Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Democrats Take the House

Hugh Hewitt likes to play a song on his radio show whenever the Democrats suffer a resounding defeat. It's John Hiatt's version of The Tiki Bar Is Open:

Thank God the tiki bar is open
Thank God the tiki torch still shines
Thank God the tiki bar is open
Come on in and open up your mind

Even though I'm not really a drinker, I could use that song today.

Fox News has a graphic at the top of their site (as of this moment), showing the split between Republicans and Democrats (and Independents) in the House and Senate. The Democrats have the House. Republicans have 49 seats in the Senate, Democrats have 47 seats, and the 2 Independents are expected to vote with the Democrats. So the Senate races in Montana and Virginia will determine control of the Senate.

If Democrats take control of the Senate, judicial nominees will not be confirmed. If another Supreme Court justice retires or dies, that seat may well remain vacant for the next two years. The President's comprehensive immigration plan (including a path to citizenship to illegals) will pass, and the border fence and border enforcement will be dropped or curtailed.

If Democrats take control of the Senate, expect impeachment to be more likely. Expect the tax cuts to be rolled back. Expect our economy to slow down as a result. Expect the war effort to be hampered by "supporters" of our troops.

I'm not happy. And I'm not optimistic that either the Republicans or the Democrats will learn the real lesson from this election.

The lesson is NOT that America has had a sudden groundswell of joyous approval for Democrats and their policies, although the Democrats will try to spin it that way. History teaches us that the mid-term elections during a president's second term have always seen a shift to the opposing party. That's a tough hurdle for Republicans to overcome. This year had October and November Surprises like crazy--another hurdle to overcome, but that's politics.

In addition, Republicans were being hammered in the mainstream media's "news" articles. The Washington Times reported November 1, 2006, that the Big 3 broadcast news outlets leaned left in their election coverage.

The Big Three television networks have used unprecedented midterm election coverage to bash the Republican Party with negative stories, and plenty of them, a study says.

Only 12 percent of election stories that aired on NBC, ABC or CBS were favorable toward Republican candidates, according to a study released yesterday by the District-based Center for Media and Public Affairs (CMPA).

In contrast, Democrats basked in glory. The study found that 77 percent of the news accounts between Sept. 5 and Oct. 22 offered favorable evaluations of Democratic candidates and lawmakers.

With all this working against the Republicans, it's no wonder they lost control of the House. But to take that as a repudiation of Bush policies on the part of Regular America is to overreach the meaning of the election.

The stakes are still as high as they ever were, but with a new reality in Washington, the fight will have to change.

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