Bill Maher dropped Republicans by slapping them with a bit of hard reality. The GOP may have won control of Congress, but Obama is still kicking their ass.
Maher said, “Now that they’ve wrestled his approval rating down to the basement, and grabbed control of both houses of Congress, Republicans must explain why this guy (Obama) keeps kicking your ass. It’s like one of those action movies where you tie the hero up, chain him to a chair, then he headbutts you unconscious, gets up, and leaves a note signed Django.”
Even Republicans privately admit that President Obama has completely taken back the national discussion, and pushed them into a corner where they have given themselves few options. Bonus points to Maher for making a reference to Django the title character in Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained. It does feel like the midterm election loss by his party has liberated this president.
He is no longer caught between a Republican House that is out to destroy him, and a Democratic Senate majority that was more interested in winning the battle to overcome congressional gridlock. President Obama is now the only agenda setter in the Democratic Party. He has used his freedom to attack Republicans at their weakest points. He began with the climate change deal. He followed up with a strong statement in support of net neutrality. The president took things to a completely different level with his executive actions on immigration.
Republicans thought that they would have leverage over the president if they won control of Congress, but they were wrong. There were lots of talk in Republican circles of “breaking Obama.” Instead, the exact opposite is happening. It is the fragile and divided congressional Republicans who are cracking under the pressure of having to govern.
In one key way, Obama’s domination of the Republicans should not be a surprise. The president has been outmaneuvering the GOP since Republicans took control of the House. The Republican victory has made the president stronger. To answer Bill Maher’s question, Obama continues to kick Republican ass because that is always what he has done.
The only difference is that the drubbings are front and center for all of the world to see.