The Grand Old Obstructionist Party

Following President Obama’s 2008 election and the wide spread rejection of the George W Bush (Dick Cheney tainted) Republican Party, many pundits wondered whether it would be decades before the GOP regained favor with the electorate.  Then something strange took place.  The GOP just said “no” to anything and everything the President requested.

Executive appointments to key cabinet departments as well as the Federal Courts went unreviewed.  No action was the same as a veto.  After the Affordable Care Act was passed (Democrat controlled Congress), the next two years were spent trying to repeal it (rather than trying to fix and improve it).  

The deficit was the central issue yet Republicans thought we were not spending enough on defense.  Threatening a government shut down coupled with walking away from US creditors, even when it resulted in a lowering of the nation’s credit rating seemed the preferred GOP behavior.  No, no, no.


In 2012 another Presidential election was held.  And once again, President Obama won a sweeping victory in both the electoral college and the popular vote.  The vote demographics sent a clear warning to the GOP.  Republicans were on the losing side of changing national demographics.  The GOP was backing too many issues upon which the overall American electorate’s opinion was shifting.  The future looked even bleaker than in 2008.

So what has happened?

Business as usual.  Before President Obama could put forth the nomination of Susan Rice for Secretary of State, Republicans lined up to object and threaten to block confirmation.  Now former Senator Chuck Hagel (Republican from Nebraska) has been nominator for Secretary of Defense.   And yes, there is fierce opposition from the right.

Yesterday the President nominated Jack Lew as Secretary of the Treasury.  Would you believe there is already a hold on this nomination?

Who knows what the behind the scenes demands might be.  Maybe if President Obama agrees to throw a bone the GOP’s way, these will be resolved.  But I doubt it.

President Obama’s 2012 election reflected a very sophisticated strategy and use of up to date techniques.  The President must know that he has, once again, the Republicans in a difficult position (of their own making).  As they press their case, the GOP will continue to come across as uncooperative and unreasonable.  As they press further, the run the risk of voters deciding the GOP is unfit to govern at all.

For what is left of moderate Republicans, this may be a welcomed outcome.  Blow up the current GOP and rebuild (like in the NFL).  For Americans, this is not the best of outcomes.  We need two healthy and well intentioned parties.  

The potential demise of the GOP is not likely to bring out the best from the Democrat Party.  A fractured GOP will encourage the Democrat sub-factions to increase their demands regardless of how special their interests might be.

Many are calling for a centrist third party.  These proponents believe a centrist party would act in a way that is good for the entire nation.  But why couldn’t moderate Democrats and Republicans not do the same?  

The answer seems elusive.  Is it money, ego, or too much power?  America is changing and it seems that some members of Congress are unwilling to work towards consensus in this new direction.  It is time for these throw backs to leave Congress, write a book, and visit the 7/24 talk show circuit to perpetually donate their advice. 


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9 Comments on “The Grand Old Obstructionist Party”

  1. FLPatriot Says:

    it’s easy to paint the republicans as the party of no when that is the narrative being pushed by the propo.. I mean, media. It is also short sighted to think this only started happening when Obama became president. The two party system has resulted in this kind of politics for over a hundred years.

    After the nation at large rejected the Democrats passage of Obamacare by replacing the majority in the house… nothing changed. Then last November the American voters elected a status quo government so they must not mind business as usual.

    As long as we have a two party system this type of politics will continue to happen. As long as apathy robs America of more than a third of it’s votes, and the other half of voters cast their ballots based on team colors, this is the crap we will be lead by.

    • FL. I have to disagree with you on three points… (1) the rate of cloture ( is a very recent phenomena… see this article and graph… One can argue that Newt Gingrich opened Pandora’s box and it has just gotten worse since his term.
      (2) While it is true all House members and 1/3rd of the Senate also were elected in November, the Presidential vote summed up nationally the choices. President Obama won. On issue such as health care, Medicare, Medicaid, taxes, foreign policy, and social security the country tilted towards the President.
      To be sure this was not a carte blanch to enact any policies he wants, but to deny his choice of appointees is out of bounds.
      Democracies work when the minority accepts the will of the majority, anarchy prevails when the parties can not agree.
      (3) President Obama’s election was fueled by women, non-whites, gays, and hispanics. Demographically the GOP intentionally ignored these groups…

      I can agree with you that what we see is crap… Thanks as always for commenting.

    • Its not a narrative, its factual. The GOP has used the filibuster during this congress more than at any time in our nation’s history. They chose obstruction as a strategy. I’m not making a moral judgement here, just a factual assertion.

      We have really never had more than two major parties in our history, and much has been accomplished using this system.

      • Reason, thanks for weighing in… I believe most of the GOP are similar to Dems… in that each Congress member is more interested in themselves than in governance. These are professionals who like other business professionals are interested in building their estate. As a consequence, too many members of Congress do not seek to understand the impact of their position. they are far more interested in whether they will be able to retain their position and build their personal estate.

        Today the GOP public position is just out of touch with the average person’s needs. Saying it differently, the GOP is publicly supporting issues which got them elected but do not reflect the sea change in public opinion and the rock bottom realities of world class government services.

  2. […] The Grand Old Obstructionist Party ( […]

  3. “The potential demise of the GOP is not likely to bring out the best from the Democrat Party. A fractured GOP will encourage the Democrat sub-factions to increase their demands regardless of how special their interests might be.”

    That’s my favorite part of your post. A good, intellectually honest conservative party is essential to a good, intellectually honest progressive one. Usually these posts are diatribes meant to bash the GOP (and deservedly so) in order to prop up the Dems.

    I haven’t read too much of your stuff here, but I’d bet you share my opinion where you’d like to see the GOP make the Dem’s policies better, not just lose to them.

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