So, it has happened! Republicans captured the Senate, secured governorships in states that nobody ever imagined could turn red and further expanded the majority in the House. Obama, to quote a New York Times headline “vowed to cooperate within limits,” and the new Senate Majority leader, Senator Mitch McConnell, also promised a “spirit of compromise.”
All of this, of course, sounds promising, but when something sounds too good to be true, it usually is!
Anybody who believes that Obama would move toward the center like President Clinton did in 1994 when he lost 54 House and 8 Senate seats to Republicans, is badly mistaken. Just read The Canary’s psychological profile of President Obama on this site. Obama is not like Bill Clinton, who is a pragmatic liberal, but a highly self-centered ideological Marxist, who simply cannot help himself. He will provoke the Republicans as much as he can, which brings me to the real subject of today’s column: how will the Republicans respond?
It was New Gingrich’s “Contract with America” that led to the Republican sweep in 1994. But remember what happened after that: America would look differently today had the “Contract with America,” indeed, been fulfilled. Republican participation in governance did not improve earlier Democratic governance. Yes, some important things did get done, and it unquestionably contributed to the economic boom during the second Clinton administration, but the political culture did not change. Remember “bridges to nowhere”?
Over the past three administrations, many have gotten the impression that the real parties in power have been Wall Street, Silicon Valley, and Hollywood. One just has to follow the money to find Democrat and Republican politicians alike selling their souls to the highest bidder.
Indeed, one just had to follow the money to predict the outcome of these last elections: Liberal Silicon Valley, according to recent reports in the press, donated more to Republicans than Democrats in the final weeks leading up to the elections. Their artificial intelligence models, apparently, correctly predicted who would win the election, redirecting their donations in a timely fashion. Like all businessmen, Silicon Valley businessmen, despite their liberal leanings, of course, are opportunistic. And Republicans, of course, accepted the money. So it is difficult not to be skeptical about the Republicans’ real intentions.
The risks associated with “crony capitalism” during the Obama administration probably became more apparent than ever before when billions of tax dollars were wasted at companies owned by “Obama – friends” (including unions) either through bailouts, subsidies and bankruptcy (Solyndra alone for a loss of $535 million). But even that phenomenon is not an exclusively Democratic problem; Republican administrations are just as bad when it comes to promoting “crony capitalism.” General Electric was as much a “Republican” company under Bush administrations (mostly Bush Senior), as it became a “Democratic” company under CEO Jeffry R. Immelt under Democratic administrations.
The big question, therefore, is how the Republican Party, now in control of both houses and three-quarters of state houses, will respond to the provocations that the White House will throw at them.