this. Take the debt ceiling fight. I listened on the radio to a very high level Wall Street observer friendly to progressives basically admit that the money boys told the Tea Potty members of Congress to STFU because their intent to halt the government would have done serious financial damage.

If the plutocrats begin to back away from the Frankenstein monster that they've created (as the Koch brothers already have to some extent) -- then the prognosis of pitchfork Republicanism is not very positive.
They're going to do exactly what they did with Clinton, but with more vengance, and hopefully, they will not find the material they did with Clinton to destroy his credibility.

Until Citizen's United is repealed, and I believe it will be repealed by a liberal court, the GOP will remain in the hands of the oligarchs and the morally challenged. It has no motivation to change. No exhortations for it to become more inclusive will have any effect.