I think the cobwebs have cleared enough that I can succinctly sum up what last night means . . . and does not mean.
First, if any Republicans are thinking last night is a resounding endorsement of them, they are in for a rude awakening in two years. This was a rejection election (which I will get to) not an endorsement election. Any number of polls show that people don’t like Republicans; they just dislike Obama and his allies more.
With the control of both houses of Congress, Republicans have an opportunity to set the agenda in Washington. They must do that well to win people over to their side. Any less will likely result in a bad 2016 for them when rejecting Obama is not so much on the ballot.
As for the Democrats, denial runs deep, very deep. Harry Reid’s interpretation of the election is comical: “The message from voters is clear: They want us to work together.”
This from a man who roadblocked Republicans from doing much of anything in the Senate, from offering amendments, from bringing House-passed bills to the floor of the Senate, etc. John Hinderaker summarizes Reid’s time well:
Harry Reid’s tenure as Senate Majority Leader hasn’t just been controversial, it has been disgraceful. Reid submerged the Senate in partisan politics of the most vicious sort, turning the Senate floor into a forum for outrageous attacks on private citizens and refusing to allow that body to vote on more than 300 bills that had passed the House of Representatives–all the while blaming “gridlock” on the Republicans. Reid denied Republican senators the opportunity to offer amendments to legislation and froze them out of the legislative process.
But now he is eager “to work together.” And he says that’s what voters want as well.
WRONG. Like I said, this was a rejection election. It was a rejection of Obama and his puppet allies like Reid. Obama may not “feel repudiated,” but he was in historic fashion. Voters do not want Republicans to assist Obama and Reid. They want Obama and Reid STOPPED.
Oh, and isn’t it funny that when Democrats win, there are few calls in the Democrat News Media for them to work with Republicans. But when Republicans win?
What is dangerous is that some Republicans are buying such a nonsensical double standard. But as Leon Wolf warns, “Working with these people is not what America elected you to do, Republicans. It elected you to stop them.”
Now, Republicans should do their best to work with Obama to pass what they can of a common sense conservative agenda (although the effort surely will not be reciprocated). But the voters just said NO to Obama and his failed agenda loud and clear.
And that is exactly what Republican leaders should do as well.
And that includes saying NO to so-called immigration reform. That, too, got repudiated last night.
Sen. Mark Pryor of Arkansas voted for the Gang of 8 bill. He’s GONE.
Sen. Kay Hagan of North Carolina voted for the Gang of 8 bill. GONE.
Sen. Mark Udall of Colorado voted for the Gang of 8 bill. GONE
Sen. Mark Begich of Alaska voted for the Gang of 8 bill. Almost certainly GONE
Sen. Mary Landrieu of Louisiana voted for the Gang of 8 bill. She will probably be GONE after a January runoff.
Alison Grimes supported the Gang of 8 bill in Kentucky. DEFEATED
Michelle Nunn supported the Gang of 8 bill in Georgia. DEFEATED
Greg Orman supported the Gangof 8 bill in Kansas. DEFEATED
Bruce Braley supoorted the Gang of 8 bill in Iowa. DEFEATED
Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire and Mark Warner of Virginia voted for the Gang of 8 bill and BARELY SURVIVED against longshot challengers.
Do you sense a pattern in there somewhere?
Oregon rejecting driver’s licenses for illegals by a 2-to-1 margin particularly warms my heart.