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David Gaul
Shelby County Democratic Party Co-Chair


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David Gaul
Donna Clothier
Kathleen Cue

THE ROAD TO ST. HELENA

Do you hear it?  The sound is deafening.  It's not a diesel-powered locomotive.  It's not the roar of an F5 tornado.  It's not the crash of ocean waves upon a rocky shore.  It's not the screeching, discordant sound of a heavy metal concert where the amplifiers are turned up to eleven.  It's not the explosive demolition of a mountainside to make way for a railway tunnel.  It's not the roar of standing-room-only crowd cheering a Hail-Mary pass for a game-winning touchdown with no time left on the clock.  No, it's none of these things.

But again, the sound is deafening.  Without proper sound-guard protection, one's ears will bleed.  And there's no escaping the sound.  It's everywhere.  It's nationwide.  Furthermore, the echo of this sound will go on and on and on for a long, long time.

The sound to which I refer has been caused by the epic collapse of the Republican Party's strategy to break the Democratic Party and President Obama by counting on the failure of the Affordable Care Act.  They staked everything on this strategy.  They bet the house and mortgaged the country for the sake of this strategy.  They willingly and with evident glee spat upon the poor and less fortunate for the sake of this strategy, and now it has all come crashing down into a twisted heap of Republican scrap. Former South Carolina Senator and now Heritage Foundation President Jim Demint said this would be Obama's Waterloo.  He was half right, but unfortunately for Demint and the demented Republican Party, Obama turned out to be Wellington, and the Republicans now are headed for St. Helena.  Exile is the best thing for them, for that is what they have become, a party in exile.

Every single Republican in every dark, dank and musty corner of GOPland has been wrong.  All of them.  Charles Grassley, Steve King, Mitch McConnell, John Boehner, Sarah Palin, Marco Rubio, Rand Paul, Newt Gingrich, Mitt Romney, Bobby Jindal, Scott Walker, Rick Perry, Michele Bachmann, Ted Cruz and every other dimwitted, tircorn hat-wearing tea party activist and townhall crier has been wrong.  There's a guy who lives near me with homemade yard signs on his property declaring "Obama lies; healthcare dies."  That idiot is wrong.  It is metaphysically impossible to be more wrong than Republicans have been on this issue.  Not a single prediction they've made about Obamacare has been right.  They're like the Mayans predicting the end of the world.

The Republican Party surrendered what little dignity it had back in 2009 to the insipid tea party movement.  When it did so, the collective IQ of the party feel to undetectable levels.  They became, as I have said before, the zombie party, a party dead to any new ideas and rotting to its core.  Their singular fixation on ruining the Obama presidency befuddles the mind.  Even in the aftermath of the Crash of '08, Republicans refused to work constructively with him to help save the country.  They fought tooth and nail every attempt he made to resurrect the economy. 

And they're still at it.  Recently House Republicans passed Paul Ryan's latest austerity budget--still called The Path to Prosperity--that would stomp on poor people and senior citizens while rewarding the rich and well off.  Both Steve King and Tom Latham voted for this budget that calls for the repeal of the Affordable Health Care Act and establishes a fund needed to dismantle the law.  Iowa's two Republican congressman also voted to privatize Medicare, ironically turning it into something that more closely resembles Obamacare.  Imagine that. 

Ryan is hip to the idea of giving states block grants for things like Medicaid and SNAP, trusting that they will do the right and proper things with this money for the good of their citizens.  That's a joke.  Some states would, but others would not.  We have the evidence right before our eyes even now.  Twenty-four states have refused Medicaid expansion money under the Affordable Healthcare Act that would expand health care coverage to their poorest citizens.  Republican governors in those states have refused the money.  As President Obama stated recently, they have done this out of "political spite."  The block grant philosophy that Ryan is enamored with would have to be run through whatever ideological sieve a particular state is operating under, putting the people of those states at the mercy of countless politicians. 

The Ryan budget is a sad document.  Read it and judge for yourself.  It contains no new ideas.  It offers prosperity only to those already properous, while forcing austerity on to the rest of us.   It seeks to balance the budget by breaking the spines of poor people.  It paints a portrait of gloom and doom, but never explains just how a balanced budget generates a masterpiece economy.  Fortunately, the only way this document could ever come to fruition is for Democrats to let it happen.  Republicans are counting on that.  They hope and offer fervent prayers on Sundays that Democrats this November will again be asleep at the switch as we were in 2010. 

The tea party horde ambushed and blindsided the nation four years ago, and we have been dealing with the consequences ever since.  The pundits seem to think that it will happen again.  Of course, these same pundits said that the goal of reaching seven million signups for Obamacare would never be achieved by the end of March.  They were wrong about that, and they're going to be wrong about 2014.  We know what the Republicans are up to this time.  We've seen what happens when we take things for granted. Not again.      

There is absolutely no reason why Democrats cannot prevail.  Obamacare is working.  Own it!  Democrats did that.  Signups have topped eight million.  Every Republican prediction regarding it has been wrong.  Furthermore, the economy is growing.  Job growth is accelerating.  Energy production is expanding.  Inflation remains under control.  Republicans predicted the exact opposite regarding all of these economic parameters. 

Nevertheless, In the coming months, Republicans will tell Americans why they don't deserve a rise in the minimum wage.  They will tell Americans why they should have their health care taken away by the repeal of Obamacare.  They will tell women why they shouldn't have a say regarding their reproductive choices.  They will tell Americans why it's a good thing to have more guns available for us to be shot with.  They will tell Americans that the federal government is their enemy.  They will tell Americans that we need to fight either Iran, Syria, Putin or all three.  They will tell those who want to be Americans that their is no pathway to citizenship for them.  They will tell Americans that renewable energy is bad and should be taxed.  They will tell Americans that marriage equality does not extend to eveyone.  They will tell Americans that climate change is a myth and that's it's okay to keep burning fossil fuels and pumping greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. 

It's an agenda from hell.  If their agenda were a restaurant menu, it would be a menu offering nothing but cold, intestinal tripe on a paper plate with plastic silverware.  It's an agenda they can't win with no matter how much money they spend flogging it.  The linchpin of their agenda--the failure of Obamacare--has now collapsed.  They have nothing left to fall back on.  They have cried wolf too often.  They have burned all their bridges.  They're Wile E. Coyote stuck on the tree limb that he's just sawed off.

And now you know what the deafening sound is.  It's Republicans... shrieking!




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