Maryann Tobin

The 2012 elections came and went, and despite the fact that Republican candidates took a beating, including in the House where Democrats received more than a million more votes than Republicans, the GOP is still clinging to the ideas that won them absolutely nothing.

Bad Republican idea #1: Reckless threats to destroy the economy

Been there, done that, and we are all tired of repetitive hostage-taking.

If the 2012 election results meant anything to Republicans, they might conclude that threatening to deliberately crash the economy – again – is not a new idea, nor is it a good one.

The last time Republicans insisted on not raising the debt ceiling limit was in August 2011, and the GOP demand was defunding Planned Parenthood. That didn’t go well.

In the end, the debt ceiling limit was raised at the eleventh hour and Planned Parenthood still had federal funding. All that was accomplished was a downgrade of America’s credit rating and the public’s opinion of the governing ability of the Republican-controlled 112th congress.

Bad Republican idea #2: Making abortion illegal

Women don’t really want old men in Washington inserting the government into their "lady parts" against their will. They also like birth control pills. So do their boyfriends and husbands.

Here is the reality that the Todd Akin’s and Paul Ryan’s of the world refuse to publically admit. Women are going to abort pregnancies, as they have done throughout history, whether they are legal or not. When done by a doctor in a clean, medical environment, the infection rate is considerably lower for the mother, and the unborn are not mangled by coat hangers in utero. Yes, that is how some back alley abortions were performed before Roe v. Wade became law in 1973.

Still, red-state legislatures can’t seem to stop themselves from obsessively pursuing laws that will force women to make even more horrible choices than abortion. This is an old idea that was soundly rejected in America more than 40 years ago. It was also rejected in the 2012 elections. Hell hath no fury in the voting booth like a war on women that includes government-forced transvaginal ultrasounds.

A better idea to reduce the abortion rate would be to fully fund birth control and public education, especially among the segments of the population that are most prone to unwanted pregnancies. Also, a 21st century update to the US adoption process could provide a viable alternative to abortion for those with moral objections.

Some women might be more likely to take an unwanted pregnancy to term if they knew their baby would go to a loving family as soon as he or she was born.

Instead of acting like nothing in the world matters but the rigid political enforcement of Catholic Church doctrine, a better idea would be to pass some new laws that would create jobs, raise wages and actually put more money into the pockets of the working-class Americans who would spend it and help the economy grow.

Bad Republican idea #3: Beating up on old people, children and the disabled

For the 2013 debt ceiling battle, Republicans have decided that instead of Planned Parenthood, their target for defunding is anything that might help children, the disabled, and seniors live their lives with some semblance of dignity.

America has too much debt, cry House Republicans. The best way to fix that problem, they claim, is to spend more money making bombs that kill people and get low income seniors and the disabled to pay for it with cuts to their Social Security checks and health care.

What do these people do in their spare time? Kick puppies?

Yes, Republicans are still licking their wounds after losing the fiscal cliff battle and reading the poll numbers. Never raising taxes on millionaires under any circumstances and taking the economy hostage in an attempt to preserve tax breaks for the wealthy was not a good idea after all. Nor is making the deficit worse by threatening to not pay America's bills.

A better idea for Republicans would be to work in the best interests of the American people, even if it means not going out of their way to pick a fight with Barack Obama over absolutely everything.

Americans do not have a genuine taste for reversion. The earth spins and the sun comes up every day. Children grow up, technology advances, and people want to look forward to something better tomorrow. That is not what the GOP is selling, and it is why the party is destined for extinction.

Give Americans a new idea that brings them closer to making their life better when they get out of bed in the morning, and they will rally. Yelling at them, scaring them, forcing them to live in the past, and threatening to strip them of everything they have worked for is not only unjustified, it’s very bad politics.