The Republican Party is about to return from a two-year banishment to political Siberia, back into the mainstream as it seats its House majority for the 112th Congress.
While change has occurred in the past two years (no matter what the rhetoricians say), and it has ben some of the most progressive change in recent congressional history, mind you; the Republicans spent most of their time trying to find the tail they lost in the 2008 presidential elections.
For the past two years, they have spent their energy whining and crying on the sidelines, playing the obstructionist role and fanning the flames of dissent through third-party extremists that they identify with only in their common disdain for President Obama. While the president stopped our economy from a free-fall collapse; saved two industries (the banking and auto industries); withdrew troops from Iraq, and became the first chief executive in 100 years to successfully pass health-care reform, the Republican Party refused to give him an ounce of credit and took every opportunity to snipe at him or prevent him from looking like the statesman that he is.
The ideologues played on public frustration over the economy, and the silent negrophobia that swept the country over the election of the first Black president, and combined it with the historical election slide that the party in power experiences, to produce the largest gain in a midterm election ever. It's simply a continuation of the American people's political sophistication in using a divided government (a major party control in each branch of government) to allow the parties to "check" each other. But somehow, that too was Obama's fault. However, most of these new Republicans got elected by Obama-bashing, and represent some of the most extreme views in Congress since the days of the Dixiecrats. They made promises to return the government to the people (whoever that is, although in truth, we know). Well, they 'bout to get their chance.
The two-mouthed, two-faced "party of no" claims it can bring fiscal responsibility back to the federal government, and reduce the deficit, and repeal health care, and extend the tax cuts for the rich and bring about compassionate immigration reform. It says that "Obama-change" has not been change.
Well, I don't know what you call it, but the 111th Congress will go down in history as one of the most productive ever, right up there with those Radical Republicans of the Reconstruction era. You know them, those Lincoln Republicans, as they like to selectively claim when it's convenient.
The 112th Congress has its work cut out for it. We know from eight years of experience prior to 2008 that the Republicans will posture themselves as representing the middle class, but they clearly represent the rich and privileged. We know the Republicans will claim to support education, and jobs, and home ownership, and families, but will dump them in a heartbeat for business tax credits and budget cuts. Business-funded political action committees underwrote the return of the Republican Party, after an assist from the U.S. Supreme Court, of course.