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The Republican Wave – A post-election recap

Heading into last week’s election it looked like it would be a good day for Republicans. Some predicted a wave and it turned out to be such. I think even Iowa’s Joni Ernst was seen carrying s surfboard. Here is a post-election recap.

Although it appeared it would be a Republican year, there were a few holdouts who were convinced the Democrats would keep control of the Senate. One such holdout was Vice-President Joe Biden. In an interview just prior to the election he predicted the Senate would remain in the hands of the Democrats.

First, if I were a betting man, I would always wager against whatever Biden happened to say. He is universally wrong – always. It’s quite staggering, really. Second, Biden appears to have a new look. His forehead is a bit shinier, his smile a bit smiley-er, and his hair, well, it’s blonde! He looks like he just got done auditioning for the role of Norma Desmond in an off-Broadway production of Sunset Boulevard. (“I’m ready for my close-up, Mr. DeMille.”)

The results of many of the races indicated that the polls were as wrong as Biden. Really! That’s hard to do. As wrong as Biden, for God’s sake! Almost every race that the pollsters had as a tossup went handily to the Republican candidate. The one race that polls indicated wasn’t even close, the Virginia Senate race, turned out to be a nail biter. Democrat Mark Warner eventually held off Republican challenger Ed Gillespie, but the pollsters missed it badly. They couldn’t have done any worse if they had polled the inhabitants of the ocelot exhibit at the Richmond zoo. Actually, I understand the ocelots went two-to-one in favor of Warner.

There are bad waves, like that synchronized fan choreography that occurs at many sporting events. I am regularly a small government guy, but I could be persuaded to support legislation outlawing those types of waves. (And I might even encourage the death penalty for transgressors.) Then there are the good waves, such as what we observed on Election Day.

As we have witnessed repeatedly during his administration, President Obama seemed not to be paying much attention. The day after the election he did hold a press conference. For an election about which he claimed was all about his policies (“Make no mistake my policies are on the ballot.”), he seemed curiously unaware that one had even taken place. Grudgingly, he acknowledged that the Republicans had a good night. Yet, he dismissed GOP victories by noting that only one-third of Americans voted, while two-thirds chose not to participate.

This reminded me of a quote from an orator every bit as gifted as Barack Obama – Hall of Fame baseball manager Casey Stengel. “The secret of managing,” Stengel once said, “is to keep the guys who hate you away from the guys who haven’t made up their minds.” Perhaps in that sense Obama and the Democrats were somewhat successful in last week’s election – they kept those who hate Obama’s policies (the one-third that voted) away from those that haven’t made up their minds (the two-thirds that chose to power wash their driveways or watch reruns of the Match Game instead of voting). Otherwise, it could have turned into a wave of biblical proportions.

During that same press conference, Obama seemed to double down about issuing an executive order on immigration. He sounded downright threatening when it comes to illegal immigration.

To me, he seemed like a Mafia goon running a protection racket against the neighborhood merchants. “You know, that sure is a nice Constitution you’ve got there. Sure would hate to see anything happen to it, if you know what I mean.” This might work as long as he doesn’t send Biden in to collect. Then, only giggling will ensue.

To demonstrate what a truly historical night it was for Republicans, not only did they take control of the Senate, with a net gain of seven seats that could swell to nine soon, they also added even more seats in the House of Representatives. In addition, they did exceedingly well at the state level, increasing the number of governorships and they will have full control of state legislatures in 29 states. In fact, they have more seats in state houses than at any time since 1928. To put that in perspective, 1928 was when Herbert Hoover was elected president, Babe Ruth was hitting home runs for the New York Yankees and Mickey Mouse made his screen debut.

Not bad for what Democrats and the media were not so long ago calling a regional party. Well, the GOP could still be a regional party, if one defines the region as the entire United States, minus California, Manhattan, Madison, Wisconsin and a handful of ocelot exhibits.


1 Marcia { 11.14.14 at 7:13 pm }

On target as usual, Curtice but you omitted Nancy Pelosi from your recap. Biden certainly merits ridicule but Pelosi is in a class by herself. Like her clueless leader she seems to live in a universe of her own. You can redeem yourself by devoting an essay to her.


Curtice Mang Reply:

Marcia – Good suggestion. I will do that. She lobbed me a softball with her Gruber comments last week.


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