Don't misinterpret the bloodbath, GOP
Editor's Note: The following piece was submitted by BFA volunteer Tim Inwood on October 24. Pressing election-related news prevented it from being published earlier, but it is certainly impressive to see how clear Inwood's crystal ball was. As you read the following, consider this election night quote from Florida Senator-elect Marco Rubio: "We make a grave mistake if we believe that tonight these results are somehow an embrace of the Republican Party. What they are is a second chance, a second chance for Republicans to be what they said they were going to be, not so long ago."
by Tim Inwood
As I am writing this in October, I will admit that attempts at sooth saying can be rather dangerous, but in this case I am feeling pretty safe in saying the November elections will have been a bloodbath for our Democrat friends in Congress, as well as in the various states' races across the fruited plain.
Those state house races and governorships will be very important as the states will be redistricting following this past year's census. Those who control those statehouses will redraw their district lines and that will be felt for the next decade. As I frequently remind readers, elections matter and this election's ramifications will be felt for some time to come.
However our real focus today is what has happened to those who sit on Capitol Hill in Washington D.C., and the wave that has carried many of them back into their home districts into a stinging early retirement.
In 2008, the Democrats won handily on their campaign of "Change." People were easily seduced, not really grasping or even trying to understand what this meant. The media had been bashing Bush and the Republicans for some time, so it was chic to be liberal in '08. However the reality of what was being done made it a quickly passing fad. The fact that people were hoodwinked is reinforced by a poll that came out in late October of this year, showing twenty-five percent of Obama supporters in '08 were casting their lot with the GOP in 2010. This clearly shows great dissatisfaction with Obama's fundamental change agenda.
The Democrats' mistake was they assumed they had a mandate to do anything they pleased and they did exactly that, pursuing an agenda to destroy the fabric which held us together and made America great. Those acts of violence to our Constitution, culture, freedom and rights awakened a lethargic sleeping giant. That giant was pretty ticked off to be stirred from its slumber. If you have any doubt, just look at the film footage of all the Tea Party rallies across the country for the past year and a half.
To govern against the will of the American people is about the most foolish thing any politician can do. Yet for the last two years the Democrats passed law after law that were unpopular, knowing the polls said what they were doing was disliked. Yet arrogantly they thought they knew better than we, the little people. They knew they might only have this two year window to pass everything they have dreamed of for decades, and come hell or high water they were determined to get as much of it passed no matter what the American people wanted.
When asked about where in the Constitution they got the power to do the things they were doing, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi replied, "Are you serious?"
Speaking of doing whatever it takes to cling to power, we now see the President jumping in to save the day. However his efforts are akin to throwing a drowning man a life preserver made of lead. I have found it hysterical to watch Barack Obama flying into a state to campaign and the candidates flee, dodging him for their political lives. Senator Feingold's efforts to disappear during the President's visits to his state drew comments from the press and finally the chagrined Senator did make an appearance with Obama. He did not look happy and no wonder, he is now even further down in the polls. It has been an interesting phenomenon that if the President visits, it often does more damage to the Democrat candidates he intends to help. Politically speaking, help from the President is the kiss of death.
The real question will be the margins of victory and whether the Republicans snatch the U.S. Senate. The House is a foregone conclusion. The Republicans in the Congress will need to understand a few things about this election.
First, the people did not put the GOP back in power because they love Republicans. It was because they hate what the Democrats have done to the country since they came to power, and they have elected the GOP to stop the Obama agenda.
They also need to learn some lessons from the last time they held the majority. First is to explain and educate the public on the course being pursued. They need to realize that the mainstream media is hostile and be wary of it as such. They also need to stick to their conservative principles and not legislate as Democrat-lite. The GOP has been there and done that; it was a huge mistake that still irks conservatives and is why they are still not loved or trusted by many people.
