Monday, May 3, 2010

GOP takeover in 2010? What we can expect

With the 2010 midterm elections fast approaching (less than seven months away!), political insiders are predicting a resurgence of conservative politicians taking many seats back in Congress. This is actually more common than people like to admit -- Reagan, Bush I and Clinton all lost seats in Congress after their first midterm election.

We shouldn't be too worried, then, as liberals if the Republicans take some seats away from us (the average is 32 seats in the House per first midterm election), but we should be concerned if they manage to take control of either house of Congress (only 35 seats needed in the House). We've seen what obstructionist tactics the GOP have used in the past year and a half, and we can only imagine what would happen if they were actually able to table every measure the president proposed through control of either the House or Senate.

We cannot afford to lose pivotal ground this election year. Consider what we can expect if the GOP does win control of either house. We know exactly what they stand for,and it's nothing but bad news for the American people.

This Republican Party, which has moved even further right due to pressure from TEA Party activists, would deregulate and privatize more of our industries and social programs, respectively. We've already seen what deregulation and lax government oversight can do in the cases of the West Virginia miners and the recent oil rig explosion that's destroying marine life (and business) across the Gulf of Mexico.

Imagine if even more deregulation were to occur. Who do you think would benefit, and who would bear the burden? Without a doubt, the working class in America would be expected to work harder for less, with the wealthy elite gaining more in the process, widening the gap between rich and poor and substantially lessening the number of Americans who call themselves "middle class."

They want to make guns more accessible, which means more gun violence and less ways to track criminals down who use weapons in violent ways.

They want to gut the government and the social programs that many Americans depend on in order to survive, which means more burden on families to help pay medical costs, selling their homes and other properties in order to make payments on hospital bills.

They want to provide the rich with even more tax cuts and loopholes, hoping that some of that wealth will "trickle down" to the honest, hard-working American. It didn't work in the 80's, nor the 2000's, and it won't work now.

They want to drill for more oil in various areas off our coastlines with little oversight or regulation, allowing the big oil companies to regulate themselves...something that we're seeing now doesn't always work out for the best.

They want to increase our presence in the Middle East, with some of them wanting to bomb Iran specifically and preemptively, a move that will drastically undercut recent positive steps that we've made in the global community, not to mention cause many more militant Muslims to join the cause of jihad as Osama bin Laden has defined it.

If this country moves further to the right, we will see the Republicans attempt to destroy the very health care reforms that were recently passed, which means that lower income families will have no means to purchase affordable health care that will cover them. They may even remove the qualifier that pre-existing conditions be covered as passed in the health care bill.

Maybe I'm exaggerating. Maybe I'm worrying more than I should. One thing's for sure: the change that the people voted for in 2008 won't manifest itself out of any bills proposed by Republican lawmakers. They have refused to work with Obama from the start: why should we suppose they'd start if they won Congress?

We can't afford to allow the GOP any ground. We need to support Democrats in the most vulnerable of districts. Our country may very well depend upon it.

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