Wednesday, November 03, 2010

After The Wave

Last night was an historic repudiation of Barack Obama's agenda.

The GOP has picked up house 61 seats so far, with a number still to be decided.No less than 16 state legislatures flipped to Republican control, along with a net gain of 7 governorships. And a total of 6 Senate seats changed hands, with two more - Washington and Colorado - still too close to call.

That is extraordinary considering how many seats the GOP had to defend, which they did successfully. In 2012, Democrats will have 21 seats to defend, far more than they did this year.

Even more impressively, the Democrats were forced to defend their turf in blue states like Michigan, California, Wisconsin, Connecticut and Washington, and were nearly wiped out across the board in battleground states like Ohio, Pennsylvania, Missouri and Florida. Combined with the historic flip of state legislatures, that will have a great deal to do with what happens in 2012.

Independents broke decisively for the Republicans, by 55% to 40%. That represents a complete reversal from the last midterm in 2006, when independents voted Democrat 57% to 39%.

In four years, the independents, who were a major part of Barack Obama's coalition have deserted him and his party.

Even more telling was how the partisan divide has widened in Congress.The carnage among the Blue Dogs that came into Congress in '06 and '08 was intense, especially in the South, Mountain West and Midwest.And while the Republicans made significant gains in Congress in the Northeast, that region and the West Coast largely eluded the GOP wave.

Most of the Democrats who survived were the ones situated in solid Blue territory in those regions who were either decidedly on the Left or were in racially gerrymandered districts. Barbara Lee was re-elected in Berkeley,as were Barbara Boxer, Harry Reid, Pete Stark, George Miller, Jan Schakovsky and Barney Frank. So were Charlie Rangel and Maxine Waters.

And on the Republican side, the new congress is decidedly more conservative. It's unlikely that Marco Rubio, Kelly Ayotte, Ron Johnson, John Hoeven, Allen West, Paul Gosar, Renee Elmers,Kristi Noem and Daniel Webster are going to find much common ground with most of the surviving Democrats..especially with Obama in charge.

Because President Obama is not going to react well to the massive reversal of fortune. We will get a hint of that today, when he will make a statement at a White House press conference.

Unlike Bill Clinton, I am convinced that Obama will not seek to move to the center with the idea of taking credit for the GOP restoring fiscal sanity to win re-election in 2012. Instead, he will label last night's election as a sign that 'people are tired of obstructionism' and what he will undoubtedly call 'politics as usual' and call for the GOP led Congress to join with him to work on the country's problems - HIS way. As an ideologue as well as a narcissist he is never wrong, and if elections like last night happen, it's because the electorate is a bunch of bitter clingers who are too scared to think straight and appreciate his genius. He will not give an inch, and the far Left of the Democrat party that mostly survived will join him in digging their heels in.

With that in mind, it is actually a positive thing in a way that the Republicans did not take the Senate.That leaves Obama with control of two out of three of the levers of government, but with a firm grip on only one, the executive. The Republicans got just enough Senate Seats to prevent the Senate from becoming a rubber stamp. Obama will undoubtedly try, but he will be unable to subsequently blame the GOP for the resulting gridlock and political warfare to come.

The most important thing to understand about this election is that this was not a vote for Republicans, but, as PJ O'Rourke put it, a restraining order on Obama and his enablers. The new Republican congress is being given an opportunity. They are being sent to Washington to stop Obama's policies and to fight to institute conservative new measures, even if Obama ultimately vetoes them.

By keeping the Tea Party activists in the GOP instead of creating a third party, Sarah Palin, Jim DeMint and few others have given the Republicans a new lease on life and an opportunity to prove that they can be trusted to govern responsibly, restore fiscal sanity and move the country back on track to the ideas of the Founders. If they pass that test, 2012 will see the Republicans on track to win the presidency and cement even bigger majorities in place.If they do not, the American people will simply abandon them...not just for an election cycle or two but forever.

The choice is theirs, and it will be interesting to see what they make of it.


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Rosey said...

Mexifornia has proven itself to be an immense insane asylum, and Nevada a nuclear waste dump. The sane residents of those and other states don't deserve the havoc wreaked by the insane...

louielouie said...

if boehner stands up and accepts the criticism from the left for being the fly in the ointment, that will go a long way towards continued support from conservatives for the repubs.
if the repubs simply tread water, and boehner gets all wishywashy, then the conservatives will simply walk away.
i still think there is a lot of opposition to ms. palin in the repub party. they know if she runs it will be the end of dhimicratic lite.
i for one am glad the house/senate is polarized as it is.
i'm also glad ms. fallin was elected governor of oklahoma. we will need someone like her to guide us through the process of secession.

louielouie said...

i'm sure it's always been this way but i just never noticed it.
fox's interactive house of representative map for the US.
it really does re-enforce john edwards claim of two americas.
the metropolitan areas are blue.
those of us who have to depend on ourselves out here in flyover country are red.
you can pick out the major cities in the US simply by looking for splotches of blue.
amazing nanny state hangers-on.

Freedom Fighter said...

Actually, that's a relatively recent phenom, about the last decade or so.

It's caused by the DEms gerrymandering their safe 'seats' into increasingly concentrated areas.