I, Grandpa T, am taking full credit for the Republican victories in the November 4th midterm elections!
OK, I did not have anything to do with it. But if Al Gore can claim inventing the internet, Barrack Obama can claim you could keep your old health insurance policies and George H.W. Bush can claim “no new taxes,” I should be able to get at least a little credit for this election.
There are no shortage of articles being published or ‘talking heads’ on TV giving their assessments of what went right and what went wrong for both parties.
This article is about an outsider’s opinion as to who are the winners and losers.
Winner – Republicans
If you are going by sheer numbers alone, the Republicans had a great election. There were 51 new Republican candidate winners and 17 new Democratic candidate winners. This would be considered a rout if it were a football score: 51-17.
I view this impressive victory as being similar to an oreo cookie. The top layer represents the existing 113th Congress. This Congress, the Congress with the lowest approval rating since ratings were initiated in 1974, still has until January 3, 2015 to reign mayhem upon the public. There are already rumors about ‘ramrodding’ some Democratic nominations while the opportunity still presents itself. The POTUS, with the prospect of a Republican-controlled Congress after the first of the year, has publicly stated he will initiate immigration reform using the Executive Action excuse. No doubt this will be done to make that new Congress look mean and evil for not wanting to grant amnesty to about two million illegal aliens. As of this writing, the Washington ‘three ring circus’ will still be functioning for about another eight weeks.
The middle layer of the oreo cookie is the impressive number of Republican victories. The Republicans gained thirteen seats in the House of Representatives and won enough senatorial seats to take control of the Senate. The greatest achievement from gaining control of the senate? Getting rid of Harry Reid as the House Majority leader! Harry Reid – the person who has single handedly stonewalled democracy by using his status as the ‘gatekeeper to hell.’ Nothing was presented to our US Senate for either debate or vote, unless Harry allowed it. (A reported 382 bills, passed by the House of Representatives, are allegedly sitting on his desk! He will not bring them to the Senate floor for consideration!) He said in 2008 that while he was Senate Majority leader, no US budget would be discussed, approved, or voted on. He is a man of his word. Not one budget has been approved for the largest economy in the world for all of Obama’s term of presidency because of Harry. I was hoping he would lose his position as senate minority leader. But Harry, ever diligent, always thirsting power, has decided he wants to continue as Senate Minority Leader, no doubt hoping for a comeback in 2016. If you want a person to point a finger at for the fact that the 113th Congress has been ineffective, Harry would be a damn good target.
The bottom layer of my oreo cookie is that we are now an ‘instantaneous’ society. Everything has to be quick (ie texting, email, microwave ovens, Instagram) and the results have to be quick. By the way, Grandpa T has no idea what Instagram is, but the very name implies instant! We have become a society that does not allow any grass to grow under our feet. We won’t wait that long. So, we will now expect the new Congress, that Congress we just voted into Washington, to provide us with instantaneous results in exchange for our votes. There is only one major flaw with these expectations for the new 114th Congress. They all get sworn in, find their offices, get their pens and pencils in the right slots in the right drawers, hire their staffs, find housing, get their kids in school, meet their peers, and then get to work. How long do you think it takes to get acclimated as a newbie in Washington, D.C.? Lets say, for the purposes of argument, that it will take six months to become fully acclimated. Reasonable? So now that they are all bright-eyed, bushy-tailed and ready to legislate everything that is good and honorable for the good of the old United States of America, what happens next? WE BEGIN ANOTHER ELECTION CYCLE! Unlike Great Britain, which allows only 6 weeks for election campaigning (how heavenly would that be?!), our 2016 election year will begin early – especially since it is a presidential election year. This campaigning will be long, expensive and distracting. My point to all of this? How much can we really expect these people to accomplish in the midst of the upcoming election campaigns? The onus will be on the Republicans to perform regardless. Thus the bottom layer of the oreo cookie.
Loser – Democrats
We are all familiar with the numbers and the results. What we don’t take into consideration is that a promising younger generation of democrats got defeated and may never run for office again. The downside to all of this? We are stuck with the old democrats: Hilary Clinton, Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi…..the list can go on and on. I can remember when the accusations were that the Republicans were a bunch of fat-cat, cigar smoking, greedy rich guys. Now that mantra is more befitting for the reigning democrats than for the republicans.
Winner – United States of America
Here are some of the demographics concerning the 68 new members of Congress. Twelve have had prior military experience, nine Republicans and three Democrats. (This is a far cry from the 70s when 80% of all Congressmen had prior military service!) Thirteen of the newly elected Congress members are women, representing 20% of those elected. Four of the newly elected are black women, three of whom are Democrats and one is a Republican. Forty-one percent of all those new Congressmen are under the age of 50.
But here is what impresses me. I am totally impressed by the character and demeanor of some of these incoming Congressmen. I have heard the following three winners speak on TV, without teleprompter, and I have to say I am very enthusiastic about each of them.
The first person is Joni Ernst who was elected as the first female federal representative from Iowa. What a woman! She is a combat veteran having served 14 months in Kuwait. She is currently a LTC in the Iowa National Guard. What people do not know, as the media did not cover this, is that LTC Ernst was in uniform two days after winning the election, as she had to make up drill days lost during the campaign. She believes in and supports a balanced budget amendment, free-market health care, gun rights, partial privatization of Social Security accounts and protection of accounts for seniors. She opposes both cap and trade and a federal minimum wage. It’s almost like she reads my blog! She is educated, personable and very articulate. If she sold stock in herself, I would be an investor! I predict she will be a political ‘bright star’ in the future.
Another person that I have been extremely impressed by is Mia Love, the representative elect from Utah’s 4th congressional district. She is a black woman of Haitian descent. Interestingly, she was raised a Catholic but converted to the Mormon religion. Her political beliefs are for fiscal discipline, limited government, personal responsibility, domestic energy exploration, gun rights, and is pro-life. My infatuation with Ms. Love began when some ignorant reporter asked her if she got elected because ‘she was black.’ Her response? “I did not get elected because I was black. I got elected because I represent the values of the people of the State of Utah.” Kapow! Another ignorant reporter that got cut off at the knees. Ms. Love is also educated and articulate. I predict a ‘bright star’ in her future as well.
Tim Scott won his first term as the Republican senator for the State of South Carolina after being appointed in 2013 by the Governor to fill the vacated seat of Jim DeMint. Did I mention that Tim Scott is a black man? Mr. Scott previously served as US Representative for the first congressional district. This made him the first black representative from South Carolina since 1897! Senator Scott supports a balanced budget amendment, repeal of the Affordable Health Care Act, and an immigration policy similar to that of the State of Arizona. He, like the two others that impressed me, is both educated and articulate. If you hear him speak, you can’t help but be dazzled.
I believe that both Love and Scott are going to be political nightmares for the Democratic party. Why? Because they, as well as some of the other newly elected black Congressmen, present a far better, more promising role model for black society than the old gang of Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton and Maxine Waters. With the Democrats continually using ‘class warfare,’ ‘rich versus poor’, and other discriminating rhetoric to pander their ‘us versus them’ mantra, the last thing the Democrats want to see is successful, articulate, conservative minorities!
I am optimistic, that with the elections of Love and Scott, America may have grown up and decided that they will not vote for someone just because of the color of their skin.
Martin Luther King said it best: “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.”
Senator Scott and Ms. Love have both aced the character test. America Wins!