Obama's Goal Is to Break the Republican Party
In the pre-9/11 movie "Independence Day," an embattled American president questions a captured alien. What, the fictional President - in full Rodney King mode - asks, do you invaders want us earthlings to do so that our two peoples can live together in peace? The answer, of course, is famous.
That's pretty much President Obama's position to the Republicans - especially the GOP majority in the House of Representatives. In a penetrating analysis today in Washington Free Beacon, Matthew Continetti writes of how "a president known for his passivity and cool...displayed enormous and impressive energy as he moved to break the Republican Party" in the fiscal-cliff negotiations. Breaking the Republican Party is what this President is now all about.
Unfortunately, some conservatives - such as Michael Savage - seem to be helping him.
The President and the Congressional Democrats are basically engaged in a pincer movement. In the Senate, the goal is to repeal - or, at least, defang - the filibuster rule. If that can be done, the Republican minority will be neutered. The way will then be open to confirm leftist nominees to Cabinet positions and to the Supreme Court which Republicans would otherwise be able to block.
Like FDR and the New Deal, a leftist majority on the Supreme Court is needed to cement what Matt Continetti correctly calls "the Obama Revolution." Repealing the filibuster rule is the way to get it.
In the House, the goal is to break the GOP into two blocks - or even two political parties. If the conservatives can be induced - as some conservatives are now arguing - into forming a new, "nationalist" political party, then the way is open to effective Democratic control of the House, albeit not actual control of the Speakership and committees. In this regard, it must be noticed that twice in the last two weeks, the President has gotten big-spending fiscal legislation through the House by means of a new, working majority of moderate Republicans and Democrats.
Only a return to the so-called Hastert Rule will prevent this working majority from becoming a permanent fixture of the 113th Congress.
The result has been passage of both the fiscal cliff bill and the Hurricane Sandy relief legislation. And, despite the President's recent string of victories, the Archangel Barack remains a noticeably sore winner. Apparently, Mr. Obama wants more.
As Jonathan Alter has pointed out, President Obama has now accomplished three of the five major goals which he announced when he took office. Now, the President will pursue comprehensive immigration reform and cap-and-trade legislation in his second term. I would add to Alter's list the goal of bringing about a "post-American world" by continuing America's deliberate retreat from superpower status.
The nominations of John Kerry to State and Chuck Hagel to Defense are plainly intended to further that objective.
In short, this is no time for ideological purity. As Mark Steyn writes in the symposium on "The Future of Conservatism" in the January issue of Commentary, it is far from clear that, when reality finally strikes, the American people will turn to conservatism. "[W]e have," Steyn says, "no positive presence in the broader cultural space where real people actually live." Talk by angry conservatives of creating a new third party thus plays directly into the President's game plan.
The most immediate consequence of splitting the Republican Party in two would be effective Democratic control of both houses of Congress. Actual control would then follow in the 2014 elections.
The way would then be open to admit Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia as states. That could add four new Democratic Senators and at least six new Democratic Congressmen.
At which point: GAME OVER.
If this sounds fanciful, recall that it was Ross Perot's third-party candidacy in 1992 which made Bill Clinton President. And Ralph Nader's candidacy in 2000 helped George W. Bush squeak through.
True-red conservatives, therefore, need to keep this recent history in mind. The next time friends start talking about the need for a third party, tell them: "be careful what you wish for. You just might get it."