Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Well, All Righty Then!

The obvious good news is that the Democrats lost the House, and that's really, really good news.  In fact, that's such good news that you'd think whatever else happened, I'd be riding a wave of good cheer.

But gets even better.  The Democrats lost big time in state races: governorships and legislatures.  This bodes well for the 2012 election, and has a long-term impact for a reason many people don't know about: the redistricting that will happen over the next two years because of the 2010 census.  In most states, some combination of the governor and the state legislature control redistricting (aka gerrymandering).  Many fewer such redistrictings will be controlled by Democrats, thanks to this election.

So then why am I not feeling terminally cheerful this morning? 

Well, for starters, there were some big disappointments from across the country, Democrats who kept or won their seats even in this year of the rebellious electorate: Reid, Boxer, Frank, Dingell, Coons, Blumenthal, Manchin, Hanabusa, Brown, and so on.  Some of these were wins against the, er, less plausible opposition (Angle, O'Donnell, etc.), but still...big disappointments.  For example, I don't understand how Frank could win if he were running against Attila the Hun, resurrected by genetic engineering miracles...and yet he did.

Another source of disappointment: even though I knew the odds were agin me, I still held out hope for a Democrat trouncing of epic proportions.  Specifically, an even bigger loss in the House, and loss of the Senate as well.  And most especially, the loss of those safely ensconced Democrat “icons” that so visibly represented the Obama agenda (Reid, Pelosi, Frank, etc.).  We didn't get that epic trouncing.

But the major cause for my disappointment is closer to home.  California appears to have mostly opted out of the anti-Democrat electoral rebellion.  Boxer beat Fiorina.  Brown (Governor Moonbeam, for god's sake, folks!) beat Whitman.  Pelosi won her seat with 80% of the vote.  In any just world, surely there are only two votes Pelosi should have been able to count on: hers and her husband's.  And I'm not too sure about his.  The proposition to defer our state cap-and-trade system went down in flames.  Bottom line, the wackos overwhelmingly won here in California.

So, a mixed reaction to the election, though logically I should be turning cartwheels.  Debbie and I will continue carefully reading the tea leaves to see if we will end up staying in California, or leaving for less demented territory.  We're not considering leaving anytime soon, mind you; this is more a long-range planning exercise.  One thing that occurred to me as I mulled over the impact of this election on California: the results make it substantially more likely that California will need a federal bailout of some kind – and at the same time make it less likely that the U.S. Congress will be receptive to the idea.  This is a recipe for Golden State fiscal disaster, and in the not-too-distant future, too...

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