Why Beltway Republicans Are Fighting Over Leadership and Democrats Aren't

Media are portraying the Republican Party in Washington, particularly in the House of Representatives, as being in disarray. Critics claim their difficulty in choosing a House Speaker reveals a lack of focus and direction.

There are two issues here. One is that media always want to say Republicans are out of touch with ordinary Americans and that only Democrats are truly sensitive and knowledgeable about the needs of working Americans and the poor -- the typical media spin. 

In reality, House Republicans are acting as elected representatives should act.  Voters who made them the majority of the House and Senate in the last two elections are frustrated that they haven’t done more to constrain the president’s power grab and Republicans needed a change in House Speaker.  They are hoping that a change in leadership will both appease voters’ disappointment with them and set them in a direction to make progress. 

The second issue is understanding why Democrats are not portrayed as being in disarray. The lone person in the current presidential campaign to say the party has needed a change of focus was Bernie Sanders. But during the campaign debate he intentionally surrendered to the campaign of Hillary Clinton and handed the nomination to her. So what little criticism there may have been is now a matter of history. Bernie Sanders gave up the one most potent topic of criticism against Mrs. Clinton, the email threat to her trustworthiness and effectiveness as Secretary of State, to the goal of party unity.

In the long run, Bernie Sanders’ main complaint was that the DNC needed to be more socialist, but since the DNC already has a giveaway strategy this was not really an effective effort to send the Democrat Party into a new direction, it was a faux change at best, only asking for more of the same.

At first glance it would seem that Democrats would be very disappointed in their party’s loss of political offices at the state level. Obama presided over an historic weakening of his own party. Under his two terms his party has lost control of many governorships, state legislatures, and the Congress. 

But Democrats haven’t lost enough control over Congress to enable the Republicans to override any presidential veto. And therein lies the opportunity for Democrats to say that Republicans aren’t getting anything done. Of course, Obama has neutered the Congress by writing his own laws, enabled regulations and other policy decisions through the 45 czars and plethora of government agency mandated regulations. 

The DNC in Washington, however, aren’t in disarray since they are basking in the success of their social giveaway programs over the past eighty years.  And since Democrats have control of the Washington bureaucracy no change in Congress can significantly weaken the power of their bureaucratic control of Federal programs. 

And while Obama’s lack of cooperation with Congress has the potential to hurt the Democratic Party, in reality he has worked very hard to ensure the DNC’s electoral security. The main sources of Democrat power in the nation reside not in the Congress so much as in the regulatory infrastructure they have created over the last half century. 

While Obama’s lack of popularity has caused his party to lose control of Congress, Republicans still cannot override his veto power and still cannot stop him from issuing Executive Orders. And while Democrats at the state level may have lost their government offices, Obama’s Executive Actions have, at the same time, strengthened the Party’s hold on the states. For example, when the value of public union pensions greatly declined after the 2008 mortgage meltdown Obama started the Quantitative Easing program and restored the value of the equity market to where it was before the collapse in equity markets. This helped boost the public pensions.

This action comforted his primary campaign contributors, the four public sector unions. They were relieved that Obama did what was necessary to keep the value of their pensions and preserve their campaign contributions. In such states as Illinois and California, public sector unions are the largest state campaign contributors. 

Additionally, these same teacher unions need to maintain the flow of Federal education program dollars. Obama cooperated fully with his party backers and issued an illegal change to immigration law by executive order. So the teacher unions that run states still have their student count, and the local Democrat parties still have the Federal block grant dollars enabled through illegal immigration. All is good for the public sector unions and Democrats will not rebel against a president who has taken every action necessary to protect their jobs and pensions. 

As a bonus, these actions infuriate GOP voters. So to the extent that Obama’s abuse of power instigates dissatisfaction among GOP voters, Obama’s refusal to pass House budgets, refusal to cooperate with GOP leadership in Congress, and issuance of Executive Orders achieve two goals: they breeds discontent among Republican voters with their GOP leadership in Congress and strengthen the Federally-based policies that benefit his public sector union support and power. 

That these facts only create more debt, increase the taxation of the middle class, shrink the labor force, and shrink disposable income and consumer income is not an issue, since the media constantly spin these facts as only proving that we need more national debt to create public sector jobs and grow the economy.

Whether this media spin is also causing voter dissatisfaction with government and may ultimately lead to a veto-proof Republican Congress and elect an outsider such as Trump who appears to be capable of the type of leadership voters may see as necessary, remains to be seen.

In the last analysis the DNC is not in disarray since Obama used -- and misused -- his executive power to maintain the huge Democrat National Machine, while giving the public relations impression that GOP weakness is to blame.  Whether voters will continue to fall for this strategy -- and it appears they are not -- remains to be seen in 2016 and beyond.