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2010 Election Day Thoughts...
Election Day 2010 is here. I’ve already voted, and I hope that you have done so or will do so today. The pundits are out like I’ve never seen them before. Conservatives are trying to avoid an outright dancing celebration in the streets; liberals are split into camps of denial (predicting retention of both houses of the Congress), depression (bemoaning a loss that they believe is undeserved) and rage (demanding that Mr. Obama put the Conservatives into “their place” and force his agenda down their throats). Whatever your perspective on events, if you are a legal citizen, please vote. It’s a civic duty and obligation. I’d rather be defeated by 100% turnout than have a back-door win on 35% turnout.
The consensus among well-reasoned poll-watchers is that this is an unprecedented wave election. The reasonable predictions say that between 50 and 110 House seats will switch from Democrat to Republican, and at least nine Senate seats will also switch parties. Such a result would be a commanding House majority and a 50-50 Senate, or 51-49 if Joe Lieberman decides to caucus with the GOP. Feelers have already been put out to West Virginia Gov. Joe Manchin, should he win, offering him plum committee assignments in order to go from the Democrat party to the GOP.
But this all may be sophistry. Jay Cost and Sean Trende of www.realclearpolitics.com have both made compelling arguments that the polls this year are, for the most part, under-sampling GOP strength, perhaps substantially, by basing their electorate composition on the 2006 and 2008 races, where GOP turnout was depressed and Democrat turnout was incredibly energized by the Obama candidacy. If that is the case, we could easily see a House that is GOP 278-157, and a 54-46 GOP Senate without Mr. Lieberman changing caucus.
Where does the truth lie? We won’t know until the vote totals are reported. So, to what other signs might we refer? For starters, where are the stumpers going? President Obama was stumping for Mr. Manchin in West Virginia, Mr. Coons in Delaware, and Ms. Murray in Washington. Therefore, these three seats, which have been reported as secure for the Democrat party, must be considered vulnerable. Especially surprising is Vice President Biden stumping for Mr. Coons in Delaware, where the press has been saying that Christine O’Donnell will be trounced. Mr. Biden drew a mere 300 persons. This morning, the Coons campaign issued a statement expressing worry about low turnout in New Castle County, which bodes well for an O’Donnell shocker. Remember that Ms. O’Donnell, if she wins, will be immediately seated, as will Mark Kirk in Illinois and Ken Buck in Colorado, thus raising the GOP delegation to 44 in the lame-duck session of the Congress.
It therefore appears that the Democrats will be soundly trounced today. However, it must be noted that the GOP should not take this as an endorsement. Numerous pundits, as well as highly-regarded pollster Scott Rasmussen, have made this point. I agree. The people are punishing the Democrats for the serial enactment of numerous pieces of anti-liberty legislation: The Stimulus (Porkulus) bill, the Health Care Boondoggle, the Banking “reform” act, and the House’s attempt to pass “cap and tax” legislation – all against strong popular opposition.
The GOP must realize that its actions can be nothing like they were during the Bush years, where government was grown at a marginally smaller rate than the Democrats grew it. The people have not endorsed a GOP agenda, but they have supported the Tea Party agenda, which calls for government reduction and fiscal responsibility.
This election is not about gay marriage or abortion or gays in the military or morality in schools. It’s about government workers, represented by unions who spend dues money to elect the people on the other side of the bargaining table, and exact for themselves a princely living while the private sector is demonized and systematically stripped of wealth. That must stop. It’s about Mr. Obama adding more to the national debt in under two years than presidents Washington through Reagan, inclusively. That must stop. It’s about raising tax rates (which never raises actual revenue) instead of cutting spending. That must stop. It’s about government appointees end-running Congress when its conservative bloc stops unpopular legislation, as the EPA did by declaring Carbon Dioxide a pollutant. That must stop.
If the GOP takes the election results for what they are, and works for libertarian reforms, it will gain seats in three houses in 2012: House, Senate, and 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.