August 7, 2010
About NovemberBy Jeremy Meister
Many conservatives are champing at the bit for the November elections. My fear is that the November elections aren't going to change anything going on in Washington.
Without a two-thirds majority in both Houses of Congress to override the veto, any attempt to repeal the Obama agenda, be it socialized medicine or the financial "reform," will be dead on arrival. Obama is an ideologue who is getting almost everything he wants. He's not going to give it back.
Just consider: Right now there are ninety-one House seats in play. That sounds like a lot until you consider that there are 435 seats up for grabs.
91/435 = 21%
Ninety-one congressmen is less than half of the number who voted for ObamaCare. When you start throwing out the incumbents in that figure who will win, you're looking at roughly 15% of the House changing faces. Most incumbents will coast to easy reelection. Fifteen percent is a paltry figure when contrasted with the energy being displayed at Tea Party rallies. There is a reason why the ruling class has little regard for the people it is supposed to represent.
But even if the House Republicans gain two-thirds of the House, there is no way they'll achieve a supermajority in the Senate. There just aren't enough Senate seats open for a two-thirds gain in that body.
The other problem on the Senate side is that there are still plenty of "mavericks" (i.e., Republicans who always vote with the Democrats when it is important) to help defeat any repeal attempts. Liberal journalists and politicians are very skilled at cajoling and badgering Senate RINOs. They know whom to pressure; the Kagan nomination is the most recent instance.
Obama has achieved quite a bit of his agenda so far -- and the legislative session is not over. There will be more bad bills becoming bad laws before this year is out. There will also be several good bills expiring. Obama will be ushering in one of the biggest single tax hikes in American history simply by letting the Bush tax cuts expire. He literally doesn't have to do anything to get the tax policy he wants in this area.
So the question next year will be "What does Obama need the U.S. Congress for?" That's the point of the sudden legislative push. That's why the left needs to squeeze in as much of their agenda as they can right now. This is why there will be a massive overdrive in the month-and-a-half lame duck session at the end of this year.
Liberals are banking on the hope that gridlock will hold this agenda in place until they reascend to power in 2012, 2014, or some other election. Nancy Pelosi, Barney Frank, and a host of other left-wing career politicians from "safe" districts will go right back to the chairmanships they have now. They will continue building on top of the foundation they've laid down.
As if that isn't bad enough, Obama's 32 "czars" (and Obama seems intent on appointing even more) are content to assert that they have powers that constitutionally are granted to Congress. Net Neutrality didn't go through Congress.
Moreover, Obama's department heads have an alarming tendency not to take "no" for an answer. When the EPA was slapped down by the court regarding a ban on offshore drilling, the EPA came up with a novel solution: Write a new regulation doing the same thing worded slightly differently. In theory, any department can now impose its will by simply rewriting regulations. The implications of this are frightening. Our government can basically make policy just by dragging it out in court. Since they're the government, they're not bound by the limits of court fees and lawyer costs like private citizens are.
What does all of this mean? Next year Obama will probably have his tax hikes. He'll have his "financial reform." He has ObamaCare. He might have some version of cap and trade. He's also likely to have amnesty in some form. One can only imagine what other things (just as bad) the Democrats are putting together right now.
The only way Congress will be able to stop him is by standing together. That is not likely with a simple Republican majority packed with the usual RINO suspects. They will have to completely unify in just about everything they do. Unfortunately, it is much more likely that a Republican civil war will break out as older career ruling-class types try to hammer the young upstarts into line. For example, many Republicans (especially in the Senate) favor an amnesty program.
The events transpiring right now in Arizona are an ominous warning bell. Tired of people illegally entering the country and causing crimes as they go, the state of Arizona passed a law mirroring federal law. Simply put, anyone in Arizona found during criminal investigations to be an illegal immigrant is to be handed over to federal authorities. The Obama administration won its lawsuit against Arizona arguing that it has the exclusive right not to enforce federal law. Polls indicate that a groundswell of people all across the country support the Arizona law and are angry at the decision. Many even wish their own states would pass similar laws.
Logically, it would seem that having a political history of supporting amnesty-type laws would devastate a politician's chances, but it seems that logic is wrong. John McCain the Republican is the architect and poster boy of the amnesty movement. The senator (ironically from Arizona) is currently leading his primary opponent.
There is a reason Pelosi and Reid smile every time they pass another radical law. It is because the angry Americans really do look like a fringe minority. Both Pelosi and Reid could return to their respective offices next year. In fact, most of the truly obnoxious big-government defenders can expect to be back. True, they might be the minority party -- but not by that much. And their friends in the media will keep treating them like they're in charge.
The unfortunate moral of the story: It is very unlikely that much of anything politically will change in 2011.
Jeremy Meister works in radio and film in the Midwest. He can be reached at Meister@windstream.net.