Some may call this diary laughable and pie in the sky. They get trapped in the idea of formula, committees, and control. But as Jim Demint (R-SC) put it: "Committees are rubbish" The reality is, Republicans are nowhere near in control of the (R)s in the house.. and in a 3 party setup, Democrats should remember who should set the message.
Let's be clear on this point: at this point, like it or not, (R) control the house, but they do so in NAME ONLY. While Democrats have long caucused with Independents, Greens, etc. it has been a flanking minority. Here, the Republicans will have a full 50 members of their ranks who directly owe stakes to a third party - The Tea Party. Wait, that's not a party? Not according to them, they, in their press conference, pointed out how different they are from republicans. Which isn't a shock, as Karl Rove has gone out of his way to lambast them:
Karl Rove outed the Republican elites’ contempt for Tea Partiers in the campaign’s final stretch. Much as Barack Obama thought he was safe soliloquizing about angry white Middle Americans clinging to "guns or religion" at a San Francisco fund-raiser in 2008, so Rove now parades his disdain for the same constituency when speaking to the European press. This month he told Der Spiegel that Tea Partiers are "not sophisticated," and then scoffed, "It’s not like these people have read the economist Friedrich August von Hayek." Given that Glenn Beck has made a cause of putting Hayek’s dense 1944 antigovernment treatise "The Road to Serfdom" on the best-seller list and Tea Partiers widely claim to have read it, Rove could hardly have been more condescending to "these people." Last week, for added insult, he mocked Sarah Palin’s imminent Discovery Channel reality show to London’s Daily Telegraph.
The Republican Party is preparing to embark on Civil War.. with itself. One thing which Jon Stewart (wow, it's amazing I'm citing a comic, but it's more apt here then most political minds of the moment) pointed out is that most Democrats know a Republican or too.. hell, they may be related to them ;) And vice-versa. And most of those people "get along" with some basic goals. Whether we think that way or not, the senate and house have a long history of people on the right and left at some point coming together for across the lines bills which have shaped our legislative body.
Today, the Tea Party throws down the gauntlet: "We won't work with anyone! We want gridlock!"
For many Republicans, not tea partiers, this is a disaster. Far more then working with a democrat, being trapped into gridlock works - for a short while. But after a short while, people at home expect results. Sitting in a corner and pouting is not results. No tangible movement just leaves them apt to blame.
This is where I think Democrats have to WAKE UP. Democrats control the senate, including some Republicans who will likely be back against the wishes of their tea-party fools. Democrats represent the largest cohesive unit in the House.
I WILL SAY THIS AGAIN: DEMOCRATS REPRESENT THE LARGEST COHESIVE BODY IN THE HOUSE
We in America are so used to a two party system, we fail to recognize that right now, there are THREE distinctly different agendas in the house. And there is enough difference here that the Tea Partiers, who are MORE Interested in holding Republicans to the fire to show that they are different then they are democrats (who they believe they have already shown to be different)represent the rock on which the Republican wave breaks.
Democrats are so busy cowering because they fail to see the reality; they can't appreciate the new political landscape because it is scary and different.
But there is no denying the fact that the Tea Party, while Republican for the most part, has at it's roots a desire to show that they are "DIFFERENT" which was the message they sent all summer.
Right now, the war of the house is started:
Self-proclaimed tea party leader Michele Bachmann's bid for a top Republican post in the House received a cool reaction Thursday from Speaker-to-be John Boehner, an early test of how GOP leaders will treat the antiestablishment movement's winners in Tuesday's elections.
"Constitutional conservatives deserve a loud and clear voice in leadership!" Bachmann, R-Minn., who founded the Tea Party Caucus, said in a one-paragraph Facebook announcement that she is running for GOP conference chairman.
House Republican leaders don't disagree. But that doesn't mean they want the hyperbolic Bachmann being a spokeswoman for the new majority during the 2012 election cycle.
And Democrats continue to cry in their milk.
I would urge democrats to remind their house of rep members that they are the representative of the people. They have a more cohesive voting block, unified in message and principle. We are a THREE party house now, not a TWO party house, if the tea party is to be believed. Now is the time for Democrats to point out to their republican counterparts that they are between a rock and a hard place. Stand with the obstructionists, and leave behind their principles of representing their districts, or work as their district voted them to, across the isles to get things done.
President Obama, now is a unique time in the American Political landscape. Now is not the time to shirk from difficulty, but to embrace a unique challenge. You have the cohesive votes to turn the republicans into obstructionists who are aching to destroy each other.
The task for Democrats now is not to shy away from their message, it is to EMBRACE THEIR MESSAGE. To send out the message to the public you want to work across the party isle but you have goals. Challenge the Tea Party to back up their "we prefer gridlock to action".
BE THE ROCK.
Democrats had a bad one night stand. Their wallet is gone, and so is the money on the nightstand. Meanwhile, Republicans are the girl who slept with the bad boyfriend to get what they wanted.. and maybe it worked for a short while, but that bad case of Herpes afterwords makes it hard to live down.
Those who comment on "would someone else challenge Obama" "what happens to the message now".
HERE is what happens: Democrats are the only ones with a unified message. They control the senate, presidency, and they are the largest cohesive body in the house. If Democrats back away from their message now, they are the ones beating themselves, not republicans.
So, after a long night of thought, my advice remains: BE THE ROCK.
My end point is basically this: Sometimes a story is how you frame it. The democratic talking point for the last two days has been "Boo Hoo, woe is us!" I'm sick of it. Now is the time for someone to come out and say: There are three agendas now in the house, and we were all elected, from our own districts, by voters in our districts, to represent those viewpoints. And just because a district in X voted Y doesn't mean I roll over and betray what my district voted for me to do. So, let's see how this all shakes out.