It's Morning In America, Bitches.

Nancy-Pelosi.jpg

Or afternoon. Whatever. I don't even care. Actually, I sort of do, but I am as hungover as you can possibly be without consuming any alcohol. I even sound like Judy Baar Topinka. Go figure.

Personally, I'm still digesting what happened last night, and what continues to happen in the hallowed halls of Brady HQ. In short, Republicans swept the House in a bloodbath (next person to call it the "red wave" gets punched in the face), taking around 60 seats - the biggest political changeover in the last century - and giving themselves enough of a majority that will ensure nothing gets done for the next two years. They failed to take the Senate possibly for reasons we'll discuss, Mark Kirk pulled out a victory over Sexy Lexi at an ungodly hour, somehow the rogue wave (goddamit) that swept the nation ushered in two and three-quarters unexpected Republican victories in Illinois Congressional races, Mike Madigan will have an only slightly harder time passing key legislation, and we might have to wait until Christmas for a governor (currently, they're separated by around 12K votes).

But hey, I'm happy and that's what matters. And as P.J. O'Rourke famously said two weeks ago, last night wasn't so much an election as it was a restraining order. The American people carefully calculated their decisions to as to minimize the role of government in their lives - by making sure that they made the least forward progress possible. The Republicans now have enough power that they can safely make things difficult for Obama and the motley crew of Democrats left standing after last night's rout, but not so much power that they actually have to, you know, do anything with it. America is out of danger for the next two years at least.

In terms of my two cents on how last night went? Here's three dollars of it: the lessons learned from the Election Nightmare of 2010...

...after the jump.

  • The Illinois GOP primary process just flat out sucks.
    Look, I'm not saying there weren't things the GOP did well, like, for
    example, win, but there were some serious flaws in their strategy that
    have to be addressed before we attempt to play with the big boys again.
    Concentrating on state house and senate races that were winnable was
    smart, but allowing gubernatorial primary candidates to run roughshod
    over common sense, ultimately causing an election deadlock was not.
    There were a number of points in this process where an adult could have
    stepped in and prevented the recounts-and-absentees situation we're
    facing now. Someone could have asked the hopeless hopefuls (and the
    idealistic vote-drainers) to make way for viable, winning prospects.
    I'm not naming names, but I firmly believe that a certain gubernatorial
    primary candidate who lost to Brady by 200 votes could have kicked the
    ever-loving sh*t out of Pat Quinn.

Incidentally, Dennis Byrne was wondering why Bill Brady faltered where Mark Kirk succeeded.
Not only is there a substantial difference between the two candidates -
Kirk being less terrifying overall - but Kirk made an effort to cover
more ground, to address a number of specific issues and, despite
initial troubles, worked to establish a narrative that was widely
applicable, focused voters on his independence, outlined his
priorities, and made a valiant attempt to communicate with news-makers
and noisemakers statewide. Brady simply didn't, relying on his
conservative base and the Republican establishment to do the work for
him. He did no outreach, was uncommunicative with bloggers, grassroots,
urban, nontraditional and minority voters and showed no sign that he
appreciated any of the help. That makes a difference. Not just that,
but Brady fits right in with the profile of candidate that didn't earn a rousing victory last night: kind of batsh*t crazy.

  • Sometimes you get lucky. Oh, Bob Dold. You've foiled me this time. But we'll meet again.
  • Back to the Batsh*t Crazy Candidates. Look, last night, we learned one thing: voters like people who look like them, but they don't necessarily want to elect
    those people. No doubt the GOP's one big regret this morning is that
    they didn't take the Senate, and while I hesitate to posulate as to
    why, I suspect - personally speaking (i.e. not for any client I may or may not have) - that Sarah Palin had something
    to do with that. CBS is touting her newfound clout,
    borne out of her better-than-expected batting average, but her
    handpicked anti-Establishment replicas failed in Delaware, Nevada and Alaska, three of the
    most important states in the mix last night and three key pickups for Republicans. Yes, Angle's crushing
    defeat can be placed on the shoulders of the Tea Party Express, who absolutely haaaaaad to go sticking it's nose in where it didn't belong, but before anyone goes nominating Sarah Palin for President, they should think long and hard about where she's going and where she's been. On a related note, please stop voting for Bristol Palin on Dancing With the Stars. I understand, America, that you are overcompensating because she is the only Palin you can currently vote for, but she suuuuuuuucks. End of story.
  • Independents were key to victory. About 40% of people voting yesterday said they either identified with or sympathized with the Tea Party. I suspect this means they either identify with or sympathize with libertarian principles of limited government. Whether this is because they're secretly closet libertarians (yes!) or they're suffering economically and don't see government as much more than an incompetent burden to their well-being, I don't know, but what I do know is that those people probably aren't necessarily Republican hardliners. Independents broke with Democrats, whose loving arms they ran into during the 2008 elections looking for hope and change, and sided with whoever wasn't touting the Dem party line. This seems to prove that professional, articulate, economy- and reality-focused, smart-seeming candidates would be the key to success (hottie Marco Rubio being my prime example). It also seems to prove that Jon Stewart was right and that a decent portion of the voting populace is moderate or seemingly moderate and just looking for a good leader. Either way, it means that Republicans better do their job right or they'll get tossed out in 2012.
  • In the end, Obama actually wins. A little. The creepy orange robot that is John Boehner is a hell of a lot easier to compromise with than Nancy Pelosi and significantly more attractive. He's also easier to use as a foil, because no one will ever accuse you of trying to split your own party by refusing to side with John Boehner. And he can blame a load of sh*t on her now that she's not there, including the burdensome and terrifying health care bill she insisted needed to be put through without his knowledge or explicit input, and she over-interpreted her own mandate on her own (get my drift)? And Harry Reid's job is going to be a hell of a lot tougher.
  • The hits will keep on coming. Unlike in Illinois, in other locales, the Republicans picked up lots and lots of governors races, state houses, state senates and local spots, meaning that there'll be a steady stream of Republican candidates for years, decades, centuries to come. Aren't we so lucky?

So there you have it. All of my deep thinking. I promise I'll return with less interesting material as the night goes on, when I've fully recovered (hence why I put this in an extended area, so I can just keep adding to my notes). I'll also probably return with more interesting material once I come across some. Someday.

Comments

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  • america is out of danger ? On average, our basic food costs have increased by an incredible 48% over the last year (measured by wheat, corn, oats, and canola prices). From the price at the pump to heating your stove, energy costs are up 23% on average (heating oil, gasoline, natural gas). A little protein at dinner is now 39% higher (beef and pork), and your morning cup of coffee with a little sugar has risen by 36% since last October. To summarize inflation is practically everywhere that counts: food, insurance
    premiums, utility bills, tuitions. BUT

  • if one has never lived thru an inflationary spiral (eg the 70's) one had no idea what i am talking about - it is out of control; it brings out all the king Canutes who want to control the waves (nixon's wage and price controls), all the schm**** who want to order science (economics) around, and the very same people who acknowledge they do not understand economics but feel fine bloviating about politics; it was akin to people acknowledging they do not know about firearms .... but who go ahead and play with guns anwyay. Anyway, the fire, ie the 100% free market, will have its way.......

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