Just a note to say that, as the 2014 political season develops, I will be getting more political here on this blog. I hope you all will put up with it (and especially not blame the cats at THEIR blog).
I am an unabashed Progressive (former Progressive Republican until purged in the "Reagan Revolution". Relatively non-ideological "what works, works", mostly looking for what helps construct a financially-healthy middle-class (with upward mobility to all, but reasonable rewards for abilty and effort), and some balance on top incomes for the basic benefit of society.
In other words, I regret that TODAY'S Republicans are trying to eliminate the middle class, destroy fair voting, and suborn the functionality of general governance.
I don't say that lightly. I majored in Political Science and specialized in Political Behavioralism (essentially Political Psychology; why voters vote as they do and why politicians act as they do).
So, part of me hopes certain politicians with certain stated goals will win; part of me realizes that those stated goals will not entirely determine the election results; and part of me sees the deeper crass strategies, lies, and dirty tricks that have nothing to do with truth and reality.
I'll be discussing all of those as the 2014 election develops.
Today's observation? The establishment House Republicans have refused to act on any legislation for the last few months and won't until late February 2014...
Due to highly partisan re-districting (changing the borders of House districts to assure a majority for one party Gerrymandering), the House of Representatives will stay Republican for several election cycles (The Senate is not subject to "Gerrymandering" because State borders are not changeable as in-State House Districts are). So the "safe" Republicans House Districts mean that the winner of the party primary is nearly always the winner of the general election in November. And THAT means that the only danger to a Republican House Member is from a more conservative challenger in the party primary election.
The incumbent Representatives don't want that kind of primary challenge, of course. So they are playing a waiting game right now. The deadlines for primary challenges will end in January/February in most places. So if the incumbents actively do NOTHING for several months now to avoid a more conservative primary challenge, they are home free in November for another 2 years.
So... When the House Republicans do nothing NOW, they aren't upsetting the more conservative base and encouraging a primary challenge.
Look for establishment Republicans to become more active and (slightly) less partisan starting in March when they are free of Tea Party party Primary challenges...
Now aren't you glad you majored in something less weird? Like engineering or 14th century French poetry? In politics, what they SAY never matters. Its WHY they say it. Words within wheels around goals, surrounded by campaign funding!
I'll try to explain most of what goes on as the election cycle progresses.