“I think that the message is unmistakable that the Obama agenda is dead. … [N]ow it will depend on how Obama proceeds. He has now tried a two-year experiment in hyper-liberalism, and the country has said no.” –columnist Charles Krauthammer
“Democrats will spin Harry Reid’s victory and cling to it like the American people allegedly cling to their Bibles and guns, but I see a huge silver lining here for conservatives. … Yes, Reid would have made a great trophy on the GOP’s mantle. But cheer up: He’s even better as a leader of Senate Democrats — depending on your point of view.” –columnist Stephen Spruiell
“I so want to believe that the tea party marks the beginning of a comeback for small government. But I’m probably deluding myself. I know that big government usually wins. Remember the last time the Republicans took power? They promised fiscal responsibility, and for six of George W. Bush’s eight years, his party controlled Congress. What did we have to show for it? Federal spending increased by 54 percent. That’s more than any president in the last 50 years.” –columnist John Stossel
“[T]he GOP still faces significant challenges. Heck, an electoral bonanza notwithstanding, Republicans are still fairly unpopular. But if the first half of the Obama presidency proves anything, it is that straight-line predictions lead to political hubris. Events change and attitudes change with them, for every demographic.” –columnist Jonah Goldberg
“The Constitution cannot protect us and our freedoms as a self-governing people unless we protect the Constitution. That means zero tolerance at election time for people who circumvent the letter and the spirit of the Constitution. Freedom is too precious to give it up in exchange for brassy words from arrogant elites.” –economist Thomas Sowell
“America, its founding principles, its Constitution, its robust liberty tradition and its strength are being stolen out from under us by a man who has no appreciation for America’s greatness and who has contempt for ordinary Americans (we’re ‘enemies’), whom he considers beneath him and unworthy of their sovereign prerogative to preserve this nation. The people have had enough. Consequently, absent unimaginable, comprehensive voter fraud … we’re going to see an unprecedented housecleaning.” –columnist David Limbaugh
“Well, the big difference here and in ’94 was you’ve got me.” So said Barack Obama earlier this year on the campaign trail. He made a difference alright, just not the one Democrats were hoping to see.
As of this writing, Republicans are expected to pick up between 60 and 70 House seats. They needed 39 to gain control of the chamber and oust Nancy Pelosi from the speakership. In the Senate, the GOP picked up at least six seats, with three races too close to call. Democrats will hold onto the Senate, however, with at least 51 seats.
Republicans also picked up at least 10 governorships from Democrat control: Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, New Mexico, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Wisconsin and Wyoming. Along with numerous state house pickups, Republicans are now in position to control redistricting after the 2010 census.
Here are a few highlights (and lowlights) from congressional races. Republicans picked up Barack Obama’s former Senate seat in Illinois, but lost Joe Biden’s in Delaware. Marco Rubio easily won Florida’s Senate seat over two challengers, while Republicans ousted Democrat incumbents in Wisconsin (Russ Feingold) and Arkansas (Blanche Lincoln).
Perhaps the biggest disappointment of the night was that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid beat Tea Party-backed challenger Sharron Angle. Then again, on the bright side, inept Harry Reid is still the Democrat leader.
On the House side, half of the Blue-Dog caucus of so-called “conservative” Democrats lost, dropping their numbers from 54 to 26. Of course, only 24 of those 54 voted against ObamaCare, which gives us an idea of just how “conservative” the caucus is. Numerous other Democrats went down in defeat, including longtime incumbents and even some committee chairmen.
We’ll have more as the week unfolds, but to be clear, yesterday was not an embrace of the Republican Party. Far from it. But it was certainly a repudiation of Barack Obama, who personalized the election around his cult of personality. He even told Latinos that they should be inspired to “punish” their “enemies” on Election Day. More important, it was a rebuke of Democrats’ hard push to the left with ObamaCare, cap and trade, financial regulation, looming tax increases for all Americans and massive deficit spending.