Thursday, November 11, 2010

Game, Set, Match

The handle for a commenter on Glenn Beck's


Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Saturday, November 06, 2010

The Senate's Tea Party

The WSJ weekend interview went in a new direction today. The article presents two contrasting interview subjects, both newly minted members of the Senate for the GOP: Rand Paul, the Tea Party favorite from Kentucky; and Roy Blunt, the GOP stalwart congressman from my home state of Missouri.

Both interviews together really highlight the challenges that the Tea Party movement will face as it converts from election activists to governing activists.

Rand Paul is fired up and plans to walk in and have his way with the world of the Senate. Something tells me he is going to just crash into a wall of resistance. The Tea Party could help tame the senator and ensure that he is able to have an effect.

Roy Blunt's interview... was terribly frightening. It's great to have solid conservatives on the team for us, and the alternative... of having Robin Carnahan join McCaskill in the MO delegation... (shudder). But I had the same sensation when I read this bit:

Ask Mr. Blunt what he learned from the DeLay experience in Congress—which ended up with the Republicans losing the majority in 2006—and he says that the party needs to make sure it "communicates well" with an electorate newly engaged by the tea party.

Is he an Obama clone?

The problem is not communication, the problem is politicians, like Blunt, who fail to hew to the needs of the people. The interview notes his role in stopping the effort to reform Social Security in Bush's second term...

...and there's the second challenge of the Tea Party now: to communicate well with their elected representatives.

The American people are tired of being told how things work. That is a lesson that we will have to help Blunt learn.

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Government of the People, by the People

The following from Wednesday's Best of the Web column in the WSJ caught my attention:

Democrats will have at least 51 seats in the Senate, making this the first time that the House alone has switched. Actually, that's not quite right. It happened once before--in 1931. Republicans had lost 52 seats in the 1930 election--President Hoover, if we remember right, said it was no big deal, voters were just angry and scared because of the economy--but still had a one-seat majority. Owing to deaths, vacancies and special elections, however, the Dems had taken over by the time the new Congress convened in March.

This statement captures something very interesting, and very unique (at least in my lifetime) about this mid-term election cycle. The House of Representatives was designed to be a place for the general expression of the people in the government. The Senate a place more to represent the interests of the separate states. Thus the switch of the House alone, without the Senate.

What seems to be happening in this election cycle is a movement of the people themselves to re-take the reins of the government. Several commentaries indicate that the Tea Party might ultimately have been detrimental to the interests of the party because they obstructed the efforts to conquer the Senate... but I think that is a false indicator.

The House was the most accessible to the people, and the most easily influenced. The Senate would require more time and energy because the people need to find true leaders among themselves, with credentials to manage the challenges of that upper chamber of our legislature. What happened is that the people hired the representatives that they believe will be most responsive to their wishes... and if I understand the mood of the country correctly... the people plan to continue to be very active in the management of their new reps.

In the Senate elections we see a few examples of leaders with requisite demeanors and skill sets, particularly Marco Rubio (FL) and Rand Paul (KY), and likely Ron Johnson (WI) as well. But the rest were mostly statements of warning to the general population of the political set: We are serious this time, we will not accept establishment candidates without serious vetting, and you will listen to us and be responsive. The people are not afraid to lose a fight that must be engaged.

2012 looks to be a brilliant election, and the period between now and then will likely be a thrilling time in American political history.

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

The Wave Crashes, Dissipates

The California results are simply devastating. This state is ungovernable.

The results fit, though, to the analogy that I came up with mid-afternoon today, before any results were in: The GOP wave would crash upon the Rockies, then spread across the desert of Arizona and Nevada... and evaporate.

Almost all of the statewide positions on the ballot in California went to Democrats. Ballot measures are passing in a pattern that makes no sense at all. I'm frightened to take a hard look at the house seats, and then the CA state legislature results.

This state is ungovernable. Soon it will be unlivable.

Here's hoping Jerry Brown has a plan, this time.

Impressions from the People's Night

Rand Paul got the night started of fabulously well, with a marvelous speech that encompassed the people's movement that was so well communicated at the polls tonight.

Rubio took Rand Paul's thread and executed an even better speech. To think of the story that he is able to tell... people who at the prime of their lives had their dreams stolen from them by history and tyranny, who fled to a foreign land that welcomed them, a place where they could pass their dreams on to their children.

Also from Florida: a true American hero, Colonel West, has won his congressional race. Congratulations, sir.

John Boehner's speech... emotional speech... touching speech... was unexpected, at first off-putting, but in the end very welcome. He is human, he may very well be the leader we need. and he wasn't orange tonight.

I'm so sad for California... my current home... we have subjected ourselves to another half decade of insanity. Awaiting the results on the propositions.

I'm glad we haven't taken the Senate. That makes it more meaningful. Agree with Charles K's comments there about control / power, but would like to add that the people remain in power. The threat of doing to the Senate in 2012 what we have done to the House in 2010... all incumbents up for election have reason to stand and pay attention to the people.

Thank you, Jon Stewart, for your assistance. Sanity, just so much of it, has been restored.