The Endgame

Here’s what’s clear: the success of President Obama’s second term will come down to the next few months of 2013 and early 2014 in the form of immigration reform, the success of the health care law, and the rising economy. There probably will be no grand bargain on the debt (thank heavens), tax reform is a long way off, and the Republicans don’t believe enough in real science to have a discussion about energy and the environment. So we’ll have to be happy from small victories.

The health care law is the most important. The GOP has staked its past, present and future on the law’s failure, (and has threatened to shut down the government rather than accept it) but that’s probably not going to happen. Will there be problems? You bet, and the right wing will loudly report each and every example of someone who has to pay more, or accept coverage that they don’t need or want, or how doctors and hospitals are suffering, but in the end, the law will cover more people and result in a healthier society.

It might even result in more people finding less costly insurance through the exchanges than through their employers. That would be a tremendous coup because then businesses will be relieved of the pressure of covering their employees and people will not have to stay in terrible jobs simply for the benefits. I don’t see this happening quickly, but if the market (you remember the market. This is a law all about the market.) makes it less expensive to buy from the exchanges, then that’s what people will do. betting against health insurance is a losing proposition.

Immigration reform will probably not pass the House in its Senate version, but I do have a sneaking suspicion that a more comprehensive bill than the House purports to disdain will come out of the legislature. The Republicans can talk tough, but I do think that they see the electoral graffiti on the wall and understand that passing nothing will do them great harm. Perhaps the gerrymandered districts will allow them to keep the House, but that’s a flimsy wall to hide behind for a party that’s lost the popular vote in all but one national election since 1992.

The Republican Party is clueless, but it’s not, you know, clueless.

During the past presidential election cycle, I wrote repeatedly that the conservative wave was crashing and that the GOP would become dangerously radical. I hate to say that I was right, but we are now living in the extremist bubble and it’s not going to pop for another two or four years. During that time we can look forward to more attempts at voter suppression, curbs on reproductive rights and a call to eliminate or severely cut back on social programs such as food stamps, unemployment compensation and Medicare. If the Democrats can hold the line against the tide, they can slowly turn the country back in a less dangerous direction. Then we can truly address the problems we have in a pragmatic, sensible manner.

Until then, we’ll be playing defense.

For more, go to www.facebook.com/WhereDemocracyLives and on Twitter @rigrundfest

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Robert I. Grundfest

I am a teacher, writer, voice-over artist and rationally opinionated observer of American and international society. While my job is to entertain and engage, my purpose is always to start a conversation.

Website: http://anjfarmer.blogspot.com

  • bobfest

    Thanks for your feedback. I clearly do not share your worldview and you
    do misunderstand what socialism is. As for history and the media’s
    reporting of events, yes we have been misinformed, but history has also
    shown that we have been able to push back against entrenched interests
    and occasionally win. Where you see conspiracy, I see opportunity. Where
    you see failure and decay, I see possibility. My grandchildren will be
    fine because they will know how to fight for what they know is right.
    The key is that we need to keep talking to one another, but many in the
    present GOP just do not want to do that. When they do, we can move
    forward as a nation.

  • kellm44

    I appreciate your article;
    however, 90% of it is inaccurate. In many of the comments you make, if you
    substitute Democrat for where you state or imply Republican at least you will
    be over 50% accurate. The next few months are not the critical ones. It is the
    next year and a few months. The midterm elections will tell the story of Obama
    and his socialistic party of Democrats. If you speak about Republicans and
    science, then it is Democrats and history that you fail at. No country on the
    path that Democrats prefer has long endured. It is the Republicans that hold
    the message for long enduring societies. However, due to wishful thinking that
    you can live off someone else’s work, the root of socialistic philosophy, that
    will work its magic for another generation of two, but then will show that
    those who actually provide that resources refuse to continue and you have no
    one to redistribute from.

    So worry about your science,
    while your lack of understanding history eats you and the grandest society
    ever. It is your short sighted belief that captures your heart and not the long
    view that can easily be seen by those that understand history and yes science.
    It is science that provides the tools that can project the two opposing views
    decades into the future. And once you get past the hope for votes tomorrow (The
    fascination of most politicians) and a vision of real hope for your
    grandchildren you cannot help but see we are traveling a path of destruction
    which leads to real hopefulness.

    You probably don’t remember the
    tough love of the 70s. It is not giving everyone what they want that made them
    better. It is giving them what they need
    that makes things better. Democrats have this vision that if you give everyone
    everything, life will be wonderful. However, it will be the ones giving that
    will one day decide they don’t have to give to others, but can keep that which
    they now have to those they wish to have it and that is happening today. Look
    at who gets special favors form the President. It is not the masses, but the
    congress, big business, supporters of the presidnet, etc. It has gotten worse
    with every president. And Obama is the master. Watch my eyes while he picks
    your pocket.

    I know very well you cannot see this
    because you are so hateful towards Republicans. And this is part of the ploy.
    If you have a real enemy and call them things others can have an emotional tie
    with, then they become evil and nothing they say or do can ever be acceptable.
    The Democrats have outsmarted the Republican in the 50′ and 60’s by buying the
    media and educational institutions. They now mis-teach history – by the way it
    is done on purpose, and 90 % of the media provides the voice for the liberals.
    It is amazing that the Republicans still have such resistance. I believe it is because
    the Democrats do not fit how rational people view the world. It is only though
    the study drumbeat of the media and educational institutions along with the
    redistribution to the “less fortunate” – created by the democrats
    with their policies, that keep the masses from their true believe in
    themselves.

    If you have read this this long,
    I’m impressed. Because now I will provide you some tidbits you will likely
    completely agree with. There are a number of person in our society that do need
    personal help. Due to their person health or physical abilities they need
    support. There are systemic problems with our compassion towards others. We
    have missed out on how to really care for ourselves. There is so much inaccurate
    information that unless you are a nerd like myself that you will not spend the
    time to find out how the data is inaccurately quoted by – well it doesn’t
    matter by whom.

    Well got a lot longer than I set
    out to state. I also believe that businesses are like bacteria, they will adapt
    to whatever the rules are and only if completed strangled, they will squeeze
    out some kind of life. I also have asked in some grouping of persons what is
    the next means of organizing societies. What can we do to better collect, manipulate,
    and return materials to others? In other
    words how can we restructure organizations to be more efficient and effective? To include our Governmental system. Anyway, good luck with your short term
    view. Hope it works out for your
    grandkids.