A morning after post *UPDATED OFTEN*

I feel as if I should say something profound, but I don’t really have that much that is profound to say.  I do have a few observations, and then I’ll start compiling a running list of good post-election posts (so check back often):

I’ll repeat what I said yesterday:  it irks me when elections are called before the vast majority of votes are counted.  Projections are not votes.  If my vote is not counted because a projection shuts down the process, I’ve effectively been disenfranchised.  That’s just wrong.  (And as an extreme example, remember that early returns from Phillie had Joe Sestak winning by a mile.  It was only when all votes were counted that it was clear that Toomey won.  And a big yay for that, by the way.)

California gave the governorship and the Senate to Boxer.  Whitman was an awful candidate, so that’s kind of less surprising in a Democratic state.  Fiorina, though?  I don’t get it.  I liked her and her positions.  I think her problem was that she had quite possibly the worst ads in political history, which is really amazing, considering the kind of material she had to work with in Boxer.  If you’re going to run that lousy a campaign against such an easy target, I guess you deserve to lose.

On the other hand, since it’s likely that California is going down in flames anyway, especially since California voters turned down Prop. 23, which will allow the economically disastrous Prop. 32 to go forward, better that it goes down under Democrat leadership, which brought it to this point anyway, than under Republican.  (And yes, I know that Ah-nold is theoretically a Republican, but he’s such a RINO, the R after his name looks more like a typo than an intentional political designation.)

A lot of conservatives are crowing about Senatorial losses in Nevada, Delaware and, possibly, Alaska as proof that the Tea Party is a failure.  I beg to differ.  The House races show that the Tea Party is a wild success.  The other races show some different lessons:  First, with fewer seats up for grabs in the Senate, there was simply less margin for error.  With tons of House seats available, voters could weed out the more wacky Tea Party candidates and still elect Tea Party affiliated candidates in droves.  In the Senate, despite doing proportionately better than the Dems, there simply wasn’t enough margin to cross the BIG finish line and take over the Senate.

Second, the fact that there were fewer Senate races, and that Senate races are more high profile, meant that the media focused on them with ferocity.  As far as the media was concerned, it was “2008 and Palin” all over again when it came to the Nevada and Delaware races.  Voters are slowly wising up to what the media is doing, but if you’re told relentlessly by every local and national outlet that the Republican candidate is a freak, and that the Democrat candidate is a genius, that’s going to affect you, even if only subconsciously.  I know that, when I’m in the grocery store, old jingles still float into my mind as I debate which brand of hot dogs to buy.  It’s hard to resist those subliminal messages, unless you make a hard effort.

Ultimately, the Tea Party did spectacularly well on its first political outing.  If it learns from both its failures and successes, it will indeed mark a signal change in American politics.

Finally, I can’t resist sharing with you what my liberal friend said:  “Put this day on the calendar.  I predict that it will mark the beginning of America’s destruction and the rise of fascism.”  My friend is steadily resistant to the notion that fascism, and all other dangerous -isms have one thing in common:  Big government.


And now for a list of interesting posts, which I’ll update throughout the day:

Bruce Kesler on the meanings to be divined from the California results.

Big Lizards has some thoughts on California’s outlier status too.

Thomas Lifson notes that California Dreaming, sadly, is becoming a reality — a nightmarish reality.

You can’t go wrong reading Jennifer Rubin’s recap.

Erick Erickson thinks that, even if the outcome wasn’t as good as the most optimistic predictions, it was still a tsunami.

And here’s a link to my own blog:  Danny Lemieux explains why he’s optimistic.  I feel much better after reading his well-reasoned post.

An astute reader points out that, if you look at the numbers, “As of 1130 Wed there were NO DEM pickups in the Senate, and a measly 3 in the House.”

Fred Barnes has a solid rundown of the Republican landslide.  It’s a reminder that the party of “old white men” elected blacks, east Asians, Hispanics, and lots and lots of women, all bound together by two significant common denominators:  their love for this country and their believe in individual freedom.

Rosslyn Smith notes a huge trend:  State houses have gone Republican (except in California, of course).  Considering that states that have Republican governance do better economically, this shows great wisdom on the part of many American voters (except in California, of course).

