It’s Over at Least for a While

It’s Over at Least for a While

Gilbert N. Kahn is a professor of Political Science at Kean University.

As the noise settled from the absurdity of the past several weeks, two observations are worth considering. Obamacare is undergoing more than a few problems as it tries to make healthcare opportunities available to approximately 35 million who had none. Ironically, if the Republican Party had been looking for a way to attack the President and the Affordable Health Care Act, the bureaucratic and technological nightmare which many Americans have endured as they have tried to register would have been a natural one; never mind that the mess is occurring primarily in states governed by Republicans which opted to let the federal government handle the web site for their enrollees. This would have been the traditional way that the party out of power would have gone to the voters in 2014.

This sign-up nightmare glitch will eventually be corrected but it should never have happened. All major and many minor bills are modified and corrected as the legislation is rolled out. Laws are quickly modified as the regulation and implementation phases evolve.  Here again, Congress and the Government is not functioning in a traditional mode. The eventual winner here will be the Democrats because again there is an unwillingness by the Republican conservative hardliners to accept how the political system works.

The second clear picture to emerge from this battle is what a donnybrook the Republicans might well have in the run-up to the 2016 Presidential nomination. This fight produced a clear sense that both Senators Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio will vie for the right wing vote of their Republican Party in 2016. Rubio’s views appear not to be far distant from Cruz’s but his style suggests a more reasoned approach. Given that neither of them should have funding problems this side of the debate should be able to contend for quite a while.  At the same time, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie surely observed the shenanigans in Washington and is more determined than ever to face-off against them. He too is hardly a shrinking violet. The more moderate parts of the GOP may well wish they had a strong candidate to send into battle, but even with all the Wall Street money in the world supporting them, the rank and file Republican primary voters are not likely to opt for anyone more moderate than Christie. From the observer’s perspective it is not clear if one will enjoy more watching and listening to Curz’s neo-fascist demagoguery or Christie’s “Joe six-pack” earthiness.  We may look back on the 2012 debating season as mere child’s play compared to the next one.

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