A few thoughts on last night:
Some were appalled to see John Boehner get emotional as the talked about the victory, and his background. I liked it. My blue-collar Democrat parents would have liked it, too. They knew about working crappy jobs. I know about it, too. I like knowing that the new Speaker of the House understands what it means to work a lousy job, or to come home from one job only to head out to a second one, because that’s what it takes to pay the bills when you have a house and baby and are rolling coin to afford a haircut.
Kind of ironic, isn’t it, to realize that the Speaker who understands what all of that is like is no longer from the Democrat party, but the GOP?
Marco Rubio: bright future in politics. Compelling story, charismatic, gifted, likable and deft. He is the future of the GOP.
Christine O’Donnell: bright future in daytime TV where I think she could do a very good job connecting with the soccer moms who help turn elections. Everyone has a role; I don’t really see hers in political office
The Evil Rove-Krauthammer Conspiracy: Whining that O’Donnell “could have won” if the GOP establishment had supported her would be a very convincing argument, had O’Donnell lost by 1-3%. She lost by 15%, against a very unlikable man which tells us that the problem was with her candidacy, and her inability to sell herself beyond her base, to the crucial centrists and indies.
The Perils of the Echo Chamber: This should be a warning to the Tea Partiers: don’t forget how disorienting things can be in the echo-chamber. Even if “everyone you know” in the forums you frequent thinks as you think, that still isn’t many people. A couple of thousand feels like a million when you’re in the echo chamber, and weak candidates are run, and races are lost, on such delusions.
California: That state makes no sense at all. Remember when the left wondered “why does Kansas vote against its own interests? Hello, Governor Brown.
Yes, it was a good night for the GOP, but the ability of Boxer, Murray, Reid, Frank and others to remain in office in a year of such discontent is a demonstration of how powerful the unions and entrenched interests remain. Which is why we need more Rubios, and fewer Palladinos, more Wests and fewer Whitmans.
Allen West: Yay!
Douthat: Well, Dems? Was it worth it? I’m not sure I find Ezra’s argument as compelling as Douthat does. “Legislative success” should have some relation to the actual representation of you know, the desires of the constituency. Otherwise it is not “legislative success.” It is arrogance and tyranny.
Pundits and Talking Heads: CNN was overcrowded, MSNBC was overbearing and FOX was, at times, terrifyingly well-groomed. It appears that TV Punditry is a distractingly lilly-white world, with Juan Williams and the gorgeous Donna Brazile (that woman does not age) getting some decent air-time, but there must be Hispanic, Asian-Indian and other folk out there whose opinions are worth airing on election nights. They were noticeably absent on the cable gasbag fests.
Wolf Blitzer: talking to America not exclusively in one-syllable words, but very nearly. Clearly thinks his audience is imbecilic. His low-point came in discussing Governor-elect Nikki Haley, who he took great pains to describe as “not American-Indian, but Indian as in India…” Oh, brother!
The Future of Journalism from a guy who has been in the trenches a long time.
More later – please check back for links!
UPDATE I:Pelosi: That ain’t astro-turf, lady!”
Barney Frank: These are not the speech or the demeanor of a winner. They are the rantings of a prince-ling who just made it out the window before the peasants came to hang him, and is missing his stockings and shoes.
Harry Reid: Awful, awful, awful. He is now Awesome McAwful, for me.
The Tea Party: My point above, about Christine O’ Donnell, is not a criticism of the Tea Party; I think they did a good job, their first time out; they got Rubio, Nikki Haley–this are big wins–but I am disturbed by this notion that somehow “only” tea partiers can counter the Democrats or effectively govern. Real governance requires the ability to do more than steamroller the opposition, which is PRECISELY what the Democrats have done for the past two years, and its what got them into trouble. A conservative majority is going to have to be accept the fact that–as Ronald Reagan said–”you fight, you take 75% and then you come back later for the other 25%.” An inability to do that tempts tyranny, and if the base cannot understand it, they risk becoming as extreme as the far-lefters who are after Obama for not being “progressive enough.”
Barak Obama: No, he doesn’t get it. His response to last night appears to be; “you just don’t know how great I am, because Bush was so bad.” Talk about echo-chambers. He is the most insulated president since Nixon.
Ed Morrissey: the GOP is on probation, and they know it. But it seems to me, the Tea Party is, too. If they demonstrate that they’re unable to see where and when to give in order to get, they will only be further confusing the country.
Michael Barone: Random Thoughts
Oh no! Some minority politician, like Rubio, are not “reeeeal”, or something!
Tim Dalrymple on the Mostly-Tea-Party Win
Joe Carter: There is no Tea Party Movement!
Powerline: Kind of thinking as I am re O’ Donnell
Brian Saint-Paul: Tea Party vs the GOP Establishment