One of the aspects of paying attention to politics is attempting to figure out “what’s next?” when it comes to various reactions to something that is in the news. Whenever there’s a deadline, a policy proposal, or an international incident of some sort, you try to figure out how our politicians or a political party is going to react. When it comes to Republicans, it’s actually easy. They’re predictable, in fact, you can usually see it coming a mile away. That’s the bad part.
Back when I decided to come back out of hiatus, the sequester was looming. Sure enough, the Republicans were busily trying to spin it as “the President’s fault,” which no one was buying, and at the same time that it was a “good thing” because it would rein in “runaway government spending. I said at the time that the Republicans were “whistling in the dark,” because once the slow roll out of the sequester started taking effect, they’d be getting serious blowback from their constituents. Why would I think that? Easy, it was because it was the method of the cuts, not the amount. What would happen was quite predictable.
Sure enough, the next sets of posts were about the screams from various conservative areas as national parks closed or delayed opening, and local airports were slated to lose their air traffic controllers. There’s nothing like seeing your local airport have to shut down or reduce hours to make even Michele Bachmann suddenly complain. Now the furloughs are hitting, along with other cuts, and yes, the news stories are starting in the local media about how bad it is for the local economy. Which is getting various Republicans … upset. Not that they’re going to do anything about it, really, but they’re upset.
Along with that the Republican Party released its “autopsy” of the 2012 election in a 100 page report called “The Growth and Opportunity Project.” Which, it seems they spent more time thinking of a good title so the acronym would be “GOP” than actually developing anything new. Mostly, it came down to “we should copy what Obama did with OFA,” and “people don’t like us, so we obviously aren’t communicating our message.” There were, to be honest, a few kernels of “good ideas” in there, but I saw that their biggest problem was going to be Republicans.
Which the past few weeks have demonstrated quite nicely. We have Kansas set to pass the most restrictive abortion law, joining Arkansas and North Dakota, we have North Carolina wanting to pass a “state religion,” lots of discussion about “welfare” which make virtually everyone a “welfare queen,” arguments against gays, immigration slurs and dragging their feet on immigration reform. That’s in addition to paranoid theories about guns and even (thank you Arizona) wanting state legislators to get bulletproof vests. That’s just the short list, and it’s since the Republican Party came out with a strategy document saying in effect “we probably shouldn’t do this.”
I’d like to take credit for being incredibly prescient, to have seen all this coming. I’d like to, but there was nothing “prescient” or “incredible” about it. It’s like predicting that a rock will fall to the ground when I drop it, that the sun will rise in the east, and that water is wet. It’s a sure thing. The Republicans are nothing if not predictable these days, and you know what? I could do without it. Just once I’d like to be surprised, but somehow I don’t think that’s going to happen anytime soon.