Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

A Return to the Norm (All 2010 did was undo the two-stage Democratic wave of 2006 to 2008)
Nationa Review ^ | 11/05/2010 | Charles Krauthammer

Posted on 11/05/2010 8:02:54 AM PDT by SeekAndFind

For all the turmoil, the spectacle, the churning — for all the old bulls slain and fuzzy-cheeked freshmen born — the great Republican wave of 2010 is simply a return to the norm. The tide had gone out; the tide came back. A center-right country restores the normal congressional map: a sea of interior red, bordered by blue coasts, and dotted by blue islands of urban density.

Or to put it numerically, the Republican wave of 2010 did little more than undo the two-stage Democratic wave of 2006 to 2008, in which the Democrats gained 54 House seats combined (precisely the size of the anti-Democratic wave of 1994). In 2010 the Democrats gave it all back, plus about an extra ten seats or so for good — chastening — measure.

The conventional wisdom is that these sweeps represent something novel, exotic, and very modern — the new media, faster news cycles, Internet frenzy, and a public with a short attention span and even less patience with government. Or alternatively, that these violent swings reflect reduced party loyalty and more independent voters.

Nonsense. In 1946, for example, when party loyalty was much stronger and even television was largely unknown, the Republicans gained 56 seats and then lost 75 in the very next election. Waves come. Waves go. The republic endures.

Our two most recent swing cycles were triggered by unusually jarring historical events. The 2006 Republican “thumpin’” (to quote George W. Bush) was largely a reflection of the disillusionment and near-despair of a wearying war that appeared to be lost. And 2008 occurred just weeks after the worst financial collapse in eight decades.

Similarly, the massive Republican swing of 2010 was a reaction to another rather unprecedented development — a ruling party spectacularly misjudging its mandate and taking an unwilling country through a two-year experiment in hyper-liberalism.

A massive government restructuring of the health-care system. An $800 billion–plus stimulus that did not halt the rise in unemployment. And a cap-and-trade regime reviled outside the bicoastal liberal enclaves that luxuriate in environmental righteousness — so reviled that the Democratic senatorial candidate in West Virginia literally put a bullet through the bill in his own TV ad. He won. Handily.

Opposition to the policies was compounded by the breathtaking arrogance with which they were imposed. Ignored was the unmistakable message from the 2009–10 off-year elections culminating in Scott Brown’s anti-Obamacare victory in bluer-than-blue Massachusetts. Moreover, Obamacare and the stimulus were passed on near-total party-line votes — legal, of course, but deeply offensive to the people’s sense of democratic legitimacy. Never before had anything of this size and scope been passed on a purely partisan basis. (Social Security commanded 81 House Republicans; the Civil Rights Act, 136; Medicare, 70.)

Tuesday was the electorate’s first opportunity to render a national verdict on this manner of governance. The rejection was stunning. As a result, President Obama’s agenda is dead. And not just now. No future Democratic president will try to revive it — and if he does, no Congress will follow him, in view of the carnage visited upon Democrats on Tuesday.

This is not, however, a rejection of Democrats as a party. The center-left party as represented by Bill Clinton remains competitive in every cycle. The lesson of Tuesday is that the American game is played between the 40-yard lines. So long as Democrats don’t repeat Obama’s drive for the red zone, Democrats will cyclically prevail, just as Republicans do.

Nor should Republicans overinterpret their Tuesday mandate. They received none. They were merely rewarded for acting as the people’s proxy in saying no to Obama’s overreaching liberalism. As one wag put it, this wasn’t an election so much as a restraining order.

The Republicans won by default. And their prize is nothing more than a two-year lease on the House. The building was available because the previous occupant had been evicted for arrogant misbehavior and, by rule, alas, the House cannot be left vacant.

The president, however, remains clueless. In his next-day news conference, he had the right demeanor — subdued, his closest approximation to humility — but he was uncomprehending about what just happened. The “folks” were apparently just “frustrated” that “progress” is just too slow. Asked three times whether popular rejection of his policy agenda might have had something to do with the “shellacking” he took, he looked as if he’d been asked whether the sun had risen in the West. Why, no, he said.

— Charles Krauthammer is a nationally syndicated columnist.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Government; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: 2010midterms; elections; gopcomeback; krauthammer; norm; republic

1 posted on 11/05/2010 8:03:01 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: SeekAndFind

The “folks” were apparently just “frustrated” that “progress” is just too slow.....

Just keep thinking that when we bury you!


2 posted on 11/05/2010 8:08:15 AM PDT by AngelesCrestHighway
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: SeekAndFind

I thought that the “wave” of 2006 was because of conservatives staying home. In 2010, the conservatives went back to the polls.

As an aside, I am so tired of hearing about the “turbulent” Bush years. The turbulence was entirely created and sustained by the media . . . to the point where people couldn’t stand to listen to it anymore and just wanted it to be over. Unfortunately, this attitude made the electorate easy pickings for Elmer Gantry Obama.


