Only four years after the voters sent them packing, handing both chambers of Congress to the Democrats at the 2006 mid-terms, the Republicans are back. Voters then (and again in 2008) decided that Republican policies had blown up the deficit with unaffordable tax cuts, let the banks run wild, dragged America into two costly wars and produced a wretched harvest of stagnant wages, rising job insecurity and soaring health-care costs. Now they seem to have decided that they like Barack Obama and the Democrats even less.
I don't get it. The Republicans created huge deficits, a financial crisis, two worthless but expensive wars, destroyed the middle class, and seriously damaged the our system of medical care by giving the health insurance companies huge profits and greater control over patients. Then, since Obama didn't solve all these problems in two years, America voted the Republicans back in.
Obama's image of the Republicans as the people who drove the car into the ditch, seems perfectly logical to me. Why would America ask them to drive again? But people laughed at that simple comparison.
The first test will probably be the vote to raise the debt ceiling. Will the Republicans shut down the government again as they did under Newt Gingrich? The next will probably be what to do about the Bush tax cuts. The safest thing is probably to extend all the cuts for a year or two, although that is a defeat for the Democrats. Unfortunately, the Republicans are like a crazy man with gun; you can't risk trying to reason with them. It doesn't bother them if thousands of people go hungry, are cold, get poor medical care, but it bothers Democrats.