Sunday, November 16, 2014

With new congressional power, which windmill will Republicans tilt at first?

With new congressional power, which windmill will Republicans tilt at first?

Shannyn Moore
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OPINION: Republicans now have control of both the House and the Senate, and it should be interesting to see what they have planned besides more gridlock. Pictured: Early voting ballots feeding into a tally machine at a state elections office in Anchorage. November 11, 2014Loren Holmes / ADN

I really hate pumpkin-spice-every-single-possible-product-you-can-think-of season. I guess we're down to two holidays for the last few months of the year -- Happy Pumpkin Spice and Merry Christmas. I heard Christmas music before Halloween this year. Our elections have become the same way, now starting the next round before all the ballots are counted. Before I tear into a rant about that, could we all agree to just campaigning six months out from the election?
Considering how saturated the airwaves have been all over the country for over a year, it's over, folks. The lowest amount of voters showed up at the polls since 1942. The reason for low voter turnout then was something called a World War. Little resources were spared for elections then -- we had to beat the Germans, not each other.
Parties for volunteers and campaigners have been happening. Frankly, the winners and losers deserve recognition for their work; after all, democracy is really a verb. (I wonder what the Yes on 2 people had at their party...) Anyway, all that is wrapping up. If you've been to campaign offices, you have seen the countdown calendars on the walls. If you ask workers how they are doing, their general response is to ask how many days are left.
Well, the fewest people in 70 years have spoken, and time's up. Republicans across the country showed up and they now have the House and the Senate.
Just because you can win (or buy) a campaign race doesn't mean you know how to govern, so this could get interesting. I for one am cheering them on. See, it does me no good to see a political party fail if it is at the expense of my fellow citizens.
If the last 50 votes in the House to repeal Obamacare are any indicator, I assume the Senate will take that up shortly. Really? I know, I'm master of the obvious here, but they have the votes. What's their solution? I've been hearing about how terrible health care for poor people is since the Affordable Care Act was passed, but I haven't heard what the plan to replace it is. I'm dying to know. I thought the ACA was wimpy from the beginning. Will the Republicans replace it with a Public Option? Please? How about Medicare E? The E is for Everyone! I can't imagine they'd propose to take away something with no replacement. Inquiring minds want to know.
Will the Environmental Protection Agency finally be defunded? Oh, those overreaching federal agencies that stifle all those projects will finally be over? Think of all those corporations that can finally sing "Free at Last!" and be done with environmental standards.
Immigration was a big stick in national campaigns. What's the solution? Obama has been called the "deporter-in-chief" for a reason -- his administration has deported more undocumented workers than any of his predecessors. Not good enough? Will the Republicans round up the 12 million people living unpapered in America and send them back? Brace yourselves, Canada! Can we send them on a train? Can we send them in the rain? Can we send them on a boat? Can we build a needed moat? (My apologies, Dr. Seuss.)
The Keystone XL pipeline is a promise the Republicans will try to deliver. Well, what will that do to the price of oil? I mean, does Alaska really want a bunch of Canadian oil competing with ours on the open market? This could hit us where it hurts -- our state pocketbook. The price of oil is dropping fast enough, to a level which makes pulling Canadian oil uneconomical. Will Alaska's senators vote for a pipeline that will hurt Alaska's bottom line? They have to look out for ... oh, that's right, they have to dance with the one who brought them.
Well, I'm curious to see what solutions the controlling party will present to the American public; goodness knows they've been pointing at problems long enough.
Shannyn Moore is a radio broadcaster.

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