After Gov Shutdown, GOP Can Kiss Congress Goodbye in 2014

The following article was written by guest columnist Paolo Cremidas,  friend of the New NY 23rd. originally from Ithaca. Paolo is a Political Science and Journalism double major at Brooklyn College. This article was originally published by on October 1, 2013, and is reprinted with the permission of Mr. Cremidas and his editor from Occupy Democrats. 

We have published three other aricles by Paolo, “The Rebirth of Rural Populism in Upstate New York“, “Why Democrats Can’t Afford A Primary In The Corning Maryoral Race“, and “Fracking Is Class Warfare

With Congress at an approval rating of only 4%, the American people have made their judgment about our current political crisis. The Republican Party is beleaguered and plagued by infighting, lack of leadership, and general distrust. As it stands the only thing that Republicans can do is primary each other into an oblivion of controversy and contradiction. The fact that they have gone as far as to induce a government shut down shows the utter lack of leadership of “moderates” and “conservatives” in the Congressional Republican caucus.

The Republican Party has become a stage act of the Hatfields & McCoys fighting a family feud over territory. That is what is going to disintegrate it, and that is what led to this reckless shutdown. The moderates lost, and to pretend that John Boehner or even Eric Cantor have power over characters the likes of Louie Gohmert and Virginia Foxx is a lie. Sure, they are able to fund campaigns, but only campaigns that take out other Republicans.

This particular problem makes them even more vulnerable to an outside challenge since they are more prone to look at the inside of their party for attack. That’s what a 4% approval rating will do to Congressmen, and that shows that they are not effective as a party. The fact that their strongest governors, Chris Christie and Rick Perry, are now accepting medicare expansions and loving Obamacare is even more telling. The opposition within their party is fracturing the Republican Party as a whole.

After the 2012 election, even an usually cooperative Jan Brewer agreed to a medicare expansion. The Democrats do not have to worry about being identified as too liberal or too centrist. The Republicans already do that within their own party, because all they have created is a primary machine to elect a few congressional candidates that will not appeal to a majority vote.

Even if we look at the competitiveness of races in the Deep South, which has become the GOP stronghold, the Republicans have to put up a fight. This is all due to the intransigent primary machine that has left even the most loyal Republican voters with battle scars. Mitch McConnell is a perfect example of this due to his primary challenge that is likely to cost him dearly in the general election.

Republican’s chances to keep the House will be even further diminished after the government shutdown. They falsely believed they were going to get a Reagan Revolution out of this whole issue. Unfortunately for them, Ted Cruz’s charisma does not make up for his lies and the fact that he has become the poster boy of Republican alienation. As it stands, the Democrats have to win back 17 seats in the upcoming 2014 elections. With polls showing a whopping majority of Americans (69%) blaming the GOP for this shutdown, they cannot control enough moderate seats to keep the House. 

This shutdown represents what is wrong with the Republican Party and why its territory is slowly but very surely sinking in places like Upstate New York and Kentucky. They no longer have the liberty to run moderates because they have shot themselves in the foot by allowing the Tea Party to literally cement the overthrow of their leadership.

The truth is, the spite that came with the radical right is what is killing the Republican Party. They have driven Congress to a 4% approval rating; their caucus cannot even come up with any legislation. The Republicans may retain a regional base within the Deep South, but even that will be challenged demographically.

Beginning with Paul Ryan in 2011 and his drive to privatize Medicare even seniors, one of the most conservative demographics in this country, have begun to flee the Republican party. In previous elections, the senior vote for Republicans has dropped six points in terms of turnout, not to mention the fact that in 2012 for the first time in history African American turnout exceeded white turnout at the polls in many states and that 19% of the electorate are seniors.

With the upcoming elections, the issues are clearer than ever. If your party cannot finish arguing with itself, then you represent what you hate. The current Republican caucus is representing the obstruction of big government that they complain about everyday. That’s the argument democrats are making and that is the reason why a generic Democratic candidate has an 8% higher likelihood of being elected in 2014 than a generic Republican.

Republicans will be blamed for this shutdown and it will have serious political repercussions, as America will see who is truly responsible for the gridlock in Washington. They voted to shutdown government, let’s shut them down in 2014!

About pystew

Retired Teacher, political science geek, village trustee. I lean a little left, but like a good political discussion. My blog, the New NY 23rd (http://newny23rd) is about discussing the issues facing the people of our new congressional district. Let's hear all sides of the issues, not just what the candidates want us to hear.
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1 Response to After Gov Shutdown, GOP Can Kiss Congress Goodbye in 2014

  1. whungerford says:

    Thanks, Paolo Cremidas, for a thought-provoking article.

    It may be premature to predict the demise of the GOP. While they have alienated important groups of voters, party loyalty remains an important factor in voting — many voters in NY-23, a relatively low-income district, seem to traditionally vote against their best interests. Electoral cheating is another factor that may be important as red states change voting laws to help the GOP.

    Control of the Senate by Democrats and of the House by Republicans is unlikely to continue. The fact that Senators are apportioned equally between the states favors Republican control of the Senate. The fact that a majority of Americans favor Democrats, unless cheating undermines democracy, should favor control of the House by Democrats.


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