Republicans around the nation enjoyed a night of election results in which they finally defeated Barack Obama, a man who has twice won national election.
But now what happens if Republicans run the Senate along with the House? If the past is a guide, a Republican Senate will support the usual GOP agenda: Cut taxes, cut spending, cut regulations and rattle sabers. For the past two years, that approach has managed to stymie the economy’s recovery, delay infrastructure investment, ignore climate change, block immigration reform and present a divided United States government to a world looking for U.S. leadership.
Opposing the president isn’t a program. It’s an attitude, and not a constructive one. Obama is done running, and Republicans need to stop running against him and start governing.
Congressional Republicans will face Obama’s veto and likely Sen. Harry Reid’s procedural machinations as minority leader. Taking the Democrats head-on will lead only to collisions without progress. It’s time to get government working again so more Americans can get working again.
U.S. Rep. Renee Ellmers, the Dunn Republican who won handily over Democrat Clay Aiken in District 2, sounded the right note in her victory speech when she commented on the Republican takeover of the Senate. Notably it was the same tone of reconciliation that Aiken stressed in his campaign.
“I’m so encouraged now because I know we’re going to be able to go back to Washington and and actually make progress happen,” she said. “I want to work with our Democratic colleagues in Washington. We’ve done so much already in that effort but unfortunately unrealized because of politics. It’s time to put all of that aside. It’s time to look to the future for this country.”
This time, instead of a Contract with America, congressional Republicans should propose a Contract with Obama. Agree to get something done on jobs, tax reform and immigration. If this election spurs cooperative work rather than deeper gridlock, it will be a victory for all Americans.