1. A Split Congress Had Become Pretty Boring
For the past four years, Republicans have controlled the House, and Democrats have controlled the Senate. In the beginning—and until quite recently—this was a recipe for a thrilling, pyrotechnic variety of dysfunction. In 2011 Republicans nearly shut down the government, and brought the nation to within hours of a default on the national debt. 2012 was pretty boring, as political combat played out on the campaign trail rather than in the Capitol, but by 2013, Republicans were back at it and in October they came full circle and finally did, in fact, shut down the government….
2. Republicans Are Drunk With Power and Wildly Irresponsible
Republicans won the election overwhelmingly and the party’s rank and file are itching to assert themselves, but the party still lacks a constructive channel through which to exercise its power. That augurs for a series of confrontations between Congress and President Obama over things like annual spending levels, environmental regulation, and the Affordable Care Act. But Republicans have since been further provoked by Obama’s decision to shield several million low-priority immigrants from deportation. Now Republicans are scrambling for a response and considering everything from refusing to confirm most of Obama’s nominees to denying Obama access to the Capitol for his State of the Union Address to shutting down the government. Everything, essentialy [sic], except impeachment, and they may come around to that idea yet.