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Opinion

Opinion

Did Dems learn from election?

November 8, 2010

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The cynic in me says that Democrats will learn nothing from the midterm election. They not only took a bath, they were effectively water-boarded by voters.

Democrats lost the House by a margin not seen since 1948. They lost 10 governorships while retaining two — New York and California. Both states are insolvent and can be expected to ask for bailouts from the federal government, something a Republican House is unlikely to grant. Republicans will get to re-district most states in ways favorable to them for at least the next decade. Nancy Pelosi will step down as speaker, though Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid managed to survive a nose-holding election in Nevada.

While Democrats have complained about lack of cooperation from Republicans in enacting President Obama’s agenda, don’t look for them to show the way by cooperating with Republicans. The GOP has swept solidly into the House on a wave of voter anger at the elitism and condescension shown by so many Democrats and their big media allies who think the public is stupid because a majority do not agree with the notion of government as savior. Democrats aren’t in a cooperating mood, as they usually aren’t when they lose. And make no mistake they’ve lost big.

By every measuring stick — governorships, legislatures, independents, women — Democrats have lost. Republicans would be crazy to water down what clearly is a mandate to stop the Obama-Reid-Pelosi liberal agenda.

I expect congressional Democrats, in collusion with the White House, to attempt to maneuver Republicans into another government shutdown. It worked before and since Democrats have not had a new idea in years — or even a good, old idea — all they know is class warfare, entitlement and grievance.

At his post-election news conference Wednesday, President Obama said many of the things he thought people wanted to hear — common ground, consensus, working together — but he steadfastly and perhaps understandably would not cede any territory on his administration’s core policies, especially national health insurance. Newly empowered Republicans aren’t likely to compromise, since that usually means they are the only ones doing the compromising, which in the past has led to disgust by Republican voters who don’t want watered-down conservatism, but spending reductions and smaller government.

Don’t look for President Obama or the Democrats who survived the carnage to admit their policies were wrong, or that they misjudged the public. After so many in the leadership denigrated voters as being insufficiently enthusiastic about all government was attempting to do for them and questioning the smarts and the sanity of those ingrates who don’t agree with their policies, I wouldn’t expect such people to have a change of heart or mind. That is especially so since the mainstream media can be relied on to question every Republican effort to reverse the policies and spending initiatives of the last two years.

For Republicans the challenge is to maintain their “purity” in an environment that is the political equivalent of a brothel. Both Senators-elect Rand Paul, Kentucky Republican, and Joe Manchin, West Virginia Democrat, said in their victory statements that Washington is broken and they are going there to fix it. That reminds me of an old lyric: “It seems to me I’ve heard that song before. It’s from an old familiar score. I know it well, that melody.”

A little more than two years ago, outgoing (thankfully) Speaker Nancy Pelosi pledged to “drain the swamp” that is Washington. Instead she built a hot tub. It’s difficult to change Washington. More often, Washington transforms the reformers. It’s the political equivalent of Prohibition. Maybe this bunch will avoid the “speakeasy” Maybe.

— Cal Thomas is a columnist for Tribune Media Services. tmseditors@tribune.com

Comments

deathpenaltyliberal 3 years, 5 months ago

"CorkyHundley (anonymous) replies… Bitter clingers are emotionally disposed to fussiness. They are DRD4 genetically programed to be bitter..."

Funny words coming from the queen of whiners. My God, your lame smack gets old. Get some new material.

You too, Tom.

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beatrice 3 years, 5 months ago

Hey Tom, here are some more "facts" from The Onion about Joe Biden for you to use in your arguments. http://www.nytimes.com/2010/11/11/business/media/11biden.html?ex=1305090000&en=561b61a75c50efed&ei=5087&WT.mc_id=BU-D-I-NYT-MOD-MOD-M175-ROS-1110-HDR&WT.mc_ev=click

Using the Onion as a source -- oh that was one I'll never forget. Just beautiful that was.

Enjoy.

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Alyosha 3 years, 5 months ago

Cal didn't learn anything from the 2008 shellacking of Republicans, so his expecting Democrats to learn from 2010, especially to learn what Cal himself thinks they should learn, is laughable on its face.

That said, here's some facts to keep in mind (unless of course your goal is to mis- and dis-inform, in which case you should be ashamed of yourself):

"U.S. corporations are on track for the biggest earnings growth in 22 years and the stock market is headed for its best back-to- back annual gains since 2004."

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2010-11-11/investors-show-obama-no-respect-in-poll-as-profits-surge-with-u-s-stocks.html

All the while, while businesses are heading for banner years of profits, and Obama / Democratic policies have helped the stock market regain what it lost under Bush, people still believe things which are not true, and rant and rave in their trance-states about "socialism."

Grow up, learn to think, or leave public policy and public debates to the adults.

