Did you vote in election 2010? Did your preferred candidate win? Did you vote for less government and less spending? Now What?
Next year you will see the new Congress attempt the heavy-lifting, cutting spending, the root of the debt crisis. Will they eliminate the Department of Education or the Department of Commerce? Not likely. Cut Medicare or Medicaid, raise the retirement age for eligibility to obtain Social Security? Not likely. Will there be compromise between the caucuses? Not likely. Will there be comity and cooperation? Not likely. Flexibility is the heart of representative politics, otherwise the rule of government is dictatorship.
Once again, the electorate demanded a new start
By Karen Tumulty
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, November 3, 2010; 12:56 AM
There is no blunter way for voters to send a message. For the third election in a row, Americans kicked a political party out of power.
So you would think that, by now, politicians in Washington would have gotten the message: They must be doing something wrong.
From the moment they lift their right hands to take the oath of office, lawmakers are now on notice that their hard-won power may be short-lived.
“Let’s start right now by recognizing this is not a time for celebration,” House Minority Leader John A. Boehner (R-Ohio), the presumed speaker-to-be, declared in his victory speech. “This is a time to roll up our sleeves and go to work.”
In 2006, both chambers of Congress changed hands, from Republican to Democratic. In 2008, control of the White House followed, and this year, the GOP has won back the House.
Incumbency is no longer the protection it once was, particularly in districts where the balance between the two parties is close. Among the hardest-hit in Tuesday’s election were first- and second-term House Democrats whose elections two and four years ago were heralded as the beginning of a new era for the party.
Such rapid reversals, particularly in the House, are relatively new in modern U.S. politics. It took four decades of Democratic control before voters turned over the House to Newt Gingrich (Ga.) and his band of Republican revolutionaries in 1994. A mere 12 years after that, Democrats won back control. And now, just four years later, Republicans have seized it again.
Voters, GOP pollster Bill McInturff said, “are going to keep throwing people out until they get it right.”
Congress has never been a popular institution, but Americans have generally had a favorable view of their own individual representatives.
No longer. The past three elections have created the kind of successive upheavals in Congress that haven’t been seen in more than half a century.
And the jubilation that Republicans are feeling about Tuesday’s election results, which also brought GOP gains in the Senate and in state races down the ballot, is tempered by the knowledge that voters don’t hold them in particularly high regard, either.
As Florida senator-elect Marco Rubio, an early tea party favorite, put it in his victory speech, the election was not an “embrace of the Republican Party” but a “second chance.”
But a chance at what?
This election was less a mandate for Republican ideas than a brake on Obama’s.
Recent history suggests that for the GOP, the risk of overreaching is at least as great as that of not doing enough. Gingrich learned that the hard way, when Republicans defiantly shut down the government in a budget standoff with Bill Clinton – and opened the way for Clinton’s political resurrection.
In the next two years, the test for both parties will be how well they handle the economic recovery.
Though the economy was at the top of voters’ concerns, the Obama administration invested much of its energy – and political capital – in transforming the health-care system, making an unsuccessful attempt to pass climate change legislation and in grappling with such crises as the Gulf of Mexico oil spill.
Those diversions cost the Democrats dearly. An early read of exit polls suggests that voters who were most worried about the economy were also the ones who swung the hardest in favor of the GOP.
And while Democrats argued that the bailout of the financial system and their economic stimulus package helped prevent an even worse catastrophe, the election results showed they never convinced voters of that.
Governance – and particularly building consensus on tough and complicated challenges – can be painstaking and require a degree of trust between the parties that is not likely to be restored anytime soon.
The Democratic caucus that will return to Capitol Hill in January is likely to be more liberal than before, after some of its most moderate and conservative members were wiped out Tuesday.
And in the tea party, Republicans must grapple with a new political force for whom compromise is seen as a problem, not a solution.
Particularly when it comes to spending, the safest vote for a Republican incumbent will be “no” – or the risk will be a primary challenge similar to the ones that upended the GOP political order this year in places such as Alaska, Delaware, Kentucky and Utah.
Another challenge for both parties is that even as voters are demanding solutions, they are feeling a growing skepticism about the role and reach of government.
When Obama was elected, a slim majority told exit pollsters that they thought the government should do more to solve their problems. But most of those surveyed in the latest Washington Post-ABC News poll said they prefer a smaller government that does less.
