Here is what you need to know:
The Republicans plan to attempt to pass a budget resolution in THIS Congress that would allow the NEXT Congress (taking office in 2017) to pass a repeal of Obamacare for a potential Republican President to sign. Why? So the Senate Democrats would not be able to filibuster it.
Republican Senator Ron Johnson of Wisconsin is on-board with the plan so long as there is a cancellation policy in effect should the Democrats take back the Senate. Yes, you read that right. he wants it written that if Republicans hold the Senate, it would only take 51 votes to pass whatever the Republicans want to pass (like a repeal of Obamacare, maybe an overturn of Roe v. Wade, maybe a return to pre-1960’s voting laws), but if Democrats retake the Senate it would remain 60 votes to override a filibuster.
In other words, Republicans want to change the rules for 2017 to give themselves an unstoppable majority should THEY hold the Senate and win the White House, BUT should Democrats hold the White House and retake the Senate, the Republicans want to preserve their right to be obstructionists?
Republican Senators Rob Portman of Ohio and Roy Blunt of Missouri (two other critical swing-states like Wisconsin) appear to be on board as well. Notably, both are up for re-election in 2016. I guess for them, it is all or nothing? For a Republican to win the White House, they will need to take Ohio, as no Republican has ever won without it. Wisconsin last went Republican for Reagan in 1984. And Missouri has only gone Democratic in Presidential elections three times in the last 50 years (Carter in 1976, Clinton in 1992 and 1996). So it is likely that if a Republican wins the White House, Johnson, Portman, and Blunt get to share in the spoils. And if a Democrat wins the White House, they are likely all to be unemployed.
This is critical, folks. Do you want Ted Cruz or Donald Trump or one of these other Republicans holding absolute power?
For years we have heard seemingly endless complaints from the right about President Obama behaving like a king instead of an elected leader. But Democrats only held a House Majority two years, and a Senate majority for four. As much as obstructionism seems objectionable, the Republicans in the House and Senate acted as a critical barrier to prevent President Obama from going too far.
When we start changing the rules our government operates by to benefit one political party of impede another, we as Americans are NOT getting a fair shake from our elections. We go to the voting booth and decide who we think will do the best job of promoting OUR interests over the next two, four, six years, whatever the term of the candidate we are electing. But we have the option of voting that person out and changing direction the next time we hold an election. What is being proposed here is the sort of change that brings down democracies. Are we really going to have different rules based on what party is in control? Are we really going to allow the party in power to change the rules in order to keep that power in the face of a fairly-conducted election telling them they are not running things anymore?
America has survived and flourished for 240 years. What our founding fathers created and the Constitution they crafted was the most amazing and well though-out government the world has ever known. This could change all that.
One party would make all the rules, and could change the rules as they saw fit or as they needed to for advancing their agenda. One party could pack the Federal bench with judges to give a thumbs up to these new laws. And one party might get to appoint 3-4 new Justices to the Supreme Court.
With someone like Ted Cruz doing the nominating and a Republican majority in the Senate to confirm, it is scary to imagine what might happen to America in 2017. But what is terrifying would be the irreversibly of it all. Change the laws. Pack the benches. Pack the Supreme Court. These are not things easily undone with the next election, these judicial appointments are for life. Many of us in middle-age will be dead and gone before the opportunity ever comes around to reverse the damage America could suffer in 2017.
And even if you think that is a good thing, if you think America would be better off if Republicans changed the rules so we would all live according to their values, be careful what you wish for. When the are done taking away our rights, they will come for your rights next. That is how things work when Democracy breaks down.