Joe Trippi called it a “super wavy” Republican election night on November 4, 2014. That’s a tsunami, right? Republicans posted huge gains in all three major midterm election categories, to wit:
Republicans gained control of the Senate by gaining 7 seats as of this posting. That number will most likely climb to 8 gained seats following an expected runoff between the top two candidates (Democrat and Republican) in Louisiana, where Senator Mary Landrieu (of the infamous “Louisiana Purchase” politicking that helped push Obamacare down our throats) seems likely to lose her seat, and deservedly so. Even without that, though, the GOP has locked in 53 seats, a clear majority, and some commentators are pretty confident the Republicans will end up with 55 seats, a gain of 9.
Republicans increased their majority in the House of Representatives. Since the 2010 midterm, 233 Republican Representatives and 199 Democrats have served. As this is being written, 237 House races have been called in favor of the Republicans and they’re leading in 7 more (with 6 races still out there where no votes have yet been counted). Fox News is stating that “at least 12 more seats” will go to Republicans in the House before it’s all said and done.
Republicans blew the doors off in the races for Governor of the various states. Democrats won the Governor’s mansion in Pennsylvania, but every other “switch” reported this evening has gone the other way, into the Republican camp–and there’ve been a lot of switches. I’ve not been able (yet) to get a firm fix on the final number, but one ever so important race took place in Wisconsin where Scott Walker whupped the opposition one more time. Walker is the Republican Governor who took on the unions and won, irritating them so thoroughly that he faced a recall election. He won that one, and tonight he won again.
If all of that doesn’t add up to a political tsunami, a Republican tsunami across the board, I don’t know what does.
This is of particular interest to me in light of the crowing we heard from the liberal left not so long ago that the GOP was done for, toast, relegated to the dustbin of history.
I find it encouraging, too, that We the People did pay attention to each individual candidate. Even in this election cycle, where the rejection of the Obama administration’s failed policies could not have been more clear, it still took a solid candidate to win. Here in southern Arizona, Republican CD2 candidate Martha McSally and incumbent Ron Barber are locked in a too-close-to-call race…again. Those of us who supported conservative Chuck Wooten in the Republican primary were not surprised. We knew full well that Wooten was the only candidate in the race who could defeat Barber handily, and sure enough, McSally–although she may still squeak out a win–ran a “dead heat” race in a climate that should have seen the Republican winning by a comfortable margin.
Contrast that with Senator elect Joni Ernst in Iowa. She’s sharp, personable, and ran one of the best campaign ads I’ve ever seen, pointing out that since she grew up castrating hogs on an Iowa farm, she’d know how to cut pork when she got to Washington.
That said…now what? What can we expect to see in 2015 with the Republicans in solid control of both houses of Congress?
Part of that answer will obviously depend on President Barack Obama’s response to the Republican tsunami…but only part. From what I’ve seen of the man in the Oval Office (when he’s not the man on the Golf Course), it seems to me highly unlikely he’ll decide to admit he needs to work with the elephant folks. Mr. Obama is one extremely stubborn donkey.
Which leads to my prediction for the next sitting Congress:
The media has deliberately ignored what the House has been doing for the past four years. Few people other than political watchers and activists even realize that the House has passed literally hundreds of bills (Mitt Romney mentioned the number 270 tonight), the vast majority of which outgoing Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has blocked from even coming up for a vote in the Senate.
Those bills, or at least a sizeable number of them, will now be brought up for consideration. Mitch McConnell, who won his reelection bid in Kentucky and is likely to be the new Majority Leader, stated on camera tonight that unlike Reid, he is much in favor of allowing compromise in the form of Democrat-inspired amendments to Republican bills. Expect plenty of new bills to pass both the House and Senate, reaching the President’s desk–and in most cases getting vetoed out of hand.
That’s Obama’s style.
If enough Democrats hammer him hard about that, fearing the repercussions for the 2016 Presidential election, he may find himself forced to relent now and again. We shall see.
But in the meantime, during the lame duck session of Congress (between now and the New Year), look out. If nothing else, President Obama is almost certain to try jamming through everything he possibly can during this last brief window of opportunity when his party still has control of the Senate. Appointments galore, and of course the extravagant use of ye olde Executive Order.
It may get worse before it gets better.