The Republicans apparent rising from the “dead” and taking easy control of the U.S. Senate—and insuring control of the House of Representatives for years to come with added Republican governors, and thus Republican-controlled redistricting—is a victory less of party politics than news media dysfunction. With hundreds of television shows with zero commentary on social issues (except crime)—much different than the 1970s—that people tune to rather than news, it is essential that people are told truth where it can be.
And the truth has been that ever since 1994 the Republican Party has ceased functioning as a “party,” but as a mass movement with no agenda for governing save for attacking “liberalism,” acting “tough” and destroying civil discourse and the social contract. What are we as a country? The one in which was expressed by the Affordable Care Act, that this is a country that has a shared responsibility for all of its citizens—or one that is a grotesque caricature of the negative aspects of human nature? The Republicans in their chosen role of patrician masters seek to destroy belief in government for the people and by the people, in fact representing the power of corporate America under the pretense that it is doing what is “best” for the “plebeians.”
Thus it was the duty of what passes for “news” media to expose the Republican Party as the obstructive, destructive force that it has been for 20 years. It failed to do so. There were no Edward R. Murrows with a national audience with the courage to expose them. So what if a few racists would be “outraged.” Let their bigoted, insular talk condemn them. But apparently money in the form of sponsors and corporations “talk” much louder, and CNN and Fox News (which is nothing more than the instrument of its right-wing owner, Rupert Murdoch), give the extremism of the right all the false “legitimacy” it needs to con millions—dare I say—of willfully uninformed or ignorant people.
What does Republican control of both chambers of Congress mean now? How can it mean anything but tacking on another two years of legislators doing nothing but expectorate and obstruct while taking home a fat paycheck? Unless Republicans suddenly decide that they want to “work” with President Obama rather than fruitlessly waste their efforts on “killing” the Affordable Care Act—for which they can’t claim any “responsibility” for now that it has proven to be a success that the news media has of course been silent on—the business of the country will be held hostage by fanatics and extremists.
What have the voters wrought for themselves? They forgot that a Democrat who has tried—and failed—to work with Republicans hell-bent on thwarting his every policy initiative, regardless of its popularity or its value, will likely seek to bypass Congress altogether. Some form of immigration “reform” will still be necessary, and with the Republicans ready to block any initiative for purely partisan reasons, Obama will have to proceed unilaterally as he has “promised”—and hope that the public will see nothing but a lot of empty hot air, propaganda posturing and mindless hate-mongering that is what the right (especially under the influence of the so-called “Tea Party”) has become.
Meanwhile the Tea Party--which is in fact nothing more than the same extreme-right reactionaries that appear from time to time with barely concealed racist agendas dating even further back than the so-called “American” Party, better known as the Know Nothing Party before the Civil War--will claim more “authority” over the Republican “agenda.” And thanks to today’s craven news media, a great portion of the voting public will continue to be fed a constant diet of malinformation about the causes of the state of union and who is actually at fault, and many voters will continue to make the wrong decisions because of the half-truths of unreality becomes their “reality.” I have no faith that this will change. The only “hope” left is that now that Obama is a “lame duck,” he will use his executive powers without fear of “consequences.”