Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Will Hatred of Obama Lead to GOP Overreach?

As noted many times before, the angry whites and racists of the Republican Party base simply hate Barack Obama and seemingly are constantly incensed that a man that they consider as black and unfit for the presidency as a result, continues to occupy the White House.  And Congressional Republicans, either ever fearful of the party base or equally as insane as the party grassroots, are only too happy to win points with their Neanderthal, white supremacist constituents by piling on witch hunts against Obama.  A piece in the Washington Post suggests that in doing so, they may be setting  the GOP up for a fall.  Here are excerpts:

A few of us on the left have been arguing that the current scandal-mania gripping the GOP risks bringing about a rerun of 1998, when the frenzy amid the Monica Lewinsky revelations led the GOP to overreach, resulting in backlash.

Now we have a longtime respected nonpartisan observer, Charlie Cook, arguing that this possibility is very real. Cook’s piece, entitled “Republicans’ hatred of Obama blinds them to public disinterest in scandals,” notes that the scandals have not moved the needle at all on Obama’s approval rating, just as happened in 1998:
The simple fact is that although the Republican sharks are circling, at least so far, there isn’t a trace of blood in the water…Maybe that will change. Maybe these allegations will start getting traction with voters. But it might just be that Americans are more focused on an economy that is gradually coming out of the longest and deepest economic downturn since the Great Depression. [...]
One wonders how long Republicans are going to bark up this tree, perhaps the wrong tree, while they ignore their own party’s problems, which were shown to be profound in the most recent elections. Clearly none of these recent issues has had a real impact on voters yet. Republicans seem to be betting everything on them, just as they did in 1998 — about which even Newt Gingrich (who was House speaker that year) commented recently to NPR, “I think we overreached in ’98.”
More to the point, majorities believe Obama is focused on their problems, and Republicans aren’t — again confirming Cook’s diagnosis. Only 33 percent say Republicans are focused on things that are important to them, versus 60 percent who say they aren’t. By contrast, 51 percent say Obama is concentrating on things that are important to them.  

In a reference to 1998 GOP overreach, Cook concludes:
Republicans became so consumed by their hatred of Clinton and their conviction that this event would bring him down that they convinced themselves the rest of the country was just as outraged by his behavior as they were.
In the case of Obama, of course, his personal conduct is not at issue, and there is still no evidence that Republicans will be able to tie the current storylines directly to him. But the widespread conviction among Republican base voters that we’re seeing Watergate-level presidential wrongdoing will require that Republican officials keep chasing after evidence of it. It’s for these reasons that Democratic strategists are betting that GOP scandal overreach will play a key role in the 2014 elections.
We may be seeing a rerun of the 1990s in more ways than one.

The other reason, of course for the conduct of the Congressional Republicans is that it distracts voters from the reality that they have no plan or proposals for moving the nation and/or the economy forward.  Hopefully, voters outside the delusional GOP base will figure this out. 

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