11/5/14

This morning, following a long night, I am happy, feeling vindicated, at times even guilty of the sin of being gleeful—but mostly hopeful.

First the facts:

  • Republicans won between 7 and 10 seats in the senate. I am going to take a stand and say most likely 9. This is a historical number of seats won in the senate by one party in one election round. Not sure if it is the biggest ever, but clearly unique. Of course its significance is catapulted further by the fact that it gives Republicans control of the Senate.
  • As important and not as broadly covered in the media are the HUGE wins in the gubernatorial races. Of the 36 states whose governors were up for election, Republicans were defending about 2/3. Democrats were expecting big gains with Walker in Wisconsin and Scott in Florida being their main targets, and both were considered to be very close races. Also Kentucky and Georgia. Republicans started the night with 29 states’ governors in their slate, itself a very high number. They lost one state— Pennsylvania. Yet they managed to keep the all-important states of Florida, Wisconsin, Georgia, and all other states that they were defending. In addition, in a shocking turn of events, they actually won 4 previously Democratic states, including the Democratic bastions of Maryland, Illinois, and Massachusetts. The result will be a Republican control of about 32 states. I am willing to bet that this is an unprecedented number of states going to one party.
  • Republicans increased the majority in the House of Representatives to historical levels by winning 10-12 additional seats there.

Why am I happy?

I believe that the American voter delivered a complete repudiation of the socialist, big government, isolationist agenda that President Obama brought to the White House and to the Democratic Party six  years ago. The extent of the Republican win in both the Senate and the governorships cannot be interpreted any other way. This repudiation was overdue by at least two years and in my mind should have happened six years ago, but better late than never. Maybe the American public had to get the taste of this “medicine” to understand how bitter it is. In the immortal words of Winston Churchill that I am often fond of quoting (he is a man worth quoting!): “You can always count on Americans to do the right thing, after they’ve tried everything else…”

Why am I feeling vindicated?

For four years now I’ve been writing this blog about the failures of the President’s vision and agenda, about the damage both domestically and foreign, resulting from his pursuing of the wrong policies on nearly everything that matters. I spoke about it for two years before I started writing it. For six years it felt like no one was listening. I felt like a lone voice in the wilderness. True in 2010 there was a bit of respite when the Republicans took control of the House, but while on the one hand that allowed them to slow down the President’s agenda, it was not enough to stop it and it probably had the unintended consequence of giving him enough of a “foil” to reflect against and win the elections in 2012 (as, by the way, I predicted will happen in this blog before the 2010 elections).

It feels good to know that I am not alone anymore and that I was right all along. It is clear to me and it is supported by a few sporadic polls that the public regrets giving Obama his second term. I am going to go out on a limb here and state that there is no way that a person with Obama’s credentials could ever have won the White House six years ago if he was not an African American. Obama had ZERO experience in managing anything; he had no record of leadership ability (we now know that he has none); and his only positive was that he was eloquent and articulate. Is that enough to get a job as difficult as the Chief executive of the USA? Nonsense. Indeed his two election wins were nonsense and can only be explained by this rare and unique American combination of an obsession with their racist past, and a reluctance to be unkind to people—firing them. The USA and the entire world paid a heavy price for this indulgence.

Gleeful?

I am not normally given to “Schadenfreude” but watching CNN and some of their liberal pundits (and even one or two on Fox news) trying to do mental acrobatics to present this drubbing as anything but total repudiation of the president’s policy, agenda, and vision was simply heartwarming. I am sorry but it was. The old “do not confuse me with facts I made up my mind” mentality was on show big time.

Take for example Juan Williams on Fox News who was asked, time and time again as the evening progressed and results were becoming more and more obvious, if this is a “wave” election and is this a repudiation of the President’s policies. In the face of all the facts he refused to accept it and maintained that it was simply an anti-incumbent move. I wonder if this is true, why is it that practically ALL the of the losses were on the Democrats side? Not ONE Republican senator lost his seat, in spite of at least three significant challenges. Of the so many Republican governors that were supposed to have difficult elections and possibly lose, only one did. Yet four Democratic governors lost. None of the Republican representatives lost their seats, not even one in NYC who was indicted on TWENTY counts of fraud… (not sure I support that, but still it makes my point). Williams was still adamant that this was an anti-incumbent night….

On CNN Sally Kohn was asked if this was a “shellacking” (the famous term coined by the President to describe the 2010 losses in the House of Representatives). She responded that no, it is just a speed bump…really? The U.S. map as CNN showed many times is red all over. Blue can be seen only in NY and the West Coast, and that is a speed bump?

She went on to suggest that “clearly” the American public on a “bi-partisan” basis prefer the Democratic agenda, such as minimum wage and immigration reform, etc. Again, what does a repudiation look like if what happened yesterday was support?

An African-American commentator on CNN raised the ominous prospect in dramatic tones that these elections are indicative of the loss of democracy, no less. That is his takeaway from these elections. Why? Because the percentage of voters was low (as is always the case in mid-term. There was nothing special about yesterday except maybe that Democrats were not able to get THEIR voters in as many numbers to the voting booth) and the amount of money spent on the elections was high. By the way, Democrats spent more than Republicans in most cases. And as George Will said on Fox, Americans spent twice as much last week on Halloween candy than what was spent on these elections…

But most of all, I am hopeful.

On the Governors’ side, I believe that Republicans have extended their control because their free-market policies worked. Interestingly of the five states that will change hands, all of the new governors are all successful businessmen, including the sole Democratic gain in Pennsylvania. Rick Scott in Florida is another one. The prevalence of successful businessmen on governorship side bodes well for America.

On the national stage, Republicans were given a chance to show that there is a different, better way to govern. Control of congress is a chance of a lifetime for Republicans to show that they can do it, that they can govern.

I am hopeful that we will see in rapid succession:

  • Tax reform
  • Entitlement reform
  • Immigration reform
  • Comprehensible energy policy based on sound economics and not voodoo science.
  • Repeal and replace the ACA (health care)
  • Repeal and replace Dodd-Franks and while they are doing that, Sarbanes Oxley too!
  • Harsh restraint of the regulatory overdrive of EPA, IRS, FCC, and others.
  • Budget process reform
  • Muscular Foreign Affairs/National Security policy starting with the absolute and urgent change of direction vis-a-vis Iran.

Clearly the president will veto some or all of these acts. But so what? At least we will know exactly who stands for what. Once he vetoes these acts, Republicans can and should work with him to get some things done by giving in to some of his demands if they are reasonable. Negotiate and compromise. But at least the lines should be drawn clearly. Bear in mind that getting something through Senate will require some democratic participation in order to get the required 60 votes. So whatever acts come out of the Congress and reach the President’s desk are already a compromise.

Today is the first day of the rest of our lives. Let’s hope that it will better than the last 6 years.