Now that the Republican Party will hold a majority in both houses of Congress come January, the big challenge will be facing the reality that the GOP must govern and - the horror - come up with legislative proposals to address the nations problems. This from the party that opposes anything and everything that Barack Obama and the Democrats propose but which has offered no real plan for alternatives to things ranging from the Affordable Health Care ct to how to deal with children born in this country to illegal immigrant parents. Saying "no" and opposing everything is easy. Now it's time to see concrete proposals and alternatives. Not surprisingly many in the GOP (outside the Kool-Aid drinking party base) are anxious. Here are highlights from a piece in Politico:
The GOP needs to show that it can govern. Equally, it will need to decide between embracing objective reality or the lunacy of the Christofascists/Tea Party base. The party leadership cannot have it both ways.Outwardly, Republican rhetoric toward the president hasn’t softened much, especially since Obama’s speech Thursday night. The consistent meme is that he is behaving like an unconstitutional monarch.
What has changed is the underlying balance of power in the party and, perhaps, the terms of debate within the GOP over how to deal with the Democratic Party and its surprisingly aggressive leader. Obama might be behaving like a usurping monarch without a mandate, in the eyes of the newly powerful GOP, but no one is seriously threatening to impeach him — as Republicans have repeatedly done in past years. Nor, despite the angry rhetoric, does there seem to be a serious possibility of government shutdown.
Call it thoughtfulness — or call it confusion. All in all, the mild, somewhat subdued response to Obama’s immigration move is evidence that the uncompromising GOP insurgency that so paralyzed Washington in 2013 has lost some potency.Even some of the House’s most conservative members have little appetite for a government shutdown, saying that while they’re determined to level sharp criticism against the president, they’re not thinking about going much further than that. According to the head of a national, GOP-aligned Republican group, party leaders strongly suspect that Obama is trying to goad conservatives into throwing a fit: “I think the president is counting on a Republican overreaction, where it really takes over the agenda of the new Congress. … I think this president is counting on an overreach.”The immigration issue, of course, is also about the reckoning of 2016, which is a lot closer than it was during the shutdown crisis. With the race for the White House rapidly approaching, a growing number of Republicans are concerned about alienating Latinos, whom many in the GOP see as a natural constituency.In 2014, Latino turnout was seen as low across many crucial races. But that’s likely not to be the case in a presidential election. In 2012, Obama amassed an astonishing 71 percent of the Hispanic vote to 27 percent for Mitt Romney, who had declared during the primaries that he would make it harder for the 11 million illegal immigrants in the U.S. to get jobs, leading them to “self-deport.” Party leaders legitimately fear a kind of demographic death for the GOP if it doesn’t find a way to appease the burgeoning Hispanic population, particularly since the 2010 census showed, for the first time, that white births are now a minority in the United States.Some influential conservatives are outraged by what they see as the latest GOP retreat in Washington.
Tea Party Patriots, the conservative group that supported several challenges to Republican incumbents, has demanded that McConnell pledge to block every presidential nomination or appointment (save for the national security ones) in response to his executive action. The group has already blasted out fundraising appeals that hammer McConnell as soft on “amnesty.”
But it’s not just in Washington that the party seems more divided than ever on immigration. Speaking Wednesday in Boca Raton, Florida, at the Republican Governors Association meeting, Ohio Gov. John Kasich sounded to some like an apostate.“My sense is: I don’t like the idea of citizenship when people jump the line, [but] we may have to do it,” he said. Maybe Kasich, like Nixon going to China, is that rare pol who’s confident that he — with his conservative pedigree dating to the Gingrich revolution — can move to the center on an issue that has much of the rest of the Republican Party in a barely contained uproar. But it’s also likely that Kasich, who is said to have presidential ambitions, is trying to look over the horizon to 2016, and prodding his still-confused party forward on immigration.