Wednesday, November 05, 2014
The Left And The Midterms..Denial, The First Stage Of Grief
The results of the midterms are in, and the Republican wave election that wasn't supposed to be one is over.
In their own way, the results are even more stunning then in 2010. The Republicans not only retained their control of the House but actually added seats, and took the majority in the senate by eight seats. The senate races that were supposed to be close, or result in Democrat wins - in Georgia, Kansas, Kentucky, Iowa and North Carolina - ended up being decisive Republican victories, And that included the governor's races,where Republicans held on to nine seats they were supposedly in danger of losing. In the end, Scott Walker, Rick Scott in Florida, Rick Snyder in Michigan, Sam Brownback in Kansas,and Terry Branstad in Iowa all won, and the GOP actually elected governors in three solid blue states, Massachusetts, Maryland and Illinois.
Considering the amount of voter fraud that undoubtedly occurred in some of these races, the real margin of Republican victory was likely even larger than reported.
The Left's 'war on women' tactic largely fizzled out, and some of the candidates that attempted it, like Wendy Davis in Texas and Colorado's Mark Udall (mocked as 'Mark Uterus' in the normally Democrat-friendly Denver Post)went down to defeat. While Republicans carried the majority of married women, the Democrats still led when it came to unmarried women but nowhere near what they previously managed to get. Overall, according to the exit polls Democrats managed to take the vote among woman by a mere 5%, 52% versus 47% for Republicans, while the GOP won male voters by 56% to 42%.
The Latino turnout was nowhere near what the Democrats needed, and while blacks turned out in places like Georgia and North Carolina, the numbers there were insufficient to win in those states as well as nationally.
These trends indicate something just as the professional Left's reaction - and the president's - to last night tells us what to expect in the next two years.
In looking at how the Left responded, there are several things they mostly had in common.All of them talked about the midterm electorate being whiter and older than a normal presidential election and about what a 'tough map' it was for Democrats. Few if any of them mentioned the fact that this was a referendum on President Obama and his policies, as the president himself stated frequently in his efforts to gin up turn out.
Supposing that this "young non-white electorate" these people are talking about favors Democrats or simply favored Obama in the past is a rather interesting question when you consider that the likely Democrat nominee in 2016 will be the really old white lady who they rejected in 2008.
Anyone who's actually being honest knows that President Obama won the majority of the black vote and continues to enjoy their support (at least on paper) based to a significant extent on racial grounds. The president and the Democrats spent considerable effort wooing this group by telling them that President Obama was indeed on the ballot and that he was in danger of being impeached if they didn't turn out en masse. Posters featuring a lynching that took place in the 1920's and telling black voters that if they didn't turn out those days would be returning were circulated throughout the South. The fact they mostly didn't is a sign that perhaps enough of them actually took a look at this president's policies and the way they have disproportionally hurt black America to have some second thoughts.
The same is true of women in general, even unmarried women. Married women are generally women with families, and among their primary concerns is security at home and opportunities for themselves and their children. To a lesser extent the same is true of unmarried woman, many whom know that the fairy tales about Republicans wanting to ban contraception are nonsense. What both groups see for themselves is this president's failure to deal with threats abroad or even potential epidemics as well as the increased cost of living and their own reduced economic opportunities.The old story about this being 'Bush's fault' is simply past its sell by date, and it smells worse the longer it continues to be thrown out there.
This is going to affect the 'Democrat coalition', especially as out of the record 100 women in the new congress, the majority are Republicans. The new face of American women might very well be reflected by Iowa Senator Joni Ernst and Mia love, the new GOP congresswoman from Utah.
And speaking of which, the other thing the exit polls don't quite explain is the historic level of Republican seats in the house. The GOP at the grass roots level in the congressional districts is now stronger than it has been at any point going back all the way to the 1920s.
Avoid it however they wish, the Left can't avoid the fact that this election was a referendum on Barack Obama's dysfunctional presidency.Yes, denial, with a healthy helping of sour grapes.