Moreover, there is now a stronger sense in the GOP that Obama could be more vulnerable in 2012, which means that the presidential campaign will begin in earnest almost immediately and that the parties will be more focused on drawing blood than on looking for places where they can agree.
In his final e-mail message to supporters before Tuesday’s election, the president once again argued that his administration has delivered, and he pleaded for voters to allow more time for his policies to work.
“This movement was never just about one election,” Obama wrote. “It was about building a movement for change that endures. It’s about understanding that, in America, anything is possible if we are willing to work for it and fight for it – and most of all, believe in it.”
But he also signaled that Democrats have been chastened – and will wake up Wednesday “ready to focus on the business of keeping this country moving forward. That is a calling that requires patience and humility.”
Obama is scheduled to hold a day-after news conference in an effort to regain control of the political narrative and to seize what leverage he can in a city where the political landscape has been transformed.
In 1995, after Democrats lost both the House and Senate, Clinton faced the same thing. He was reduced to declaring that he was still relevant.
Obama hasn’t reached that point. But his days of muscling through an ambitious legislative agenda on strength of Democratic votes is over.
His best hope is to convince Republicans that they now share with him the responsibility to govern.
From the Washington Post:
What this election shows is that the American political structure is in chaotic turmoil.
Millions of people are suffering & in their despair, they are at a loss as to whom to turn for solutions because both the major parties are utterly corrupt.
Millions more are terrified that the poorhouse & soup-lines may be in their future. These people are right to be terrified. With Republicans back in partial control of this incredibly corrupt government, their agenda to further their Fascist & Plutocratic goals will be rejuvenated.
The GOP could care less about the common people. Their primary interest is the continued merging of corporate & government powers (Fascism) & the general welfare of the wealthy elite (Plutocracy.)
It is amazing, & frightening, just how many millions of workers who are being threatened with severe economic insecurity, tend to consistently vote against their own best interests.
Now we will see whether Obama the Democrats in Congress will summon their courage & fight back like FDR & LBJ did, or if they will continue their weasley cowardice & cower & whimper in fear of losing their personal positions, as they have done during the past 4 years.
There is much evil in the GOP but say what you will about them, they know how to strategize & manipulate the masses in order to further the goals of their base – corporations & the rich.
Plutocratic Fascism is on the march in the USA!
11/3/2010 2:10:32 AM
Jerry Brown was elected governor of California. How’s that for fresh new ideas? He was governor more than 30 years ago and has been running for political office for about the last 4 decades.
11/3/2010 2:09:38 AM
The people have voted for big business interests over their own.Hope it works out for you this time,but I doubt it will!!
11/3/2010 1:59:51 AM
Whoopee. Every election or 2 the party in power gets replaced. We have 2 choices, bad or worse. Democrats or Republicans, it doesn’t matter. The 2 party system doesn’t really work, but it’s too entrenched to change.
11/3/2010 1:48:48 AM
You people seriously baffle me. The economy starts to crumble under Bush, a man that never vetoed one spending bill in eight years. He voted on TARP along with BONER and CANTOR. Yet, somehow these thugs have managed to blame the Democrats for the problems????
Now, you vote in a party that DEFENDS the tax cut to the wealthy which would save the country a HEAP of money if it was to expire. You know what they WILL cut? Medicare, Social Security, Education, Health Care….
But, you get waht you pay for… In this case, NOTHING!
11/3/2010 1:39:21 AM
We just need more Independents and stop this gridlock of partisan politics.
11/3/2010 1:25:11 AM
And in 2012 or 2014 it will probably go back the other way as the R’s forget how they got to DC and get blown back out of the majority.
The trick now for the R’s is to show they actually have a plan to balance the budget, etc.
Up until now it seems like all they have is the vote for us slogan.
As long as Odonnell and Angle went down the worst of the moron religious nuts were kept from the Senate.
Still, I worry about science now that many more in the Congress believe in Adam and Eve and other religious BS.
11/3/2010 1:15:24 AM
I still say that the American voter is uneducated and stupid. They got what they wanted and in a few days they’ll be complaining about the Republicans.
11/3/2010 12:59:47 AM
Wall Street won. The few people with jobs lost.
11/3/2010 12:48:46 AM
The clowns are back in town. Now watch the circus. Cutting the deficit? They didn’t have one single idea before voting about how to achieve it.
