How many stupid Republicans does it take to blow a slam-dunk election? Maybe just one? Kevin McCarthy takes the honor for his single-handed destruction of the Benghazi Committee’s credibility. Hillary Clinton backers rejoiced when he hinted that Trey Gowdy’s House group was politically motivated; “witch hunt!” they shrieked – never considering what that said about the former Secretary of State. Even though Halloween approaches.
Maybe 10 to 15? McCarthy gets a run for his money from members of the Freedom Caucus not willing to back Paul Ryan for Speaker. Instead, those brave souls cleave to their choice – Daniel Webster of Florida, who many mistake for the 18th century Whig orator, or possibly the well-known dictionary. Mr. Webster is running against “establishment” politicians, even though for the past 34 years he has served as an elected official in either the Florida state legislature or in Congress. He represents a wing of the GOP that is especially upset about "crony capitalism," despite having received the Florida Banking Association Award, the Florida Farm Bureau Legislative Award and being named the Chamber of Commerce Legislator of the Year during his days in the Florida legislature.
Possibly it’s 167, the number that voted against the budget deal negotiated by exiting Speaker John Boehner – a deal that clears the deck for incoming Paul Ryan, and averts total disaster for Republicans. To be clear: while Rand Paul filibusters the deal, talking about an impending “explosion” of our deficits, the increase in spending is less than one percent. Not a big price to pay for stability, which our faltering economy sorely needs.
It should be remembered that in the wake of the 2013 government shut-down, polling showed that 1) Americans blamed the GOP and 2) the GOP brand fell to all-time low approval ratings. GOP gains in the 2014 election did not validate the shut-down, but rather was a referendum on the Obama White House, which was tagged for the flood of immigrant young people piling across our border, the Bergdahl scandal, the VA problems, the IRS scandal and numerous other misdeeds.
Meanwhile, millions of Republicans are so fed up with the status quo that they are willing to back candidates who have zero political experience. Those folks would probably not hire a piano tuner to fill their cavities or a truck driver to litigate a law suit, but somehow they think that managing the world’s biggest economy and best equipped military is child’s play.
Maybe it takes 37; that’s the number of GOP representatives who just voted against a measure designed to allow an extension of the Export-Import Bank. The Ex-Im bank has become a favored symbol of hand-outs to corporations, excoriated by talk-show hosts who have never negotiated an export deal and have conned their listeners into thinking that the Ex-Im Bank doles out taxpayer dollars to Big Companies. The reality is that Ex-Im is that rare government agency that actually makes money, $675 million last year, for instance. The bank helps U.S. corporations big and small compete with overseas rivals that also have access to government-organized credit. While the U.S. assisted companies in arranging $12 billion in financing last year, China provided almost five times as much -- $58 billion.
The New York Times delighted in blaming Republicans recently for the loss of 350 jobs at a GE manufacturing plant in Wisconsin that is about to close. Lack of certainty about Export-Import financial assistance is one of the reasons that GE is moving the operation to Canada. Other companies may follow suit.
Republicans are supposed to be the party creating jobs, making it easy for companies to expand and prosper in the U.S. This current vendetta against “corporate welfare” is as costly as it is wrong-headed. The far right has joined with the far left in demonizing large corporations – the businesses that employ over half of American workers and offer considerably higher pay and benefits. Big Business certainly deserves oversight, but to zero in on job creators as opposed to the myriad other possible targets of government excess is ridiculous.
Meanwhile, millions of Republicans are so fed up with the status quo that they are willing to back candidates who have zero political experience. Those folks would probably not hire a piano tuner to fill their cavities or a truck driver to litigate a law suit, but somehow they think that managing the world’s biggest economy and best equipped military is child’s play. They believe that navigating our political process can be mastered overnight and that on-the-job training is okay for the biggest job in the world. We just tried that folks – electing Barack Obama with absolutely no qualifications whatsoever – see where it got us.
Everyone is frustrated. Nearly seven years of President Obama’s misguided and sometimes offensive policies will do that to a nation. Even a great nation like this one, which has led the world in creativity, productivity, and generosity, can become discouraged.
Republicans need to understand that there is but one mission today – electing a GOP president in 2016. Many Americans are unaware of the vast changes wreaked on our economy by the Obama White House – changes in labor and environmental law, in healthcare mandates, energy and tax policies that have caused insipid growth and lackluster hiring. Four more years could well make those changes irreversible.
Virtually all the nation’s problems, from income inequality to the explosion in our welfare programs, from stagnating wages to intractable immigration disputes – all these issues recede before a growing economy. Everything – every issue – should be tabled while we work to put a capable Republican in the White House.
Focus, people! It's time to get smart, because the Clinton machine is gearing up.
Though many of us think that Americans will not fall for the corrupt Mrs. Clinton, a far-left gender-card playing failed ex-secretary of state, the GOP race brings home that anything is possible.