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Warning to the GOP: Don’t misread the message from this election

By DOUG THOMPSON
November 3, 2010

Those who make a living telling people like us why we did what we did on election day will say — over and over — that “the people have spoken.”

Spoken? Nah. Shouted perhaps, screamed maybe. Hollered would be more like it.

Voter anger washed over America like a tsunami Tuesday as pissed-off voters tossed out incumbents — mostly Democrats — and gave control of the House of Representatives back to the same Republican party that lost that control in 2006 when voter anger was directed at them.

Same thing happened in 1994 when angry voters tossed out the Democratic leadership of both the House and Senate and turned the key to the toy room over to the GOP.

Just a little old-fashion karma coming round.

The victory isn’t complete this time around. The party of the elephant failed to win control of the Senate and the seats the GOP gained there will only be enough to increase gridlock, not pass legislation.

That’s OK, says the Republican spin on Tuesday’s election results: We will complete the takeover in 2012.

Don’t count on it.

Voters are a fickle bunch. They can turn on you without warning and the tea-soaked Republican Party that they embraced Tuesday could just as easily become the target of voter anger in two years.

The danger signs are already there. Too many of the victors on Tuesday night called their wins a “mandate” from the voters.

Mandates? We don’t need no stinkin’ mandates.

The Republicans who won Tuesday benefited from anger towards Democrats. Republicans won because — in most cases — they were the only other choice on the ballot.

Tuesday’s results are not an endorsement of GOP or even Tea Party positions. They were rejection of the failed Democratic leadership of Congress and President Barack Obama — nothing less, nothing more.  It was not an invitation to start larding up bills with fruit loop ideas from the right-wing extremists who dominate the Grand Old Party.

That’s why the Republicans lost control of Congress after the party’s sweep in 1994. The misread the message from the voters and mistakenly thought the election was an endorsement of their ideas.

Tuesday’s results were not an endorsement of constitutional amendments to ban abortion or to define marriage as a union only between a man and a woman.

Exit polls show most of the voters who sent the DemoCrats packing want action on jobs, the economy and the housing crisis. They don’t want sham tax bills that give the rich more loopholes, they don’t want the feds telling them what they can or can’t do in the bedroom and they sure as hell don’t embrace the other flaky ideas of the rabid right.

What voters want are jobs, money in their pocket and a home to go to at the end of the day.

If the new Congress gets gridlocked over abortion, gay rights, prayer in schools and other social issues the same voters who turned the key to one side of the Capitol over to Republicans can — and will — take it back two years from now.

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11 Responses to Warning to the GOP: Don’t misread the message from this election

  1. griff

    November 3, 2010 at 7:20 am

    And the cycle continues. Gridlock isn’t necessarily a bad thing, although it does keep the partisan fires burning white-hot. Don’t turn on the TV if you value your sanity. I turned mine off three years ago. I highly recommend it.

    I hope all freedom-loving, true Americans have learned a lesson over the last ten years. Both parties have played their part in the selling off of this country piecemeal over the last half-century or so.

    Neither party has any real inclination to change that course. The Tea Party is a fraud for the most part, morphed from a libertarian-based movement into a Republican front. The latest distraction and partisan motivator.

    We need to stay active. We need to drop the partisan loyalty wholesale and look at policy. Republican or Democrat, we’re all American. We need to end the militaristic imperialism (sorry Republicans), end the welfare state (sorry Democrats) and get people back to work in this country. Job number one.

    We need not reform, but repeal. We need new ideas, not variations of the same old, same old. We need to look across the aisle and see not the enemy, but fellow Americans led astray by party loyalty and propaganda. We need to look at ourselves, and realize the we too, are our own enemy.

    Our future lies in our past. The ideals that built this country have been long since buried under an avalanche of misplaced patriotism, relentless partisan propaganda, outright lies and misinformation, media spin, collectivist groupthink, and American Exceptionalism.

  2. Carl Nemo

    November 3, 2010 at 10:52 am

    Ah, the ritual is over for two more years. Will there be redemption for “We the People”? No way! As water reaching its own level, our collective, national stupidity is being ever more refined and leveled too.

    *****

    “The larger the mob, the harder the test. In small areas, before small electorates, a first-rate man occasionally fights his way through, carrying even the mob with him by force of his personality. But when the field is nationwide, and the fight must be waged chiefly at second and third hand, and the force of personality cannot so readily make itself felt, then all the odds are on the man who is, intrinsically, the most devious and mediocre—the man who can most easily adeptly disperse the notion that his mind is a virtual vacuum. The Presidency tends, year by year, to go to such men. As democracy is perfected, the office represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. We move toward a lofty ideal. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart’s desire at last, and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron”. …H.L. Mencken 1920

    *****

    Carl Nemo **==

    • Almandine

      November 3, 2010 at 11:22 am

      Hey Carl –

      Did your representative / senator change?

  3. Carl Nemo

    November 3, 2010 at 11:39 am

    It’s close Almandine, but I suspect that “The Queen of Pork” will get reelected. As of 0708 hrs Pacific time here’s the count.

    – Democrat Patty Murray is leading with approximately 50% of the votes with a total of 722,396.

    – Republican Dino Rossi is barely trailing Murray with approximately 50% of the votes with a total of 708,391.

    I voted for Dino simply to hopefully boot this big-spending incumbent out of office. It was the only candidate race in which I voted, the rest being various measures.

    Maybe Dino will luck out, but it doesn’t look all that good meaning six more years of glad-handin’ Patty. / : |

    Carl Nemo **==

    • Almandine

      November 3, 2010 at 1:34 pm

      Sounds like Washingtonians were either pretty complacent or pretty happy with her.

      • Carl Nemo

        November 3, 2010 at 6:05 pm

        There’s nothing quite like those tasty ‘pulled pork sandwiches served up by Senator Murray courtesy of the U.S. Treasury Almandine… / : |

        Carl Nemo **==

        • Almandine

          November 3, 2010 at 8:29 pm

          whores, one and all.

  4. woody188

    November 3, 2010 at 2:30 pm

    Good article Doug, but I’m not holding my breath. Judging from the speeches, we’re in for more of the same on all issues. It sure was a nice Republic while it lasted.

  5. freecitizen

    November 3, 2010 at 4:21 pm

    Yep Doug, America jumped on the neverending merry-go-round to nowhere again like it always does. How much stupidity has to be collected before it’s weight becomes too much to bear?

    Nothing will change of course. The wars will continue, and maybe a new one with Iran. They will fiddle around the edges of the system that they perpetrate and willfully sustain calling it “reform” to con the people into believing it’s for the people’s benefit, when in fact, it will benefit the corporate industry by which they are (willingly) slaves too. (Fin reg bill, health insurance bill now law). They will continue to print monopoly money until the collapse, never dealing with the true nature of the problems that their scams on American society have created.

    The GOP will misread this election!

  6. Keith

    November 3, 2010 at 5:31 pm

    All the American people did last evening was to exchange one set of horrifically corrupt crooks for another.

  7. JG

    November 5, 2010 at 7:07 am

    The republicrats had better learn a hard lesson from the demopublicans’ defeat or they will be the ones losing office in two years. As for the two party system, consider me a cynic on that system. It isn’t working and hasn’t worked for a long time. Will Rogers had it right when he said that America had the best politicians money could buy.