11/3/2010 12:41:51 AM
The Republicans will celebrate tonight. Then wake up in the morning without a clue about what to do. Oh, perhaps call GWB for some economic advice.
11/3/2010 12:33:20 AM
Republican Mark Kirk wins Barry the incompetent boob Obama’s old Senate seat in Illinois.
Barry’s seat flips to the GOP.
11/3/2010 12:29:00 AM
Now watch these idiots in the government discover how to be bipartisan by cutting taxes rather than spending, further increasing the debt.
11/3/2010 12:27:24 AM
This is the first time I have ever seen a significant section of US voting population voted in a way that devoids logic. GOP screwed us royally until 2 years back. They listen to this crap from FIX network all day, start some movement called tea party, sponsored by corporations and they vote for candidates whose agenda goes against the interests of the same voters who voted them. Not that Obama did any great during this period, with his bi-partisan nonsense and timidity at every turn. I guess racism blinds people to the point that they don’t care if they are bringing the whole house down.
Anyway, starting tomorrow, I will have the last laugh. These tea party loosers voted some lunatics into office and it is time for them to face the music of their stupidity. It is only a matter of time before independents will realize the horrible thing they did today and start running towards Democrats again.
I can already see a huge Progressive wave coming in 2012. It’s bound to happen.
11/3/2010 12:26:09 AM
The dying leftist Time Magazine one year ago declared on the cover that Republicans were a an “Endangered Specie”.
ROFL, they should have been watching their backside as they and the leftist media of Collusion are becoming the endangered species…
It could happen to a nicer bunch of leftist propagandist…
11/3/2010 12:19:49 AM
The parallels to Japan 1990s economically have been extensive. Now a few possible parallels to Germany late 1920s are beginning to appear…. I’m afraid the “end of history” idea from a decade ago was more like the quiet before the storm.
11/3/2010 12:18:30 AM
From Fox News:
therightisnot 15 minutes ago
look morons, call it what you will, but face the facts… this country is still divided, the electorate is fickle so if you steer too far to the right, it will steer back again (see 2008). Politics run in cycles whether you want to accept that or not. If you think Obama will lose in ’12, you’d better have a strong candidate to win over the independents…right now there isn’t one. time will tell.
madashe11 2 minutes ago in reply to therightisnot
Better watch out for Marco Rubio. Us racists love him…
therightisnot 3 minutes ago in reply to lario
funny you should admit to having the worst economy since the depression…all I recall is John McCain and the fat heroin addict on the radio disputing that…now all of a sudden we do have an economy that is that bad…make up your mind zombies.
notrealbright 8 minutes ago in reply to therightisnot
at this point you could have a penguin running against obamao and the penguin would win
therightisnot 51 minutes ago
You know fox morons, maybe this will help you understand things a bit more… last night was not a revolution, it was one house of congress changing hands…Now 2008 would be closer to revolution.. the Dems took both houses and the executive branch in one year. That sounds a bit closer to revolution, a total sweep of both houses and the presidency. I think most clear thinking people would consider that more of a dramatic election cycle than this. Now I believe 2008 was not a revolution, so I think it’s a bit ridiculous to call last night a tsunami. We have an angry electorate yes, but we are still a very divided country. If you are too blind or dumb to admit that than I guess you truly belong here exclusively at this site. Yes the Dems lost the house, but the far far right lost as well. You wait and see…. the reps do not want to swing too far to the right because they at least are politically savy enough to know that they have to keep those independents (that decide every election) close to them or risk losing in ’12
bearz28 10 minutes ago in reply to therightisnot
And by winning Both houses their tax and spend Ideas proven once again. We are awake and that will not happen again. We are engaged and won’t let the Liberal left run this country. They’ve shown just how fast they can spend and sink our kids in debt. Defund Obama care now, win The Presidency in 2012 and replace it with something more sensable. First we need a President that likes America for being extraordinary and being a superpower and not bow and appologize for our greatness. That’s reality !!! Something the left knows little about. They’ve proven that !
tnhighered 42 minutes ago in reply to therightisnot
Ok let me explain:
GOP turnover was the highest turnover since FDR. The implications are as follows:
DEMS lost their chairmanships and their leadership in the house.
DEMS lost the ability to break a filibuster in the senate.
GOP also won 30+ Governor’s races including important ones such as swingstates like: OHIO, PENNSYLVANIA, and MICHIGAN.
