Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Post Election Thoughts

Tuesday night's election brought both joy and sorrow. I am very happy with the tsunami of Republicans that have won. With the support of Tea Party patriots, we have seen several candidates win and send packing many Congressman and Senators that needed to be sent home. I especially was happy with the wins by Rand Paul, Marco Rubio ,Pat Toomey and several other House gains. I was also very happy with the pickups in the Senate and the Governor races. More on the governor races in a bit.

I was also saddened by several things, probably most specifically the loss of Robyn Hamlin and Bill Corrigan. My wife and I are both big supporters of these two politicians. North County and St. Louis County saw fit to support the status quo instead of riding the wave of change. I expect that the union vote really helped Dooley and Clay. While Ed Martin is contesting his race with Russ Carnahan, I am also saddened with the voting issues that we saw in the third district. The issues that occurred statewide and the convenience of the additional votes appearing out of the city are truly suspect. It will be interesting to see what occurs once the vote is counted and completed.

As I write this after a long night I am listening to a replay of Obama's conference this afternoon. He takes little blame for what happened last night and he sputters a feeble attempt at an olive branch to the GOP. He refuses to admit that his administration's overreach is the reason for last nights large GOP gains. If this is what we are to expect over the next few years, it will make for a very interesting two years.

The elections are now, for the most part, over. Let's all take a breath and survey the surroundings. Let's truly look at what's ahead. There are a lot of things to consider now, including:
  • Nancy Pelosi and the older house reps - There are indicators that many of the older House Dems will not look at retiring since the Dems lost so handily. Many of them do not want to go back to being the minority. These departures will lead to openings in the House. How will these openings change the dynamic.
  • The census - The census will greatly effect the makeup of the house. As I discussed in THIS post and THIS one, the census will change the lay of the land. Missouri will probably lose a house seat as will a couple of other states.
  • The governors races - Governors can help set the political tone of each state. The GOP wins in these races will dramatically help Republican causes. These governors will also help set the new lines for House districts as part of the upcoming redistricting.

  • The legislative agenda - What will the House and Senate have as their legislative agenda. With Reid probably retaining leadership in the Senate and Boehner probably taking over the House, there are going to be two different and possibly competing agendas.

The next two years cannot be carte blanche no. Boehner cannot try and legislate from the House. Instead, the Republicans need to push for plans that lower taxes and create smaller government. I think everyone will agree that limited compromise is totally acceptable, but the Republicans cannot be obstructionists, otherwise they will get ousted in two years. If Senate Democrats and the President insist on not compromising or pushing a far left agenda, while the GOP lead House offers compromise and moderation, 2010 will be a warm up act for 2012.

Much like Boehner, Rubio and Paul all said last night, this was not an endorsement of the GOP, this was a call to action and a mandate against the president, Pelosi and Reid. I think Jamie Allman says it best, we are not married to you guys, we are just dating. We will see what happens from here on out. You better not disappoint us.

The two pet projects I would like to see addressed are some gerrymandering restrictions and Congressional and Senate term limits. I will be posting more on that in the future, but DSM over at Reboot Congress has written volumes on term limits and I suggest you take a look.

For Robyn Hamling and my fellow Robyn Hamlin supporters I say this, you put up a very valiant fight. It was a fight that many people have tried to wage. All of you spent countless man hours working the phones, going door to door and educating the public. Robyn had all of the right answers for a public group that just did not care. For some, this Congressional race was just about race. For others, it was about supporting the union machine that Lacy regularly supports. Just take a look at Lacy's FEC filings and you can see the amount of money the unions poured into his campaign. He helps them out by pushing through government spending for Boeing, the Federal Government and other big union shops. This loss was probably a combination of the right candidate at the wrong time. I do take some solace that Lacy got less than 75% of the votes. This district has been gerrymandered to the point where winning would be tough for just about anyone without a D behind their name. Robyn and her team worked hard and were able to accomplish a lot. I hope that this can be the stepping stone for bigger things in 2012. Even though we did not get a win, we can continue to work with the St. Louis Tea Party and other local candidates and representatives to make North County and North City a better place. For all you have done, though, I say thank you and good job.

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