Monday, November 10, 2014

The Lame Ducks Take Their Last Lap

Johnston City, TN – At 2:00 PM, Eastern Standard Time, on November 12th, the long break for congress will be over. And the Democrats, beaten, mocked, and all around whipped will have to drag themselves back into the honored halls of congress, to make their final speeches, attend their final parties, say their farewells, and generally be what is known in the political sphere as Lame Ducks.
Kay Hagan will be there, the senator who lost to a man who didn’t even need 50% of the vote to beat her. Senators from states where Democrats are supposed to win, according to the numbers, will not be coming back either. In the house, on the other side of the building, the Democrats were already down, but they could have made the difference smaller, but instead, the Republicans return with a majority larger than since before Barak Obama was born.
Of course, not every Democrat has been kicked out of congress. They were not all up for election, after all. Harry Reid will be back on the day when all the new members will be sworn in, but he will come, no longer as one the most powerful men as Washington, but instead he will the minority leader, the man who has, at times, little else to do but give press conferences on why he thinks those in power are goofing things up.
The Lame Duck Session, which still has months to go, is going to most likely be awkward and uncomfortable for everyone. The president would no doubt like to have a new attorney general very soon, but whether that will happen is uncertain, as men such as Ted Cruz have already voiced they want the president to wait. The president said Friday he would like to try working with the new congress, when it comes in, stating he does not care if ideas are Republican or Democratic, but rather if they are good.
Of course, the words are good, but men such as John Boehner (speaker of the house) are warning the president not to poison the well before the new “class of 2015” can arrive on campus. Barak Obama won't commit to not doing that, already threatening to take action by himself on immigration, without even giving the new kids a chance.
This 113th congress has been known by many as the do-nothing congress, with gridlock, stop-gap measures, and arguments at every turn. That will probably not change as these men and women go out and the youngsters come in.
There will undoubtedly be photographers chasing officials around trying to get great shots of them peering off into the sunset in the days and weeks to come. There will final toasts at dinner parties and cameras flashing every time someone waves goodbye, the photographers hoping the images reach the front page the next morning.

It is out with the old guard, in with the new. Everyone is holding their breaths now, hoping that old guard does not set the house on fire as they leave. But they probably won’t.

Andrew C. Abbott

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