Not even the president can avoid this reality, although he continues to do so.
The president, in a fit of temper refused to send the usual congratulatory messages to GOP leaders Mitch McConnell and instead gave a desultory press conference today. Here's what he said:
"On Friday, I look forward to hosting the entire Republican and Democratic leadership at the White House to chart a new course forward. Obviously, Republicans had a good night, and they deserve credit for running good campaigns. Beyond that I'll leave it to all of you and the professional pundits to pick through the results.
What stands out to me though, is the American people sent a message, one they've sent for several elections now. They expect the people they elect to work as hard as they do. They expect us to focus on their ambitions and not ours. They want us to get the job done. All of us in both parties have a responsibility to address that sentiment. Still, as president, I have a unique responsibility to make this town work.
To everyone that voted, I want you to know that I heard you. To the two-thirds of voters who chose not to participate in the process yesterday, I hear you too. All of us have to give more Americans a reason to feel like the ground is stable beneath their feet, that the future is secure, there's a path for young people to succeed, and folks in Washington are concerned about them. So I plan on spending every moment of the next two plus years doing the my job the best I can to keep this country safe and make sure more Americans share in its prosperity. "
OK, the actual turnout in the midterms is estimated to be in the mid 40's rather than one third, but what's one more fairy tale from this president? What the actual message the president sent was that the GOP wave - a 'good night' as he phrased it - had nothing to do with him or his policies, but was simply because people are dissatisfied with things 'not getting done'. Which of course is solely due to GOP obstructionism!
Just compare this to what Speaker John Boehner had to say, that he was "humbled by the responsibility the American people have placed with us."
"But this is not a time for celebration," he said. "It's time for government to start getting results and implementing solutions to the challenges facing our country, starting with our still-struggling economy."
For all the president's talk about 'working together', it's pretty obvious this president has no intention of doing so. For instance, he has already signaled that he's going ahead with amnesty for illegal aliens by executive order during the lame duck session as well as pushing through whatever appointments he can..such as a new, radical attorney general like Thomas Perez.
A real leader, of course would abstain from such tactics, obey the will of the people and try to work out an acceptable compromise with the new congress. That's not what we're dealing with here.
Columnist Peggy Noonan, hardly a right wing Republican, had a column in the Wall Street Journal this week that examined how past presidents like George W. Bush and Bill Clinton dealt with this situation
She referred to their responses as "the sound of political graciousness" and said "it would be nice to hear it from Mr. Obama on Wednesday." Needless to say, we didn't nor will we. Instead, the president will go ahead with actions sure to infuriate the incoming congress and torpedo any ideas they have about working with him before they even take their seats.
Another thing a lot of the professional Left had in common in their responses was a call for the president to use his veto and for the Democrats to use the filibuster to stop the new GOP majorities from using their new clout to accomplish anything. The strategy is obvious...to keep things in gridlock which they will later attempt to blame on Republicans in 2016.
The Republicans need to remember that what happened last night wasn't so much an endorsement of the GOP as a realization that the democrats have failed to govern, that the country is very much on the wrong track and that this is a last chance to get it right.
They were, after all, elected to stop President Obama's agenda and reverse it.
Harry Reid effectively eliminated the use of the filibuster and changed the rules of the senate to please himself. He exercised total contempt for the GOP minority and Republicans were actually locked out of the room when it came to drawing up major legislation like the bogus Stimulus and ObamaCare, something unprecedented in American history. The Republicans should utilize Reid's 'innovations' as a guide and do the same. And a good place to start would be to explain to the American people that they are bringing to a vote over 200 pieces of legislation passed by the House that Senator Reid exercised a one man veto over and kept from ever even coming to the floor.
They are there to govern, and if they fail to demonstrate their ability to do so, the door swings both ways. Here's hoping they take that to heart and proceed to act on it.