Ever since the close of the polls Tuesday night, I have been assessing the results of the Elections. I have been, needless to say, shocked to see the extent of the losses incurred by Democrats at all levels.
The pundits have been at it quite relentessly. The President himself came out Wednesday morning and tried to put a brave face on it all. As I realized the extent of the losses, I was keen to see what his reaction was. As I listened to him, I frankly did not see him realizing what had happened. The reporter from NBC, Samantha Guthrie, put it bluntly. The frustruation by the people showed and they took it out on the existing office holders at all levels.
All the elections were interesting to watch. The election was national in scope. Anyone who had any remote association with the President went down to defeat. Some, admittedly, took some very courageous decisions which cost them dearly. Among the many that I found shocking was the loss of Gene Taylor, the long-time Congressman from Missisippi who was considered a leading “blue dog”. Most of the so-called “blue-dogs” went down to defeat. My eyes nearly popped out when I saw Alan Grayson, the Florida Congressman, go down to defeat. The Democratic Caucus that remains will be ever more progressive and liberal in nature.
I view California as the exception. Proposition 19 and Proposition 23 went down to defeat. Most top state offices were won by Democrats. Jerry Brown got the nod again after 25 years. The one to watch for is Gavin Newsom. He won the Lt. Governor’s Race and will probably be a Presidential Contender. As I write this, the race for Attorney General is yet to be decided though.
I caught a glimpse of Jerry Brown’s Press Conference on the day after the elections. He noted that there are no easy fixes. One of the things he noted was that the passage of Proposition 25 immediately created a 2 Billion Cash Management Problem for the State. Furthermore, the rejection of the $ 18 Vehicle Surtax to help pay for State Parks will also cause major challenges. The 2/3 requirement to pass budgets was removed. As Jerry Brown noted, the voters want Government to be more responsive and responsible, but they are not in no mood to have more taxes. This is also true throughout the Country as well.
I continue to be concerned that the Republicans are not interested in Governing. If this is an indication of things to come, then we will be in for two years of gridlock.
One of the polls I am keen to see is the poll that Resurgent Republic & Democracy Corp have commisioned. I am not a fan of polls, however I believe that this poll will serve as a harbinger of things to come. As Karl Rove said in his Wall Street Journal Column on Thursday, “….Now it is up to the Republicans to Deliver”. The President, also, has some soul searching to do to insure that he stays relevant and not marginalized. Whether he will or not is a big question mark for me right now.
Tom Friedman noted how America was the Greatest Show on Earth. This past two days has reaffirmed it for me. The story is just beginning…..