Sunday, December 22, 2013

The Republican's terrible, horrible, no good, very bad 2013

According to most pundits and the White House Press Corp, the big story right now is that 2013 was a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad year for President Obama. Of course they have facts like the botched rollout of and his low poll numbers to back up that claim.

But one way to demonstrate the distorted lens through which the media tends to look at things like this is to think about how 2013 looked for Republicans. Their primary goal lately has been to see Obamacare fail. They were given an assist on that when the web site launched so badly. And BOY, did they run with it!

As anyone who is interested in more than a few days of our frenzied media market knows, a web site can be fixed...and it has been. Now what? They can freak out all they want over Pajama Boy, but the reality is that come January, millions of Americans will have affordable health insurance. And there's nothing they can do to stop that.

What about the rest of 2013?
  • It all started with the so-called "fiscal cliff" that resulted in taxes being raised on the wealthy - a component of deficit reduction that has been anathema to Republicans. 
  • Then there were the "scandals." Republicans got their hopes up that stories about Benghazi and the IRS would prove to be worse than Watergate, ensuring that a second Obama term would end in disgrace. Not happening. 
  • With the war in Iraq over and Afghanistan winding down, Republican hawks have been itching for our involvement in the Syrian Civil War or at least the possibility of starting one in Iran. For the time being, neither one looks likely. 
  • Majority Leader Harry Reid dashed Republican efforts to obstruct President Obama's appointments by ending the use of the filibuster.
  • Shutting down the government over a demand that Obamacare be repealed was perhaps the lowest moment of the year for Republicans. Even Speaker Boehner admitted it was a big mistake.
  • All over the country, as a result of referendum, state legislatures and the courts, marriage equality is spreading like wildfire...even in the red state of Utah.
  • That whole thing about Republicans reaching out to women and minorities blew up faster than the time it took for Karl Rove to concede the 2012 election results.
  • Of course there were the off-year elections where the entire leadership of the state of Virginia went from Republican to Democratic control.
  • While the media focuses on President Obama's approval ratings, only 24% of the public approves of the job Republicans are doing in Congress
  • And finally, we witnessed Boehner, Ryan and Cantor pleading with the teapublicans to embrace "common ground" and pass a bipartisan budget. What? No hostage-taking?
Looking forward to 2014, we have the prospect of an all-out civil war in the Republican Party with the teapublicans promising a blood bath in the primaries for mid-term elections. So tell me, other than a botched web site, what is it the Republicans have to show for all their efforts this past year?

Without the patriarchal lens of only looking at one authority figure, the whole notion of who had a "terrible, horrible, no good, very bad year" in 2013 looks a bit different. That's why seeing the big picture is so important.


  1. All that matters to them is the poll numbers(*). Obama's are lower(**) so he's having a bad year.

    (* - At least when the President is a Democrat. Bush had to get in the low 40s before the press would even tepidly acknowledge that he wasn't widely popular.)

    (** - But still much higher than anyone else in Washington, including the press.)

  2. This is so helpful. I plan to share it with my OF team. We need another one on the "media's terrible horrible ..."


  3. If the press were composed of journalists his approval rating would probably be pretty high.

  4. IMO, it's a wonder President Obama's poll numbers aren't in the toilet, considering the 24/7 Obama bashing that's been going on 24/7. Every single story about the ACA MUST begin with the "disastrous, horrific, catastrophic" roll out - everyone from those on MSNBC (wolves in sheep clothing) to CNN (FOX wannabe).

    Malcohm X said : “If you're not careful, the newspapers will have you hating the people who are being oppressed, and loving the people who are doing the oppressing.” This quote can be applied to our situation right now. The media has people hating the the President instead of hating them for not being the 4th Estate that we need and not be disgusting with the Teapublicans for attempting to destroy the country.


"With fear for our democracy, I dissent."

My title is how Justice Sonia Sotomayor concluded her dissenting opinion to the Supreme Court case granting presidents criminal immunity for...