Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Missing The Boat

In American politics right now, those who are in charge are missing the proverbial boat on a whole host of issues - a fact that appears to be more obvious to a wider cross section of the American people every day.

As we noted Monday, a nascent debate on Syria appeared to be on the horizon as the week began. But with two separate polls from both the Pew Center and Gallup, it's already clear what the opinion of the American people is on Syria - America should stay out of it. Unfortunately, President Obama has already missed the boat on that one, after authorizing a small number of arms to be sent to Syrian rebels. Still, the President may not be sunk yet on his minor Syrian decision, though as Washington Monthly's Ed Kilgore noted yesterday, the hopes of neo-con chicken hawks like Senators McCain and Graham - and their military contractor donors - may be completely underwater with public disapproval of more U.S. war involvement being so high.

On immigration, any sane person looking at the demographic realities facing the GOP might logically believe there's a course that should allow immigration reform to sail through Congress. Not surprisingly to us, however, is the torpedoing by extremist tea party Republicans of any immigration plan that might pass the Senate and be signed by the President. The attempt to tie immigration to Obamacare and the latest plan by Sen. Ted Cruz to override the Supreme Court's Voter ID ruling are both examples of the GOP being effectively dead in the water on the issue of immigration reform.

Of course, if members of Congress were sane, they also wouldn't follow the example of Rep. Eric Cantor, who's been trying to trash the President, as weeks of overblown scandals and fake outrage have caused a dip in Obama's poll numbers. As Steve Benen at Maddowblog pointed out, Cantor - and frankly anyone in Congress - should really keep their political stones in their pockets, since Congress now has its lowest approval ratings EVER. Even with a slight dip in his poll numbers, Americans still like and trust President Obama five times more than they do Congress.

The plunge into stupidity doesn't stop there.

As Jonathan Bernstein noted over at The Plum Line, and as our staffers have said for years, the almost slavish devotion to the extreme right-wing of the Republican Party also now appears to be costing the GOP to lose some of the moderate religious right. Indeed, Bernstein cites a story by Anne Kim and Ed Kilgore at Washington Monthly that details how some moderate religious Republicans have been trying to find solutions to their problems with Obamacare. Instead of the GOP supporting and helping out their natural constituents, these religious Republicans looking for a healthcare solution have found two champions in Democratic senators Mark Pryor and Chris Coons.

What Americans really want doesn't take a deep dive into policy or partisanship to understand.

They want more jobs, better pay, healthcare for all, and a government that works efficiently and effectively. They want policies that make sense, like not getting involved in civil wars of other nations - especially in the Middle East - and not having their government spy on them.

They also want an immigration policy that keeps families together and rewards hard-working immigrants, while punishing corporations that try to abuse those immigrants.

That so many people in American politics seem to be missing the boat so often these days makes us wonder exactly what they're really thinking - or if those at some of the highest levels of politics are even capable of floating a cogent thought on their own anymore.