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Orwell 3 years, 5 months ago

OK, it's been ten days. Where the hell are all the jobs?

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CorkyHundley 3 years, 5 months ago

Yeah, they learned. That's why the Dude is point man on economic deals in South Korea. South Korea loves him but not the deal he floated to them today.

His business prowess is paying dividends with China as well. Soon the Nobel Peace Prize Giant, the Dude that the world loves, will have Germany abandon buying the dollar as well. The Dude with his business acumen sorties against foreign business leaders, has learned so much from his shellacking the 2nd.. After a few beers and a pack of smokes he'll really show Americans his stuff tomorrow.

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Liberty_One 3 years, 5 months ago

"People who are looking for work are in a very vulnerable position"

Aren't people who own a business in a much more vulnerable position?

"The understanding of that vulnerability is why liberals believe we need government regulations, unions, etc."

And what are the negative consequences of such policies?

"Personally, I think that all those who believe in "systems" like this are misguided."

Capitalism is not something that is either believed or not believed. It is the logically deducted conclusions from axioms.

"people are capable of making a variety of choices, many of which will be less than ideal."

Individual preferences are subjective. The choice each individual makes is what she considers ideal. Your opinion of that choice is irrelevant because it's subjective.

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beatrice 3 years, 5 months ago

Tom, I see you are still playing the sad conservative victim card. Boo hoo, boo hoo! Even after a big Republican win that should finally give meaning to your life, you still play the poo poo victim. boo hoo, boo hoo

A parody of a a Karl Rove caricature, nothing more.

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cowboy 3 years, 5 months ago

Tom , Learn how to interpret what someone says with some critical thought. The GOP thinks it has a mandate to run wild in the congress. Simply put they only have a majority of one house. This is typical of mid term shifts in power. Read some history , turn off Fox news for a bit and gain some enlightenment. The premise that Cal brings forward is that the dems should have learned a lesson , rather colonial don't you think ? We whupped you so you should learn never to do "that" again. Just because you won some house seats does not mean that I should change my values and beliefs one bit. Hey you won , but next election you'll lose again. Nothing racist at all in my post other than to illustrate that while you think that someone should submit to you they don't always see it your way.

So save the hyperbole for some other issue amigo !

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jayhawklawrence 3 years, 5 months ago

Since most Americans did not vote, what does that tell us?

I seriously doubt whether the pundits or pollsters have a clue right now what most Americans really think because from what I see, they are too busy sensationalizing the news.

There appears to be no moral duty anymore to report the facts or to research the stories to make sure they are accurate.

The Republicans are starting to fall apart and the Democrats just got even more liberal.

I would say that Congress is even less representative of the American people than before the election.

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Tom Shewmon 3 years, 5 months ago

We'll be up to our eyeballs in myths, lies, propaganda, half-truths, lies by ommission and general empty rhetoric and pandering by Democrats henceforth. As always in life, some things just turn out to not be true---as will be the case with about 99.999% of what comes out of Dems and their partners in crime, the corrupt liberal establishment media's mouths.

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/4/42/Beatles_-_Abbey_Road.jpg

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CorkyHundley 3 years, 5 months ago

This just in from Democrat offshore headquarters.

This should be on The Onion soon.

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cowboy 3 years, 5 months ago

What ? I was supposed to learn something from this election.

Well yes Massa I dun learneded it

Not so much , Bite Me repubs

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beaujackson 3 years, 5 months ago

The great "Teleprompter orator" bamboozled most of the voters in 2008.

The plug will be pulled in 2012.

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kernal 3 years, 5 months ago

I can't wait to see the postings in four years.

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Slaphappy 3 years, 5 months ago

When your friends can't explain why they voted for Democrats, give them this list. They can then pick a reason: 10. I voted Democrat because I believe oil companies' profits of 4% on a gallon of gas are obscene but the government taxing the same gallon of gas at 15% isn't. 9. I voted Democrat because I believe the government will do a better job of spending the money I earn than I would. 8. I voted Democrat because Freedom of speech is fine as long as nobody is offended by it. 7. I voted Democrat because I'm way too irresponsible to own a gun, and I know that my local police are all I need to protect me from murderers and thieves. 6. I voted Democrat because I believe that people who can't tell us if it will rain on Friday can tell us that the polar ice caps will melt away in ten years if I don't start driving a Prius. 5. I voted Democrat because I'm not concerned about the slaughter of millions of babies through abortion so long as we keep all death row inmates alive. 4. I voted Democrat because I think illegal aliens have a right to free health care, education, and Social Security benefits. 3. I voted Democrat because I believe that business should not be allowed to make profits for themselves. They need to break even and give the rest away to the government for redistribution as the democrats see fit. 2. I voted Democrat because I believe liberal judges need to rewrite the Constitution every few days to suit some fringe kooks who would never get their agendas past the voters. 1. I voted Democrat because my head is so firmly planted up my fanny it's unlikely that I'll ever have another point of view.

