It may seem a bit counterintuitive but the only way to effectively end Washington gridlock in the upcoming midterm elections is to vote Republican.
Given that I’m a Republican, this is on its face a very self-serving statement and deserves explanation. At first glance, you might think a solidly Republican Congress and a Democrat president would produce the mother of all gridlock, but that’s not necessarily the case.
If Republicans control both chambers of Congress, they will likely (if they’re smart) produce a tsunami of bills and send them in waves down Pennsylvania Avenue to Barack Obama’s desk. The president can either sign or veto them. If he vetoes them and the Republicans can muster the requisite number of votes, they can override his veto.
At the same time, if Obama is smart, he will begin working to engage GOP leadership in both chambers to craft bills he’s willing to sign. In the current environment, his modus operandi is to hit the road and ridicule and lambast the Republicans any time a serious issue is being debated. His goal is to kill Republican ideas through public pressure, but such pressure is only effective when manifested at the ballot box, and the only box Obama can effectively concern himself with in the future is the tee box at the golf course. His true campaigning days are basically over. It’s time now for him to actually act like a president.
To date, one of Obama’s most effective strategies is to portray the GOP House as the heart and soul of a do nothing Congress. This strategy will no longer work if the Congress is continually sending legislation to his desk. Failure to act will make Obama appear the obstructionist, not the Republicans.
Before leaving office, I wouldn’t be surprised if Obama gives Harry Reid the Presidential Medal of Freedom for personally continually throwing himself on top of a trainload of Republican supported bills in the Senate and snuffing them out as if they were live hand grenades. He’s even been often willing to say things publicly that make him appear quite daft. That kind of blind loyalty is hard to find these days and Obama will probably want to recognize it.
Old Harry doesn’t deserve the Presidential Medal of Freedom, you say? Let’s put it this way. If Obama can win the Nobel Peace Prize, Reid can get the Medal of Freedom.
That’s also the heart of the matter. Harry Reid and the other Senate Democrats have worked tirelessly to keep Obama from actually having to make the tough policy decisions a president must take on. The only time Reid can’t protect the president from himself is in foreign affair matters, and we’ve all seen how that’s worked out.
If Republicans control both houses of Congress, we’ll likely see movement on many fronts. For instance, much needed tax reform could become a reality. Obama often says he supports lowering the corporate income tax rates (the United States currently has some of the highest rates in the world). Let’s see what he does if such a bill comes to his desk.
For those who think this scenario couldn’t possibly be real, recall what happened when Bill Clinton occupied the Oval Office and Newt Gingrich was in the Speaker’s chair. We saw welfare reform and more reasonable efforts at balancing the Federal budget. This all happened during impeachment no less.
Granted, there is a big difference between Bill Clinton and Barack Obama. Clinton is a politician’s politician and a bit more pragmatic than Obama who is definitely an ideologue. Whether Obama can shake his core nature in this instance remains to be seen.
On Election Day, we have essentially two choices as things stand now. We can either keep the status quo which a clear majority of Americans seems to hate or we can try a new way. We can put Republicans and Democrats on essentially the same footing where political power is concerned and see what they do with it.
Certainly, it’s worth a try.