Jan 12 2013

 

 

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Commentator and Author Robert Shrum writes of a new ideologue civil war that is gripping America. In his latest Daily Beast column, Shrum writes that with the extreme right in total control of the House of Representatives that the nation's Capital faces and endless battle by extremists to stop President Obama at any cost. Forget the needs of the nation, forget the unemployed and forget those programs which will make America great again and because the hardliners will just focus on the harming the President and his programs.

Shrum writes:

"Obama and Biden face a far more hostile, far less amenable Washington—not only without a super-majority in Congress, but with a filibuster-infested Senate and a Republican House, many of whose members seem hell-bent on crashing the economy. The vice president does deserve credit for getting the nation off the fiscal cliff—and the president deserves credit for sending him to the cliff without worrying that he would kick over the traces and without begrudging him the limelight. Biden was comfortable in a powerful but subordinate role and the modern Senate was comfortable with his activist intervention in legislative affairs.

He did a lot of good for the country and his own future as a potential 2016 candidate. But it’s important to remember what he did—which was not to secure a landmark advance of the kind Kennedy sought and Johnson got after he was president, but to staunch a big self-inflicted wound that would bleed the economy and the markets. This was truly consequential, but it was less a matter of making progress than of preventing retrogress. And as we look ahead, it’s illusory to suggest that Obama can magically work his will if he just becomes a pol-friendly operator—or if he lets Biden act like the mythical version of a pre-presidential LBJ.

The problem that may blight the next four years is an ideological chasm where the president’s attempts at reasonable compromise are routinely rebuffed, where a polarization to the right among Republicans is reinforced by resentment and a refusal to accept the results of the 2012 election. Or to put it plainly, they can’t believe Obama is still there—and they’re more than ready, or forced by their own extremists, to obstruct him at almost any cost."

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Shrum continues with the fact that all the President's appointments are being endlessly attacked in Congress and by the right wing media outlets. Mother Theresa would have a hard time getting approval from this crowd of Republicans in the United States Senate. Shrum writes:

"Maybe the Republicans will attempt to decapitate the federal government by leaving it without major cabinet officials. In the end, they’ll fail—and thanks to the drafters of the Constitution, at least the deranged GOP House has no say in the confirmation process. But what’s happening is more proof that what we have in Washington is not a functioning Congress, but a one-ring circus on the far right.

And watch the freak show when the president proposes comprehensive immigration reform and moves forward on gun control. Already, Iowa Rep. Steve King has introduced a bill—which happens to be unconstitutional—that would deny citizenship to immigrant children born in this country. The only part of the Constitution that King and too many like him in the House seem to revere is the Second Amendment—in absolute and absolutely distorted terms. A week ago, I argued that it would be a mistake to bet against Biden’s chances of achieving progress on guns. After listening to the GOP stooges for the NRA—think of Texas Rep. Louis Gohmert, who said that a “hammer” could be “an assault weapon”—I’m ready to bet that not much gun legislation of any kind can get past Boehner’s brigades.

When the vice president said that Obama might act by executive order, the Drudge Report went into a frenzy, complete with pictures of Hitler and Stalin, apparently since taken down. The episode not only reveals the limitless shamelessness of Drudge, but the ugliness that pervades the opposition to Obama. And if you want to see it get even worse, just wait until the president selects someone to fill the next Supreme Court vacancy.

I hope I’m wrong—that somehow Boehner locates his conscience; that enough Republicans decide to do what’s right rather than far right; that the GOP heeds Chris Christie’s counsel that “compromise [is] not a dirty word.” But it’s more than possible that Christie will become an exile in his own party—and that the greatest nation on earth may become a hobbled, dysfunctional democracy.

If so, Americans will settle the issue at the polls in favor of progress—unless a dwindling, demographically depleted Republican Party succeeds for a while in imposing new Jim Crow–like restrictions on voting. But long-term, that’s a losing game. And today, the GOP is the party that won’t compromise; the party that threatens economic chaos; the anti-Medicare, anti–Social Security, anti-women, anti-Hispanic, anti-gay, anti-young party. There’s no future in that.

Barack Obama and Joe Biden may now have to prove their mettle as never before. The vice president has to be himself, not a reprise of a miscast LBJ. And the president has to be himself too, not the sudden apparition of an inauthentic pol.

Yes, it’s going to be not just a bumpy night, but probably a long, bumpy ride."