Almost six years ago, Barack Obama took office with solid majorities for his party in both the House and Senate. He had 257 Democrats in the House of Representatives, and 57 in the Senate. Today, as the 114th Congress convenes, the figures are almost reversed: 246 Republicans in the House of Representatives, and 54 Republicans in the Senate.
When the Democrats took over six years ago, they were not interested in leading the whole country. In a hyper-partisan political climate, who can blame them? “Now it’s our turn” is the thought of the day when you feel your opponents have debased you and your ideas for eight years. Athletic contests have referees, but political contests have no such thing.
So the Democrats, as the Republicans before them, went at their opponents full force. They not only wanted to demonstrate their power, they wanted health care reform. The rest of the country wanted health care reform, too, so the country gave the Democrats a chance. When the country saw what the Democrats produced, many said, “No way. We don’t want that.” Over three elections – in 2010, 2012, and 2014 – voters turned out people who passed the Affordable Care Act. We have a lot of retired politicians now, who wish they were still in Congress.