More From Mike
Neal and I certainly did get it wrong.
Bill Kristol had it right. (Damn him!) He predicted a loss of "between 20-30 seats".
Was it a landslide? No. But as someone pointed out yesterday, if the Dems had won only 14 House seats and 5 Senatorial seats then we Republicans would have declared those losses a victory. Let the dog have its day.
Democrats will naturally declare a mandate, Nancy Pelosi will be queen for a day (boy, that sure means something different in San Francisco!) and there is no doubt in my mind that Howard Dean thinks himself an even bigger genius this morning.
But, my friends, there is a silver lining among our clouds today:
A Republican administration and a Democrat Legislature means a bigger chance of gridlock. That means less government spending for all of us... a good thing.
Maybe this will serve as a wake-up call to the Republicans. The bastards have been thrown out. In the 12 years as the majority, the Republicans became more and more like the Democrats we all loathe.
The Republican strategy was to consolidate their hold on power when it should have been their strategy to re-shape government in a conservative image. The only palpable difference between big-spending Democrats and big-spending Republicans was support for the War on Terror. With the help of the MSM, the war issue has divided us.
The Bush Administration has had three glaring weaknesses that lead to yesterday's losses:
A seeming inability to articulate what has gone right... the overthrow of Afghanistan, the overthrow of Saddam, the economy, homeland security and re-shaping the Judiciary have all been outrageous success stories. It seems that President Bush needed to be jabbed with a high-voltage cattle prod before he would talk about these issues.
The lack of a veto on profligate spending bills. Immediately after taking the oath of office, Ronald Reagan went into the White House and signed a memorandum freezing the hiring of Federal Employees. He was that SERIOUS about controlling the Federal budget. Would that today's Republicans reflected that kind of commitment to changing the way Washington works. Instead, Republicans tried to buy voters' support... just like Democrats.
That whole "new tone" thing. It sounded nice, but it should have been completely abandoned at the first instance of Democrat defection. When you are the majority, ACT like the majority! Dictate terms and if the opposition howls, hit 'em harder! You don't think that's what the Democrats have in mind this morning?
Maybe being relegated to the minority will wake up the Republican party. I know that Charlie Rangel and Alcee Hastings are motivation for me to work harder for the next election.
You win some elections, you lose some elections. Let's not commit mass seppuku. The country survived Bill Clinton, it will survive Nancy Pelosi.
I will be out in San Francisco next week. I'll report from behind enemy lines.