History will not forget that the president’s website did not work for a while. But it will also recall that this Congress was the least effective in recorded history.
It will remember that Republicans shut down the government and held the economy hostage for for 16 days, shattering consumer confidence just as a real recovery seemed to be forming, because the Tea Party wanted “something” — which they didn’t get.
It may remember that the leaders of the Republican Party in both the House and Senate publicly declared war on the far right of their party as they faced insurgencies that made governance impossible and a half-dozen primary challenges of incumbents that could easily cost their party the Senate, for a third time.
It should remember that even though Republicans were forced to go along with letting some tax breaks on the richest end, they protected billions in tax breaks as they kept the sequester’s automatic cuts in place, gutting medical research, child care, public housing and food assistance for the poor, and cutting off more than a million unemployed Americans at a time when it was completely unprecedented to do so.
If Republicans fail to act on immigration reform, history will definitely recall that the only immigration legislation that passed the Republican House this year would deport millions of law-abiding undocumented workers who were brought here as children. Instead of embracing the efforts of Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) — who risked his career to help forge reforms that would dramatically slash the deficit and expand the economy — they turned the senator against himself and celebrated the policies of a congressman who is obsessed with the size of undocumented immigrants’ calves (yes, legs… not livestock).
And if Obamacare continues to be successful in controlling our health care costs—thus minimizing our long-term debt problems—as it saves lives and expands coverage, history will note the GOP’s only contribution to the effort was obsessive sabotage and a plot that denied millions of the nation’s poorest but hardest-working people health insurance and drove up the price of insurance in those states.
But at least Republicans can celebrate approval ratings, right? The president’s numbers are at a low for his presidency.
Or perhaps, history will note that the GOP started the year with approval numbers that were about as bad as the president’s are now. And they only got worse.
Copyright 2013 The National Memo