Wednesday, November 03, 2010

GOP Wins House Majority - Now What?

My pre-elections predictions were off in the House gains for the GOP and may come true for the Senate. I deliberately stayed low in my amount of predicted House seat gains - I said 50 would be won - as I was a bit superstitious and didn't want to get too over the top hopeful. For the Senate, there are three Senate races too close to call as of the morning after election night. Currently the GOP gains are totalled at 6. I predicted a gain of 8 seats.

In Colorado and Washington, the incumbent Democratic senators are clinging to tiny leads with most of the precincts reporting, according to the AP. In Alaska, the AP tally shows Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski leading her two opponents in an unconventional bid to win a write-in campaign after she lost the Republican primary.

Democrats are assured of maintaining their majority in the U.S. Senate, regardless of the outcome of the outstanding races. But the final three races are crucial to determining the balance of power between Republicans and Democrats in the newly constituted Senate.

I actually think it is a good thing that the GOP didn't take back control of the Senate. More on that later.

A great line from political writer/talking head P.J. O'Rourke before election night proved as accurate as amusing - "This isn't an election, it is a restraining order." The American voter clearly said to President Obama that he must stop the madness. He must just stop. Enough is enough.

President Obama rode into office on a wave of goodwill from Americans excited to support our first bi-racial President. His record of far left politics had morphed into a man who would work with everyone, listen to all opinions and compromise for the good of the nation. His record, scant as it was in the U.S. Senate, earned him the title of the most liberal by a non-partisan political publication. His record in the Illinois state legislature was one of a record number of "present" votes cast instead of taking a stand on a yes or no vote.

America has learned a very difficult lesson - experience matters, no matter the personal story line.

The retiring Sen. Evan Bayh of Indiana said of the election results, "We overinterpretted our mandate two years ago." Yes, that would be an understatement. The reason Bayh is a retiring Senator is due to the fact that he, once thought to be a rather moderate Democrat who supported Hillary Clinton over Barack Obama in the 2008 Democratic primary, fell into line and supported the far left agenda of Obama. He voted for Obamacare and only began to put the brakes on his complete support of the Obama agenda once it was clear that the American public was rebelling against it. He realized too late that he blew whatever chance he possessed for re-election and then announced his retirement from office.

Have the Democrats received the message? Not yet according to Gallup polling results:

Given a choice of four priorities for Congress after Tuesday's elections, Democrats overwhelmingly favor passing a new economic stimulus bill, while Republicans are most likely to favor repealing the new healthcare law and cutting federal spending. These partisan differences highlight the challenges that face the lame-duck Congress that will reconvene before the end of the year, as well as the new Congress that will take office in January.

Now we await the press conference by President Obama as he talks about the election results. We'll soon know if he will fully understand the wishes of the majority of Americans or if he will simply be an ideologue and refuse to change course.

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