First thought, we kicked ass. We whipped the Labor/socialist/Democrat coalition in almost every political market. We took Congressional seats not held by Republicans in decades and legislative chambers and governorships in huge electoral college states like Pennsylvania and Ohio. Even where the LSDs held on they had to expend enormous political, material and financial capital. Now they are in the minority, the LSD will have a hard time replenishing what they just spent in all three categories. With Republicans controlling redistricting, the burden of minority will be further weighed by less friendly electorates and some geographically generated civil war.
We stopped the Obama agenda from further impoverishing our population and creating even further terror among the nation's investors, employers and tax payers. However bad the economy now is, at least the economic apocalypse that would have followed LSD retention of Congress is no longer a certainty. It might still happen because the progressives jammed decades of ludicrous policy into their brief period of complete control, but it might also now be avoidable.
We also have a huge and historic opportunity, both here in Iowa and "right round" the nation to not just slow but reverse the incremental but heretofore inexorable drift to European socialist democracy. We can send any policy we from House to the Senate. If the Dems kill it in the Senate we have have a clear issue. If the Dems are co opted on the proverbial road to Damascus and support the GOP agenda, so much the better as we get good policy and at least some of the credit for that good policy. By keeping it simple, offering clear and terse legislation (e.g. prohibit funding Obamacare; prohibit collective bargaining for public employees, etc...) that bright line the differences between a traditional and conservative country and the progressive liberal concept of radical change we drive the debate. BHO and LSDs in the Senate will fight to the death on those types of issues, and many more. We just send 'em up something every day or two and let them politically die for their bizarre and historically failed ideas. KISS!
The LSDs are not going to abandon the radical agenda. If anything they will be more radicalized. The massacre of the Blue Dogs (also true locally) means the survivors are more likely true radicals who have no intention of compromising. Those surviving LSD legislators are from safe districts and are allowed thereby the luxurious and fortuitous convergence of personal job security and ideological commitment. If the reader heard Harry Reid, Andrew Cuomo or BHO himself in the last 24 hours you know those remaining radicals recognize that the two competing cultures living in this country cannot coexist forever and they intend to pursue any means of political or legal power to ensure the progressive Eurosocialiast ideology is irreversibly implanted in this country.
Les bon temps!
On the other hand, we blew an opportunity for bigger gains. Almost every big loss last night were in races where we lost control of the dialogue by ignoring our best arguments. Our primary failure was being drawn off target by the volume, intensity and loathsomeness of LSD personal attacks. Almost uniformly our defeated candidates failed to confront the attacks, much less counter attack thereby turning the issue on the slanderer. Our successful candidates addressed the voters about specific issues, including rebuttal of the attacks, in a direct and sensible way-no tag lines or code. We lost where we failed to drill the current crises into the voter thereby allowing the LSD to personalize the issue. Given the success the politics of personal destruction provided in 2010 the attacks will only get more vile in 2012 so we'd better have a response by then; and that response is not going to come from finding "angelic" candidates 'cuz that critter just don't exist.
Our get out the vote program is still very broken in the urban areas of most of the country. We lost too many Senate races where the polls showed Republican leads. The reason is simple: notwithstanding lip service to the contrary the Republican apparatus both nationally and locally have demonstrated an unwillingness to invest the time and resources in building local party organizations in highly urban areas. We can fix this problem but it task is not glamorous but the high dollar donors need to get much more involved in local politics if they want a pro business governing Republican majority in Iowa or the larger United States. Only a fully staffed full time political operation can match the SEIU, AFSCME, NEA et al get out the vote machines in urban America.
If we use our heads we can really cripple the progressive cause and set them back for a generation. Or, as we did from 2002-2006, we can misread our mandate and return to the past bad practices of enriching the already rich while indulging in ear marks and crony capitalism at the expense of those in the middle and the public will turn us out in two or four years when they are no longer done.
Examine the Congressional results from 1880-1956 and you will see just exactly what I mean.
I also thought of BHO himself as the results filed by. My thoughts lead me to quote the smartest man to ever attend Harvard law school, a beatified celestial who once modestly promised to cool the Earth and make the waters recede, a man whose certitude was so unlimited the he messianically proclaimed himself to be the savior for whom generations of Americans had been waiting, "elections have consequences", and brother so does this one.