Republicans Poised to Take Senate Even Though Americans Reject Their Platform

Roundup: Historians' Take
tags: Republican Party

Juan Cole is the Richard P. Mitchell Professor of History and the director of the Center for South Asian Studies at the University of Michigan. His latest book, Engaging the Muslim World, is just out in a revised paperback edition from Palgrave Macmillan.

A lot of political analysts think it is entirely possible that the Republicans will take the senate next November. This development won’t change much, in all likelihood, if it does occur. The Republican majority in the House of Representatives can already block most legislation, and in 2013 it dedicated itself the the proposition that the country must be punished for re-electing Barack Obama, by being denied virtually any new needed legislation at all. The Republicans won’t have a two-thirds majority in the Senate, and so won’t be able to over-rule an Obama veto.

What is odd, and damning of the current American political system, is that the Republican Party’s major platform positions are roundly rejected by the American people. That is, they are ideologically a minority party. And yet they manage to win elections.

The Republican Party stands against gay marriage. But some 55% of Americans have begun saying they support it.

The Republican Party wants to overturn Roe v. Wade and outlaw abortion. But a majority of Americans say they support abortion in some or all cases, and only about a fourth want to forbid it altogether....

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