Republicans currently in the driver’s seat but Democrats are sitting in the catbird seat

Why are Republicans relentlessly following this negative, destructive agenda?

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Some observers think that the Democratic Party is in a state of political paralysis and that Republicans, who currently control the entire government, are in the driver’s seat and will not relinquish that control anytime soon.

That’s what referred to as delusional thinking. They need to look at the bigger picture. Sure Democrats took a beating in the last election because they failed to connect with extremely frustrated, angry Americans, and largely because Hillary Clinton was telling the American people that conditions in this country were just fine when they most certainly were not.

While the GOP may be sitting in the driver’s seat at this point in time, Democrats appear to be sitting in the catbird seat, i.e., in a very advantageous position with great opportunities opening up for them if they seize them. They may be down right now but the way that the Republicans are acting, conditions can change very quickly. 

Why, how? Because Republicans, by implementing their cruel and vicious agenda are, in effect, pounding nails into their political coffins, seemingly not realizing the consequences of their actions. It’s becoming very evident that most Americans are getting very upset with this destructive behavior and find it unacceptable. Look for payback from voters to follow, and sooner than one might think.

Following are two scenarios, both of which illustrate how and why Democrats can wrest control of this government from the GOP:    

*Scenario one: if Trump is not impeached or doesn’t resign his continued bizarre and misguided actions, many of which the majority of the American people reject, will prevent him from being re-elected; that is, if he even dares to run again. 

But it will not be just Trump that convinces voters to once again support Democrats; it will also be due to the chaos and turmoil that the Republicans are generating in Washington.

Scenario two: should Trump be impeached or resigns, and Mike Pence becomes president, he and his fellow Republicans will not act as reckless and unstable as Trump. They will have a far easier time by cooperating to advance their twisted agenda. The more that they try to implement measures that damage this country and hurt Americans the more enemies they will be making; what monumental brilliance; that’s like sticking your head into your own noose. 

Democrats know this; that Republicans are very vulnerable as they continue to dig themselves into a deep hole. They will have this brilliant opportunity to regain power and control, that is, if they do everything in their power to vastly increase voter turnout.

They need to take advantage of that Bully Pulpit that Barack rarely used, to put a spotlight on all the above-mentioned measures that these low-level politicians are taking against this country.

Trump and his Republican cohorts have clearly shown that they have no desire to improve health care and provide coverage for all Americans; they just want to tear down Obamacare; that won’t fly with voters.

They really don’t want to rebuild this nation’s infrastructure or deal positively with the problem of climate change. A sizable number of them are backing Trump’s wild and crazy idea about building a wall that, if actually built, will be called “Trump’s folly.”

Trump is never going to stop accelerating down this road leading to disaster. Republicans will not stop their attacks on important social programs. 

Trump just recently announced that he intends to do away with regulations covering carbon emissions; those on cars and power plants; also regulations designed to curb financial abuses on Wall Street, and those that involve our health, the Clean Water and Clean Air Acts.

They have absolutely no interest in doing anything about the massive inequity of wealth and income between those at the top and the rest of Americans. 

They want to do away with the laws relative to abortions and reverse Roe V. Wade. They want to destroy Planned Parenthood, eliminate the EPA, the Department of Education. Who knows what their next targets will be?

Trump’s budget submission is a perfect example of the twisted ideology that the Republican Party follows: it calls for adding $54 billion to the already bloated military budget and, at the same time, hurts this country and a great many Americans in these ways:

  • $6 billion in cuts to the agency that assists the nation’s 4.5 million low-income households. This proposed budget would result in the largest cut to the Department of Housing and Urban Development since the early 1980s,  
  • elimination of the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness, which coordinates the federal response to homelessness. 
  • elimination of funding for a $3 billion Community Development Block Grant program which provides cities with money they use to address community development needs such as affordable housing and doing away with inner city slums. It also provides funds for Meals on Wheels, a nonprofit that delivers food to seniors in their homes. How very cruel and heartless can these politicians be to hurt seniors that desperately need that kind of help? 
  • $35 million in funding for important programs such as Habitat for Humanity, fair housing planning, and homeless assistance.
  • Trump plans to eliminate the $210 million now appropriated for Community Development Financial Institutions. The program, invests in community banks which make loans and financial services to people living in many of this country’s poorest communities.
  • Next there is the elimination of the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program, LIHEAP. The program, part of the Health and Human Services Dept. aids qualifying homeowners in covering their monthly energy costs, to repair furnaces and air conditioners 
  • It would eliminate the Community Services Block Grant, a $715 million program that funds more than 1,000 local anti-poverty organizations in America which provide services such as job training and food assistance for over 16 million Americans.  

And, believe it or not, there is even more societal carnage on the way as brought out in this Washington Post article which portrays a Republican government that is clearly driven by a sociopathic ideology. 

These cruel acts are what Democrats should be literally screaming about in all the media, informing the American people of the despicable measures that the members of the Sociopathic Party of America want to inflict on so many millions of their fellow Americans.

So the Democrats have a great opportunity to take back control of the Senate in 2016; it will take a bit longer in the House. A massive voter turnout is the key; if Democrats get to work and do all the things necessary to mobilize the liberal/progressive, minority and working class voters then many Republicans will be expelled from Congress. 

It’s up to Democrats; if they rise to the challenge and do the things they must to connect with Americans, such as they have been able to do in the past, they will have the Republicans on the run. If they do not, then this current nightmare will continue and America and its people will wish they could somehow wake up. 

Why are Republicans relentlessly following this negative, destructive agenda? Simply because it’s the only thing they know, it’s embedded in their psyches, this is what they do, and this is what drives them. They couldn’t take a different direction if their political lives depended on it; and they will soon find out that they will become victims of their own actions.  

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Michael Payne is an independent progressive activist. His writings deal with social, economic, political and foreign policy issues; and especially with the great dangers involved with the proliferation of perpetual war, the associated defense industry, and the massive control that Corporate America holds over this government and our election process; all which are leading this nation down the road to eventual financial ruin if the conditions are not reversed. He is a graduate of Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois and a U.S. Army veteran.

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