November 3, 2010
After the Party's Over, A Dose of Reality
Tea Partiers and other activists should savor their historic victory Tuesday night. They worked very hard on a grassroots level to capture the House, throwing a monkey wrench in Obama's plans to "transform" America into a European-socialist nation
But they should not delude themselves into thinking that they have driven a stake into the heart of the leftist vampire that the Democratic Party has become. The real result of Tuesday's election was not so much a nationwide repudiation of Obama's leftism as a return to the status quo ante -- that is, the status quo prior to the abnormal Democratic Blue Dog victories of 2006 and 2008.
In 2006 and 2008, voters -- weary of 12 years of the Bush dynasty in the White House and tired of George W's oratorical malpractice -- succumbed to Democratic propaganda and swept Blue Dog conservative Democrats into office. Voters soon found that Obama's eloquent demagoguery was a pack of lies, but it was too late: Speaker Nancy Pelosi managed to use the Blue Dogs as useful idiots to pass radical cap-and-trade and health care legislation by the barest of margins. On Tuesday, Red State voters purged the Blue Dogs, who had always been Pelosi's sacrificial pawns.
But the feature of Tuesday's election results that should give Tea Partiers pause is how few inroads they made into true-Blue States. Sure, there was a pleasant surprise in the defeat of Sen. Feingold in Wisconsin. Despite that, Blue State leftists retrenched and continued to elect leftists by wide margins.
In the bankrupt and union-choked state of California, leftist Senator Barbara Boxer won re-election over a Silicon Valley businesswoman, and, incredibly, voters re-elected Jerry "Governor Moonbeam" Brown, a hippie throwback who last served as governor in the 1970s and early ‘80s. (The rest of the nation may fear that the Obama presidency is a reprise of the Carter years, but apparently California looks back fondly on the late ‘70s).
In New York, voters turned the governor's office into a hereditary position, electing Andrew Cuomo (son of three-term leftist Mario) over Tea Party businessman Carl Paladino by a two-to one margin. House incumbents in the solidly left-wing districts in New York City were re-elected by margins not seen since the sham elections of the USSR -- Edolphus Towns won with 93% in a three-way race, Nydia Velazqez got 94%, and Charles Rangel, subject of a House ethics investigation, was returned to office with an 82% margin. Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick won re-election; Richard Blumenthal, who lied outright about his military record, won a Senate seat in Connecticut; and Tea Partier Christine O'Donnell was trounced by "bearded Marxist" Chris Coons in Delaware. It looks like Tea Partier Joe Miller will lose in Alaska; the hoopla made over Tea Party candidate Sharron Angle in Nevada faded as Majority Leader Harry Reid was returned to office, and left-winger Patty Murray held off a strong challenge in Washington.
The defeat of these Tea Partiers will surely result in a round of recriminations and "I-told-you-sos" from Republican Party insiders like Karl Rove.
The upshot of all this is that Blue State leftists and socialists are as strong as ever on their home turf. The Tea Party-backed insurgents who will form the House majority in January will have the power to obstruct Obama's agenda but not defeat the leftists outright. You can be sure that Obama and his Senate allies are salivating over the prospect that they can use the House Republicans as a foil to rally their base, just as Clinton did in 1995 when a budget impasse with Speaker Newt Gingrich led to a government "shut-down." Clinton rallied the Democratic base of pensioners and unions, and for several election cycles Democrats successfully manufactured propaganda portraying Gingrich as a cruel, Scrooge-like figure hell-bent on throwing the elderly and the indigent out into the streets to eat dog food. Obama and his media sycophants will almost certainly do the same to Speaker-in-waiting John Boehner should he actually try to make substantive cuts in the budget of the welfare-state Leviathan.
Expect Obama to play a game of good-cop, bad, cop by alternately demonizing Boehner as an obstructionist while "reaching out" to plant a "bipartisan" Judas kiss on the cheek of RINO senators like McCain and Graham to garner cooperation on amnesty for illegal aliens.
By all means, Tea Partiers, celebrate. But not for long. To paraphrase Lincoln, a house divided against itself cannot stand; the nation cannot survive half-socialist and half-capitalist. Tuesday's victory has purged the Blue Dogs from the Midwest and South, but it has hardly made a dent in Blue State socialist enclaves like New York and California. That battle has not yet begun.