GOP also won Florida which is crucial.
In addition to the national level, the GOP now holds more state legislative bodies than ever before turning over more than 500 seats across the country. In all of these states and in states where GOP governors were elected, now the GOP has the ability to draw the new congressional districts for the US Congress and thus eliminate for the next election even more DEM seats.
These types of changes almost, …almost but not quite there, ensure a GOP victory if the right candidate wins the primary in 2012.
BiggEd 50 minutes ago in reply to therightisnot
So we have to wait 2 more years to take back the Senate and the White House…we are a patient bunch.
From the New York Times:
HIGHLIGHT (what’s this?)
November 2nd, 2010
The Repair of America has begun. Thank God!
November 2nd, 2010
If there was any doubt remaining in my mind as to America’s future, it was put to rest tonight. The resumption of our global slide on all fronts – science, education, economics, health, environment, integrity, to name a few – has just been guaranteed in spades. With Obama’s election it was tempting to believe we might still have the determination and leadership to once again embody the characteristics and values that made this country great, but any hope of that has been shot down with tonight’s election. The corrosive Republican agenda will result in a stagnant government stalemate at best for the next two years, while the harm it causes both within and without our country will ensure America continues to rot from within. I sadly agree, Maureen. God help the Republic.
November 2nd, 2010
Clinton was headed for a failed Presidency in 1994; he tried to do too much, too quickly. The GOP revolution rode to power on the wave of anger that the American public directed towards the too liberal President and the corrupt Democratic Congress.
After winning in 1994, the Republicans stayed in power too long and they too became corrupt and useless and were thrown out of office.
Fast forward sixteen years and there is a too liberal Democratic President and a corrupt Democratic Congress that has overstayed their welcome. Hopefully Obama can take a lesson from Clinton and become a great President by working with the GOP Congressional leadership. If he can’t or won’t, then we are facing two years of gridlock and disharmony in Washington. However, after the passage of ObamaCare and the other “victories” of the last two years, the majority of the American public would prefer gridlock rather than more Democratic reforms.
Divided government is good government. It requires compromise and bi-partisan dialogue to accomplish anything. We will see if the Democrats and the Republicans are mature enough to listen to what the American voters have said in the last two elections and get down to the Nation’s business.
November 3rd, 2010
Where do we go from here ? We go from a recession to a depression. The people who promised to do nothing got voted into office. What I want to know, is who is all for Rand Paul’s 23% sales tax on everything ? A 3 dollar bar of soap will cost you 69 bucks and a loaf of bread , $ 46.00. Who is for having their social security privatized ? Who voted to have the unions abolished ? Who voted to have a gov’t shut down ? Cause when the gov’t shuts down, there will be NO SSI checks, or pay for gov’t workers. It’s really surprising, that the people that voted the GOP into the House of Representatives will have ALL of us suffering because of their so called referendum on pres. Obama, and unfortunately it is a referendum on all Americans to suffer. Except the top 2% who will remain filthy rich.
Piedmont Quebec Canada
November 3rd, 2010
Reading reader’s comments up to number 37 when John Boehner just came on tv to give his tearful speech. UNREAL but hey that approach works for Beck….so why not. Then back to CNN’s best political team on television. Anderson Cooper asks “what do you think?” and Mary Whatshername -Carvilles wife-gets that goofy stare going and replys “He’s awesome” UNREAL
November 3rd, 2010
The Democrats failed to move the country out of recession and produce more jobs. Lets give the Republicans a chance. Perhaps both parties will realize that the American people are truly upset with the policies of President Obama a Failcrat time to give the keys to the car to people who may have actually built the car and not someone who seems to have driven it without his eyes on the road.
November 3rd, 2010
In two short years we have gone from ” we are the people we have been waiting for” (Obama) to “we have met the enemy, and he is us” (Pogo). I no longer recognize this place anymore.
Bachmann To MSNBC’s Matthews: That Thrill Isn’t Tingly Anymore
A combative Chris Matthews accuses Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) of being “hypnotized” and under a “trance.”
Bachmann says we’re out of this “nightmare” and “we’re thrilled.”
“I think people are thrilling tonight, I imagine that thrill is maybe not quite so tingly on your leg anymore, I’m not sure anymore,” Rep. Bachmann told Matthews.
After the interview, a purple-faced Matthews said “I never used that word” and called Bachmann a moron.