3 posted on 11/05/2010 8:08:15 AM PDT by chickadee
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: SeekAndFind

I’d have to say this is the best analysis of the election that I have seen. The Republicans should all read this.


4 posted on 11/05/2010 8:09:17 AM PDT by refermech
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: chickadee

The radical left media in America has as much to do with this disaster as the vile little socialists in office!


5 posted on 11/05/2010 8:09:53 AM PDT by AngelesCrestHighway
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: SeekAndFind

Thank McCain Feingold for 2006/2008 and Obama.


6 posted on 11/05/2010 8:10:39 AM PDT by Frantzie (Imam Ob*m* & Democrats support the VICTORY MOSQUE & TV supports Imam)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: SeekAndFind
We need to do the "Escape from New York" scenario in which every "BLUE STATE" is sealed off and people need a permit to leave...

Let them ROT in the rat-infested, bed-bug ridden, filthy shit-holes their marxist ideology has produced.

Their only "solution" so far is to drag everyone else into hell with them.

7 posted on 11/05/2010 8:12:28 AM PDT by Huebolt (It's not over until there is not ONE DEMOCRAT HOLDING OFFICE ANYWHERE. Not even a dog catcher!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: AngelesCrestHighway

This guy is off in a dream-land all his own...

This is the first time since the 1880s or so, that the Democrats have had less than 200 seats in Congress.

19 state houses changed hands in this election.

We picked up a lot of Governor seats as well.

Reapportionment is upon us. Those 19 states and California are going to get a better shake-out this time, because they have a Republican majority, or in the case of California the reapportionment has been taken out of the hands of the elected officials.

“Return to the norm?” Sure he jests...


8 posted on 11/05/2010 8:16:23 AM PDT by DoughtyOne (BHO fans said I was a hater, dismissed my thoughts. Sure glad our side isn't like that.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: Huebolt

Abuse? uhhhhh- guilty...sorry, but abuse from the left begets abuse from the right.


9 posted on 11/05/2010 8:16:26 AM PDT by Huebolt (It's not over until there is not ONE DEMOCRAT HOLDING OFFICE ANYWHERE. Not even a dog catcher!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: SeekAndFind

Good take, however, REDISTRICTING will now give Republicans an advantage, even if they screw up!


10 posted on 11/05/2010 8:16:38 AM PDT by Kansas58
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Huebolt
Let them ROT in the rat-infested, bed-bug ridden, filthy shit-holes their marxist ideology has produced.

I would love to see this. The only problem is that rats always go after the cheese. The lazy, the corrupt, and the wicked will go after the hard working and the prosperous, and take.

It has always been, and it always will be.

11 posted on 11/05/2010 8:17:39 AM PDT by SkyPilot
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: SeekAndFind
A Return to the Norm (All 2010 did was undo the two-stage Democratic wave of 2006 to 2008)

I don't think so.
The events of the last six months, thanks to the Tea Party philosophy, has energized millions of angry ordinary citizens of all political parties. They are not going away any time soon.

Among other things, I am sure that I am one among many who will keep track of the voting record of all our elected representatives, both at the state and fedral levels, to counter the totally cherrypicked BS we saw in their slick pre-election brochures.
Also evident is the breathtaking amount of cash spent by unions like the SEIU and that Soros doofus and government employee and teacher unions on behalf of certain candidates.
McNerney, Boxer of the Congress and Huber of the California state Assemby, and that total fake Jerry Brown come to mind...

Return to business as usual?

In your dreams. Parasites, both unemployed and on permanent welfare, start planning for a big change. It may take a while, but it is inevitable.

Can't tax what we dont have; and the stuff HAS hit the fan.

Wake up and smell the coffee!

12 posted on 11/05/2010 8:23:15 AM PDT by Publius6961 ("In 1964 the War on Poverty Began --- Poverty won.")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Publius6961

Correct !!!!


13 posted on 11/05/2010 8:25:00 AM PDT by COUNTrecount (Barry...above his poi grade.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 12 | View Replies]

To: SeekAndFind

the democrats had a 78 seat majority in the house, not a 54 seat majority. They won a bunch of special elections as well.

it was 256D-178R for the 111th Congress. Now it will be about 239R-196D or something


14 posted on 11/05/2010 8:29:00 AM PDT by ChurtleDawg (voting only encourages them)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Huebolt

RE: We need to do the “Escape from New York” scenario in which every “BLUE STATE” is sealed off and people need a permit to leave...


Lest people forget, the USA had that chance you were mentioning above 150 years ago.

Abraham Lincoln decisively put that idea to an end at the cost of 620,000 lives.

I don’t think people would want to re-live that horror again.


15 posted on 11/05/2010 8:43:45 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: SeekAndFind

Our Texas StateHouse went from 76-74 Republican to 99-51, from split to 1 vote shy of 2/3rds majority and quorum. You have to look back past Reconstruction to find a similar advantage.

A return to the Norm? I don’t think so.

