elephant in drivers seatYou would think with the Democrats having eight years in the presidency, that by the time the 2016 election came around, the Republicans might be in good shape. After all, the Obama presidency, so far, has not especially distinguished itself. And its effort to reform Medicare with Obamacare has met stiff opposition by many, those on the left and right.

Of course, Mr. Obama could make himself and the country have a different perspective if he should accomplish the complete pullout of Afghanistan, that rat-hole of problems. Not only would it save American lives, but it would also help restore the economy and greatly reduce the budget with the savings from military operations. Americans everywhere would cheer.

Yet Mr. Obama’s loyal opposition, the Republican Party, has during the last six years of the Obama time, found itself in difficult straits, unable to deliver on promises of the right wing of their party, failing to get together on moving significant legislation forward, and having no superstar emerging into the role of senior representative of their party who might be electable as president.

Couple this too with the Republican inability to attract significant minorities to their party, especially in view of recent immigration skirmishes, and the chances for the Republicans in 2016 continue to pale.

In effect, the next Democratic nominee could win the presidency essentially by default of there not being attractive Republican leaders, perhaps even shackled by a GOP platform playing to right-wing extremists which would be unattractive to the majority of the people.

We think that the American system of political parties works best when there is some essential balance in the powers of the two political parties. When either one has complete control of the system, unusual powers tend to create difficult and unchallenging situations. Unfortunately, the inability of the two parties to work together in recent years challenges this assumption.

Of course, during the Obama years, the Republicans have had control of the House of Representatives, and may continue to have that control in the next Congress. After all, key conservative Republicans are finding themselves in cozy districts in an increasing number. The gerrymandering that allows comfortable districts makes it most difficult for Democrats to easily change the make-up of the House.

It’s different in the Senate, where voters on a larger stage, usually statewide, tend to be more open to the qualities of leadership of each state’s political parties. Why, even some people are projecting that in Georgia, it might be possible to elect a Democratic senator to succeed Saxby Chambliss, if that candidate was attractive, and if Republican candidates chop up each other during a primary.

So look for a divided Congress to continue for the short-term future. And as we have indicated, that could be good for the country if the two parties want to get along.

However, the quagmire that the Republicans in Congress find themselves in today may be working against a general acceptance of Republican principles by the voters in 2016’s presidential contest. As far-fetched as it seems for the Democrats and Obama right now, they seem to be more in the driver’s seat for the next presidency than are the Republicans.

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Elliott Brack

Elliott Brack

Elliott Brack is a native Georgian and veteran newspaperman. He published the weekly Wayne County Press for 12 years; was for 13 years the vice president and general manager of Gwinnett Daily News, and for 13 years was associate publisher of the Gwinnett section of The Atlanta Journal and Constitution. He now publishes, in retirement, Web sites on Gwinnett County,, and Georgia news,