At only a little past midnight on 3 October, one of the most interesting political elections in modern times is all but concluded. All projections mark results that mirror my own previous predictions: Vast gains by conservatives in the House, ousting Fraulein Pelosi from her throne as Speaker of the House; Significant gains in the Senate, allowing liberals to retain control (with the aid of two Independants who caucas left); and an as of yet undetermined number of Republicans constituting the majority of Gubenetorial positions. It's a good day for freedom loving folk across the nation.
Hopes for gaining control of the Senate were always wishful thinking, in my mind. Not that I didn't partake in that wishful thinking myself. The best we could have hoped for were enough gains to check the hubris of the liberal majority, and this goal was acheived.
It is the gains in the House that are of particular interest. Previous projections anticipated a gain of about 50 seats, no small acheivement in itself. But at the time of this writing, the projections have now shifted from a 60 seat gain to around 65. That is a clear referendum, historic in scope. Recall that the famous 1994 Republican Revolution was a 54 seat gain, and you have some perspective. The question is, however, what was that referendum on?
As should be inferred by the title, despite the overwhelming gains made this evening, my glee is tempered by sober caution. It would be a critical mistake to think that these results indicate support of the Republican party in particular. They are not a vote for Republicans, they are a vote against the negligent and irresponsible policies of the liberal regime. They are a call for a return to responsible governing with deference to the people rather than arrogant rulership by an elite class. This was, in its most simple form, an indictment of government gone wild.
Republicans now have the task of leading with principle, humility and wisdom, something they themselves had lost touch with prior to losing control during the Bush administration. This will be challenging, particularly since they have only enough power now to enact gridlock, thus producing little to carry them succesfully into the 2012 elections. Thier role now is primarily to apply the brakes to an ongoing trainwreck piloted by Obama & Co. This is not an enviable position, as they will be endlessly portrayed as an obstructionist body even when that is the very function that the electorate now expects of them.
The crystal ball does not look so good in other respects for the conservatives. Absent this cycle were many of the groups driven by rabid ideology and self interest rather than sound principle. The youth and minority votes, which overwhelmingly favor liberal power blocs, pretty much sat this one out as compared to the last election. They will be returning when the Obamessiah campaigns for his second term, and this will alter the landscape significantly.
It is expected that the House gains made by Republicans are so substantial that it will take many cycles for Democrats to regain control. I am slow to share in this comfort, particularly since Republicans have shown a repeated propensity for completely screwing things up. If they drop the ball and interpret this election as endorsement of thier party, I think they can undo everything in short order. It's a fine line they must now walk, with a particularly tricky task of maintaining thier gains while "producing" little except functioning as an effective leash.
I hope that these gains are maintained in the next election cycle, and that the Senate is regained. With any luck, the numbers of Republican Governors will result in favorable redistricting that serves to better solidify a long term conservative presence. What's more, I hope that the influence of the Tea Party grows, rather than becoming complacent.
For the moment, Obama has just received his spanking for being a bad, bad boy. This came by way of routing the thugs who behaved as his minions. So while there is certainly a message for Republicans in this election, there is an even greater one for the President in particular. Unfortunately, his arrogance will not allow him to see it. Where even a liberal President like Bill Clinton was sophisticated enough to read the tea leaves when trounced, Obama shares no such wisdom. Anticipate that excuses will follow immediately, and the blame game will continue for the remainder of his occupancy.