According to the CNN exit poll last night, 8 in 10 Americans disapprove of how Congress has been handling its job. while almost 6 in 10 are displeased with President Obama.
This sounds like voters are not pleased with either party in 2014. Yet many pundits and others are shouting the news that the voters have given the Republicans a mandate. Really. It sounds to me like the voters are mad at Republicans and Democrats alike. Conservatives blame the Democrats and Liberals blame the Republicans while it seems clear that there is plenty of blame to cover both parties. It is clear that the electorate blames both parties and that lots of voters stayed home because they couldn’t stomach voting for any of the candidates and most of those who did vote clipped a clothespin on their nose before entering the voting booth.
Voters are unhappy with choices and they did not give a mandate to anyone. Rather they gave the Republicans a chance to prove that they could govern and furthermore to give Democrats a chance to show they can work with Republicans as a responsible minority. Democrats in the Senate may be tempted to treat the Republican majority like they have been treated but they need to give the Republicans the benefit of the doubt. This is no time for an “eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.” It is time to “forget bygones in hopes of a New Day.”
If the Republican’s follow Ted Cruz as they have been doing in the house, and as a result continue to see the Democrats as the Devil incarnate then the Democrats will have no choice but to block all legislation as the Republicans have been doing these last 2 years and even before.
I am confident the Republican leadership in the Senate, such as McConnell and many others, can see that the Cruz plan is a path to perdition but it is not clear that they will prevail. The House Republican majority will have to become more open to compromise than it has been willing to do these two years and much less willing to be guided by Mr. Cruz’s crossover leadership.
The United States faces some very daunting problems in the next number of years as the years of growth due to an abundance of subterranean hydrocarbons comes to an end and the world population rises substantially with many more mouths to feed. It will be a whole new world with a whole new set of problems; problems we have barely begun to recognize. Will our leaders be up to the task.
I do not know but I do hope.