Almost all of the analysis of the election results is over-complicated at best and wrong at worst. This professor has it exactly right, in an article on Huffington Post called, “2014 and the Strategic Demise of Governance.”(And I’m not just saying that because he’s from GWU.)
The Republicans set out six years ago to purposely, strategically, knowingly, deliberately, by design, pre-meditatively, and completely, with malice aforethought, stop government in its tracks and totally block it from functioning, knowing very well that: 1) the person in the White House would get the blame; while 2) they could laugh all the way to bank.
That’s all there is to it.
And, as Matt Ygelsias writes in an article called “Mitch McConnell May Be the Greatest Political Strategist in Contemporary Politics.”
To prevent Obama from becoming the hero who fixed Washington, McConnell decided to break it. And it worked. Six years into the affair, we now take it for granted that nothing will pass on a bipartisan basis, no appointment will go through smoothly, and everything the administration tries to get done will take the form of a controversial use of executive power.
It’s been ugly. But in most voters’ mind, the ugliness has attached to Obama and, by extension, Democrats. It was a very counterintuitive strategy, but it was well-grounded in the best political science available. And it worked
Obama could have done many things better, but it would not have mattered if he was Abraham Lincoln. A Congress that is determined to break government completely and not allow the president to do anything will get away with murder and be rewarded for it.