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.
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.