It’s amazing how one simple ass-kicking can change one’s perception, and after the thumping the GOP received last Tuesday, it’s no surprise to see them suddenly shift positions on issues they claimed weren’t up for debate pre-election.
Take Sean Hannity, for instance. Just this week, one of the country’s biggest anti-immigration blowhards suddenly announced that hey, he’s had second thoughts on immigration and maybe it wouldn’t be such a bad thing to allow for a path to citizenship:
“We’ve gotta get rid of the immigration issue altogether. It’s simple for me to fix it. I think you control the border first, you create a pathway for those people that are here, you don’t say you gotta home. And that is a position that I’ve evolved on. Because you know what–it just–it’s gotta be resolved. The majority of people here–if some people have criminal records you can send’ em home–but if people are here, law-abiding, participating, for years, their kids are born here… first secure the border, pathway to citizenship… then it’s done. But you can’t let the problem continue. It’s gotta stop.”
I’m sorry, did you say you’ve evolved? I thought it was intelligent design for you people. And within twenty-four hours of the election – how quaint!
Then there’s Bill Kristol, who has some advice for Republicans post-election. Appearing on Fox News Sunday this weekend, Kristol told the GOP to take a deep breath and use their brains for once:
“I think Republicans will have to give in much more than they think. He won reelection. Four presidents in the last century have won more than 50% of the vote twice: Roosevelt, Eisenhower, Reagan and Obama. It pains me to say that, to put him in that, with those other three, but it’s a fact. The Democrats picked up seats in the House and the Senate – the president’s in good shape – the Republicans in the House will be able to get some concessions, some compromises, but I think there will be a big budget deal next year, and it will be an Obama-type budget deal much more than a Paul Ryan budget deal. Elections have consequences.
“The leadership in the Republican Party and the leadership in the conservative movement has to pull back, let people float new ideas. Let’s have a serious debate. Don’t scream and yell when one person says, ‘You know what? It won’t kill the country if we raise taxes a little bit on millionaires.’ It really won’t, I don’t think. I really don’t understand why Republicans don’t take Obama’s offer to freeze taxes for everyone below $250,000 — make it $500,000, make it a million. Really? The Republican Party is going to fall on its sword to defend a bunch of millionaires, half of whom voted Democratic and half of them live in Hollywood?”
Oh, I can hear the heads exploding as we speak. The heresy of it all! But Kristol is right, elections do have consequences, and the Republican refusal to govern effectively and their penchant for pandering to their lowest common denominator, the Tea Party, is what brought about their electoral shellacking. Despite Republican contempt for government, most sane people don’t want to dissolve it, they want to improve it and make it work in the manner it was designed to.
And that is something the Democrats had better remember, otherwise they’ll be on the losing side next time around. This was a mandate from the people; a mandate to move forward, to progress.