Wednesday, November 03, 2010
The Day After The Election
With Congress firmly in Republican hands, and the Senate still controlled by the Democrats, we can expect some old-fashioned Capitol Hill gridlock -- which, to those of us who think the government has been doing all too much, is not a bad thing.
It does mean that the Republicans won't have much of a chance of undoing President Obama's massive changes of the past two years -- but, given that there was never a chance of Republicans getting a veto-proof majority in the Senate, that wasn't really in the cards anyway.
Yesterday's conservative radio commenters were hoping for better results, and seemed very concerned that the Republican party would misinterpret this as a victory for them. It's not -- it's a rebuke of the Democrats, and not an overwhelming one at that. The big story this year was of the Tea Party people, who stood up across America and declared that they'd been Taxed Enough Already... and were willing to do something about it.
No doubt there will be establishment Republicans who miss the message, and continue to contribute to out-of-control spending. There will also be Tea Party candidates, now Senators and Congressmen, who distance themselves from that label; every new group on Capitol Hill has a few who quickly forget why they were sent there. But hopefully, this will be just about right -- the Congressional Republicans have enough power to assert themselves against the Administration, but not so much that they'd lose sight of the basics.
Congress now has a job to do -- to stop the overreaching Obama Administration from overreaching any further. We'll see if they are up to it.
It'll be interesting now, as well, to see the President's reaction. Now would be the time for him to reach across the aisle, something he's so far been very resistant to doing. It would also be a time for him to be gracious, acknowledge that The People Have Spoken, and pay attention to what they are saying.
Personally, I don't think he'll do it; it's not his style. I hope I'm wrong.
In the meantime, it seems that Massachusetts has reverted back to its status as a Democrat stronghold. Governor Deval Patrick (known locally as Obama-lite) is back, as is my Congressman whom I despise, Barney Frank. It's too bad. But perhaps I should have expected it.
One more thing to watch out for -- what will the House and Senate do, between now and January? Will this be a lame duck session that acts like a lame duck, as most of them do? Or will they try to push forward with as much overtaxing, overreaching, and overspending as possible while they still can? There have been many dark predictions of the latter. Stay tuned.
UPDATE: The President has responded, sounding as though he may indeed be more willing to compromise with Republicans than he has in the past.
UPDATE 2: Nicely put!
Barack Obama helped elect 255 Democrats to the House in 2008. This year, he helped elect 240 Republicans to the House.
Now that’s bipartisanship.