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IndusRiver 3 years, 5 months ago

I've been thinking lately about the near 10% unemployment rate and can anything "good" be said about it. There is one good thing that can be said about it actually. 10% unemployment amounts to about 15 million folks who aren't paying the taxes that support government, which could realistically lead to the gov closing its doors and telling its workers to stay home.

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pace 3 years, 5 months ago

I know that for some history is more a pr campaign than truth. The question is did the republicans look at how America voted in 2008 and graciously cross the aisle and help do anything?? I hope the parties can work together, but I really hope the democrats don't forget they were elected and owe more to the people and the country than to the lobbiest and the republicans.

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Flap Doodle 3 years, 5 months ago

You can expect the House Democratic caucus to be a lot like the Lord of the Flies for the next couple of years.

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Tom Shewmon 3 years, 5 months ago

Thank for your moderate and centrist input Agnostick. I always appreciate it.

May the god of personal identity, bless.

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Agnostick 3 years, 5 months ago

Quote:

^^^^^^ Obama has a huge opening here — should he take it. He could call the Republicans’ bluff by forcing them to fill in their own blanks. He could start by offering them what they want, the full Bush tax cuts, in exchange for a single caveat: G.O.P. leaders would be required to stand before a big Glenn Beck-style chalkboard — on C-Span, or, for that matter, Fox News — and list, with dollar amounts, exactly which budget cuts would pay for them. Once they hit the first trillion — or even $100 billion — step back and let the “adult conversation” begin!

Better still, the president should open this bargaining session to the full spectrum of his opposition. As he said at his forlorn news conference on Wednesday, he is ready to consider policy ideas “whoever proposes them.” So why not cut to the chase and invite Congressional Tea Party heavyweights like Jim DeMint, Rand Paul and Michele Bachmann to the White House along with the official G.O.P. leadership? They will offer the specifics that Boehner and McConnell are too shy to divulge.

^^^^^^^

Source: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/11/07/opinion/07rich.html

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Agnostick 3 years, 5 months ago

Cal's first sentence suggests that he was indulging in some sort of fetish-based behavior when he wrote this. "Waterboarding?" LoL!!!

So, let's move on then...

After 18+ months of "talking the talk," I'm interested in seeing what the winners do with the car they've been chasing... now that they've managed to catch it.

I won't be surprised if the Extreme Self-Righteous version of "Walking the Walk" looks a lot like this:

http://img.youtube.com/vi/7xFqt0f2YPE/0.jpg

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CherylHudspeth 3 years, 5 months ago

The question is do Republicans get it? You have repeated all the Rove talking points, spiced with indignant righteousness, but you haven't mentioned "The" point once. Voters expressed their angst with the economy, with the lack of jobs, their loss of economic mobility. Make no mistake, the voters will just as quickly toss the Republicans out in 2012 if significant economic progress is not made. You and Mitch McConnell can focus your attention on defeating President Obama in 2012. If you do you will be left in the dust.
Water-boarded? Nice image, for a small tent mindset.

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toe 3 years, 5 months ago

Time will tell if government and deficits will shrink.

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Tom Shewmon 3 years, 5 months ago

Goodness gracious! When will Dems stop crying about last Tuesday. America spoke. End of story, and in two years they will speak again and two years from then and two years from then and......

May the god of elections, bless.

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Flap Doodle 3 years, 5 months ago

Based on the responses on LJW, I'd say the Dems are in deep duhnial.

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jstthefacts 3 years, 5 months ago

Hopefully they learned its all about packaging and marketing (lying) and not policy.

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gr3sam 3 years, 5 months ago

Your post proves Cal's point: "elitism and condescension shown by so many Democrats . . . . . who think the public is stupid because a majority do not agree with the notion of government as savior."

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 3 years, 5 months ago

The real question is What will Republicans learn the lesson of the last three elections?

The Republicans were punished in the previous two elections for policies they clearly intend to pursue again. Democrats' punishment this election came just as much from voters who felt abandoned by Obama's and the rest of Democrats' move rightward from the what was promised in the election of 2008 as from teabaggers under the thrall of Beck, Rush, Palin et al. Those same old Republican policies won't be any more popular with a majority of voters over the next 2 years than they were in 2006 or 2008.

But that's not easy lesson to learn because it doesn't lend itself to the hardcore partisanship that is all the Republicans know how to do.

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Tom Shewmon 3 years, 5 months ago

Wasn't The Anointed One on 60 Minutes last night more or less still blaming Republicans?

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BornAgainAmerican 3 years, 5 months ago

I agree with Mr. Thomas. As I have said before, an obstructionist President will lead the party of H*ll NO for the next couple of years. Regretfully, nothing will change. In 2012 we will have to fire our President.

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