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Thursday, October 20, 2016

WASHINGTON — The most important issue in the 2012 campaign barely gets discussed: How will we govern ourselves after the election is over?

Elections are supposed to decide things. The voters render a verdict on what direction they want the country to take and set the framework within which both parties work.

President Obama’s time in office, however, has given rise to a new approach. Republicans decided to do all they could to make the president unsuccessful. Their not-so-subliminal message has been: We will make the country ungovernable unless you hand us every bit of legislative, executive and judicial power so we can do what we want.

Judging by the current polls, this approach hasn’t worked. Mitt Romney is suffering not only from his own mistakes but also because a fundamentally moderate country has come to realize that today’s GOP is far more extreme than Republicans were in the past. Romney’s makers-not-takers 47 percent remarks made clear that the current GOP worldview is more Ayn Rand than Adam Smith, more Rush Limbaugh than Bill Buckley, more Rick Perry than Abe Lincoln.

Yet can one election turn the country around and make Washington work again?

Let’s start by saying that if the election takes an abrupt turn and Romney wins, he would probably get a Republican House and Senate. Then the country would get the GOP Full Monty, a complete dose of what it has to offer.

Somewhat more possible, given the current polls, is unified Democratic government. If Obama winds up with something like 53 percent of the popular vote or more, the Democrats have a real chance of winning both House and Senate majorities.

But what if the current conventional wisdom is right in foreseeing an Obama win coupled with continued, narrow Democratic control of the Senate and a House Republican majority depleted but still in charge? Will Republicans give up on obstruction and the reckless use of the filibuster? Will they be open to compromise on the budget?

This depends partly on a debate already going on inside the Republican Party and the conservative movement about why Romney is losing. It’s a precursor to what would be the post-election “why Romney lost” lollapalooza.

  • dellmartin

    I would also ask the question of what happens if Romney wins and we have a democratic House. I for one would like to do to them exactly what they did to the democrats: make sure their candidate is a one-term president. I understand that 2 wrongs don’t make a right, but why should we cooperate, which would make Romney look like an effective leader?

    • frivolous01

      I’d have to disagree; what the Republicans have done has hurt our country. If Romney wins (God help us) then the Democrats have to take the higher ground and do whatever we have to do.

      • dellmartin

        Of course intellectually, you are correct. I’m offering my emotional response. It would burn me up to hear the reps brag about how finally we have a president that can get things done.

        • frivolous01

          I agree with you on that, believe me there is a big part of me that wants to give a big FU to the Republican party. I hope that will happen on November 6 and that Obama being reelected will be a wake up call to them.

          • Sand_Cat

            Wake up? Don’t count on it.

          • Shadowtoad

            They won’t wake up. Even if President Obama wins, there is still going to be the undercurrent by voters (even many of those who supported him) to have a congress keep tight reigns on him so he doesn’t go too far to the left. There is this mindset by many. many people that undermining Obama by the Republicans is good for the country. I find that there is a level of mistrust of Obama’s policies as, day in and day out, the right wing radio personalities and Fox news purvey this to the public. So when the Republicans are stopping any progress by Obama and insulting him, I believe many of the populace just doesn’t mind. I am white and I think race plays a role no matter what people say outwardly. I hate to say it. (By the way, I am a supporter of President Obama and the Repub have did everything they could to undermine him and I just don’t hear the public outcry as there should be.)

      • I don’t agree with that, I am close to retirement, I don’t want him to dismantle my SSI or Medicare, I want democrats to resist what he and Ryan want to do to my benefits!!!

        • frivolous01

          I think you misunderstood what I am saying. I’m not saying we need to bend over backwards and go along with whatever the Republicans want (IF Romney wins, which I don’t think he will). I’m saying that we don’t need to be obstructionist for the sake of obstructing. We need to drop the partisanship and work with them to get things done.

          • Landsende

            To often the democrats have been the nice guy whenever they’re in power. They should have impeached GWB and Cheney for lying about weapons of mass destruction and giving no bid contracts to their cronies and appointed a special counsel to investigate their actions just as the republicans did against President Clinton. At least when Clinton lied no one died. When GWB lied thousands died or were injured. When republicans are in charge, the only things they care about are trickle down economics that help the rich and hurt the middle class.