Victor Davis Hanson helps understand Obama speak, with a funny lexicon.

On its home page today, the New York Times has a very cool, and quite honest, assessment of what happened yesterday, in the form of a bunch of graphics.

An observation based on reviewing the NYT’s graphics:  Despite a few aberrant states, the message is clear — conservatism was an overwhelming national trend.  Our only hope now is that the conservatives don’t blow it.  The biggest thing will be if their years in the wilderness, and especially the Obama experience, have taught them not to drop and pander instantly when their political opponents start accusing them of non-PC behavior (i.e., racism, homophobia, sexism, etc.).  That is, those words could always stop conservatives in their tracks.  Maybe they’ve now lost their magical power.

Apropos my rant about the fact that the counting should stop only when there are so few ballots left that they cannot affect the outcome, please recall that those ballots most frequently ignored come from overseas troops — the ones willing to fight and die so that the rest of us can vote.

I liked Michael Steele very much when I first became aware of him, and was terribly disappointed by his missteps as RNC chairman.  Jay Nordlinger suggests that his performance last night indicates that he may finally have found his footing.  I hope that’s true.  Like the little girl in the poem, When he’s good, he’s very, very good; and when he’s bad he’s horrid.

If you want an insight into all the wrong-headed things Obama piled into his first post-election interview, read Peter Wehner.  I’m not surprised, of course.  I’ve been predicting since the Year 0 in the Obama administration that this narcissist will find it impossible to concede that he had something to do with his regime’s failure.

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  • Danny Lemieux

    “Put this day on the calendar.  I predict that it will mark the beginning of America’s destruction and the rise of fascism.”

    My response to people like that is along the lines of, “please convince me that you have even a vague clue about what you are talking about by explaining for me how a party and political movement that advocates smaller government, less regulation, less taxation and more individual freedom is somehow “fascist”?”

  • SGT Dave

    You could have responded – “Sorry, already have that day on the calendar – 20 January 2008.”

    Just kidding – even Mussolini wasn’t as stupid or arrogant to believe they’d relegate the enemy to insignificance for 20 years on the basis of one election. 

    I guess I find it funny; the fascist/national socialist/cult of personality types are screaming that any rebellion against the almighty powers they have selected is fascism.  Have they looked in the dictionary – under either “hypocrite”, “propaganda”, or even “fascism”?

    I think the words they use do not mean what they think those words mean.  It’s inconceivable.

    SSG Dave
    “Do you happen to have six fingers on your right hand?  No?  Oh, it was too much to hope.”

  • Oldflyer

    Folks who call a candidate who supports limited government a right wing extremist, reveal their inability to grasp basic concepts.  Right wing extremism would equal, or approach, fascism, the working definition of totalitarian government.  Just as left-wing extremism equals communism which, what do you know, takes us full circle to totalitarian government.  Candidates who identify with the tea party principles advocate the direct opposite of extremist politics.  No one who supports limited government should ever let an assertion to the contrary go unchallenged.
    I have never understood California politics.  The state is “going to hell in a hand basket”, so the electorate opts to return  those who epitomize the problems to power.  There is a pop definition of insanity; it seems to apply here.
    It appears to me that voters around the country delivered a clear message.  Do not give us a choice between “tweedle de dee or tweedle de dum”.  Many non-traditional candidates successfully rode the wave.  Unfortunately, in some cases the GOP establishment refused to support the candidates chosen by the primaries, Delaware and Nevada for example, and they passed up an opportunity.  Will they learn?  Probably not.

  • http://ymarsakar.wordpress.com Ymarsakar

    “that’s going to affect you, even if only subconsciously.”
    Not me. But I’m not exactly normal on the bell curve.
    My thoughts on this matter here
    “I think the words they use do not mean what they think those words mean.  It’s inconceivable.”
    That’s cause they make it up as they go along. Always have, always will.

  • http://ymarsakar.wordpress.com Ymarsakar

    “The state is “going to hell in a hand basket”, so the electorate opts to return  those who epitomize the problems to power.”
    They are just voting for who pays their bills.
    It is not their fault. It is not as if they have free will or anything. Slaves do not have freedom to choose.

