GloucesterTimes.com, Gloucester, MA

Opinion

February 9, 2013

Letter: Facing up to political realities

To the editor:

What parallel universe are the new American Right and Tea Party living in?

Obama became only one of six presidents to win reelection by a popular vote margin in excess of 51%, not to mention an Electoral College landslide, yet Republican right wingers seem to think they won and people who voted for Obama just don’t recognize that reality.

Their anti-Obama fanaticism blinds them to the simple reality that they lost - and in a significant way.

Democrats also expanded their majority in the Senate and cut into the GOP majority in the House by several seats in each chamber.

Here’s a piece of political trivia for people to ponder; even though the GOP held the House, when the total votes cast nationally for House seats were counted, Democrats got a million more votes than their GOP opponents did.

But thanks to “gerrymandering,” Republicans in states with GOP majorities in their legislatures have been able to reconfigure congressional districts, especially in the South and West, in ways that make it all but impossible for anyone, including Republicans who do not walk in lock step with the far right’s agenda, let alone a Democrat, to win a House seat.

In short, in many states, the Republicans have rigged the game in relationship to House races.

Yet, in 2014, GOP senators up for re-election, including Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnel, will likely face primary challenges because the Tea Party right is livid they compromised with Democrats to avoid going over the fiscal cliff.

That could well provide Democrats an opportunity to increase their Senate majority because in 2010 and 2012, when far right Tea Party candidates captured GOP senate nominations in state primaries, they, more often than not, lost the general election — even when the Democrat had been considered a weak candidate or vulnerable incumbent.

That is encouraging news for Democrats who need to increase their majority in the Senate to where Republicans cannot abuse the filibuster to stonewall and obstruct anything and everything the president and Democrats propose.

That is why 2014 may, in some ways, turn out to be as important, if not more important, than 2012.

MICHAEL COOK

Gloucester and Vieques, P.R.

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