Between the 2012 elections, President Barack Obama‘s inauguration speech last month, and last Tuesday night’s State of the Union address, the President seems to have checked, or even checkmated, the Republican Party. In addition to Obama’s handy disposal of Willard Mitt Romney on Election Day, consider the following:
- President Obama’s approval rating is at 52 percent, the highest it has been in years. This figure is even more remarkable given the dominance of the right wing attack machine, including Fox “News” and hate radio, which have pounded the President with false and crazy charges since Obama was a presidential candidate in 2007.
- Obama’s proposals to reduce gun violence poll well, with, for example, an astonishing 92 percent of respondents favoring universal background checks.
- Most Americans want President Obama to act on climate change as he has proposed to do.
- Americans see increased infrastructure spending, along the lines of what President Obama has repeatedly proposed, as vital to job growth.
- A majority of Americans support Medicare, Social Security and education programs.
In contrast to President Obama’s vision, which is largely the Democratic Party ideology, the Republican Party is in all-out civil war, from Hurricane Sandy relief to the Club for Growth. Republicans even needed two separate official responses to President Obama’s State of the Union address (one separately badged as a “Tea Party” response). Even worse, these Republican responses ranged from the parched to the paltry.
Predictably, Republicans attack each of President Obama’s proposals as “radical,” “left wing,” “socialist,” and “extreme.” But, just like the Republicans who said that Willard Romney was going to beat Obama by a landslide, or that President Obama was not correctly projected to win Ohio on Election Night, the Republican Party apparently has not yet emerged from its bubble of unreality about where America is in the 21st Century.
The difference between the Democratic and Republican parties can be boiled down to one issue: the role of government. Unfortunately for Republicans, as the polling dated cited above indicates, Americans like their government services. Just ask Republican Governor Chris Christie, who, when Hurricane Sandy hit, embraced President Obama and federal disaster assistance in a giant bear hug. Christie’s poll numbers are now through the roof, especially compared to those of Willard Romney, who said last June that federal disaster relief was “immoral.”
At this point, President Obama appears to have painted the Republicans into a dark corner, and the Republicans keep supplying plenty of paint.