Many Americans, including Tea Party conservatives, independents, and libertarians, are beginning to question whether or not Republicans can actually succeed this year in ousting the Democrats from control of the Senate and maintain a majority in the House. Two key issues are at the heart of the discontent -- Obamacare and immigration reform.
According to several major news outlets, including the Washington Post, the GOP appears to be retreating from its focus on repealing Obamacare if they gain control of Congress in November. Rather than pledging to outright repeal the unpopular law, many Republican candidates are stopping short of such a goal and are instead pledging to take the Affordable Care Act apart piece by piece while keeping some aspects of the law.
This is not, however, what most Republicans pledged when they ran against a Democrat-controlled Congress in 2010 and consequently won the biggest turnover of control in the House in 70 years. Their rallying cry was the repeal of Obamacare. But that goal was thwarted by the fact that Democrats retained control of the Senate in 2010 and 2012. House Republicans persisted in opposition to Obamacare by passing a number of their own healthcare plans and sending them to the Senate for consideration, whereupon Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., refused to send the bills to committees or the Senate floor for consideration.
Yet Republicans persisted in sending forth the message that Obamacare had to be repealed. Their constituents demanded it.
In 2014, however, the tactic appears to have changed drastically. The GOP establishment leadership has shifted focus to gradually discarding major aspects of Obamacare while retaining some of the law. And many candidates who are running on the Republican ticket this year also appear to be sidestepping the issue of a total repeal of the law. Instead, they want to dismantle Obamacare piece by piece, whittling it down to the barebones.
The question, however, is whether or not the people who voted for Republican candidates in 2010 and 2012 on the basis of their pledge to get rid of Obamacare will continue to support such candidates now that the tactic has changed. There is great danger here as conservatives, libertarians, and Tea Party types express their ire that the GOP would betray them in this fashion.
Another potential damaging issue is immigration. The vast majority of Americans want border security first before there is any immigration reform. Polls show that this viewpoint remains consistent.
House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, has stated repeatedly that he would not bring immigration reform or amnesty to the floor of the House this year. But lately he has seemed to change his tune. So have other Republicans who previously claimed that "the immigration issue is dead for this year." U.S. Rep. Eric Cantor, R-Va., has also been engaging in speaking out of both sides of his mouth on the issue.
Again, the voters who placed certain candidates in office in 2010 and 2012 took them at their word that they would oppose any form of amnesty or any immigration reform as long as the border remained wide open to criminals, human slave traffickers, drug cartels, and immigrants who enter the country illegally from Mexico. Border security was supposed to come first. Clearly this has not happened.
These two issues alone are sleeper issues that can come back and haunt the GOP in 2014. Voters are fed up with promises that are ignored, lies that are told incessantly, and duplicity that only reinforces the perception that Washington politicians in both Parties are detached from their constituents to the point that they treat voters as buffoons and necessary irritants from which they must suffer in order to partake of the riches and perks of goldbrick elitists who seem to think their power is not to be questioned.
You may also be interested in the following:
My personal blog, The Liberty Sphere.
My popular series titled, Musings After Midnight.
My ministry site, Martin Christian Ministries.