The Verdict

The Verdict

The 2014 mid-term elections have been called a “wave” for the Republicans by some pundits. Call it what you will, it was certainly a great night for the GOP, and much more so than a typical mid-term. By some measures, the change was historic.

I’ll talk about some of the numbers, in the House, the Senate and the gubernatorial races, but also what I think (and I hope) that the people were saying with this election. President Obama himself was the one that put his policies on the ballot. OK then, what will he do now, now that the voters have sent a strong rejection letter?

Mentioned links:

Democrats Sink to Pre–Great Depression Levels in State Legislatures

Wisconsin’s GOP Gov. Walker Wins Re-Election

How Wisconsin Got a Billion Dollar Surplus (“Consider This!”, episode 65)

Republicans sweep to victory in key gubernatorial races

100% of Newly Elected GOP Senators Campaigned on Repealing Obamacare

Other links:

KEY TAKEAWAYS FROM CAMPAIGN 2014

GOP takeover: Republicans surge to Senate control

Republicans seize Senate, gaining full control of Congress

Debacle for Obama as Republicans take control of US congress

Joni Ernst Wins Election, First Woman to Represent Iowa in US Senate

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Show transcript

The 2014 mid-term elections have been called a “wave” for the Republicans by some pundits. Call it what you will, it was certainly a great night for the GOP, and much more so than a typical mid-term. By some measures, the change was historic.

Let’s start with the raw numbers, ignoring those states where runoffs will decide things later on. The big news was in the US Senate where, so far, Republicans picked up 7 seats to bring their total to 52. The voters gave Harry Reid the pink slip from his job as Senate Majority Leader, and Republican Senators will likely put Mitch McConnell in that position when they take their new posts. A number of races were predicted to be tight, as with my home state of Georgia, but turned into runoff-proof victories (as with my home state of Georgia).

In the House of Representatives, Republicans gained 14 seats, including one in California, of all places. As much as some liberal pundits wanted to wish it away, it was President Obama who stated clearly that his policies were on the ballot, even if he wasn’t, and so this election was, I believe, a reaction to those very policies. I heard some, including a libertarian friend of mine, talk about an anti-incumbent wave, but it just so happened that all those incumbents were Democrats. But the President nationalized it, and the nation spoke. Loudly.

Obama’s administration started out with a trifecta; a Democrat in the Oval Office with Democratic majorities in both houses of Congress. It ends with a huge reversal, with a disenchanted electorate realizing that “Hope and Change” is about as nebulous a domestic and foreign policy as you can get, and with either no progress on some issues, and with others, ramming some agenda items through without broad support, or even no support from anyone other than his own party, such as ObamaCare. This was not a President interested in bipartisanship, and many times not even interested in working with Congress. “I have a pen and a phone”, he said. Well, his ObamaPhone™ has been confiscated by the people

On the gubernatorial front, Republicans gained 3 states, including the President’s home state of Illinois, and the Vice President’s home state of Delaware, bringing their total to 32. And not just that, but many state legislative chambers flipped to Republican control as well, sending the number of Democrat-held chambers to “pre-Great Depression levels”, according to John Fund.

One gubernatorial race I want to highlight is the one in the state of Wisconsin. Scott Walker walked away with it, winning over the challenger Mary Burke 57 to 43 percent. I’ve highlighted him before on this show, touting how he’s turned his state’s economy around, such that they went from a $3.6 billion deficit to an almost $1 billion surplus, by implementing conservative policies like cutting taxes and letting the economy generate more tax revenue by expanding rather than having government siphon cash out of it quite so much. He’s successfully fended off a recall by unions that didn’t like his policies regarding public sector unions, but frankly, everyone benefits by an economy that is allowed to flourish, and the voters both agreed with Walker then and now.

In addition, the two states with the lowest unemployment, Texas and Florida, stayed with the GOP for their governors. Conservative principles are working, and working well. These voters saw that, and gave Republicans their vote of confidence.

As I said, President Obama tried to nationalize this election by saying that his policies were definitely on the ballot, even if his name wasn’t. This is similar to the way Newt Gingrich nationalized them in 1994 with his Contract With America. He was more formalized, with a list of specific policies that Republicans would bring up for a vote, whereas Obama was trying to rest on his laurels, asking the voters to vote based on what they thought of what he’s done in the past 6 years.

Well, if he’s listening, the voters have spoken. One of things he’s no doubt referring to is his signature achievement; ObamaCare. Thing is, every single Republican Senator who won election or re-election on November 4th campaigned, in part, on getting rid of ObamaCare and putting in more targeted reforms. Every single one. But Obama has said he will not back down on that. So who is it, really, who is out of touch with the people they are supposedly representing?

It’s not that Republicans want to break government, it’s that they want to stop Democrats from breaking it further. It has been unresponsive to the people. That’s what happens when you take more and more power to the federal government and take it away from the states or the people. And even if the people would gladly vote for what is being sold as “free” stuff, government should know better that there ain’t no “free” stuff; someone always pays for it. Government should be populated with people who are honest about it, not those who promise economic benefits like $2,500 less in annual health care costs per family, or promise freedom benefits like keeping your doctor if you like your doctor, and then, right on cue, not delivering. It shouldn’t consist of those who consider the death of 4 men in Benghazi a mere distraction, nor by those who provide cover for that. It shouldn’t condone the politicization of the IRS.

In short, it shouldn’t be the government we currently have. Yes, as I said, the party in power usually comes out on the losing end of mid-term elections. But this, this was remarkable.

Filed under: Elections