Not the steamroller some had predicted but mission accomplished--the Obama express has been partially derailed and there's a new sheriff in the house. It's a great thing to live in a country where the voters can go out, pull a lever, and change the future all by themselves (then again let's not get too carried away--Alvin Greene got almost a third of the vote in South Carolina and he made Christine O'Donnell look like Madame Curie by comparison).
Some observations. Fox News was the slowest internet site of the evening for me. Whether that means they have inadequate servers or were being overwhelmed by tea partiers who were most active in this cycle is mere speculation.
As to explanations, surely the mainstreamers will stumble out of their hangovers this morning and blame everyone but Obama--the economy (stupid), temper tantrums, Beck or whatever--but of course this was a referendum on el gaffe de presidente. The sheer amount of independents who voted GOP this time was a dead give-away.
So what happens in January? Actually, what happens in December and the lame-duck? Since the GOP didn't run the tables and both Reid and Pelosi survived in their seats it might set up a last ditch opening for some of the more radical to suggest a last gasp ramrod of more unpopular legislation via reconciliation. Would they dare? With these cats you never know, although such acts of gross arrogance and would set up the president as an even bigger villain since he'd have to sign anything. So they'll probably just pass the tax cut extensions.
When showtime comes the new GOP House will be full of bluster but won't be able to do much with a Dem Senate and prez--there will be no shutting down the government or witch hunts for impeachment or overturning Obamacare, just threats to such and partial gridlock. Obama may choose to play rope-a-dope and stall hoping the economy comes back on its own, since any meddling from the House on the economy means they can take partial credit. So maybe the Dems will become the new party of no (surely they will be painted as heroic for it).
Whatever, Robert Gibbs was right, and many are glad about it. Pelosi will have to hand over that ostentatiously enormous gavel next year and there is still poetic justice in the world when "patriots" such as Alan Grayson can be removed from office by the people, with prejudice. Otherwise, just glad it's over.
DOING NO HARM? 11/3/10
In the clip about Slurpees (we have "Icees" down here, btw) Obama said he wants to sit down with the current Congressional leadership and the leaders-to-be in 'the next few weeks' and discuss where they can move forward with no harm done. Since he mentioned the tax cuts maybe he was referring to them, but maybe he was referring to already enacted Dem legislation as well.
In other words, he might suggest giving them a FULL extension of the Bush tax cuts in exchange for their promise to leave the health care bill alone.
If the new GOP leaders balked at such a shakedown then the outgoing Congress could let the cuts lapse and blame it on a lack of bi-partisanship, tea party anger, etc. They know the Senate will remain in Dem hands making it difficult to gin up new tax cuts once the old ones expire (without the Dems wanting to tack on all kinds of riders) so it seems to this observer that the most significant legislation in the next two years might be decided in the next 2 months between the lame duck Dems and the GOP leaders who aren't leaders yet. Let's hope 'sanity' prevails.
Good Lord, is it possible that our old friend Baghdad Bob actually resurfaced in America in 2006 disguised as "Nancy Pelosi" and has been fooling everyone since? "We are on pace to maintain our majority"? With a 60 seat shellacking in progress?
Notice carefully out the window--for all we know that man walking to his car and driving off might have actually been John Boehner leaving to accept congratulations.