Redistricting is coming up, Texas is going to gain 4 new seats, and these 99 Republicans are going to decide how they are drawn.

Let the Dems go hide out of State this go around of redistricting to prevent a quorum: they’ll need every last one of them to do so.


16 posted on 11/05/2010 8:54:58 AM PDT by ziravan ("Are you better off now than you were 7 trillion dollars ago?")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: DoughtyOne

After the 1928 election, during the 71st Congress (1929-1931), the Democrats had 167 seats in the House and 39 in the Senate. In the first 15 Congresses of the 20th century (1901 to 1931), the Democrats had over 200 members only in 5. In the 57th Congress (1901-1903), both parties had fewer than 200 seats (the size of the House was smaller then, 357 seats vs. the current 435).


17 posted on 11/05/2010 8:58:23 AM PDT by Verginius Rufus
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: ziravan

Texas has always been different. In fact I wish all other states thought and acted like the Texas voters.

The following states are more or less hopeless : California, New York, Connecticut, Vermont, Rhode Island, Delaware, Maryland, Hawaii and Washington.

Glad they’re the minority in this Union.


18 posted on 11/05/2010 9:00:43 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 16 | View Replies]

To: AngelesCrestHighway
The radical left media in America has as much to do with this disaster as the vile little socialists in office!

Equal blame to go around.
There is the go-along-to-get-along RINOS, all of whom haven't been retired to used car sales.

Then there's the disengaged working voter, too busy buying stuff and watching reality shows to realize that the parasite termites had already chewed up most of his fiscal house. It's not too late for them, but the parasites now have their attention. Whether the outrage lasts remain to be seen.

Finally, there's the "tinfoil factor."
I have resisted the conspiracy of the radicals; the cancer working its way into our national soul, working to destroy the spirit that produced them, and hoping to replace both the American Dream and the American soul with ignorance and a win-or-destroy mentality.
Yes, I believe the spirit of the 60s radicalism never went away. They have just been burrowing from within for decades, and finally achieved the reins of power.

Getting rid of them will have to be as ruthlessly merciless as their jurney to the top has been.

Count me in, army of "I want my damn country back!" All of it.

19 posted on 11/05/2010 9:10:36 AM PDT by Publius6961 ("In 1964 the War on Poverty Began --- Poverty won.")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: SeekAndFind

Sealed off blue states... just a figure of speech, of course. Totally unrealistic and, I thought, obviously so. An economic “boycott” or avoidance of having anything to do with such states is, however, possible. Just don’t go there and, if you can, don’t send them any business. I wish FOX would move out of NY and go to, uhk, maybe Kansas or Texas or somewhere.


20 posted on 11/05/2010 10:12:39 AM PDT by Huebolt (It's not over until there is not ONE DEMOCRAT HOLDING OFFICE ANYWHERE. Not even a dog catcher!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 15 | View Replies]

To: Verginius Rufus

Thank you for the correction. It seemed to me there would have been a lot fewer seats back then. It did occur to me that the Democrats may have held a lop-sided enough majority to have had in excess of 200 seats back then anyway.

When I stated this earlier, I was quoting a pundit who stated this during the last couple of days. I’m sure I heard it said more than once by more than one person too.

One of the terms they used, was the ‘last 120 years’ line.

It’s best to strike that down though, if it’s not true and I appreciate you doing it.


21 posted on 11/05/2010 1:06:05 PM PDT by DoughtyOne (BHO fans said I was a hater, dismissed my thoughts. Sure glad our side isn't like that.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 17 | View Replies]

To: chickadee
The turbulence was entirely created and sustained by the media

Yep. 2006 was an ugly campaign, at least where I live. Constant bombardment of negative propaganda. 2008 was even more so. My dad, who's seen his fair share of elections, said that it was the worst he'd ever seen, going back to the 50s.

This year? Not so much. Maybe a couple of commercials a night. Heasrd my first radio commercial on election day. Even the negative ones (all lib) were pretty muted.

Interesting, I thought, that libs win on hosility, and conservatives win on principles.

22 posted on 11/05/2010 1:28:56 PM PDT by wbill
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: DoughtyOne
I was going by The Statistical History of the United States which has the party affiliations for Congress up to 1970 (page 1083). I believe the House has been set at 435 maximum since the 1910 census (or maybe since 1912 when New Mexico and Arizona became states). It was briefly raised to 437 when Alaska and Hawaii became states, until the redistricting after the 1960 census.
23 posted on 11/05/2010 1:29:20 PM PDT by Verginius Rufus
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 21 | View Replies]

To: Verginius Rufus

Thanks for mentioning a good resource. I appreciate it.

Rush may be one of the places where I heard this 120 year line. Perhaps not...

I do know I heard it on FoxNews from someone.


24 posted on 11/05/2010 2:17:54 PM PDT by DoughtyOne (BHO fans said I was a hater, dismissed my thoughts. Sure glad our side isn't like that.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 23 | View Replies]

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson