November 03, 2010
Also Eminently Quotable
I was going to attempt some form of commentary this morning, but don't have the time. This, however, is as close to what I would have said as it gets. Enjoy:
My own reaction is that this is a rebuke to the Democrats, not an affirmation of the Republicans. Beyond that, I am actually glad that the GOP did not secure notional control of the Senate, because it will make it that much more difficult for President Obama to blame the Republicans for the no doubt still sluggish economy in 2012. And, anyway, I am a fan of divided government. The lesson of my lifetime is that Washington gets exponentially more asinine if one party controls all three of the House, the Senate, and the White House.
As a right-of-center blogger, I am also at least a little relieved that the Tea Party's goofier candidates -- Paladino in New York, McMahon in Connecticut, O'Donnell in Delaware, and Angle in Nevada -- all lost. I was not looking forward to spending the next two years explaining how their every gaffe was really literally true or not moronic in some technical sense. Like it or not, in today's world public leaders of any sort -- including high profile corporate executives, university presidents, the managers of NGOs, and of course candidates for office -- require a measure of professionalism. The right would do well to groom and nominate their candidates even at the cost of some authenticity.
What I find reassuring about this election is that despite all the more-heat-than-light fulminating about "violent rhetoric" (MOM! He hit me with... words!") and extreme extremists and their dangerous and scary extremism, what we're looking at is one more in a long series of peaceful, orderly transfers of power.
When you look at Iraq and Afghanistan, there's a lot to be said for that.
The pace of change may not always be what we wish it were, but given our legendary short sightedness with respect to unintended consequences, that's a good thing. Stable governments don't lurch violently to the left or to the right. Despite all its imperfections and despite the erosion of trust in our system of government, at the end of the day we resolve our differences at the ballot box rather than at the point of a gun.
May it ever be so.
Posted by Cassandra at November 3, 2010 08:49 AM
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Hey, Cass, thanks for the link!
Posted by: TigerHawk at November 3, 2010 09:47 AM
It was a great post :)
Posted by: Cassandra at November 3, 2010 09:52 AM
I'm sorry that Angle did not win - because I really, really want Harry Reid out of the government: federal, state or local. But I'm not a Nevada resident, so that's that. (Yeah, I know, I could well be if they actually go through the voter registration rolls in NV. Or IL for that matter!).
Posted by: LittleRed1 at November 3, 2010 11:38 AM
Like LR1, I would have preferred (a lot) Angle over Reid. For all her alleged whacko-ness, she's never accused those who disagreed with her to be in league with slavers.
I'll believe the change from this election when I see it. True enough, they've only just had been elected, but they have yet actually to do anything. I'll be watching bills and votes carefully.
As to unintended consequences, the Dems have no lock on this. Eisenhower's soil bank program, intended to reduce surpluses, actually led to even greater surpluses as only the most marginal land was taken out of production.
...we resolve our differences at the ballot box rather than at the point of a gun. Often. Even most of the time. But too often, we do resolve our differences at polling places with billy clubs and a racist Justice Department.
Posted by: E Hines at November 3, 2010 12:22 PM
Obama still doesn't get it. During his speech he stated that part of the problem is that people aren't used to so much government intruding on their lives. So the problem is that we are too dumb to see the brilliance of his plans and we should get used to it. There, problem solved. It is our fault.
Posted by: vet66 at November 3, 2010 06:10 PM
"May it ever be so."
Amen, sister. Amen...
Posted by: camojack at November 4, 2010 01:31 AM
"I was not looking forward to spending the next two years explaining how their every gaffe was really literally true or not moronic in some technical sense."
Instead you'll spend every day getting screwed over by Harry Reid's influence and political capital being used in the Senate to increase unionization and unemployment.
Posted by: Ymarsakar at November 4, 2010 07:27 AM
"The right would do well to groom and nominate their candidates even at the cost of some authenticity."
It's not the right that those candidates came from. It was the grassroots. Which means not the fat cats living in mansions, whether earned through trust funds, pure capitalism, or Ayers like shenanigans.
Posted by: Ymarsakar at November 4, 2010 07:28 AM
It's not the right that those candidates came from. It was the grassroots.
That is not the point of TH's observation. The Tea Party candidates he refers to were all well to the right of center.
The choice was between them and a left of center candidate.
His point, whether you like it or not, is that they lost (and not by small margins either). To get elected, you have to convince more voters to vote for you than the other guy does. If "the grassroots" supported these candidates, they failed to vote for them when it counted.
Either that, or there aren't enough "grassroots" to win an election (in which case it would seem that a candidate needs to have broader appeal).
Posted by: Cassandra at November 4, 2010 08:44 AM
The choice was between them and a left of center candidate.
His point, whether you like it or not, is that they lost (and not by small margins either).
Yeah, but if the choice is between someone "too far" right and someone indistinguishable from the left of center other party's candidate, I'm not going to fault the Tea Partiers for going with their candidate rather than compromising, and so losing all choice at the jump. It's what elections are for, and since all elections are local, if the local constituency is "left of center," then so be it.
Those putting up the "too far" right candidate, having loved and lost, have lost nothing.
Posted by: E Hines at November 4, 2010 09:29 AM
Hmm. Apparently, with this comment functionality, HTML tags quit at paragraph breaks and don't resume at the next paragraph. The next sentence of my last post ("His point,....") should have been in italics, also.
Posted by: E Hines at November 4, 2010 09:32 AM
I don't think that in most cases, the mainstream candidate was 'indistinguishable from the left of center candidate'.
Not saying you can't believe that - just that I don't.
People like to say that sort of thing without actually backing it up. It's been said about Lindsey Graham many a time and it's simply not true. Not even close.
Now one can like or dislike Graham. I disagree with him on cap and trade, for instance. But he has a solid conservative voting record. He also happens to be one of the few Congresscritters to be serving his country. He has done tours in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The guy has been one of the biggest defenders of the military and the war effort and literally stood alone many a time in Congress against the asshats who wanted to defund the military (as well as those in our own party who merely found it inexpedient to be seen as supporting George Bush on that score).
God help us if folks like Graham aren't acceptable.
Posted by: Cassandra at November 4, 2010 09:58 AM