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Thread: The Consequences of the Election.

  1. #1
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    The Consequences of the Election.

    I guess we have been ignoring the elephant in the room (pun intended): the election.

    The will be new leadership in the House, and while the leadership in the Senate will remain unchanged, they won't be able to drive the agenda; they will have to do more than pay lip-service to bipartisanship.

    The shift was huge. The size of the majority in the House nearly reversed. Some have pointed to the fact that the Republicans did not take the Senate as an indication that shift was not foundational. However, that simplistic view ignores the fact that the margin the victory in the Senate was significantly larger than in the House!

    Republicans won 56% of the House seats. They won about 2/3 of the available Senate seats. The only thing that kept them from winning the Senate by a filibuster-proof majority was the fact that 40 of the 63 seats that were not up were held by Dems. Over the course of the next two cycles those seats will come up for election, and the Dems will find themselves in the position the Republicans were in this time: they held the vast majority of the seats in play, meaning that a split electorate would result in large losses, and gains would require a tidal change among the voters.

    Of course, the Dems still hold the White House, and the Republicans cannot override his vetoes without Democrat help. So, the Democrats still hold the power.

    Not.

    Many of the Dems who were ousted voted against health care and the wasteful spending. They claimed to be conservatives and independents. (Mine even claimed to be a Republican!) Yet, they still lost (including mine! WOOHOO!!). Why? Because they supported the leadership, even if they did not march in lockstep on all issues.

    This election was a clear repudiation of excessive government, excessive meddling by it in our affairs, and excessive spending. Many Dems in the Senate who were not up for reelection this time will be quaking in their boots. They have been clearly told what the American people want. If they do not help the Republicans pare the size of government, cut spending, prevent the impending jump in taxes, and dismantle health care, they will face the same fate as many of those who were up this year. The Dems lost 1/3 of their seats, while Republicans lost none.

    President Obama will be faced with two choices: He can go along with what will easily be characterized as a bipartisan dismantling of his efforts so far, or he can continue to be an ideologue at odds with the vast majority of Americans--but without the power he used to foist his ideology upon us. Either way he is in trouble. In the former case, he will be advancing the Republican agenda. In the latter, he will be perceived as the obstructionist; the obstruction couldn't possibly be blamed on the "bipartisan" Congress.

    The first option would be the wise choice. That is essentially what President Clinton chose to do. And, it worked. The nation and the economy flourished, and he was able to claim all the credit. If Obama follows this path, I doubt he will be able to downplay Congress' role to the extent that Clinton was able, however he will still be far more favorably perceived than if he obstructs.

    The question mark that remains is whether the Republican victors listened to the Americans. Their recent behavior was repudiated too. They, too, need to adjust their approach. They cannot be arrogant and think that they have now been given the keys to the vault, given permission to spend like drunken sailors on their priorities. If they are properly chastened, they will give up some of their sacred spending cows too. Will they? We can only hope. However, more than at any time in history, we are depending on a fiscally responsible Congress for the nation's very survival and, more importantly, for the last, best hope for survival of Liberty on this planet.

  2. #2
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    Another consequence of the election: Prior to the election, Republicans controlled 15 State legislatures, Democrats 27. Eight were split.

    Post election: Republicans control 26, Democrats 16. Four are split and four remain to be decided. This is a complete flip. Republicans took both houses in Alabama from the Democrats. The Republicans have not controlled both houses since Reconstruction.

    What is the consequence? We just completed the Census. The legislatures and/or governors will control the redistricting process that will result. As long as they don't draw districts to dilute the vote of protected classes, it is legal for them to gerrymander in a way that favors their party. I hope the Republicans don't. I'd just like to see them eliminate much of the gerrymandering that currently exists and currently favors the Democrats.

    Computers should be used to draw districts with humans polishing the districts so lines don't go through the middle of small towns. Even major cities should not be split unless the population warrants more than one representative. Here in Alabama, the Dems gerrymandered a district that included west-central Alabama, part of Montgomery, and then ran up I-65 to include part of Birmingham, when metro Birmingham could make up the bulk of one district, and metro Montgomery could make up the bulk of another. Ironically, that gerrymandered district is the only remaining Dem district in Alabama!

    Anyway, whether the redistricting is done logically or by partisan gerrymandering, Republicans stand to pick up House seats next election due to a drop in primarily Dem districts and an increase in primarily GOP districts.

    Elections have consequences.

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    Ohio now has anti-gun Republicans as Governor and Attorney General. It's likely going to get VERY bad for gun owners and especially gun carriers, open and concealed, in Ohio.

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    After listening to President Obama discuss last night's election tidal wave, it is clear that he doesn't get it at all.

    Oh, well, as with any wave of such a magnitude, you don't have to get it. It gets you.

    If he went with it, he might survive like President Clinton did. Clearly, he'd rather be a one-term president. OK by me.

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