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December 11, 2012

“We Lost the Election”

Roy Meachum

The words in the headline were spoken by conservative columnist and talk-show hostess Ann Coulter. She said them in context of raising taxes for the super-rich. Right wing commentator Bill Krystal opined it wouldn’t “kill the country” if millionaires paid more to the IRS.


With 20 days to go before the financial roof falls in, the House of Representatives was out of Washington and returns today. All by himself, Speaker John Boehner remained to negotiate with the White House. The quandary is locked in the Constitution.


Afraid of the tyranny they just suffered, the Founding Fathers divided the Congress into two chambers. The Senate was to provide counsel in the form of wiser, more experienced people elected for six years. The “lower” House gave voice to the common men and later women; they stand every other year for their constituents’ approval.


In November, the Republicans, like Ms. Coulter and Mr. Krystal, lost a net of 14 seats, but still controlled half of Congress. The polling was never close: Barack Obama earned two-thirds of the Electoral College and nearly 60 millions of the popular vote. His Democratic Party picked up an additional two chairs in the “upper” house.


Former Republican House Majority Leader Dick Armey, a Tea Party founder, took the blame out on GOP candidates for saying “stupid things,” including presidential nominee Mitt Romney. His speech “about 47 percent of the population dependent on the government” topped this year’s best political quotes from Yale University, ranking not far behind was his “binders full of women.” Other candidates grossed voters out with their comments on “rape” and “pregnancy.”


Two years ago the nation was in the “throw the bums out” mood, bringing to Capitol Hill such newsworthy gadflies as Florida ex-Lt. Colonel Alan West, who left the Army on a deal from his court mail. Once again in Washington is Minnesota’s Rick Nolan who served separate 4-year terms before retiring from politics. Mr. Nolan was termed as “one of its respected members” in the House by my old colleague Jack Anderson. The new Congressman-elect quipped: “Because in Minnesota, maybe with the exception of Michele Bachmann, no one talks directly to God.” Mrs. Bachmann held her seat last month, using funds from her failed presidential campaign – not because of God’s direct intervention.


In terms of Ms. Coulter’s “lost,” there can be no prospect of the Republicans winning in 2014; they can whine and grumble the rest of Mr. Obama’s four years. There’s been heavy talk of “secession” grounded, I perceive, in racism. The white majority is losing place rapidly, which is also a reason given for Mr. Romney’s loss. Hawaii’s demographic mix must be now viewed as the nation’s future, and I can’t recall when the island sent someone “pure vanilla” to represent the state.


If Ohio’s John Boehner digs in his heels in protest of taxing millionaires, I think that will be the end of the Grand Old Party, except for pockets like Frederick County. The House Speaker would do well to heed conservative commentators like Ann Coulter, Bill Krystal and other voices on the right: Republicans lost last month!


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