If I had to describe what 2013 was like for Republicans in a soundbite, I’d quote D’Angelo and use “s**t, damn, motherf**ker.” That would be succinctness at its purest form, but thankfully I have been allotted a few more words to work with. Obviously, I write from a Godless liberal bias (if you ask a gun-clutching, crazy as all hell right winger), but even by GOP standards, 2013 was a very, very bad year. I would actually be happier about it if their antics didn’t have such a devastating effect on all of us in one way or several.
Here are the worst of their mistakes, in no particular order.
Ted Cruz and the Government Shutdown
Ted Cruz is an opportunistic narcissist with delusions of grandeur who never met a live camera he didn’t want to talk directly into. Such is his right, but national GOP leadership made a huge mistake not pushing back his efforts to treat the federal government shutting down as an audition for Iowa primary voters. It was not about repealing Obamacare; it was about Ted Cruz becoming a national political figure. He won that mission, but the rest of his political party suffered. Not to mention all of the unfortunate people who went without paychecks during the petty dispute.
Lack of Immigration Reform
The Hill reports that Rep. Tom Cole, considered to be a top ally of House Speaker John Boehner, now “envisions a situation where Boehner allows a vote on a couple or all of the four-House-Judiciary Committee-passed measures on immigration reform/border security.” Just in time for the midterm elections. The votes have long been there to pass comprehensive immigration reform, but Boehner wouldn’t allow the votes. And yet, he swears he’s in control of his caucus and not the other way around.
(Insert Boehner tears here.)
Congress Least Productive Year
Congress will close 2013 with 58 bills enacted into law. It’s the lowest one-year output since at least 1947 and a teensy fraction of the 6,366 bills introduced by lawmakers. Meanwhile, we could’ve benefited from some job bills, boost in infrastructure spending, and continuing to help those suffering from long-term unemployment (versus cutting their aid).
Harry Reid Goes “Nuclear”
In response to Republicans in the Senate routinely using the filibuster to prevent many of President Obama’s nominees from being confirmed, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid finally went “nuclear” and changed the rules — allowing for only a simple majority to proceed to Senate confirmation. In a speech about the measure, Reid said, “For the first time in the history of our republic, Republicans have routinely used the filibuster to prevent President Obama from appointing an executive team and from appointing judges. The need for change is so, so very obvious. It’s clearly visible. It’s manifest we have to do something to change things.”
Have Republicans learned their lesson? Perish the thought. According to a New York Times Magazine article, Senator John McCain was apparently so furious with Reid’s decision he reportedly told the Nevada senator he was going to “kick the crap out” of him. “John, I would expect nothing less,” Reid reportedly responded. Sounds like Reid’s way of saying “run up, get done up.”
Renewed Voter Suppression Efforts
Following the Supreme Court gutting the Voting Rights Act, several states immediately moved to restrict voting in the name of combating voter fraud — notably in Arizona, Texas, and Florida. Those states have seen massive growth in their non-White communities. And in an effort to thwart each of their respective swings to a “majority-minority” demographic in the coming years, Republicans in state legislatures are doing their best to keep our Black and brown selves out of the poll booths. Wouldn’t just trying to secure our votes make more sense longterm? Sure, but what sense do most Republicans make nowadays?
China has begunconstructing its fourth Antarctic research base to enhance studies into climate change and we’re…still listening to a bunch of Republicans act as if it’s a figment of Al Gore’s imagination. As the weather gets crazier with each passing season. Captain Planet, come save us.
Today we remember Rosa Parks’ bold stand and her role in ending racism. pic.twitter.com/uxIj1QmtkU
— RNC (@GOP)
The Rosa Parks Tweet
They should have known better because we certainly all knew better than to let them get away with tweeting this kind of bull.
Fighting The Losing Battle On Marriage Equality
Utah is the latest state to strike down bans of gay marriage as unconstitutional. Most Americans are now in favor of marriage equality. The Supreme Court offered a significant victory to the push for equal rights to gay couples earlier in the year, and yet, Republicans nationwide to continue to act as if the gays have cooties and are trying to ruin everyone’s lives with their whole wanting legally-recognized unions beef.
Still Failing With Women
Last year’s election was an opportunity for the GOP to see the error of its ways and stop policing women’s bodies with the very patriarchal “daddy knows best” mindset about their reproductive rights. Have they grown from it? Not at all. Funny enough, when asked about how male GOP candidates appeal to women voters, House Speaker John Boehner said bluntly, “Some of our members just aren’t as sensitive as they ought to be.” You don’t say, sir. Several strict and highly controversial measures to restrict abortions were signed this year. Women will revolt in due time, good ole boy party.
Everything Is Like Slavery
I’ve but there have been literally dozens of Republicans to make stupid analogies about slavery. Obamacare is not like slavery. Job bills are not like slavery. Nothing is like slavery besides slavery.
Michael Arceneaux is a Houston-bred, Howard-educated writer. You can read more of his work on his site, . Follow him on Twitter: @youngsinick