Colson: Republicans still playing the same damned game | AspenTimes.com

Colson: Republicans still playing the same damned game

with John Colson

And so it begins — again.

In the wake of the Nov. 4 Republican riptide, electorally speaking, President Obama has rightly concluded that he's going to have an even harder time getting things done starting in January than he has over the first six years of his presidency, during which time the Republicans showed how effective they could be at blocking anything he wanted to do.

The difficulty the president sees in his immediate future is, of course, due to the fact that now both houses of Congress are controlled by the GOP instead of just the House of Representatives.

Already, the two leaders of the Republican Party's newly minted congressional majority have started swinging with the same club they used four years ago, when their party took control of the House in the 2010 election.

Here's what Rep. John Boehner, on the eve of the 2010 election, said of his own ideas concerning Obama's agenda: "We're going to do everything — and I mean everything we can do — to kill it, stop it, slow it down, whatever we can. We will not compromise." Within days, he became speaker of the House, giving him the clout to carry out his campaign of obstruction, obfuscation and obliteration against anything Obama.

And Sen. Mitch McConnell, at that time the minority leader of the Republicans in that chamber, had to add: "The single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president."

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Obviously McConnell's wishes did not come true, since Obama was re-elected in 2012, but both Boehner and McConnell were true to their pledge in doing all they could to prevent Obama from realizing any of his legislative goals, judicial appointments and more.

Now that McConnell is poised to be the "leader" of the U.S. Senate, seeing that the president is not going to simply cave in and let the Republicans have their way, he is sharpening his claws in eager anticipation of killing any program or initiative that Obama has in mind.

And as soon as it was known that Obama planned to use his executive authority to do what Congress had refused to do — make relatively minimal but reformative changes to this country's broken immigration system — those two were at it again.

The newly hatched majority currently are arguing among themselves over whether to shut down the government in response to Obama's action or seek Obama's impeachment over his supposed "abuse of power," as McConnell labeled any attempt by the president to do what he could without the help of Congress on this matter.

None of the Republican bluster, I should note, mentions trying to build upon Obama's initiative to broadly remake the broken U.S. immigration system.

McConnell even chastised the president for allegedly acting "in defiance of the people," an effort to claim that, by winning Senate control in an off-year election, his party has gained the confidence and support of the nation as a whole.

To be clear, the 2014 election drew the worst turnout in a midterm election, about 50 percent, since 1942, according to The New York Times. And at least part of the blame for that low turnout was the fact that conservative politicians have done their best (or worst, depending on perspective) over the past few years to make it harder to vote, an effort that mainly has disenfranchised the young, the poor and the non-white voting groups.

I wonder if there's any cause and effect at work here. Could it be that the GOP, in its headlong rush to enshrine an oligarchic rule over the country, has managed to fulfill its own prediction by tossing out huge numbers of voters who most likely would not have voted Republican?

To my way of thinking, McConnell has a lot of gall making any claim to national confidence and support, given that it appears the Republican "landslide" involved somewhere around 30 percent of the registered voters in the nation.

As for Obama's immigration move, it would offer a chance for around 5.3 million immigrants, believed to be here illegally, to stay in the U.S., obtain work permits and work, raise families and generally contribute to the nation's economic and social well-being and that of their families.

Obama's action would leave 6.4 million still ineligible, of the estimated 11.7 million illegal immigrants now living in the U.S., according to The New York Times.

So what's wrong with that, exactly?

The claim that immigrants will "take jobs away from Americans" is essentially discredited and racist in nature.

And, as we all know, the Republicans have a more serious race-based desire, to chivvy that black man out of the White House with as much fanfare as they can manage in order to prove that they are the party of "the real America."

Whatever that is.

jbcolson51@gmail.com