Here I go.
As the NY Times show, the GOP gained 60 House seats and 6 Senate seats. This was the biggest “shellacking”, taken from Obama’s wording, in 70 years. I don’t intend to spin this any which way but I want to look a bit at what could come from all this.
To start, Dave True blogged on this election here and here. As he mentions, this week is truly a hard one if you are a Democrat / Liberal / Progressive and a victorious one if you are a Republican / Conservative. It is unclear what the GOP controlled House can do with a Democratic Senate and President. Some may think back to 1994. However, this is far from 1994 in many ways. The pressure, to a moderate degree, I believe, will be on the GOP to 1) produce something of worth for their base 2) mount a surge for a president (they need a viable candidate first) 3) and figure out what to do with the differing ideologies between Republicans and the staunchly Conservative Tea Party.
For the first, they have put forth the Pledge to America. It is an ode to basic America; we don’t need no damn 1,000 page documents, give us it in them there plain language without the expert hoopla. The Pledge, however, could clash with Democratic Washington in terms of vetoes and votes. Even if the were to produce something of worth, I question whether their proposals would cut $100 billion in one year (this would be the most since 1963 when they first started tracking this) or even the debt in general over a course of time. I will go off in a bit on my views regarding the tax cuts for the rich. Be ready for that.
On number 2, there are a plethora of candidates out there in GOP land openly moving or tip toeing towards the GOP nomination: Ron Paul, Newt Gingrich (?), Sarah Palin (?), Herman Cain (??), and a handful of other Senators / Reps. Can any of them truly touch Obama politically? Maybe I am so far removed from the bullshit spin, but I see Obama as a very well thought out president through and through, a non-Christianist pick (there is a difference between a Christianist and a Christian, just as there is a difference between a Muslim and a Islamist), fair, and extremely smart. His grass roots will need to support him on this. With the recent mid term hit for Democrats, I don’t take it as a total blow directed towards Obama himself but to a large degree what is expected when it comes to voting during the midterms for a first term president, especially when the economy is quite grim.
Finally, Draino wondered the other day if the Tea Party will be thrown under the bus by the Republicans. If that happened, I wouldn’t be able to stop laughing. Just imagine that: a grass roots group being used for their political zeal to put a group of politicians in office only to be punked. Going back to 1994, Newt Gingrich had a plan, and by plan, he meant shut down Washington and lead towards a deeper sense of polarization. That backfired, had Bill Clinton looking like the good guy (he was nearly invicible, if you think about it), and as Paul Krugman believes, “may even deter the GOP from being too confrontational this time around.”