          • frivolous01

            You are completely correct about that. I don’t think a republican should ever be president again. They are too heartless. That said, I do believe our two party system works really well when everyone works together. The democrats tend to be too nice and want to help everyone, which isn’t always good fiscal policy, when the republicans are in congress they can help balance this out. Democrats, on the other hand, remind republicans to have a heart and don’t allow them to forget about helping the less fortunate. Unfortunately, during the last 4 years this broke down because of the Tea Party and racism, which led to an extreme shift to the right for the republicans causing them to obstruct everything the president wanted to do.

          • Landsende

            I agree completely but it used to be that the democrats and republicans worked together for the good of the country and it’s citizens but since the tea party took over the republican party that’s no longer the case. They have their own agenda and they aren’t willing to compromise on anything such as passing a jobs bill that will put more Americans back to work. They have all signed a pledge to Grover Norquist to not raise taxes when their allegiance shouldn’t be to him but to their constituents. They were even willing to let the United States default on our debt causing a downgrade in it’s credit rating that has ended up costing all of us more financially. They keep getting a pass for their actions and it’s time they faced the consequences by being voted out of office.

    • There is no chance of Romney winning. THE DEBATES ARE COMING…THE DEBATES ARE COMING…THE DEBATES ARE COMING. He has to open his mouth on points that are not scripted…it’s over as soon as he starts to go off script he is helpless. Cheifly because he doesn’t really believe all the shit they tell him to say so when he has to say how he really feels about something he is afraid because it dosn’t fit his personality so he just gaffs and gaffs and gaffs.

      The real challenge is for us to get out and convert red states. We need to get the house back and lock down the senate for years to come. Also don’t discount local elections that is where the real shitty back door stuff happens. We should be all about this..stopp spending all our time on here preaching to the choir and get out and talk level headed no nonsense politics everywhere you can. Don’t let some big mouth hater go unanswered BUT and this is KEY when the big mouth dumbass spouts his lies remain calm and correct his math and his racism with facts and a peace loving heart. This tactic is soooo effective especially when all the undecided votes that are sitting in the audiance have to watch both sides speak….let him rave and soew lies just calmly state the facts and smile and nod. The truth is a powerful tool and calm cool facts are so easy to spot when compared to the complete BS that is going around in opposition to the truth.

  • Electing President Obama back for another four years is rendering something to our legislative body. We want what the President wants and if they don’t give it to us, they will be replaced to stop the obstruction, it’s that simple. Everyone make sure you have a picture ID card with an expiration date on it, they can’t stop you from voting as long as you are currently registered. Remember only we can make the necessary changes, and we need to stand with our President to stop Ryan from taking away our Social Security and Medicare. When Romney was on 60 minutes saying he would take benefits from the rich on Medicare and improve the benefits for the poor on Medicare, that’s the same thing as taking the money from Medicare Advantage, he just slanted the message, because he thinks we are to stupid to figure it out!!!!

  • TSB

    Ideally, if a President could pick a House/Senate based on their party affiliation, like they do a staff, much more would get done in this country without someone obstructing the forward or backward motion. The people could do this if they were smart enough to vote that way.
    Look how successful Bush/Cheney were in allowing 911, starting 2 unfunded wars, freeing the markets to run unregulated mayhem and nearly plunge us off the cliff into another 1930’s depression. They started all this with a huge surplus and ended with a very huge debt/deficit. Cheney’s Halliburton walked away with extremely huge profits after all this chaos.

  • I think that when President Obama wins a 2nd term, the GOPs plan to stop him from having a 2nd term will be moot & they will cooperate more.

    • Sand_Cat

      Wish I had your optimism!

    • Gammaanya

      No, they will try to impeach him for being Muslim and born in Kenya. Most ignorant, indifferent, lazy will go along with that. LOL

  • Elsa

    Republican will never give up their unreasonable responses, they are radical right wing nut cases that only see what they want to. Our only hope is enough of the radical right gets voted out of office so Obama’s job is easier. That’s the hope and change we need the most right now.

