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The question, boys and girls, is: Just how dumb do you have to be in order to be a Republican politician?
I actually believed those ignoramuses had learned their lesson after the elections of 2006 and 2008. I was convinced that they’d seen the error of their ways, that cozying up to the likes of Ted Kennedy and Russ Feingold could only lead to both liberals and conservatives holding them in utter contempt.
I was certain that the recent midterm elections would drive home the point that most voters were experiencing buyer’s remorse after four years of Pelosi and Reid, and two years of Barack Obama. But, as the lame duck session proved, you can never go wrong underestimating the intelligence of Republican officeholders. From this vantage point, it appeared that at the very time when Obama was on the ropes and being chastised by the most left-wing elements of his party, the Republicans decided to buck him up.
Instead of waiting for the newly elected congress to deal with the Bush tax cuts by forcing Obama to either keep them at their current level for everyone or to let them rise on the middle class, something even he wouldn’t have done, the Republicans elected to extend unemployment insurance by 13 months, thus providing Obama with his latest budget-busting stimulus program. When I was young, you got six months of benefits. Now you can get three years. At this rate, soon only natural-born suckers will bother working at all.
Then, in spite of those members of the military who are actually fighting and dying in Iraq and Afghanistan being opposed to repealing “don’t ask, don’t tell,” the GOP used the most cockeyed poll in history as an excuse to go along with the liberals.
Finally, in order to make Christmas 2010 the best one ever for Obama, a fair number of Republican lunkheads voted for the START treaty, which simultaneously served to fill Vladimir Putin’s head with visions of sugar plum fairies.
The first question that comes to mind is why we’re still making nuclear treaties with the Russians. Rumor has it the Cold War is over. Inasmuch as the preamble to the treaty suggests that we might be denied the right to pursue missile-defense systems, which was the only reason Russia negotiated the treaty in the first place, what was the big rush to make it the first treaty ever enacted during a lame-duck session?
Charles Krauthammer refers to Obama as the Comeback Kid, basing that conclusion on the fact that he rebounded so miraculously after the shellacking the Democrats received in November. Krauthammer is right, but the comeback is entirely due to the Republicans taking a collective dive. Talk about snatching defeat out of the jaws of victory!
I think that those folks who assumed that, like Clinton, who was forced to move to the center after the 1994 midterm elections, Obama would become more moderate over the next two years might be whistling in the dark. With the Republicans acting as his enabler, there might not be any reason at all for Obama to kick his addiction to socialist policies.
I can only hope that the new congressional Republicans will be up to the challenge facing them not only from the progressives on the left, but from the gutless biddies in their own party. If they falter, I’m confident that tea-party patriots will be around to remind them what happens to RINOs. As any number of them learned during the last election, there’s another elephant graveyard besides the one in Africa.
In the meantime, like Santa Claus, I’m keeping my own list of who’s been naughty and who’s been nice. I don’t want to forget the names of those who filled the President’s Christmas stocking with so many goodies.
Just to help you along, the 13 “Republicans” who helped provide Barack Obama and Harry Reid with the super majority required to pass START were Corker and Alexander from Tennessee, Snowe and Collins from Maine, Brown, Mass., Bennett, Utah, Murkowski, Alaska, Voinovich, Ohio, Cochran, Miss., Gregg, N.H., Isakson, Ga., Johanns, Neb., and Lugar, the pride of Indiana. The reason that the vote was 71-26 when there are 100 members of the Senate was because three Republicans, Bond, Mo., Bunning, Ky., and Brownback, Kan., all decided to play hooky because they apparently had more important things to do than vote on a major arms treaty.
I’m sure that Obama’s only regret is that he didn’t ask Santa for cap-and-trade, card checks and the opportunity to make Ramadan a national holiday while he was at it.