Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Thoughts On The 2010 Election

Or, Where do We Go From Here?

Observing the response to the Obama Administration's domestic and international actions over the past year has been fascinating. Despite how you view his policies and actions from a political perspective, it would be difficult to find disagreement with the statement that President Obama generates significant positive and negative passion from both his political base and his political opponents.  Regarding the 2010 elections, the key questions have been, "who will come out and vote, and how will they vote?"

Now we know......

The American people rejected this administration in the most significant display of "Your Fired !" in over 70 years since Herbert Hover's administration, with Republican gaining 6 seats in the Senate, 60 seats in the House, 8 State Governors, and 26 State legislatures.

Listening to various news channels throughout the day, those that leaned favorable towards President Obama and the Democrats tended to stress that the Republicans hadn't won by as large a margin as had been predicted, and highlighted the Democrat wins in California and Connecticut.  Those that favored Republicans seemed disappointed for the same reasons.  They shouldn't have been.  This is a historic non-violent reversal of political power, and should be celebrated, albeit soberly; the contest is not over, and much work is left to be done in order to change the trajectory of government control and spending that the Democrats launched.

Listening to President Obama during his press briefing this afternoon, he seemed to convey the impression that  he just move ahead on the next of his check-off list, just not so quickly.  He swerved around all the reporters attempts to question and tag him with responsibility for his Party's stunning reversal in the elections.  There was no apparent regret for any of the actions that caused this; the 'TARP', 'Stimulus Plan', 'Obamacare', and new financial regulations.  He seemed to express the view that now that the Republicans have some political leverage, that they should help out by assisting him with his agenda.

The bottom line appears to be that yesterday's victories were just step one of a multi-step assault on the extensive foundation and structure of governmental control that the Democrats erected during the past two years.  The problem that the Republicans face in attempting this reversal is significant.  They will only control one branch of the bi-cameral legislature, and the executive branch can veto any legislation that they are able to pass.  Along with that, any steps that they initiate to improve the economy, increase jobs, reduce international tensions, or improvement of any other quality of life element, may backfire on them by reducing voter displeasure with Obama and the Democrats for the 2012 election.  On the other hand......lack of demonstrable and positive results will also render them vulnerable themselves in 2012.  Conundrum.

Can the Republicans steer their way through these convoluted and treacherous straights?  Will the Tea-Party backed Freshmen Representatives and Senators add the right amount of spice to energize and help the old-guard Republicans rise to the occasion effectively, or will they be a net disappointment by just being disruptive? Will Obama play the Republicans like a fiddle, while they struggle to press their plans?  And will the Republicans have the ability to effectively communicate their plans and positions to the electorate so that they are perceived as being part of the solution and not the problem?  We shall see......

Buckle up, it looks like it's going to be a real bumpy ride for the next two years....or so.



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