The Republicans are standing on the brink of yet another missed opportunity to capitalize on a Democrat party with their backs against the wall.
Obamacare is still struggling. There are thousands of illegal migrants streaming across the southern border. Ukraine is falling apart at the hands of Vladimir Putin. And with each day that passes, it seems less and less likely that Secretary of State John Kerry will be able to broker any sort of peace deal in the Middle East.
President Obama’s leadership approach — characterized most aptly as leading from behind — has rightfully taken tremendous flak as a result of these crises.
The president has been unable to rally the Europeans to stand united with America on tougher Russian sanctions. And he has been forced to rely on executive orders to accomplish much of his agenda — a move that does certainly implicate the Republican controlled congress as obstructionist, but is also indicative of legislative weakness.
In light of all this, and with a big week ahead as Congress is just five days away from leaving for a five-week summer recess, the Republicans have chosen a strategy that can’t be called anything but misguided.
They are focusing their attention on House Speaker Boehner’s lawsuit against President Obama for failure to faithfully implement Obamacare and Sarah Palin’s outrageous crusade to impeach the president.
Neither of these pursuits have anything to do with creating real policy. Or with advancing the needs or desires of the American people.
You can tell what a bad choice the Republicans are making by the Democrat response: they’re fundraising like mad off it.
The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) is on track to fundraise over $2 million by using the GOP’s pursuit of impeachment in their favor.
I’m sure that wasn’t part of Sarah Palin’s plan.
As a consequence of this sideshow, it is even more likely that no meaningful legislation will be passed this week.
We have a humanitarian crisis at the border and competing Democrat and Republican proposals with obvious room for compromise — that we will not see. On the issue of tax inversion, where American corporations merge with foreign corporations to reduce their tax burden, both parties have agreement on the general principle but different approaches to resolving the issue. And we have a preliminary agreement on VA reform, but there’s no reason to think that it will move forward by Friday.
What’s more, these manufactured distractions will not only hurt the country by slowing the policy process even further, but they may very well put the GOP’s chances at taking the Senate in the fall into question.
A new Fox News poll shows that Americans have little appetite for impeachment. While 58-37 percent of voters think that Obama has exceeded his constitutional authority, 61 percent oppose impeachment.
It follows that with six close races the GOP has to win to take the Senate, another distracted campaign focusing on issues that don’t matter to Americans could significantly hurt their chances.
Boehner spokesman Michael Steel has accused the White House of playing political games instead of making policy, but the GOP is just as guilty. Perhaps even more so as they’re not playing the game as well by any stretch of the imagination.
Douglas E. Schoen is a political strategist, Fox News contributor, and author of several books including "Hopelessly Divided: The New Crisis in American Politics and What It Means for 2012 and Beyond" and the recently released "The End of Authority: How a Loss of Legitimacy and Broken Trust Are Endangering Our Future" (Rowman and Littlefield). Read more reports from Doug Schoen — Click Here Now.
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