Friday, November 05, 2010

Stream of Consciousness...

My first 20 post-election thoughts, in no particular order...

1.  Toomsday!  Woo-hoo!  Pennsylvania finally replaces the weaselly douchebag (Specter).  Specter is the one elected politician in America (non-wacko division) whom people on both the left and right hated (my wife and I differ greatly on politics, and both of us despise Specter).   Toomey's exactly the sort of guy the GOP needs in the Senate -- he was fiscally conservative back in the late 1990's talking about Social Security reform when no one had the balls to do it.

2.  Loved on the humility of the GOP winners, but they can still blow it.  The good news is that the best speeches came from the guys who really can drive the party in a new direction and are sincere about it -- Rand Paul, Ron Johnson, and especially Marco Rubio.  I'm resisting the urge to start printing Rubio 2016 bumper stickers.

3.  Angle's and O'Donnell's losses show that the GOP's Tea Party wave can only be stopped if their candidates are subpar (Mike Lee, Paul, Johnson, and Rubio won going away) and by quirks of local politics (Nevada and especially Alaska).  Even Toomey's victory is impressive in a state with a Dem registration edge of 1.2 million voters.  Real Lesson: Better candidate vetting might produce better results.  Spin from Angle/O'Donnell supporters: the mainstream media and the Dems are misogynist assholes when it comes to women Republican candidates.  There's some truth to the charge (Nikki Haly's margin in South Carolina was probably a little lower than it should have been), but that's not the reason either one lost.

4.  The Murkowski/Miller mess might be the best thing possible for the GOP.  If Miller loses, Sarah Palin takes a bit of a hit.  I'm agnostic on that issue, but the White House probably wants her in the race in 2012, when I think Obama might be beatable by someone else (then again, the whole GOP field at present makes me think we need to consider running a video clip of Ronald Reagan).  Last night's results will probably lead a lot of GOP moderates to start looking to coalesce around one candidate, while conservatives/Tea Partiers might give pause to supporting Sarah so ardently, because of #3. 

5.  Interesting question in alaska -- the margin will be close enough that absentees will need to be counted (which may narrow the margin, since Miller is former Army, and they'll need to interpret each write-in).  Could be headed for a long fight. 

6.  California is officially screwed.  I saw someone say this, but it bears repeating: this week's results make it more likely California needs a federal bailout in the near future because of whom they elected... and also make it less likely they'll get one because of whom the rest of the country elected.  And on top of that, an electorate that is stoned enough to re-elect Boxer and bring back Jerry Brown somehow decides not to legalize pot.

7.  Maryland and Massachusetts are both depressing results, because if the GOP can't get a Congressional seat in Massachusetts last night, they never will (and Scott Brown will probably lose re-elect in 2012), while Maryland re-elected a corrupt jackass as Governor by a wide margin during a GOP wave.  Don't get me started on Barney Frank's idiotic victory speech.

8.  My own Congress seat is headed for a recount, with the incumbent Dem in the lead by less than 1,000 votes out of about 205,000 cast.  My fondest hope still exists: the margin narrows and the GOP candidate wins by one vote, all because my wife couldn't neutralize my vote due to a work conference.

9.  Jon Runyan becomes the first former Eagle in Congress, representing Kevin.  Perhaps Donovan McNabb can join him, since he's apparently not good enough to run 2 minute drills anymore.

10.  F--- Nevada.  F--- Harry Reid.  Sorry.  They totally killed my buzz with that result.

11.  GOP +6 in the Senate is not good enough, but it shows Dem strategy of localizing elections and attacking candidates personally worked to some degree.  However, the GOP will probably lose Colorado and Washington combined by about 1% of the vote, which portends good things for 2012.  Keep in mind that of the 33 seats up this year, the GOP had to defend 18 or so; the Dems have to defend more seats in 2012.

12.  On the plus side of Harry Reid's victory, he's still a douche, and still on the national stage, hanging around Obama like a stale fart.

13.  The biggest trend no one discussed as much as they should have -- the Midwest save for Minnesota basically turned deep red.  Michigan, Ohio, Iowa, Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania... with the exception of the Illinois Governor's race and three tight House races in Iowa where Dems surivived, the GOP basically executed a sweep.  In the states listed above, the GOP went a combined 11-1 in the Senate/Governor's races, stealing 5 Governor's seats previously held by Dems and 3 Senate seats held by Dems.

14.  Back to Rubio... he nearly won 50% in a three-way race, and probably carried Rick Scott across the finish line to a win in the Governor's race.  Wow.

15.  Nikki Haley wins in South Carolina, giving us two Governors of Indian-American descent.  I am officially a slacker.

16.  The Dems may end up seeing the control of the Senate as a curse, especially Obama.  He may have to turn to the center, because going left and blaming the GOP for being obstructionist will be difficult when he still controls the Senate.  But the Dems in the Senate will have to be more moderate, because guys like Ben Nelson, Mark Prior, and others face tough re-election battles in two years in states where the GOP is ascendent. 

17. But Obama doesn't want to turn to the center too much, because he may get a primary challenge from the left.  They're still ticked that there's no public option, we're still in Afghanistan, Gitmo's open, gays aren't in the military, no cap and trade, and now Obama may have to agree to extend all of the Bush tax cuts.  He's in a tough spot, although the GOP is probably incmpetent enough to help him out. 

18. Charlie Crist, biggest loser, followed by Pelosi, Obama, O'Donnell, Angle, Whitman, and Conway.  Speaking of Conway, I hope Rand Paul brings Aqua Buddha to the U.S. Senate floor.

19.  Right now, I'd expect next year to be a battle legislatively, after the parties agree to extend the tax cuts and make some symbolic spending cuts.  Obama's deficit commission will issue a report that will lead to a fight, and health care will be a mess as the GOP tries to defund Obamacare.  I look forward to the resulting government shutdown and drinking Scotch at 10 in the morning for a couple weeks.

20.  734 days until November 6, 2012.

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