THE GOP SENATE : FREE TO ACT, OR UNFREE TO DO ANYTHING ?

1 Mitch M1 Joni

^ do you have confidence in this man ? Or in the controversial new Iowa Senator Joni Ernst ?

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Republican partisans who we talk to say that the newly GOP United States Senate will be able to actually legislate, as it has not been able these past few years. I would like to believe it, but I do not.

Were Senators free agents, legislation could happen. It could equally have happened during the last session of Congress. There were 100 Senators then as there are 100 now. What has changed except which party has the majority ?

That the Senate and House are both now solidly in GOP control does not, in any way, portend legislation. It portends confrontation, because the President is no more going to sign GOP legislation than he was ready to do so last year. Why shoiuld he ? President Obama’s party opposes the sorts of legislation that the national GOP wants, and he is right to do so.

Were the Senate free agents, conferences might well produce legislation that the President can sign. But the Senate is not free to act. Every Senator — certainly every one elected on Tuesday — is the captive of huge money, of greedy millions of special interest money that has no intention of compromising on anything, because their membership lists and donations depend on confrontation and division. These PACs are not instruments of legislation. they are machines of conquest.

That goes or Democratic Senators too.

A United States senate campaign today costs upwards of ten million dollars; some cost 50 million, even 100 million. The candidates on whom that sort of money is spent are entirely the captive of it. And make no mistake : the PACs dumping vast millions into campaigns want theitr way. Their way or the highway.

in all this, the public interest goes a-begging. It is homeless. It has no shelter, no address, no voice. All there is — all there can be — is for one group of big-money mansions to oppose each other, because each oversized piece of ugly real estate wants the other defeated. That is not a recipe for compromise, not an arena for legislation.

That said, the size of the GOP successes on Tuesday truly astounds. The party added nine (9) senatd seats and bulked its majority in the House. New GOP Senators now represent Iowa, Colorado, North Carolina, Arkansas, Montana, South Dakota, West Virginia, Alaska, and will likely soon represent Louisiana. New GOP Congressmen were elected in NY, IL, GA, and more. The GOP is today the party of the legislative branch, just as the Democratc party was the legislative party for 60 years. The consequences will be enormous and permanent. Even though the GOP of 2014 was a realistic party, not a Tea crazy affair, its agenda is the opposite of what America should now be doing.

The national GOP of Tuesday opposes all moves for economic justice, workers’ rights, women’s reproductive rights, immigration reform, energy alternatives, climate action, civil rights and voting rights. it is a party of reactionary oligarchs who view “the 47 percent” every bit as negatively as did Mitt Romney and who will stop at nothing to demand that its elected puppets enact as much regressive legislation as possible. And just think about what GOP control means for the Supreme Court !

There won’t be debt defaults or government shutdowns, no; but there will be incremental action to dismantle everything fair that our nation has put in place since the 1930s, even since the 1890s.

Pundits assert that the totally GOp-controlled legislature will have to compromise and enact or it risks being the party of “nO’ and that a Democrat will be elected President in protest. My vi8ew is the opposite : that the GO-p ;legislature wants a Democratic President, because then it can oppose her with all question, whereas a GOP President may have other priorities than  the GOP legislature and create conflict — just as it did during the President vies of George Bush 41 and George Bush 43.

Besides, it is easier to scare up 100 million dollar donations to stop a Democratic President than to explain to fat cats why they should donate to opposing a Republican President.

I am not optimistic about what the future holds even if Hillary Clibton is elected President in 2016.

—- Mike Freedberg / Here and Sphere

Author: hereandsphere

Here and Sphere is an online journal of news, opinion, reviews, advice, & bits n' pieces of everything else - from HERE to SPHERE...... Co-founded by Michael Freedberg, a long-time Boston Phoenix journalist, and Heather Cornell, a South Coast Massachusetts columnist and editor.

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