Rob's Soapbox Archives
November 1st, 2010
WHY THIS WEEK MATTERS
We haven’t spent a lot of time discussing Tuesday’s mid-term election. With the nation so polarized, angry and somehow still uninformed, it’s hard to have reasonable, rational and still entertaining conversations about what will or should happen, and why it all matters so very much.
It looks as though California will continue to show how out of touch it is with the entire rest of the nation. While all other places in America have decided, as they did in 2006, 1994, and 1980 that the country is going in the wrong direction, Californians seem poised to continue to whistle past the graveyard and send lifelong loser Jerry Brown back to the Governor’s mansion and one of the most vile senators in Washington, Barbara Boxer, back for a fourth term. Hope and Change? California has and gets neither. There’s a slight chance Boxer loses, but it will all come down to turnout.
Speaking of turnout and California, I will be stunned if California legalizes marijuana. Insert whichever joke you like here, but the truth of the matter is that this was a slam dunk, ruined by inept campaigning. The people of California were ready to legalize pot, and the Yes on 19 folks ran a campaign worse than John McCain in 2008 (and that’s saying something).
For the nation as a whole, the story is whether or not we are facing a redux of 1994; when the country was clearly unhappy with President Clinton’s first two years and felt compelled to force him to change how he governed by ripping away from him both houses of congress. History once again proved that in America, when one party control the White House and the other controls the congress, America works best. In the 5 years after the 1994 Republican sweep, the country was booming, just as it was in the Reagan years when the opposite power structure was in place. As we have learned time and time again, when one party has all of the power, they become absolutely corrupted.
This, however, is not an easy task; re-taking both the house and the senate is a long-shot for the Republicans, considering it was only 2 years ago that no one in America wanted to vote for any Republicans. It all matters, though. Republican rule in the house is a given, it’s just a question of how big their majority will be. It’s the Senate that seems unreachable, which is not a small story. The senate confirms judges, and with President Obama having already appointed two young, far left justices, it is vital for the nation to be in a position of moderation should sitting moderate Anthony Kennedy retire (or be retired by God) anytime in the next two years.
I’ve had a pretty solid past when it comes to predicting the outcomes of various elections. Last time around, I was off; I had Obama winning 51%-49%, and he blew McCain away 53%-46%. In the two previous elections of Bush/Kerry and Bush/Gore I was dead on right; complete with predicting Florida would be the state that would push Bush over the top (I just didn’t know it would take until December and a Supreme Court ruling to do so, but I digress).
Here are some specifics I foresee this week:
-The senate, when all is said and done, will be 50-50 (Technically, that will be 50 GOP senators, 48 Democrats and two independents who side with the Dems). This will be a shock, but still not a super-victory for the Republicans. The only way for this to happen is for the Republicans to win a few seats no one thinks they have a chance at (Delaware, Connecticut, California, Washington) and hold onto every seat that most people think they have secured.
- Washington State will be the closest senate race in America and we won’t know if Patty Murray or Dino Rossi has won until the end of the week. Rossi wins by less than 1,000 votes in the end.
- Harry Reid will lose early in the evening by more than 5% points.
- The house winds up in Republican control 245-195. A stunning night of just over 60 seats picked up by the GOP.
- California maintains itself as the most embarrassing state in the union by voting in career politicians Jerry Brown and Barbra Boxer, and also voting in enormous tax hikes in the name of prop 24 and prop 25, two appalling pieces of legislation. It will also fail to legalize marijuana.
- Currently, there are 26 Democratic governors and 24 Republican governors; this matters deeply because governors play a major role in presidential politics and 2012 is just around the corner. It’s going to be a bad night for Dems, as the end tally will see 31 Republicans in state office and only 19 Democratic governors. Ouch.
The only remaining question will be how everyone governs once the results are in; will Obama shift, as Clinton did, to championing things that all sides can agree on, or will he continue with his uber-left agenda? Will the Republicans agree to work with Obama on things that can be agreed upon, or will the simply insist that he is too extreme and unwilling to negotiate and that he, is the problem? These answers, I believe, will be determined by the margins of victory in this election and the behavior of all involved in the first many days afterwards. If the republicans move immediately to repeal Obamacare, it will signify a volatile and animus filled year in 2011, as we all gear up for November 2012.