|The bigger news: that Boehner actually uses a computer or that he used it to sign up for Obamacare?|
We live in a country that was built on the concept of a safe harbor for the economically destitute and the politically oppressed, yet the one person who can bring a vote on Immigration Reform, John Boehner (AKA the defacto leader of the Republican party) refuses to do so. As per the GOP's own battle damage assessment after a 2012 whipping, they decided that they need to be more appealing to Hispanics (Page 15):
If Hispanic Americans hear that the GOP doesn’t want them in the United States, they won’t pay attention to our next sentence. It doesn’t matter what we say about education, jobs or the economy; if Hispanics think that we do not want them here, they will close their ears to our policies. In essence, Hispanic voters tell us our Party’s position on immigration has become a litmus test, measuring whether we are meeting them with a welcome mat or a closed door.We live in a country where our representatives will spending a total of 16 days, out of 60, working on the floor of the House to conclude the year. Are they visiting constituents? Are they raising funds for the never ending election cycle? Maybe they're building popcicle stick structures in the corner of their offices, unwilling to face the truth?
Meanwhile, back in reality, with the void created by failed attempts at unrealistic legislation, many states have taken on the mantle of legislating a woman's right to choose what she can do with her own body, they're making it harder for minorities and women to vote, and they're restricting marriage rights for LBGT citizens. They are chipping away at Roe, removing women's health clinics from entire states, passing Voter ID laws, requiring intrusive ultrasounds prior to abortion, passing constitutional amendments restricting gay marriage, and on and on...
So much for stopping big government. I will never understand the hypocrisy espoused by our country's conservative wing. "We want to court Hispanic voters, but refuse to pass any legislation that could help their cause or curry their favor; we want to help the country, but the legislative calendar is too minimal; we want everyone in the country to be free, except for you, you and you..."
The good news? The ACA, aka Obamacare, is getting people more affordable health care. Sure, like every online rollout ever, there have been snags and delays (see Medicare, Medicare part D, any online application ever, etc.), yet John Boehner just set up his new ACA mandated insurance plan via the DC exchange. Yes, he had a difficult time, but he (or his office) called the helpline and had his insurance set up within a few hours.
You want more good news? This Fall, in nearly every instance, the more conservative/Tea Party candidate fell to defeat against more moderate Republicans or Democrats. Some believe that it's better to have radical conservatives facing moderate Democrats in general elections, likely ensuring victory, but I have to disagree. There might be a better chance for the Democratic candidate to win, yet these mad candidates still have the ability to win, especially in congressional races. If they do win, it weakens the moderate conservative brand and thus the party.
No, I generally don't want to see Republicans in power, but what I do want to see is progress, something difficult to do with unreasonable plagiarizers like Rand Paul, radical McCarthyites like Ted Cruz and weak leaders being taken hostage by these radicals like John Boehner. We need candidates willing to work and compromise for the sake of the country.
The fact of the matter is that our politics are and probably always will be divided. What we now need though are practical leaders that wish to bring the entire country back to the center, who stand up for common sense, representing those who don't take ideological stances because they aren't political people. We need the average joe and the moneyed elite engaged in a middle path style of government, that ceases to view our politics in purely stark, black and white terms.
The sooner we find leaders who seek to find solutions to our problems, instead of pitching the best talking points and when both parties seek construction instead of obstruction, something this reform of the filibuster will enable, the better off everyone will be.
Conservatives can crow all they want about retaliation when they regain power in the Senate, but the real question is: with the country's demographics changing fast and conservatives unable to rope in their votes, will the Republican party be able to obtain a majority again? Can they survive as a party stuck in the past, unwilling to expand their brand because they're unwilling to see what the future holds?
Without moving toward the center, the GOP's days are numbered. Hispanics, Asians, Women and LGBT communities will determine the direction of our country with their votes at the ballot box. Will the Republican party wake up before it's too late? For the sake of our country's future, I sure hope so. For without balance, compromise and equal representation, we're all doomed to fail.