I hate to be a downer to all the panic stricken and paranoid out there, but there is a Democratic president, you’ll remember, and therefore not a damn crazy thing the GOP does will be made law. None of it. So relax. And the senate map in 2016 is worse for the GOP than this year was for the Demos, Demo turnout will be much higher. If we had kept the senate this year–and there wasn’t a chance of that, look at the map–nothing would get done because the GOP held the House. And now nothing will get done because the GOP holds both houses. Obama is a lame duck now and as always in a lame duck presidency nothing significant gets done legislatively the last two years. There will be a lot of speechifying by Republicans trying to outflank each other on the right, and a lot of executive orders coming out of the White House. Standard operating procedure anymore.
If anyone told you the Democrats could hold the Senate this year they were either deluded or lying. There was not a chance in hell of that happening. All you have to do is look at the map of states with senate races, and compare it to the map of states who gave their electoral votes to Romney. If they voted for Romney, it wasn’t too likely that the voters would pick one of Obama’s senate allies. And considering that so many Democratic voters can’t get off their asses in a midterm and bother to vote–though they are all over Facebook now, those people, shrieking–the odds against a Democratic candidate were that much longer. This is always the case in midterms. Older voters go to the polls, younger are too busy, apparently. White voters go the polls, other colors are too busy. Men go to the polls, more women are too busy. Older white males are the core of the GOP. You can’t blame them for voting for their party of choice. You should turn your ire against those that couldn’t be bothered. A few seats in battleground states, in Maryland, in Colorado, would have stayed blue, but Democrats are lazy voters.
Bill Clinton was the only president since our two party system developed whose party didn’t lose seats in both houses in the second midterm of his presidency. The one and only one. And that is based on results going back to 1934. Because of that I think a lot of progressives think what happened yesterday was a fluke, a disaster, a harbinger of doom. Well, It was not. In fact, we got off fairly easy. These things can be blood baths for the party of the sitting president. The GOP made little inroad into blue states (Maryland was it, I think), all they did was win in red states and prove that they can win in battleground states in the midterms when democrats stay home. Just like Democrats proved in 2012 that we can win battleground states when we get off our asses and vote.
Yesterday was a given. Indeed, in 2008 it was known that yesterday would be a big year for Republicans. All you had to do was look at the map. In 2010, however, it was commonly thought that yesterday would have been a major blow out for the GOP. That they would have won seats in traditional blue states. That didn’t happen. It was about average. Call it a tactical win for the GOP, but it doesn’t alter the strategic situation in 2016. Lets just hope that the hardcore crazies in the Senate take advantage of the stalemate to push extremist issues that have no chance of getting Obama’s signature but will get the Tea Party people all riled up. The more riled up the Tea Party gets, the more to the right the GOP presidential contenders have to run. And the more to the right the GOP nominee is forced to go in their 2016 primaries, the harder it is for him to swing back to the middle after the convention. The more conservative the Republican nominee, the higher the Democratic turnout. Let’s just hope conservatives believe the hype and go hog wild these next couple years. They ran races using Democratic themes and won this year (even that loonie Joni Ernst came off kinda normal). We can’t let that happen in 2016.
So you can stop panicking. The people have not spoken. In fact, if you count up the population in the states that voted for a GOP senator yesterday, you’d be surprised at how few it is. And that is why the GOP can’t get a president elected anymore. They have a lot of states without enough people. And since odds are nothing will happen of any import in Congress until 2017, you can get back to real life.
I love the fact that there are a hundred women in congress now, though. That, by far, is the most significant achievement of the 2014 election cycle.