Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Presidential Repudiation

Senator Mike Lee (R-UT)
The results of today's election continue to trickle in at this writing.  My favorite candidate, Mike Lee (R-UT), easily won election as Utah's next Senator.  At 38, he becomes the youngest member of the United States Senate.  Congratulations to Mike.  I backed him from the moment I was first introduced to his candidacy back in January.

I was also delighted to see Gary Herbert retain the Utah governorship in this special election.  The Philpot race was a narrow loss to incumbent Jim Matheson.  Would have liked to see Morgan Philpot, but it was not to be.

Nationally, the big news tonight is the nationwide repudiation of President Barack Obama's liberal agenda.  This swing in House seats into the Republican column will prove to be HISTORIC!  Since World War II, in 1946, when the Republicans picked up 56 seats, and then in 1994, when they won 52 seats, tonight looks like the biggest gain ever.  They will pick up an estimated 65 seats. 

That's a tsunami.  Independents once again swung the election -- this time they swung to the Republicans.  This is a center-right country.  Obama would have had to hit it out of the ballpark with his socialistic agenda in order to avoid this punishment, and he couldn't pull it off.  He got whacked.  The turnout was stunning for a midterm election. 

It appears they will also pick up six or seven Senate seats, maybe as many as nine governorships, putting the number of governorships somewhere in the range of 32 nationwide.  That's a stunning victory by any measurement. 

One would have to say that the angst among voters has most to do with the sour economy.  Voters are impatient these days.  It would be foolish to claim victory if you're a Republican, because from my vantage point it seems this was mostly anger directed at Democrats for the direction the country has been taken.  I don't believe for one moment the electorate is as much impressed with Republicans as they are opposed to Democrats.

There is a little reported reality emerging.  The Democratic caucus will be more, much more, liberal than it was because the so-called "blue dog Democrats" were demolished nationwide.  Conversely, the Republicans are going to be more conservative than ever before.  Don't hold your breath waiting for bipartisanship to emerge suddenly in the aftermath.

Mid-term Election Map, 2010
This was a lot of anger and anxiety, resulting in a repudiation of incumbents across the board, and this is only the beginning.  Republicans are more conservative, more vocal, and the electorate will not wait long before they demand results.  Angry that no one is listening, today they are making Washington listen.  They were ignored over Obamacare, TARP and stimulus spending.  Today they were screaming.  The Republicans had better listen up or they will be gone.  The greatest rejection was of the president's policy failure.  The same fate awaits the Republicans in 2012 if they don't get something done quickly. 

There is one race that stands out among all the rest demonstrating just how deeply the anger has run against this president.  Obama made twelve trips to Ohio to campaign for Ted Stickland, and Vice-President Joe Biden was there eight times.  It was John Kasich (R-OH), however,  who pulled it out by a comfortable margin.

We're not thrilled to vote for Republican candidates, but the alternative was unacceptable.  The message is loud and clear:  Get the deficit down, reduce spending, reduce national debt, get the economy going, and reject Obamacare.

The question is whether President Obama will continue to govern as a liberal idealogue, or will he move to the middle where the moderate voters reside and determine elections. 

Obama said last week, "The people are acting out of fear without knowledge about what I've done for them."  That's an amazingly dense analysis for someone who is known to be an effective speech giver.  Is it that he can't communicate effectively, or are the American voters so smart that they know EXACTLY what they don't want?

I say it's complete, absolute and unequivocal presidential repudiation.


  1. I had to chuckle to myself as I drove behind a car yesterday with a bumper sticker that said something like, "Democrats: Take America Back - 2006". The pendulum swings, and swings, and swings, eh?

    Boehner said it well when he said, "This is not a time for celebration, but a time to roll up our sleeves and get to work". As soon as one party or the other gets arrogant, we all lose. Let's hope the swing brings a little balance back, but remain cautiously optimistic and thoughtful. It's a crazy world we live in, but this is a great place and time to be alive.

  2. Speaking of California, since you live there, here's an irony: The voters in California reject the idea of legalizing marijuana, yet elect the biggest pothead of the sixties, Jerry Brown, as the next governor. Go figure

  3. Don't try to make sense of the way Californians vote. It's senseless. I mean, we don't necessarily represent the shiniest stars in Washington, ya know? Boxer re-elected? Ugh.

  4. I am glad to see that you are being more realistic. You reflect my concern at the national level; the problem is not divided government, which often is a good thing, but that the divide represents a deep polarization that will be hard to pull into the center in order to make any progress. A few weeks, ago, Pat Buchannan predicted on the Mclaughlin Group that the incoming Congress will be gridlocked. Unfortunately, he might be right.

    My concern locally is the super-super majority, which is very much a reflection of the national polarity. "Absolute power corrupts absolutely", said Lord Acton. It usually leads to an arrogance that shuts out serious consideration of other points of view. In Utah, this would only deepen the existing political and social divide. We can only hope that our Republican legislators have enough humility to deliberate amongst themselves to ensure that their own proposals make good policy and those of the opposition get a fair hearing.