The 2014 midterm elections wrapped up this past week with a resounding Republican victory. They now hold substantial seats in both the House and Senate and are ready to work on bipartisan bills first, before moving into their own areas of interest. According to USA Today and the Washington Post on November 6th, Republicans plan to crush the Export-Import bank in a short-sighted attempt to quash “corruption”, deal with ISIS and a nuclear Iran and work at a repeal of taxes on medical equipment. The later represents one of the few potential positive moves of the party, if coupled with a revamping of the steadily declining quality of American hospitals. Under the auspices of the Ebola health crisis, it is critical to remember that the U.S. has never reached goals set in the 20th century for allotting hospital beds to people and now ranks below Japan, South Korea, the European Union, Czech Republic, Germany and notably Russia in hospital beds per thousand people. Republicans may attempt to take pot shots at the Affordable Care Act, even going so far as to try to invalidate it by textually analyzing a typo. These actions are reactionary to the trend of other nations actively attempting to provide healthcare for their populations and is a poor choice of policy for the Republican Party.
On another issue, the Keystone XL pipeline, The Washington Post claims Republicans will attempt to push through the pipeline as well as preventing the EPA to restrict carbon emissions. The “cap-and-trade” and carbon taxing policy is ostensibly for the benefit of the environment at the expense of business profits, but also impacts the level of productive economic progress in the form of refineries, nuclear plants, steel and coal manufacturing within the U.S. A pipeline here, a nuclear plant there; with an observance that carbon emissions aren’t the end-all to the over-hyped question of the climate this are not major problems and could be cautiously encouraged. To denounce the Export-Import bank as corrupt over the allegations that it serves the interests of defense industries is legitimate but ignores the potential for such a bank to act as an exporter for capital goods like computer parts and processors, turn-key hospitals and advanced technologies that benefit both buyer and producer. China, France and Germany will be the ones with the final laugh if the U.S. destroys the Ex-Im bank, the source for ensuring payments for large scale enterprises that could potential make revolutionary changes if the focus was shifted from “weaponry” to “livingry”
Newsweek has cautioned the Republican party to accept the pressure coming from grassroots organizations, namely the Tea Party. For candidates like Ben Sasse, the appeal to the christian and religious factions of the republican were also mobilized for the election. But why did the Democratic opposition falter this mid term? With ammunition at the ready: Mitch McConnell bending at the knee to the Koch brothers, McCain gearing up for war against his friends in the so-called moderate rebel opposition and cultural populists such as Joni Ernst threatening castration to “big guv’mint” with her pistol the Democrats nevertheless were deer caught in the headlight. Without a jobs or infrastructure program the Democrats faltered; the news media of the Washington Post and CBS were pessimistic and Jon Stewart personally spread demoralization and apathy to the young. For a political battle where the Republicans ran primarily on the fact that they were not Democrats, such a lackadaisical response from the Democratic opposition constitutes an unacceptable capitulation. One that requires a reconsideration of the support for Democratic leaders often owing allegiance to the same power brokers that watch over the Republican party. A condition that may break out in the aftermath of what is shaping up to be the ultimate Hobson’s choice for voters in 2016 is that the Democratic party splits into the populists who desire healthcare, student loan forgiveness, jobs, infrastructure and minimum wage from those who endorse fringe issues of environmental regulations, war-mongering and watered-down campaign finance, healthcare and student loan reform.