Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Day After Thoughts on the Midterm Elections

In life, you’ll have your back up against the wall many times. You might as well get used to it. Just remember, it’s not the size of the dog in the fight, but the size of the fight in the dog.

-- Paul “Bear” Bryant

Well the election results were bad, as we expected them to be. The Democrats took back the House by winning around 20 seats and they may still take the Senate, as the two seats they need are dead heats in Virginia and Montana. I suspect they will take Virginia at the very least, giving them an even vote in the Senate.

Even so, this election is not a disaster by any means. The party out of power normally gains seats in both houses in the 6th year, as voters get tired of the same party and imagine that a new crop of fresh faces will somehow be better for the country. The tide rolls out but will roll back in again too. Politics, like the seasons, is cyclical. There will always be days when the sun shines but also days when it rains or even snows. If you don’t like the weather, be patient. Sooner or later it will change.

In any case, in two years we Republicans will have another shot at control with the 2008 Presidential and Congressional elections. If we don’t come up with a candidate a lot better than the lackluster George Bush, we’ll lose that too.

A sad note is that Tom McClintock was not elected as Lt. Governor of California, even though he was ahead in the polls. McClintock is a highly competent, knowledgeable, honest gentleman who would have been wonderful for the State. But he didn’t have a “D” after his name so they elected instead an uninspired, lackluster Democrat apparatchik in John Garamandi.

To hell with it all, I voted and the chips can fall where they may. I did everything I could and I am going to let go of the frustration and anger and focus on my bass practice, helping my son and enjoying the coming holidays.

UPDATE: The Democrats have taken Montana and it appears they will win Virginia too. They are ahead by 8,000 votes in Virginia but the results have not yet been certified. In any case, Democrat control of the Senate appears a certainty.

The Dems win, but not by a blowout and not by a mandate. The new political boundaries are close enough that they may quite possibly be regained in two years. Let’s hope that this election result scares the shit out of the remaining Republicans and forces them to get their act together.

Why did the Republicans lose? By way of analogy, it’s as if the Republican candidates were elected on a platform of sobriety and morality and then threw a drunken orgy to celebrate. No that really doesn’t work, fellas. Getting elected is one thing, staying elected is another. You’re never safe. You have to earn your office every day by honest, principled service.

GOP politicians cannot win without the support of their conservative base, so if they want to stay in office they had better return to the basic principles that got them there in the first place. Guess what, politicians: you do need us rank and file members after all.

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