Sunday, December 12, 2010

The Election Results One Month Later

The final votes have been counted. Democrats pulled out the Minnesota Governorship and a New York Congressional seat while Republicans captured two New York State Senate seats.

The Republicans netted six Senate seats, 63 House seats, six governorships, over 685 state legislative seats, and control of 20 state legislative chambers, all with total failure in California. The Republicans now control 57 of the 99 state legislative chambers compared to 39 for the Democrats.

The Republicans will not be riding on the back of the bus.

The Democrats forgot one of the cardinal maxims of politics: when times are bad, voters vote their pocket book. Conversely, when economic times are good, voters vote social issues.

Democrats are shifting from the state of denial to stage of anger.

The surviving Democratic Representatives and Senators are a much more cohesive liberal bloc than ever and the triumphant Republicans more conservative. Bipartisanship may mean the President and Republicans acting together.

Many of the remaining senior democrats will retire in the 2012 elections; being out of power is a bummer.

The 112th Congress will see about 94 new members. Indeed, the last three election cycles have a large turnover in the Congressional ranks. Voters have informally installed term limits on Congress. Most of the old bulls are gone.

California joins the bluest of blue states, up there with Hawaii, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and West Virginia. If Republicans could not win a statewide race in California this year, then the prospects in the next election cycles are dim. All incumbents running for reelection, Democrat or Republican, won, including Democratic State Senator Jenny Oropeza, who passed away two weeks before election day. The Republicans actually lost two Assembly seats.

New York is almost as blue as California, but the Republicans regained control of the State Senate with a 32-30 majority, and hence can avoid total decimation in the upcoming reapportionment.

The Democratic candidate for Governor of Rhode Island blew it by saying President Obama could “take his endorsement and shove it.” A former Republican/Independent was elected.

Chicago Rules do not always work on the national level. The Chamber of Commerce, insurance companies, health insurers, big banks, big oil, Fox News, Glenn beck, Sean Hannity, and Rush Limbaugh all survived broadsides from the White House

The Old South is fading fast with the election of an Indian American woman as Governor of South Carolina, and two African American males as Congressmen from predominately while districts in Florida and South Carolina

Republicans disparage the Hispanic population at their risk. By embracing Hispanics, Republicans gained a Senate seat, two governorships, and eight Congressional seats.

High speed rail or mass transit projects are becoming economically and politically unacceptable, being canceled by new governors in New Jersey, Ohio, and Wisconsin

Cap and Trade and other climate control measures are essentially dead, except to the extent that Congress may restrict the EPA in this area

The government funding of NPR is probably coming to an end because of the indefensible, boneheaded, short sided termination of Juan Williams.

Earmarks are probably dead, at least for two years.

GITMO will remain open.

It’s now a race between California and Illinois to see which state runs out of money first.

Voters are opposed to tax increases.

President Obama’s health reform act will not be repealed, but it will be trimmed, modified, and limited. It will suffer the death of a 1,000 cuts.

The Dream Act cannot make it through the next House of Representatives, but the repeal of “Don’t ask, Don’t tell” might.

Card check will remain DOA, unless the NLRB adopts it.

The fiscal day of reckoning for public employee unions is fast approaching. The
Republican House will not bail them out.

In short,President Obama's transformative, progressive agenda has run its course.

Union money from the AFL-CIO, or public employee unions, AFSCME, SEIU, and NEA, play a major role in elections, but they cannot repel a voter tsunami.

The Chamber of Commerce, and other business money, can be as effective or ineffective as union money

As Meg Whitman can attest, expensive campaign consultants or managers , don’t always deliver results

Meg Whitman joins the list of multi-millionaires who cannot win statewide office in California.

The Tea Party is a political force to be reckoned with. It brought new blood and energy to the Republican Party. Several of its candidates were elected, and those that won in the primaries but not in November reminded Republicans what their party stands for.

Remember that the Republican Party was founded in 1854, and elected 48 out of 252 House members. Their representation rose to 90 out of 237 in 1856, and 116 of 238 in 1858. The Republicans then elected a political unknown, Abraham Lincoln, President in 1860. Lincoln won because the Democrats split the vote.

In spite of the Democratic debacle, their three leaders, President Obama, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, and soon to be House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi all retained their leadership roles.

Attorney General Eric Holder, as well as other Administrative officials, will have their feet held to the fire by the new Congress.

It takes an incompetent Democratic President to elect a Republican Congress (Carter, 1980 – Republican Senate, Clinton, 1994 – Republican House and Senate, Obama, 2010 – Republican House)

President Obama will face a primary fight in 2012.

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