Republicans are delighted to have won control of Congress. They would like nothing better than elect a President in 2016. Their chances seem good if they:
- Don’t rock the boat.
- Nominate a moderate candidate.
Not rocking the boat is a problem. They have a plausible candidate in Jeb Bush, but may be unable to avoid a raucous, divisive campaign for the nomination.
The economy is improving; the GOP can claim credit for that. President Obama has given them a chance to improve their image with Hispanic voters; they have two years to woo women and youth. They would like to play nice riding the wave of their recent electoral success. Will the far right let that happen?
We may find out next week. Last week the House passed a defense spending bill, H.R.3979 with only 26 Republicans voting NO. House misleaders then threw their right-leaning critics a fish in the form of H.R. 5759 , a bill that has no purpose other than to mollify GOP dissidents, with only seven Republicans voting NO. On H.R. 5771, Tax Increase Prevention Act of 2014, only 26 Republicans voted NO.
Next week the GOP leadership hopes to pass a continuing resolution to avoid any threat of a government shutdown, which they rightly fear would damage their image and chances in 2016, at least until late next year. If they succeed, that might signal that pleasing the right is no longer a priority for the GOP.
© William Hungerford – December 2014