Tsunami-Lite

In every monstrous storm, there are a few ratty old buildings that somehow remain standing in the calm afterward. Such is the case with 2010.

Nevadans were so angry at Harry Reid that they punished his son with a resounding defeat -- but could not bring themselves to let go of the perceived perks their state gets by having the number-one seat in the Senate. Of course, anything that irritates Chuck Schumer cannot be all bad.

Meanwhile, three big states -- California, New York, and Illinois -- decided to continue their governor-assisted economic suicide. Those are a few of the head-scratching paradoxes staining an otherwise-historic wave election validating the notion of a conservative ascendancy across the land. (More on those later.)

It was a tsunami-lite that shifted dramatically the power in the House of Representatives and many state houses and legislatures. These power shifts will have ramifications in the lives of people everywhere and will also have impact on the 2012 election, which we are told will begin today.

This was an ascendancy so dramatic that it washed the "Obama Senate Seat" away from the Democrats in deep-blue Illinois and handed the GOP the majority of the governorships and state legislatures nationwide. While the national thrashing is what most will talk about, the carnage on state Democrat organizations was even more impressive. 

This was a movement so startling that the House Speaker-in-waiting was overwhelmed with the assignment his party had been handed even as their establishment power structure has been spanked in the past months. Folks saw what they used to like about John Boehner -- the humble struggling small businessman.  It's as if he realized he needed to become that man again. Memo to Mr. Boehner: you do!

Sure, the tea party movement may have had embarrassments in Nevada and Delaware, but they had big wins in Florida and Kentucky in the Senate, numerous governorships and a ton of House seats.  And in the case of Florida and Kentucky, the tea party victims include powerful establishment Republicans in primaries and Democrats / latter day independents during this election cycle.

And in the House, longtime Democrat committee chairmen fell like bowling pins, and sometimes by big margins to tea party Republicans.  That there was no national message of coherence by the GOP probably caused them to leave 10 to 20 House seats on the table.  To the extent there was a coherent message, you can thank the tea party movement.

When Barack Obama said "I won," he was referring to an election where people voted for his "hope and change" without the foggiest notion of what it meant.  Today, conservatives can say "we won" with the confidence that the 2010 electorate knew exactly what it means.  Moderate Republicans had best say nothing, unless it is "yes sir" and "yes ma'am" to the new faces. 

Yes, I know Sarah Palin told Brett Baier before the returns came in that the Republicans should be willing to work with Obama to get things done for the country.  The problem with her statement -- if she really believes it -- is that small government cannot compromise with statism. 

That there were a few election results that seem to counter the conservative ascendency speaks to the fact that there is education to be continued and perhaps certain states beyond saving.  And there might be some historic teachable moments attached to those that will speak to other campaigns.

Reid's stinky pyrrhic victory in Nevada is crushing emotionally but perhaps a gift in disguise.  Running against Reid and Nancy Pelosi surely boosted conservatives' chances nationwide, and now they can continue to harm the Democrats -- assuming Pelosi stays in the House with a demotion from Speaker.  Moreover, the Republicans can now fight against the Obama-Reid agenda and not appear to be picking on the black guy.  This will help us sell our message of smaller government, and this is critical.

California, Illinois and New York just gave the rest of the country explicit permission to tell them to go to hell when they come begging for bail-outs of their bankrupt state budgets.  By electing Brown, Quinn and Cuomo, voters in these states somehow decided that it makes sense to allow the government unions to simply swallow them whole.  I say: have at it, and the rest of us will sit and watch and use your failures as teachable moments for the next election cycle.

In the meantime, voters in North Carolina and West Virginia take the schizophrenia awards for somehow opting out of the tea party movement.  The Robert Byrd seat is now held by a blue dog so conservative that he ran over the ghost of Reagan in his last minute lurch to the right.  With so many Democrats in the Senate up in two years and Joe Manchin now in, the Dems will suffer the awful fate of "controlling" the Senate while not having the philosophical majority.  This is not bad news for conservatives particularly, as Pat Caddell called it "functional control" for the GOP.

And keep in mind, this is a GOP that now numbers Marco Rubio and Rand Paul among its new stars. This will change the tenor of the senate debate if nothing else.

North Carolina meanwhile left three of its four blue dogs in office while states like Virginia, Florida, Kansas and Pennsylvania swept theirs all away.  Outliers like these made the difference between 65 House seats and perhaps 80-90.  Those dogs will now have to explain their conservative campaigns as they caucus with what is now a very leftist radical minority Democrat House caucus. 

These races were the cloud behind the very shiny silver lining last night, but again these could be gifts in disguise.  Even with the big wins of last night, there is still low hanging fruit for conservatives in 2012. And that will help shape the very critical national debate that we will continue to have starting today.
In every monstrous storm, there are a few ratty old buildings that somehow remain standing in the calm afterward. Such is the case with 2010.

