I spent most of last night about one step away from being curled up crying in the fetal position while sucking my thumb under a blanket. It was brutal, folks. But, the sun is out, and in the beautiful phrasing of Psalm 31:24, “be of good courage.” In the spirit of good courage, here are my Ten Silver Linings (some serious, some not so serious) for my fellow GOPers as we move forward, followed by one big lesson:
1) The GOP will hold the House by roughly the same margin that they won it by in 2010, and GOP Congressman will have received either slightly more votes than President Obama. Speaker Boehner has (correctly) stated that he’ll hold the line on refusing to raise taxes. Folks, it’s on us to hold him to it, and to make sure that our Caver-In-Chief with the Speaker's gavel grows a spine. He'll need it.
2) I can at least be happy that my Party’s standard-bearer will no longer be a man who doesn’t drink alcohol (because I’m going to need a lot of that to get through the rest of the Obama Administration’s tenure), and at least Paul Ryan’s physique won’t be front-page news anymore making me feel bad about not going to the gym.
3) We won’t ever have to listen to Joe Biden make another rambling, inane, "where exactly am I anyway?" campaign speech.
4) It’s possible the media will finally start talking about Benghazi. Unlikely, but possible.
5) Obama will have won re-election by the smallest margin of victory as an incumbent President in the modern era; folks, a mandate he ain’t got. Again, it's up to us to make sure that conservatives don't allow him to act like he's got one.
6) Remember all those domestic security issues that liberals used to care about (wire-tapping, closing GITMO, drone attacks, warrantless domestic surveillance, extraordinary rendition, etc.)? Liberals had to stop caring- or at least stop being public about caring- about them when Obama flip-flopped on all of them in 2009; maybe now they’ll start caring about them again.
7) Perhaps my fellow Republicans will finally understand that Dick Morris has about as much credibility as the Clinton Administration he worked under. And (hopefully) the pundits who got things dead, dead wrong—on both sides of the aisle—will be held accountable.
8) Speaking of Clinton: At least we'll no longer be treated to the circus show of Bill Clinton, who repeatedly told the American people that he “did not have sex with that woman” (and was indicted for perjury for telling a Grand Jury the same thing) asking people not to vote for Romney because Romney doesn’t tell the truth.
9) We also won’t be treated to the circus show of Bill Clinton, who cheated on his wife by using a position of power to take advantage of a young naive woman, telling the American people not to vote for Republicans because they don’t respect women.
10) 2014 is going to taste a lot like 2010, and that is going to be a lot of fun. Obama is a lame duck the day after his inauguration…he gets a lot lamer in November 2014.
And the big lesson moving forward: voter enthusiasm has been EXTREMELY overvalued. The only things that made me, an eternal election pessimist, question whether Obama could possibly be beaten were the incredibly small crowds that were showing up to his rallies as the campaign was winding down; even a free Obama concert featuring Bruce Springsteen and Jay Z couldn’t get an arena more than half full. Many of us on the right predicted that voters who weren’t excited about Obama would stay home on election day. As it turned out, they didn’t: Obama speaking to all those empty arenas showed that many voters weren’t passionate to vote for him…but vote for him they did. We won't get fooled again into thinking that we can win just on the strength of our excitement and drive.