  • JKB

    I keep reading all this gnashing of teeth over how the tea party cost the republicans the Senate.  Can anyone tell me what the republicans in the Senate hoped to do if they’d won?  What was McConnell’s plan?  Outside the tea party candidates, I know nothing about what the Senate republicans were about other than “not the Obama.”  Also, why should the establishment republicans have control of the Senate when they publicly opposed their own candidates because the primaries didn’t go their way.  Whaah.
    Probably for the best as a locked up Congress is usually good for the country although we do have an out of control Obama regulators.  Maybe the Senate republicans will learn something about the will of the people and the head of the RSCC, he needs a primary challenger next time he’s up.

  • http://ymarsakar.wordpress.com Ymarsakar

    I keep reading all this gnashing of teeth
    May they gnash their teeth until it breaks. Then have Obama pay you dental bills.
    Or maybe Mayo here will offer them.

  • http://ymarsakar.wordpress.com Ymarsakar

    The Senate hasn’t followed the will of the people ever since it was changed to a popular vote franchise.

  • Gringo

    The biggest thing will be if their years in the wilderness, and especially the Obama experience, have taught them not to drop and pander instantly when their political opponents start accusing them of non-PC behavior (i.e., racism, homophobia, sexism, etc.).  That is, those words could always stop conservatives in their tracks.  Maybe they’ve now lost their magical power.

    The best  reply came from Gateway Pundit.
    Racist Teabaggers Elect Allen West, Nikki Haley, Tim Scott & Marco Rubio
    From PJ and Bryan Preston:
    Bill Flores crushed Chet Edwards in TX-17 and Francisco “Quico” Canseco defeated Rodriguez in TX-23…Looking farther to the west, New Mexico has replaced its Democratic governor, Bill Richards, with native Texan and conservative Republican Susana Martinez.  Martinez is New Mexico’s first female governor, and the first female Hispanic governor anywhere.  That she ran on the issue of border security, and won, speaks volumes.
    From NYT graphic: Raul Labrador in ID-1, and Bryan Sandoval was elected Nevada Governor, defeating Harry Reid’s son Rory.
    Can also mention the bigoted tirade from Loretta Sanchez in California against her Republican opponent Van Tran , who was born in Vietnam.

  • http://ymarsakar.wordpress.com Ymarsakar

    Book, I think you called im a sociopath rather than a narcissist at first ; )

  • jj

    Got no particular problem with California going down – as long as y’all got no problem with me – and all the rest of the country – saying “nope” when you come looking/expecting/demanding help.

    You’re asses enough to re-elect Moonbeam and Boxer – you live with it.  Don’t put it on me – or anybody else.

  • Charles Martel

    Jerry Brown has always opposed Proposition 13, which allows property tax assessments to increase by a maximum of 2% per year. For the statists, repeal of Prop 13 is the Holy Grail. People like my wife and me, who now pay about $4,000 a year on a house we’ve lived in for 31 years, could, if Prop 13’s restrictions were lifted, find our taxes tripled to around $12,000 per year.

    This would be a cash cow moment for the state’s tapeworms (sorry to mix species in my metaphor), who would be able to generate additional billions in taxes at the stroke of a pen. The problem, of course, would be that as people like my wife and me are forced out of our homes, there really won’t be anybody to buy them. Middle-class people will be reluctant to buy into a high-price market in a high-tax state. In any case, there will be fewer middle-class buyers interested in even taking a look because the state’s confiscatory tax mode will have either exiled many existing businesses or dissuaded many potential businesses from locating here.

    Of course if we are forced to sell at fire-sale prices, the assessed worth of our home will go down, diminishing the windfall rvenue stream the state will have already accustomed itself to.

    This would be obvious to anybody whose bathroom reading material extends beyond the New York Times. So I can’t be the only one who searches in vain to find an example of high intelligence among “progressives.” Biden? Boxer? Obama? Holder? Chomsky? Jon Stewart? Junior Brown? These are our best and brightest?


  • Danny Lemieux

    Hang in there, Charles. You and your housing value are probably in for a rough ride for a while but, given that this is (still) the U.S. of A, things will probably right themselves handily after the collapse. Things change quickly in modern times.