Nevadans were so angry at Harry Reid that they punished his son with a resounding defeat -- but could not bring themselves to let go of the perceived perks their state gets by having the number-one seat in the Senate. Of course, anything that irritates Chuck Schumer cannot be all bad.

Meanwhile, three big states -- California, New York, and Illinois -- decided to continue their governor-assisted economic suicide. Those are a few of the head-scratching paradoxes staining an otherwise-historic wave election validating the notion of a conservative ascendancy across the land. (More on those later.)

It was a tsunami-lite that shifted dramatically the power in the House of Representatives and many state houses and legislatures. These power shifts will have ramifications in the lives of people everywhere and will also have impact on the 2012 election, which we are told will begin today.

This was an ascendancy so dramatic that it washed the "Obama Senate Seat" away from the Democrats in deep-blue Illinois and handed the GOP the majority of the governorships and state legislatures nationwide. While the national thrashing is what most will talk about, the carnage on state Democrat organizations was even more impressive. 

This was a movement so startling that the House Speaker-in-waiting was overwhelmed with the assignment his party had been handed even as their establishment power structure has been spanked in the past months. Folks saw what they used to like about John Boehner -- the humble struggling small businessman.  It's as if he realized he needed to become that man again. Memo to Mr. Boehner: you do!

Sure, the tea party movement may have had embarrassments in Nevada and Delaware, but they had big wins in Florida and Kentucky in the Senate, numerous governorships and a ton of House seats.  And in the case of Florida and Kentucky, the tea party victims include powerful establishment Republicans in primaries and Democrats / latter day independents during this election cycle.

And in the House, longtime Democrat committee chairmen fell like bowling pins, and sometimes by big margins to tea party Republicans.  That there was no national message of coherence by the GOP probably caused them to leave 10 to 20 House seats on the table.  To the extent there was a coherent message, you can thank the tea party movement.

When Barack Obama said "I won," he was referring to an election where people voted for his "hope and change" without the foggiest notion of what it meant.  Today, conservatives can say "we won" with the confidence that the 2010 electorate knew exactly what it means.  Moderate Republicans had best say nothing, unless it is "yes sir" and "yes ma'am" to the new faces. 

Yes, I know Sarah Palin told Brett Baier before the returns came in that the Republicans should be willing to work with Obama to get things done for the country.  The problem with her statement -- if she really believes it -- is that small government cannot compromise with statism. 

That there were a few election results that seem to counter the conservative ascendency speaks to the fact that there is education to be continued and perhaps certain states beyond saving.  And there might be some historic teachable moments attached to those that will speak to other campaigns.

Reid's stinky pyrrhic victory in Nevada is crushing emotionally but perhaps a gift in disguise.  Running against Reid and Nancy Pelosi surely boosted conservatives' chances nationwide, and now they can continue to harm the Democrats -- assuming Pelosi stays in the House with a demotion from Speaker.  Moreover, the Republicans can now fight against the Obama-Reid agenda and not appear to be picking on the black guy.  This will help us sell our message of smaller government, and this is critical.

California, Illinois and New York just gave the rest of the country explicit permission to tell them to go to hell when they come begging for bail-outs of their bankrupt state budgets.  By electing Brown, Quinn and Cuomo, voters in these states somehow decided that it makes sense to allow the government unions to simply swallow them whole.  I say: have at it, and the rest of us will sit and watch and use your failures as teachable moments for the next election cycle.

In the meantime, voters in North Carolina and West Virginia take the schizophrenia awards for somehow opting out of the tea party movement.  The Robert Byrd seat is now held by a blue dog so conservative that he ran over the ghost of Reagan in his last minute lurch to the right.  With so many Democrats in the Senate up in two years and Joe Manchin now in, the Dems will suffer the awful fate of "controlling" the Senate while not having the philosophical majority.  This is not bad news for conservatives particularly, as Pat Caddell called it "functional control" for the GOP.

And keep in mind, this is a GOP that now numbers Marco Rubio and Rand Paul among its new stars. This will change the tenor of the senate debate if nothing else.

North Carolina meanwhile left three of its four blue dogs in office while states like Virginia, Florida, Kansas and Pennsylvania swept theirs all away.  Outliers like these made the difference between 65 House seats and perhaps 80-90.  Those dogs will now have to explain their conservative campaigns as they caucus with what is now a very leftist radical minority Democrat House caucus. 

These races were the cloud behind the very shiny silver lining last night, but again these could be gifts in disguise.  Even with the big wins of last night, there is still low hanging fruit for conservatives in 2012. And that will help shape the very critical national debate that we will continue to have starting today.

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