Two weeks removed from national election, that re-elected President Barack Obama, the 2014 mid-term elections are “on and poppin’.” I wonder if the Democratic Party has sufficiently learned from the debacle of 2010.
It is obvious that the Republican’s have not learned any lessons from this last election season, so the test is, will the Democratic Party stand by what they profess and force the Republican Party to stand by their failed logic, and their total disdain for the American people, and the election process, that returned the President to office, and gained seats in both the Senate and the House of Representatives for them?
At stake, for the Democrats, at the national level, is a possible re-taking of the House of Representatives and gaining a filibuster-proof Senate. At the local level there are several “red-state” Governorship’s and State Legislatures in play.
From what I’ve read, the assault on women’s reproductive choices, by Republicans, has resumed with refreshed attempts around the country to try to circumvent Roe v. Wade, using the states as their primary vehicle. The war on the uninsured and the poor is advancing with Republican Governor’s rejecting certain provisions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Provisions such as the “insurance exchanges” for entrepreneurs and small businesses with less than 50 employees, and refusing to expand Medicaid services for individuals and families living at or near poverty levels, and the poor.
Yogi Berra said it best, “It’s like deja vu all over again.”
As for the battle over reproductive choices, that’s a battle Democrat’s and Progressives should welcome. A true conservative court will stand by the rights of the individual against the state. A Republican court will not. Chief Justice Roberts has shown, with his decision on the ACA, that he does not want his court to be branded as the “Republican Court.” Notwithstanding some of the other Justices, it is my belief that the right’s of the individual will prevail. We’ve seen that already with laws like “stand your ground,” and “open carry” laws, for guns. We just have to be prepared, and willing to fight for what’s right.
Now, about the ACA. Caught inside the Republican bubble, they believed that the President would not be re-elected, they believed that the ACA would not stand constitutional muster, they believed that their party would win the Senate and increase their majority in the House. After the ACA was upheld by the SCOTUS, they believed that, when elected, a Romney/Ryan administration would repeal it, or at the least not fund or enforce it. With this as their thinking, many of them simply did not prepare to commit to the exchanges by the deadline. They also knew that the Federal government would step in and create the exchanges if they fail to do so.
As you know, the Medicaid expansion provision will mean approximately 17 millions people will receive coverage they otherwise would not have, and will mean the hiring or re-hiring of thousands of people nationwide, to handle the increased case loads. The Republican Governors, as one of their excuses, claim they cannot afford to implement the exchanges or the expansion, though the Act will pay 100% of the cost for 2 years and 90% of the cost of the expansion for many years after that. Another excuse is that they don’t want the Federal Government interfering in their state policies. Their reticence means that millions will not be covered and thousands of jobs will not be made available, simply, because of their politics.
That being said, [this] becomes a prime opportunity for Democratic candidates as they begin their campaigns. Many of November’s winning Democratic Party candidates ran on these very issues. I wouldn’t wait another minute in these “Red States,” to force the Republican politicians, from the state legislatures to the Congress, to declare where they stand, on the record, about these issues, and challenge them publicly, about their stance.
These red states are among the most in need of the ACA and their Governor’s, State Houses, and Congressmen and women, should be forced to explain to their constituents why Obamacare is not being made available to them. At the same time, the “Blue State Governments” should boldly tout the advantages of the Act to their constituents. Their “red state” neighbors, seeing the benefits of the Act will challenge their leadership to comply, or opportunities will be created for Democrats to take over these State Houses and Legislatures, and to represent them in the Congress.
These are just a couple of the issues that will define this election. There’s also Planned Parenthood, personhood, voter ID, state election laws, and much more.
We, Democrats and Progressives, must understand that we cannot relax. 2014 will be here before we know it and the race to the “mid-terms” has already begun. It’s “ON AND POPPIN’.”