The GOP needs to stick to their guns and not compromise with Obama and the Democrats. Obama said Republicans would have to learn to live with him. He has it wrong. It is Obama who will have to learn to live with the new reality of a Republican majority in the House and hopefully the Senate.
The GOP needs to realize they now are expected to deliver as best they can. If they fail in this or make deals with Democrats, they are sealing their doom and may give birth to a third party made of disgruntled Republicans and Tea Party activists.
The reality is Tea Party patriots are not going away. Failing to shrink Federal spending drastically and not doing their best to restore private property rights and freedom to the American people will only destroy the GOP. This election will gut the Democrats' power in Congress, and if the most the GOP can do is gridlock then that is what they must do.
The GOP needs to grasp the reality of the mandate given. It is time to represent the people of the country, not the ruling class and their interests. The GOP must do what they can to deliver what is expected.
The Republicans need to learn a lesson from the past and not do anything to alienate their natural constituents. A good example of this will be seen in the spread in votes between Rob Portman, who is projected to be swept into the U.S. Senate by a huge margin, and John Kasich, who will win the Governor's seat by a smaller margin. Also Mike DeWine who will likely win only by the hair on his chin because of the coat tail effect. What is the one issue that can be pointed to for this happening you ask? The simple answer is guns and their owners.
Rob Portman has been loyal to gun owners his entire political career and they have his full support. Rob is running against Lee Fisher who was given a grade of F by the NRA and BFA. So gun owners are there for Rob. John Kasich will be a mixed bag. He made a number of bad votes on guns but has reached out and tried to appease gun owners recently. The NRA gave him a B this time and BFA gave him a C-. Ted Strickland will get a lot of pro-gun votes, but there are some who will not support him because of his friendship with President Obama, who is a sworn foe to gun owners, and Ted's selection of yet another rabid anti-gun running mate for Lt. Governor.
Mike DeWine will likely be dead last in the GOP field "if" he wins. If he does it will only be on the coat tails of a large GOP turn out. Mike is disliked by Ohio's gun owners for good reason, as he often voted against us and lobbied against concealed carry while in the U.S. Senate. He "wowed" the Brady bunch in '06 and earned their endorsement while trying to pass himself off as a pro-Second Amendment candidate. He lost to another anti- gun politician, our current Senator Sherrod Brown. Gun owners hate subterfuge and Mike was dishonest with us. So when Republicans look at that spread they should keep in mind Rob's numbers show what happens when you are true to your Constituents desires and DeWine's numbers show what happens when you betray them. As I said, Mike may win but only because of a large turn out of the Republican party faithful.
Those who voted for Republicans expecting the full repeal of the Obama agenda must also deal with this fact: unless there are more than sixty Republican Senators this is not going to happen. In my nearly fifty years on this Earth the GOP has never had a filibuster proof majority. In fact, for most of my life the Democrats have run the Senate and the House, much to the detriment of our Republic. So unless enough Democrats will defect to help repeal, it is not going to happen. It will also face veto by Obama if it ever reaches his desk. I would urge patience and ride the Republicans to do what they can to derail the Obama agenda. It will not be as easy as many people believe.
One thing is perfectly clear. We are about to experience a political Tea-nami, akin to a tsunami, except it was a voter wave, not water, that carried the Democrats away. The Republicans had best take notice and perform their best to undo what the Democrats and Obama have done to anger the American people, or they will only give birth to a new party who will run on the agenda of restoring power and freedom to the people. If they don't do the bidding of those who gave them power, then in the 2012 election it will be the Republicans who are carried away in the next tea-nami wave. Let's hope the GOP does not disappoint those who have given them this chance to redeem the party of Lincoln.
Tim Inwood is the current Legislative Liaison and Past President of the Clinton County Farmers and Sportsmen Association, an Endowment Member of the NRA and Life Member of the OGCA, Republican Central Committeeman for Chester Township A, in Clinton County, Ohio, and a volunteer for Buckeye Firearms Association.
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