read more: Boston Herald
[password]Now that the dust has settled, who are the winners and losers from Campaign 2010?
Winners: The Tea Party – Unfairly demonized as a monolithic group of right-wing extremists, the Tea Party turned out to be a middle-class protest movement – an amalgamation of Reagan Democrats, populists, conservatives and libertarians spurred to democratic action by the cancerous growth of government. By focusing on spending, taxes and bailouts, the grassroots movement changed the national conversation and reminded the professional political class that their power derives from the people.
True diversity – The 2010 elections produced a diverse crop of Republican leaders for the future. Minority GOP candidates picked up three governorships (Nikki Haley in South Carolina, Susana Martinez in New Mexico and Brian Sandoval in Nevada), one Senate seat (Marco Rubio in Florida) and two congressional seats (Tom Scott of South Carolina and Allen West of Florida will be the first black Republicans in Congress since 2003). They become the new face of the GOP, proving that diversity is not synonymous with Democrat.
The GOP – The big winner is, of course, the Republican Party which picked up six seats in the Senate, 61 seats in the House and seven governorships. Perhaps most significantly, however, Republicans also picked up more than 500 state legislative seats – the biggest gain since 1928. In addition to providing a new pool of talent from which the GOP can draw in future statewide and national elections, these state legislators will help redraw congressional districts after the 2010 census, paving the way for more Republican gains in the House.
But although they won big, Republicans would do well to remember that this election was not a blanket endorsement of the GOP.
Note to John Boehner and Mitch McConnell: The era of big government conservatism is over.
President Obama – Last week, the American people delivered a stunning vote of no confidence in President Barack Obama. Why? Whether because of incredible hubris or a political tin ear, the president vastly misread his 2008 victory as a mandate to nationalize health care and push the country toward a European-style political economy. Will he now move to the center as Bill Clinton did so effectively after the midterm elections of 1994? Unlikely. Clinton is a survivor, a consummate politician. Obama, on the other hand, is an ideologue who lives in an echo chamber of his own making.
National Organization for Women – After endorsing Jerry Brown for governor of California just days after Brown (or someone talking to Brown) called his female opponent a “whore,” can there remain any doubt that NOW is not a women’s group, but a gaggle of left-wing provocateurs?
Massachusetts – The biggest loser in this campaign is Massachusetts. Perhaps we should have seen it coming. This is, after all, the only state in the nation to have voted for George McGovern in 1972. But in 2010 Scott Brown gave us hope that we were no longer a one-party state. We were wrong. By re-electing and once again sending a Democratic supermajority to Beacon Hill, we rejected checks and balances and forfeited accountability on Beacon Hill. Moreover, by sending an entirely Democratic congressional delegation back to what is now a Republican-controlled House, Massachusetts voters have marginalized our state and given up any chance at influencing national policy. But maybe that’s a good thing . . . for the rest of the country, at least.[/password]