|Democrats after the 2010 election|
President Obama came close, but he still just cannot admit that his radical policies and their effects on the economy are the cause of his devastating political rebuke. For most of his press conference, AN ODDLY DEPRESSED OBAMA VOTED PRESENT, as he all but said that THE PROBLEMS ARE MOSTLY OURS, NOT HIS — or at least not his agenda but perhaps an occasional inadequate communication…
I thought Obama was supposed to be so smart?
THE IDEA THAT WE ARE GOING TO COPY EU SOCIALISM IS DEAD. So is Keynesian massive borrowing. So is the promised second wave of Obamism, such as cap-and-trade and blanket amnesty. Obama’s supporters can brag that erstwhile absolutely safe senior Democratic senators like Boxer and Reid managed to get reelected, but they must understand that Obama’s vision and his method of enacting it simply turned off the vast majority of the country.
The Next Two Years
Obama's challenge over the next two years looks more difficult than Clinton's, in several ways.
Partly, this is because Barack Obama is no Bill Clinton. When the Democrats lost in 1994, Clinton's reaction the next day was: "THEY SENT US A CLEAR MESSAGE. I GOT IT."
YOU DIDN'T HEAR WORDS LIKE THAT FROM OBAMA on Wednesday. He blamed his party's reverses on the slow pace of economic recovery, on the "ugly mess" of deal-making in Congress and on the White House bubble that makes him look isolated. The only specific failing the president acknowledged on his part was his failure to keep the business community on his side. Where Clinton accepted — grudgingly — that his party had overreached and needed to move toward the center, OBAMA INSISTED THAT EVERYTHING HIS ADMINISTRATION HAD DONE WAS RIGHT, EVEN IF SOME OF IT WAS MISUNDERSTOOD.
That's a defensible argument, but it sounds out of touch the day after so many voters abandoned his party. And it reflects an important difference between Obama and Clinton: Clinton is a centrist from Arkansas who spent much of his career striking deals with conservatives. OBAMA IS A LIBERAL FROM CHICAGO WHO HAS SUCCEEDED, SO FAR, MOSTLY BY APPEALING TO HIS PARTY'S BASE.
Unwilling to delay until tomorrow mistakes that could be made immediately, DEMOCRATS USED 2010 TO BEGIN LOSING 2012. Trying to preemptively drain the election of its dangerous (to Democrats) meaning, all autumn Democrats described the electorate as suffering a brain cramp, an apoplexy of fear, rage, paranoia, cupidity - something. Any explanation would suffice as long as it cast what voters were about to say as perhaps contemptible and certainly too trivial to be taken seriously by the serious.
It is amazing the ingenuity Democrats invest in concocting explanations of voter behavior that erase what voters always care about, and this year more than ever - ideas. THIS ELECTION WAS A NATIONWIDE RECOIL AGAINST BARACK OBAMA'S IDEA OF UNLIMITED GOVERNMENT.
THE MORE HE DENOUNCED REPUBLICANS AS THE PARTY OF "NO," THE BETTER REPUBLICANS DID. His denunciations enabled people to support Republicans without embracing them as anything other than impediments to him.
And the more Obama campaigned for people, the worse they did.
The year 2010 was full of surprises, and not just the scope of the wave that swamped Democrats and carried Republicans into the House majority, a strong position in the Senate, a big majority in governorships and a record number of state legislative seats.Actually this year saw Republicans elect African Americans, and minority candidates and these people were elected from white majority districts. Republicans really do represent the American dream vs the Democrats who seem to stand for quotas.
Surprise: At least 10 SENIOR HOUSE DEMOCRATS, EACH WITH 18 YEARS' SERVICE, went down, including three committee chairs.
Surprise: THE FIRST LATINA GOVERNOR OF AMERICA WAS ELECTED, and she's a Republican (Susannah Martinez of New Mexico).
Surprise: In fact, THE ONLY LATINO GOVERNORS IN THE U.S. ARE ALL REPUBLICAN (New Mexico, Nevada and Puerto Rico).
Surprise: Three of four candidates for whom the president campaigned in the last week were defeated. (well maybe this one isn’t a surprise).
Tuesday’s other elections
Heading into Tuesday's election to fill more than 80 percent of the nation's 7,382 state legislative seats, DEMOCRATS CONTROLLED 60 CHAMBERS, WHILE REPUBLICANS HAD 36 and two were tied
REPUBLICANS SAW A NET GAIN OF AT LEAST 680 SEATS in state legislatures, giving them control of chambers in Alabama, Indiana, Iowa, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, the NCSL reported.
Four chambers remain in play, including the New York Senate.
ELECTION RESULTS SO FAR HAVE REPUBLICANS IN CHARGE OF 54 LEGISLATIVE CHAMBERS, WITH DEMOCRATS CONTROLLING 38 AND TWO CHAMBERS WITH A PARTISAN SPLIT -- the Alaska Senate and the Oregon House. Control of four chambers remains undecided.
This elections was a disaster for the Democrats at every level. It wasn't just at the national level. The Democrat brand appears to be more tarnished than even the Republican brand.
Obama’s turn to change
What is the most damaging — Democrats losing control in the House, the GOP falling short of control in the Senate, the decimated ranks of centrist and conservative Democrats, the coming investigations, the loss of 19 state legislatures to the Republicans, who will now have a lock on redistricting, or the flight of independents, women and suburban voters to the GOP? For President Obama, preparing a reelection campaign for 2012, IT WOULD BE HARD TO IMAGINE A WORSE OUTCOME TO THE 2010 MIDTERM ELECTIONS.
Democrats have now vacated the South and the Midwest, and Republicans have reclaimed territory Obama won in 2008, including Pennsylvania, Florida, Indiana, North Carolina, Virginia, Ohio, Michigan and Wisconsin. THE ELECTION SHRANK THE OBAMA COALITION THAT WON IN 2008, WITH WOMEN, INDEPENDENTS, ROMAN CATHOLICS AND SUBURBAN VOTERS ALL TRENDING AWAY FROM DEMOCRATS. Seniors showed up in high numbers, and a majority of them voted for Republicans.
A majority of voters oppose the healthcare reform law and punished Democrats who supported it. REPUBLICANS IN CONGRESS PLAN TO DE-FUND AS MUCH AS THEY CAN OF THE LAW, and any Democrats remaining from swing districts will be inclined to join Republicans to support at least some, if not all, of the rescissions.
Beyond joining with Republicans to pass spending cuts, and additional tax cuts, education reform is likely the only issue fellow Democrats would like to see President Obama push in 2011. Any IDEAS ON ENERGY REFORM THAT HAVE ALREADY BEEN REJECTED not only by Republicans but by Democrats, even when they had more votes, are out of the question — just ask Sens. Kent Conrad (D-N.D.), Jim Webb (D-Va.), Jon Tester (D-Mont.), Ben Nelson (D-Neb.), Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) and other Democrats up for reelection in 2012. IMMIGRATION REFORM THAT COUPLES EARNED LEGALIZATION WITH BORDER SECURITY? FORGET IT.