BUT REPUBLICANS, DON'T GET CARRIED AWAY. YOU ARE SIMPLY VIEWED AS THE LESSER OF TWO EVILS RIGHT NOW. IT WAS A THROW THE BUMS OUT NIGHT. THAT SAID, YOU REPUBLICANS WILL GET ANOTHER CHANCE TO SHOW YOU CAN GOVERN. WILL YOU PROVE CAPABLE OF DOING SO OR WILL YOU SCREW IT UP LIKE YOU DID AFTER THE CONTRACT WITH AMERICA ELECTION VICTORIES OF 1994? TIME WILL TELL.
WE VERY MUCH NEED LESS MONEY TO GO TO GOVERNMENT AND MORE MONEY TO GO TO MIDDLE CLASS INCOME EARNERS. TAX REFORM IS ESSENTIAL.}
This morning's editorial 'Making the President Small' captures the situation very well:
"Democrats counting on favorable demographic trends to carry their party to victory in 2016 should consider three significant developments reflected in the outcome of Tuesday’s elections.
The first is that the Republican establishment, at least for the moment, has wrested control back from the Tea Party wing. This will make it more difficult for Democrats to portray their opponents as dangerous extremists.
The second, and more important, development was the success of Republican candidates in defusing accusations that their party is conducting a “war on women.” The effectiveness of Republican tactics on this front is sure to influence strategy in two years, threatening to undermine a line of attack that has generated a gender gap and has been crucial to past Democratic victories.
The third was the powerful showing of Republican gubernatorial candidates in two Midwestern states important to Democrats in presidential elections: Wisconsin and Michigan.
John Feehrey, president of . . . a lobbying firm, was outspoken . . . . “The hard-right is not in control of the agenda anymore. The inmates are no longer running the asylum. The adults are back in charge,” Feehery, who spent two decades working as an aid to the former Republican minority leader Robert Michel, the former House majority leader Tom DeLay, and former House Speaker Dennis Hastert, wrote in an email to the Times.
“The number one issue for the Senate majority is to have some accomplishments that the vulnerable members up in 2016 can run on,” according to Feehery.
David Brady, a political scientist at Stanford and deputy director of the Hoover Institution, voiced less certainty over the ability of the establishment to control the agenda.
Looking forward, Andrew Kohut of the Pew Research Center noted that now “the pressure is on the G.O.P. If they don’t meet or exceed expectations, given views of Obama and public discontent, it will raise real questions about their long term political viability.” If, however, “they do well, the pressure on the Democrats to have a new look going forward will be very great.”
While Republicans may not have a mandate, Democrats suffered some serious setbacks.
In Texas, Democrats expected to lose but were counting on Wendy Davis to demonstrate that the state will, in the near future, turn competitive. Instead, she lost her gubernatorial bid to Greg Abbott, the Republican candidate, by more than 20 points.
Stephen Ansolabehere, a political scientist at Harvard, wrote in response to my inquiry that “one of the important stories is the loss of several key moderate Democrats, including John Walsh in Montana, Tim Johnson in South Dakota, and Mark Pryor in Arkansas. That will be a big hole in the centrist faction.”
Republicans, in contrast, established beachheads in two Midwestern states that have traditionally cast presidential majorities for Democrats. In Michigan, Republican Governor Rick Snyder won re-election handily, and in Wisconsin, Scott Walker, a Republican governor with his eye on a presidential bid, overwhelmed Democratic challenger Mary Burke.
Both Walker and Snyder have won enactment of legislation adamantly opposed by organized labor in states where unions have been a powerful force in the past.
David Leege, political scientist emeritus at Notre Dame, summarized his assessment of the election in a late night email:
“Bi-election year 2014 was the final chapter in making the president small. The immediate aftermath of 2008 was that Americans had finally conquered their racial aversions. The election of Barack Obama was a victory both for renewed national hope and long-awaited democracy. Obama was big, a star, a voice to be reckoned with, a mind to be taken seriously.
“By 2014 Obama was small, a punching bag, easily bullied, the one to whom small politicians could talk tough, abusively, the one whose ideas were ignored, the one whom his fellow partisans would come to avoid at all cost. How could this happen in six short years?”
Now we'll turn our attention to the American "Virtucrats" who are everywhere in government and dominate both political parties.
But before doing that, I am happy to see that Illinois voters rejected Governor Pat Quinn in favor of --- get this --- a rich Republican businessman. And similar common sense anti-incumbent outcomes occurred through America, including where I live in Georgia. Now if We the People can just be treated with some respect and if the politicians will make a serious effort to do what they've been elected to do --- fix the economy, stifle government growth, create more and better middle class jobs, regain the respect of other nations and COMPROMISE with each other.
But compromise won't come easily to those who already know everything. And that's where the "Virtucrats" enter the otherwise happy morning after the election picture.
So what's a Virtucrat, you ask? Well, read on and see for yourself.
After the Midterms, Virtucrats Still Rule is subtitled 'President Obama and others in Washington derive a grand sense of themselves from the virtuousness of their opinions:'
"My single contribution to the English language is the word “virtucrat.” I invented it to describe those who derive their grand sense of themselves from the virtuousness of their opinions, and of no opinions more than their political opinions. These opinions fortify virtucrats morally, assuring them of their essential goodness.
The Goncourt brothers, in their “Journal,” wrote in 1863 that . . . “every political argument boils down to this: ‘I am better than you are.’ ” About politics, virtucrats would agree. Their politics endow them with their virtue, and make them better than you and me and anyone else whose political opinions differ from theirs.
The spirit of the virtucrat seems to be in the saddle and riding high at this moment in our political life. . . . President Obama and many members of Congress have in recent years illustrated what happens when virtucrats go head-to-head: stalemate and bad feeling all round. The relentless and vicious campaign ads preceding the midterm elections, chronically portraying political opponents as moral lepers, provide a stellar example of the virtucratic spirit unloosed. . . .
Virtucrats are plentiful on both sides of the political spectrum. The liberal virtucrat is for social justice, security, innovation; the conservative virtucrat for liberty, enterprise, tradition. The former considers the latter heartless, the latter considers the former naïve. . . .
The virtucrat . . . . For him there is right and there is wrong, and he is, invariably and inevitably, solidly in the right. Those who do not believe as he does are not merely wrong, but stupid, foolish and, when you get right down to it, scum, really. . . .
For the true virtucrat, though, such is his emotional investment in his opinions, such is his implacable righteousness, nothing is negotiable. Virtucratic thinking makes all genuine political discussion impossible. How could it be otherwise, so long as the virtucrat views his own position as unassailable and yours as more or less immoral?
Political arguments at the level of ideology are seldom won. . . . Politics is a great many things, but reasonable has never been chief among them.
The spirit of compromise, so alien to the virtucrat, is at the heart of doing the business of politics. Certainties in politics are few. The ends of politics—social justice or liberty, maximum or minimum government action—are perennially in dispute. Complete victory for one side or the other would mean defeat for a free society. The major political issues are always in the flux of controversy, except for the virtucrat. He enjoys certainty in the realm of the uncertain, self-righteousness where it has no place. The virtucrat’s certitude and self-satisfaction finally render him ineligible for true politics. It will take more than Tuesday’s midterms to shake the virtucratic grip on Washington."
There you have it. We the People have spoken, both firmly and with clarity.
That said, until we learn differently, we should assume that the Virtucrats will remain in control of government. They won again. They always do.
So now watch attentively to see if our 'public servants' will make a legitimate effort to do the people's business and make common sense compromises to do what the vast majority of common sense endowed adults would do.
While hope springs eternal, the problem with politics is that common sense isn't all that commonly used.
That's my take.