As the reality of a Republican wave became imminent last night, a dangerous narrative began to take hold among the conservative talking heads on cable news and in the victory speeches of the victorious Republicans. The narrative was that now that the Republicans have control of both chambers of Congress, it is incumbent upon them to work with Obama and the other Democrats in the service of "getting things done" and "fixing the broken system."
My hope is that Republicans reject this patent nonsense for the poppycock that it is. Not only should Republicans not work closely with Democrats, they should instead keep them as far away as possible, preferably across a large moat filled with sharp stakes, acid, and alligators. That way, our side will be safer from friendly fire when we launch the flaming tar at the remaining Democrats in office.
Let us review the bidding. Republicans ran this year on very little of substance. Their brand ID is still very underwater with the American public. There is no program right now that the American public is clamoring for the Republicans to undertake with one exception: they hate what President Obama is doing and they want Republicans to stop it. Exit poll after exit poll last night showed that the single most important thing in the minds of the voters this year was the looming shadow of death Obama cast on all his Democrat allies.
If voters really wanted people who would work closely with Obama and other Democrats to "get things done," they would have just voted for more Democrats. After all, virtually every elected Democrat has "worked with" Obama (in the sense of doing exactly everything he asked) for the last six solid years. Say what you want about the information level of the average voter, but absolutely no one was confused into thinking that they were replacing a Democrat with a Republican in the hopes that the Republican would be more friendly to the Democrat agenda.
Moreover, while Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) et al are busy filling the moat with acid and alligators, they should look across it and see who's left over there on the other side. Sam Nunn and David Boren have been gone for a very long time now. There is no one of good faith left on the other side who will agree to any legislation that is not poisonous to the fabric of the Republic. Consider what they have stood for the last two years - they have literally tried to rewrite the First Amendment to make it not apply to wealthy conservatives. They have tried to force religious institutions to pay for abortions and participate in gay marriage ceremonies regardless of their religious convictions. They have confiscated billions of tax dollars in the name of "economic stimulus" and self-dealt their families and friends huge awards of taxpayer money. They have consciously eliminated the free choice of Americans in their health care decisions. They have shown more concern about Islamic terrorism being called "Islamic terrorism" than about stopping Islamic terrorism. They believe in eliminating the death penalty for convicted first degree murderers but in using taxpayer funds to pay for the deaths of unborn children. They have consciously and deliberately fomented racial, class and gender divides in America for the sole reason that they perceived that it would help them to remain in office.
They have not apologized for doing any of these things and they show no remorse for any of it. None - zero - of them have taken a stand against the excesses of their party while they were in power.
Not only should they not be worked with, they should not even be invited to the table to be part of the discussion lest their gangrenous, festering and destructive ideas should further infect our caucus. These are not people who should be trusted to babysit a cat, much less to have access to the levers of all the coercive powers of the Federal government.
Working with these people is not what America elected you to do, Republicans. It elected you to stop them. So for the sake of America, stop being so concerned about sounding "reasonable" to the talking heads on cable and get the buckets of flaming tar ready.
We're going to need them.