Last night, the American people overwhelmingly rejected Governor Mitt Romney’s vision for a moderate path forward. In fact, the swing states were so turned off by his inability to create a stark contrast with the President’s vision, that they opted for Mr. Obama’s continued path of failure. That is a loud message for republicans.
In the Senate, bad candidates lost and good candidates won. That is the take away from state wide races. People will blame the Tea Party for Mourdock and Akin but the Tea Party can blame the establishment for Allen and Thompson.
There are two groups of Republicans that won big last night. House Republicans were vindicated in their opposition to Obama’s agenda. The American people liked having a check on the President after the first two years and didn’t trust him enough to take the check away. Second, thirty states now have Republican Governors.
What are the two things that the governors and House members have in common that Romney and our Senate candidates didn’t? They were conservative, not moderate and they focused on local issues that people cared about. Also, for all the talk about Super PACs, Ds were much more effective in advertising than Rs.
Additionally, this election taught us that no republicans should ever again use the word “rape.” Pro-life candidates won elections across the board when they didn’t part and parcel when babies should be given the right to life. But when we begin making exceptions, or trying to explain why we agree or disagree with caveats is when we get in trouble. From now on, we are pro-life unless the life of the mother is at risk. Let the Democrats make other distinctions between which babies get life and which get death.
Mr. Obama remains President. He limped across the finish line without a mandate to speak of. He will now pivot to letting tax cuts expire and taking care of pet constituencies with a bit of Keynesian stimulus sprinkled on top. If this is in fact what he plans to do, Republicans have a responsibility to oppose him. People don’t like gridlock but sometimes, checks and balances are the only thing protecting the American people from irresponsible policy. Imagine if Democrats had stood up to Bush on the war in Iraq or the Patriot Act, but they didn’t. They became the stooges of the Neo-cons and look where we ended up. The Minority has a responsibility to stop Obama’s economic agenda in these next four years. Compromise is great when appropriate. But compromise for the sake of compromise leads to failure. We have to be the voice of economic sanity. If we don’t stand for something we’ll fall for anything. You get the idea. Last night, for the thousandth time, Obama made empty promises about bipartisanship. We’ve seen that before. I believe it ends with Obama gloating to Eric Cantor that “I won.” The House should let the President know that we can work together or we can wait him out. Congress has no term limits.
Finally, Mitt Romney joins the likes of George Bush post-tax raising, Bob Dole and John McCain. America rejects squishy moderates. If only there had been conservatives in the blogosphere warning that Romney did not have what it takes to defeat Obama. If only conservatives had rang the alarm bells on Mitt Romney, then maybe the party would have been wiser. I’m kidding of course. We all knew he was a loser early on, but we sat back with our hands tied as Florida, Virginia, New Hampshire, Michigan, Pennsylvania, etc. gave Romney the nomination. We continue to let blue states pick our candidates, only to abandon us when it really matters. We need to reform the primary system. Why doesn’t Texas get a say in our candidate?
All in all, last night offered up a conservative mandate for the Republican Party. The liberal zealot Tammy Baldwin won in Wisconsin, Conservative Ted Cruz won in Texas, Elizabeth Warren won in Mass and Barack Obama won the presidency. Voters like bold choices and that’s what they chose. When you give them moderates like George Allen in Virginia that aren’t really ready to offer up any stark conservative ideas, they usually end up going with the candidate that is offering bold ideas – even if they don’t 100% agree with those ideas.
That sets the table for the coming years. Do we want the next election to be 2010 with grassroots conservatives? Or 2012 with Karl Rove Super PACs? The results speak for themselves.
As for me, I’m taking the rest of the week off to lick my wounds and to spend time with my daughter.
P.S. — How will Obama in the White House boost Ken Cuccinelli’s chances of winning the Governor’s mansion here in Virginia next year? I’d say he’s looking better already.