Back in 2009, Senator Jim DeMint of South Carolina said the following about the passage of Obamacare: “If we’re able to stop Obama on this it will be his Waterloo. It will break him.” But they failed to break Obama and Obamacare is working better than planned.
Back in 2010, Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky said, “The single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president.” Not only did Obama go on to win a second term, he crushed the Republican nominee, Mitt Romney.
Since before Obama was even inaugurated, conservatives were already plotting to impeach him and invented a number of phony scandals in hopes of doing just that. None of them worked.
Seven plus years of unprecedented obstruction, hatred, lies and scorched-earth politics has left the United States with a president more popular than he has been since winning his two elections, an economy solidly on the rebound and….a Republican Party in the middle of an implosion it may not be able to recover from.
President Obama became the GOP’s Waterloo. They threw everything they had at him in a frantic orgy of destruction and succeeded only in committing political suicide.
Looking back, this was easy to predict (in fact, I did just that). After George W. Bush’s disastrous presidency, the country was angry at both Wall Street and Republicans. To resurrect themselves, the Republican Party turned to its most fringe element: The newly christened Tea Party.
The Tea Party was originally a Libertarian movement but was hijacked by the Koch Brothers and other 1%ers as a vehicle to rebrand the same old conservative politics as something new and “pure.” The Corporate Media ate it up like candy laced with crack. The silly costumes, the screaming old people, the stupid flag with a snake on it all made for awesome ratings. By comparison, Occupy Wall Street wasn’t nearly as interesting (because it was authentic) and lacked the funding of billionaires.
Republicans rode the Tea Party to power in 2010 but even then there were signs of the trouble to come. While the Tea Party was loud and got a lot of attention, it was also populated by people who were, frankly, morons. Sharron Angle, Christine O’Donnell and several other Tea Party candidates ran campaigns that made the Tea Party a laughing stock.
But none of that mattered to the Tea Party. They’d gotten a taste of power and took over the Republican primaries, pushing out electable candidates in favor of ideologically pure lunatics. They literally did not care if they lost elections as long as Republicans passed their numerous litmus tests.
During the next two years, President Obama tried to work with a Republican Party that was moving further and further to the right and was met with little more than scorn and insults. But they couldn’t break him.
And then it got worse
Anyone not a Republican knew by 2012 that the GOP’s Tea Party strategy was not working and it wasn’t going to work but by then it was too late; they were trapped. The GOP had made itself dependent on the hate and rage of the Tea Party and that became their entire base. All moderation was forced out and the inmates fought to take over the asylum.
And after the stinging loss of the 2012 election, the inmates got loose.
It was obvious that the racism and ugly rhetoric was hurting the party so Republicans tried to pass immigration reform. The idea was to show that no, Republicans didn’t actually hate Latinos. But the base went wild and Tea Party Republicans like Ted Cruz led revolt after revolt against the party establishment. In the end, the party doubled down on its anti-immigrant rhetoric. And then tripled down. Eventually, they went full Trump.
But even before Trump, the Tea Party was completely out of control, becoming more and more extreme, culminating in a government shutdown in 2013. Establishment Republicans were not happy but hoped they could take control of the Senate in 2014 and put a muzzle on their attack dogs. They did take the Senate but all hopes of party unity were gone.
Despite having the 2014 election under their belt, Republicans couldn’t break Obama.
The Tea Party cancer is Stage Four and the outlook is grim
Since the 2014 election, a “lame duck” President Obama has had a string of victories over a Republican Party in complete disarray. The Tea Party is now in open and ongoing revolt against the establishment and the base has forsaken the party to follow a political punchline. The elite of the conservative movement have dropped the pretense that they care even the tiniest bit about the white middle class and working poor. The religious right finally figured out that the GOP will obey Corporate America more than the Bible.
The coalition is on the verge of being irreparably torn apart because Republicans went all in on destroying President Barrack Hussein Obama and failed spectacularly. By the time it’s all over, Republicans will have lost the White House, the Senate, The Supreme Court and possibly even the heavily gerrymandered House. It will take them a generation to purge the Tea Party cancer and there’s no guarantee they’ll be able to do it. It’s just as likely that the Republican Party will become permanently distorted and moderates will be forced to make a new party based on conservatism instead of racism and rage.
Meanwhile, Obama will go down in the history books as the GOP’s Waterloo. A fine legacy if there ever was one.
Featured image via AI archives