EDITOR OF REDSTATE
Morning Briefing for November 4, 2010
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On November 2, 2010, the Republican Party made its largest gains in the House of Representatives since 1948 and, I have been told credibly, the largest single day gains of any political party in local, state, and federal races combined in more than 100 years.
19 state legislative bodies ultimately flipped to the GOP. Of the 18 states that will gain or lose seats in Congress for the next decade, the GOP controls 12 of the 18 Governor’s Mansions. The Democrats have been wiped out except among coastal elites and majority-minority districts. The GOP, long said to not be able to make inroads in New England, now controls the Maine Governor’s Mansion, the Maine legislature, the New Hampshire Legislature, a New Hampshire Senate seat, and several congressional seats.
Nonetheless, the Senate Republicans are unhappy because they thought they should have won the Senate. Never mind that few people think the Senate GOP has learned a single lesson from 2006 or 2008. But instead of taking responsibility, they are forced to blame someone. Much like Mr. Obama blaming the voters for Democrat losses by not appreciating what he’d done for them, the Senate GOP is blaming conservatives. And the face of that blame belongs to Jim DeMint.
In the past 24 hours, Senate Republicans and some RNC sources are blaming Jim DeMint directly. Instead of blaming Senator DeMint, the NRSC duo of John Cornyn and Rob Jesmer, and to a lesser the RNC, should blame themselves.
Here are the facts.
And, like all entertaining wars to the knife, this one has multiple factions. The ‘moderates’ blame the liberals for walking all over them; the liberals blame the moderates for going along with passing bad ideas like the stimulus, cap-and-trade, and Obamacare; the idiots (this may be a subgroup: there’s a bit of an overlap here with the first two groups) are claiming that this entire problem would have gone away with a little more marketing; and everybody blames the President. Because really, why not? It’s fairly clear by now that being on Barack Obama’s good side is not exactly inherently valuable. They’re all right, of course: the Democratic debacle in the House represents a perfect storm of legislative cowardice, political greed, a grotesquely flawed group understanding of proper civic policy, and a White House that routinely demonstrates the organizational and administrative core competency that normally one associates with opium-raddled Victorian expatriate remittance men. None of which helps them right now, of course; but it’s a lot of fun to point out.
Last night was an epic victory for conservatives and Republicans. We pushed back against the arrogant, over-spending Congressional Democrats and, by proxy, President Barack Obama. Much of the commentary has talked about the coming gridlock in Washington. For example, The Economist has described “two years of nothing.” But that’s not true. Even if there is little agreement on jobs and other policies, Congress and state governments will have to pass budgets and spending bills. That provides us an opening to continue to channel our activism, especially at the state level to have profound impact in actually reducing the size of government.
But first, let’s talk about the scope of the victory last night in the state capitals.
I just heard that Jeb Hensarling is going to run for Conference Chair to replace Mike Pence.
This is terrific news. Hensarling is one of the most substantive conservative policy guys I know in the House.
Coincidentally, Jeb Hensarling is the first politician I ever gave money to. Seriously. The Club For Growth, in Jeb’s first run, sent out a mail piece with a list of candidates to choose from.
Here was an economics guy who worked for Phil Freakin’ Gramm and was running for Congress to reduce government. SOLD!
Much will be made about last night’s election. Massive Republican gains across the board will properly be celebrated by some, but countered by others who think those gains might have been more if we’d just chosen the “right” candidates.
You see, to some in the Washington establishment – only they are smart enough to know who the right candidate is. We must have candidates who “can win,” they say. They will focus on Senate races in Colorado, Nevada and Delaware, in particular, as examples of candidates gone wrong. Of course, in so doing, they will gloss over those conservatives who shook the establishment to its core en route to victory, such as Mike Lee in Utah, Marco Rubio in Florida, Rand Paul in Kentucky and Pat Toomey in Pennsylvania.
But all of this completely misses the point.