My post-election analysis
The Republican wave swept across the eastern half of the country, only to stop abruptly at the Rocky Mountains. Despite disappointing Senate races in Colorado, Nevada, Washington, Alaska (likely) and here in California, the Republican victories throughout the nation were historic.
Before the election, my main hope was for Republicans to pick up more House seats than the 54-seat pickup in 1994. If that happened, there would be no way the Mainstream Media could spin the election as anything other than a historic repudiation of the Obama/Pelosi/Reid agenda.
Republicans picked up at least 60 House seats, making this the biggest Republican pickup election since 1938, when America started to figure out the “New Deal” was a “Raw Deal.” (The Democrat advantage was so huge in 1938 that the Republicans’ 81-seat pick-up that year still left them in the minority by 93 seats.) Republicans will have their largest number of seats in the House (over 239, with 10 races still to be decided) since 1949. If Republicans manage to pick up 8 of those 10 undecided seats, it will be the largest Republican House presence since 1931.
Included among the Republican pick-ups was Allen West of Florida, the only U.S. Congress candidate Atlas PAC endorsed outside of California. He will be a super-star. Look for him on the national stage in the years to come.
Republicans picked up six Senate seats, including Atlas PAC-endorsed John Boozman of Arkansas, Ron Johnson of Wisconsin, Ron Kirk of Illinois (Obama’s old seat!) and Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania. Also victorious were Atlas PAC-endorsed Marco Rubio of Florida, Rand Paul of Kentucky, Tom Coburn of Oklahoma and Jim DeMint of South Carolina. Say it with me: Senator Rubio! Senator Paul!
Despite these notable and important victories, other Senate races were a disappointment, especially those west of the Rockies. Republicans lost close races in Colorado, Nevada and Washington. We might be stuck with Queen Murkowski from Alaska, who will no doubt caucus with the Democrats. A Democrat running as a conservative won in West Virginia. Less close, but thought to have a chance to go Republican, were Senate races in Connecticut and Delaware. Here in California, Carly Fiorina did worse than expected against Barbara Boxer.
Many professional pundits have blamed the Tea Party for these losses. If only Republicans had run “moderates,” they tell us, Republicans would have taken control of the Senate. Nothing could be further from the truth! The blame lies exclusively, 100%, with establishment RINO Republicans. The establishment never got behind Tea Party candidates, even after they won Republican primaries. With establishment Republican support, rather than active opposition, Tea Party candidates should have easily won Alaska, Colorado, Nevada and Washington (giving Republicans 50 seats right there) and would have been much more competitive in Delaware and Connecticut.
If the Republican establishment had their way, we would have RINO Senators Specter, Crist and Grayson instead of Senators Toomey, Rubio and Paul. We should vastly prefer a Senate with only 46 principled conservative Republicans to a Senate of 50 or 51 “Republicans” with 10 or so RINOs in charge, tarnishing our message and voting with the Democrats.
The lesson here is that we must work extremely hard the next two years to rid the Republican establishment of RINOs such that the Tea Party and the Republican establishment become one unified conservative force. This election has already done much to purge RINOs from positions of power in the Republican Party. The Senate and House Republicans will be led by principled conservatives. I have no doubt that in 2012, when Obama and many more “red state” Democrat Senators are up for re-election, conservative Republicans will sweep to control of the Presidency, Senate and House.
If a perfect storm hit the rest of the country, a “reverse polarity” perfect storm hit California. We had a weak RINO gubernatorial candidate on the top of our ticket; someone with no political record, no coherent (let alone conservative) message, and no grass roots support who spent $170 million of her own money. We tried that already (Schwarzenegger). Our down-ticket nominees were nearly as bad. For Lieutenant Governor and Insurance Commissioner, we had Abel Maldonado and Mike Villines, two turn-coat RINOs who (along with Anthony Adams) voted with the Democrats last year for the largest tax increase in California history. These weaknesses were simply too much for our actual conservative state-wide candidates Tony Strickland, Damon Dunn, and Mimi Walters.
On the state propositions, Californians once again demonstrated their utter lack of common sense. While voting to require a 2/3 majority for any “fee” increases (Prop. 26) we also voted to remove the 2/3 majority requirement to pass a budget (Prop. 25). While voting to preserve business tax cuts (Prop. 24) and against a car tax increase (Prop. 21) we also voted to increases costs on businesses by not suspending AB32 (Prop. 23).
In the Assembly, Atlas PAC-endorsed candidates did extremely well. Atlas PAC endorsed the following successful candidates: Dan Logue (3rd), Tim Donnelly (59th), Curt Hagman (60th), Mike Morrell (63rd), Jim Silva (67th), Allan Mansoor (68th), Don Wagner (70th), Jeff Miller (71st), Chris Norby (72nd), and Diane Harkey (73rd). While these Assemblymen will be in the minority, and without the protection of a 2/3 majority requirement to pass a budget, with the election of this freshman class, the Republicans in the Assembly will become more conservative, more principled and the Democrats will own California’s impending fiscal implosion. With the House of Representatives firmly in control of conservative Republicans, don’t expect the Federal government to bail out California. Perhaps then, Californians will finally realize the folly of electing Democrats.
While California voted to return to the Carter-era 1970s (because the economy was so great back then), Republicans did extremely well in Governor and Legislative races in other states. While lamentable that California voters are not as sane, this is incredibly important nationally because state governments draw redistricting lines after the 2010 census results. Look for conservative low-tax states, like Texas and Florida, to gain several House seats while insane high-tax states, like California and New York, will lose seats as their residents have voted with their feet. This should have the effect of boosting the GOP House majority even more in 2012.
Atlas PAC-endorsed candidates had many significant victories in City Council races: Matt Harper (Huntington Beach), Jeff Lalloway (Irvine), Mark McCurdy (Fountain Valley), Robert Ming (Laguna Niguel), Jim Righeimer (Costa Mesa), Tom Tait (Anaheim Mayor) and Scott Voigts (Lake Forest).
The school children did not fare so well. While Nancy Padberg and Marcia Milchiker won seats on the South Orange County Community College District, Kevin Muldoon came up 1.6 points short to a union hack who will no doubt give away the store. If you live in the Capistrano Unified School District, put your children in private school. The teachers union successfully recalled fiscal conservatives Mike Winsten and Ken Maddox and defeated Larry Christensen. Look for lavish salaries and benefits for teachers and other education bureaucrats, and that much more contempt for any accountability for actually, you know, teaching.
The biggest disappointment of the night was Van Tran coming up short in his bid to unseat Loretta “the Vietnamese are coming to get us” Sanchez. That such a good and principled man as Van Tran could lose to such an obnoxious race-baiter like Loretta Sanchez shows that we still have a lot of work to do. Fortunately, redistricting comes before the 2012 election. With the passage of Proposition 20, the new lines will be drawn by an independent, non-partisan commission. When that happens, hopefully Sanchez’s currently gerrymandered district will be ripe for a Republican takeover.
House Republicans will have to push a specific, conservative agenda and turn Obama into the “President of no.” I don’t expect Obama to move to the center like Bill Clinton. Obama is a principled socialist. Clinton was in politics for the ladies.
Look for the new Congress to pass an extension of the current income tax and capital gains tax rates, and Obama to veto it. After everyone’s taxes go up in the middle of the recession, look for Obama’s approval rating to hit the 30s. As long as Republicans stay on message, keep passing conservative bills daring Obama to veto, and a Reagan-like leader emerges as our candidate for President, happy days will be here again come 2012.