  • barbarahugh

    What I want to know is why any person that is below the middle class want to vote for Romney ? Why he doesn’t even want to acknowledge them , they are poor he doesn’t need sh_t from any of them.I can only size it up to they do not want President Obama in the WH ..I see these poor broke ass people living in torn rusty trailerhomes with the signs ROMNEY ..What the Hell !! If it wasn’t that I love my President I would vote for Romney just to make sure all these people that sooo desparately want Romney get him they can really see how it is going to be with them . Then they will wish to have that Afro-American Beautiful President Obama BACK!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • daniel bostdorf

    Can This Election Settle Anything?
    Yes it can….

    America choses to go forward, or it goes backwards.

    Romney=Fascism. Backwards. 1930’s Germany. 1950’s McCarthyism supported by Rove, Limbaugh and Foxnews. “Them vs. “Us” ie “you people.” the 1% rules.

    Obama=Democracy and Diversity and Tolerance. New thinking. Problem solving. Free exchange of ideas. Working with world leaders to solve global problems internationally. Cooperation. The 99% rule.

    Can This Election Settle Anything?

  • rustacus21

    … it can only if American’s realize once & for all that a Liberal/Progressive Congressional Majority MUST accompany President Obama to the negotiation table on ALL issues relating to recovery, healing & redirecting the nation back to a forward course of progress & rationality. No more negotiations & trying to make friends. Conservatives simply don’t understand Democracy & we shouldn’t have to wait for them to PROVE IT (1969-’76; 1981-’93; 2001-’09)!!! What’s wrong w/a nation that can’t even see when a segment of its population is determined to undermine it? What will it take?!

  • Ghost Writer

    Our top political priority during this election cycle is to deny the etch a sketch candidate Mitt Romney the presidency. We must do everything possible to make this happen along with making sure every Republican candidate does not succeed in their bid for office. The only good Republican is one that does not hold elected office.

    • daniel bostdorf


  • President Obama has always taken the long view. He has shown himself to be a patient strategist. The GOP/Tea Party will be hampered in their efforts to obstruct by all the “cans they kicked” coming back to roost ( pardon my mixing of the metaphors). There are many important decisions that can not be delayed any longer.

  • It appears that if the Democrates win, or vice versa, that this country is really going down hill as far as working together on the behalf of the American people. I, for one believe that the Democrats could do wonders if they control the House and Senate, as stated above. For example, Obama has had a bill in front of the Republican Congress that would create one million job’s right away, but of course Republicans , led by deadbeats like Mitch McConnell, as stated, in front of the American People ,that their top priority is to get rid of Obama. When ask a second time by the interviewer about Republicans top prioity, even if it meant American jobs, the answer was the same. We really need to get rid of people in our government that think like this. The Republican party didn’t used to be this bad, but has slid into a pattern of thinking of our way or the highway. Is it racism or something else? Whatever it is we need to get over it and think of the families that are losing their homes, on foodstamps, & having a really rough time living, & trying to explain to their children that, sorry kids, we got Republicans with leaders like McConnell in the Congress that aren’t doing their job, so I don’t have one. It’s time for America to clean house and get rid of these selfish assholes, and vote them OUT. Do it for the sake of American families. Jobs, of course will bring in taxes & everything else will fall into place.

    • daniel bostdorf


  • daniel bostdorf

    Ecomonic Partriotism!

    Grow the economy with middle class….not the 1% class!

    Romney’s own words:

    “here are 47 percent of the people who will vote for the president no matter what. All right, there are 47 percent who are with him, who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe that government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you-name-it — that that’s an entitlement and the government should give it to them. And they will vote for this president no matter what. … These are people who pay no income tax. Forty-seven percent of Americans pay no income tax. So our message of low taxes doesn’t connect. And he’ll be out there talking about tax cuts for the rich. I mean, that’s what they sell every four years. And so my job is not to worry about those people. I’ll never convince them they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives.”