With less than two months until the November elections, Republicans are already planning how they will change two years of legislation under President Obama. Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell expects to retain that post, but of a larger GOP caucus. And the party is also coveting Barney Frank’s (D-Massachusetts) chairmanship of the House financial services committee, intending, according to Spencer Bachus, senior Republican on the committee, to repeal parts of the recently passed financial reform legislation.
In a political atmosphere that expects Democrats to lose and lose big come November, Republicans’ focus has zeroed in mostly on tax and budget cuts, and the defunding or complete repeal of legislation passed under Obama. But with Tea Partiers vying with mainline Republicans, there’s speculation on how much will actually get done, through repeal, defunding, or actual government shutdown. Republican strategist Craig Shirley was quoted as saying that, if Republicans win big in November, the GOP will shortly thereafter descend into a brawl that will resemble the bar scene in “Star Wars.”
At least a few Democrats, however, seem to be jumping onto the austerity bandwagon, urged on by a Washington Post story that theorized that, had they embraced fiscal austerity earlier, their chances would be better in November (despite the fact that the CBO estimates that the unemployment rate would have been anywhere from 0.7% to 1.8% higher).
Their austerity leanings may mean nothing, however, if the survey mentioned on the Sunday morning talk shows is any indication–that Americans plan to vote for Republicans over Democrats by a 10-point margin.