After Obama wins, can the Republicans continue being obstructionists?

I say they can. It makes no sense, but nothing they do strategically (long-run) makes much sense to me. If Obama wins, will McConnell come out the next day and express something more like “OK, we tried to make him a one-term President, and we wrecked our brand doing nothing else–now it’s time to become the loyal opposition again” or will he doubledown on their obstructionism and vow to continue opposing anything he proposes or stands for on the principle of being able to then claim a two-term failed presidency?

This question is much bigger than McConnell himself, of course–I just use him as a handy illustration.

Sure - why wouldn’t they be? Unless the Democrats pull off a major upset and get a supermajority of both houses (which ain’t gonna happen), Congressional Republicans will continue to do everything possible to ensure that a Democratic president does not succeed. If they can’t stop Obama from getting a second term they sure as heck will try to stop the Democrats from getting a three-peat.

Sure. Hate is easy to generate. Lies are even easier. Better than issues.

No doubt about it. In 2014 and 2016 they don’t want to be running against Democrats who have any record of successful accomplishments.


Am I being an obstructionist if I point out that this thread is in the wrong forum? :dubious:

We’re the Fukawi?

Arguably if the Republicans hold the House (which seems likely) then doesn’t that give them a mandate to carry out their goals?

Why Americans elect a president from one party and a legislative majority from the opposing party is a curiosity to me. IMHO, it is as if the public wants them to be at loggerheads and not get much of anything done.

Agree. I thought I placed it in Great Debates. I’ll report myself.

On the OP: is there a Republican who could position himself over the next four years (assuming Obama wins) as the anti-Akin prototype, the moderate Rockefeller/Snowe type of Republican, and drive for that end of the party, ifthere’s any end left there?

Scott Brown? Mike Bloomberg? I think it would be easier for an elected congressperson to take a leadership position that’s anti-Tea Party, broker some bi-partisan agreement on legistlation, and build a reputation as a practical deal-maker eager to cross party lines to do the trick. But maybe there’s another successful path to the White House someone else sees for a Washington outsider?

The problem with that plan - and I wish it would happen - is not that the party would object (if public opinion were to swing that way the party would too) but that the Grover Norquists, the Rush Limbaughs and the Koch Brothers of the world would never go for it. You’d have to get the opinion makers to change before the GOP will change, and there’s too much money in their current approach for them to do so.

Because we can. :slight_smile:

I believe it has to do with voters having different goals for state government than they do for national government.

Assuming this gets moved to the Elections forum…

It’s also a peculiarity of the electoral college system. Still, it’s rare for a president to win the electoral votes but not the popular vote. Happened in 2000, and even then it came down to a court ruling.

The other thing is that presidential races are largely personality races. If the GOP had nominated a more likable candidate and someone who was even just a bit better as a campaigner, Obama would have been in big trouble. And it wouldn’t have hurt if he was from a more mainstream religion.

Romney is one of the worst candidates the GOP could have conjured up, but then they didn’t have much to work with.

There’s also the fact that local politics can be very different from national politics. As an example, the state where I lived for a decade, Montana: There are a lot of Montanans who are fairly liberal on many different topics, but for whom guns have a very high priority. Give them a choice between a Democratic and Republican presidential candidate, and they’ll probably pick the Republican, because even though they disagree with him on most subjects, they view him as being more gun-friendly, and that’s important to them. In a statewide election, though, that ceases to be an issue, since the Democrats and Republicans alike will be vehemently pro-gun, and so they’ll be free to vote based on other issues. And thus, we see Montana voting for Republican presidential candidates, but Democratic governor and senators.

After all this time, can we really not come up with a better system of government than one in which the opposition party spends the whole term trying to make the country a shittier place than it was when The Other Guy got in?

It’s not supposed to work that way.
In The Proud Tower, Barbara Tuchman describes a Speaker of the House who, about 1900, retired rather than face the conflict of his political ideas and the will or mandate if you will, of the voters.

Yebbut… you have to factor in the complete lack of moral values in today’s politicians. That sort of thing is not going to happen now. It’s all about who can smear the other guy more successfully and rake in the most cash donations. Hell, it’s like that here in the UK, and we’re much more morally upstanding than the Americans. :wink: <- please note


While I’ve got you here, what’s the deal in Parliament with yelling at the PM when he is speaking, or anyone else, for that matter?

Honestly? I think it’s just tradition. That and it helps the MPs stay awake, and look as if they’re doing something.