As of 11:45 PM Central Time, it looks like the Republicans have stormed the House. It doesn’t appear that they’ll take the Senate, but these victories in the House are certainly a good start to turning things around in Washington. I am cautiously pleased about the results thus far, but I do have some reservations. It’s like John Boehner said – this is not the time to celebrate. The Republicans have to remember that this election was not about them. It was about rejecting President Obama, the Democrats, and their policies. My concern is that the Republicans will forget this key piece of information, that they will get cocky and forget that the people who put them in power can just as easily vote them out. They need to adopt the lessons from the Tea Party and Libertarian Party – mainly the idea of “more freedom, less government.” They need to step back and encourage government to do less, not more. They need to lower taxes to encourage private sector job creation. They need to work to repeal health care (though it is unlikely they will succeed, at least not while President Obama has his veto power). The Democrats need to acknowledge that their policies and the policies of President Obama are not popular with the American people. Their dogged insistence on passing health care against the will of most Americans and at the expense of focusing on fixing the economy has cost them dearly in this election. They need to tune in to what the people want, and then they need to legislate (or stop legislating, as the case may be) accordingly.
I was happy with the outcome of the elections in my new home state, Tennessee. Bill Haslam won the governorship and Stephen Fincher was elected to the Senate. Other important Congressional races in Tennessee went to Republicans, though none of this was a surprise – Tennessee almost always goes red. I was also pleased that my neighbors just over the border in Kentucky elected Rand Paul. I’m still not sure about that Aqua Buddha thing, but his stance on the issues is in line with mine, so I was pleased to see a victory for him there. I was also glad to see that most of Virginia (my permanent home) went mostly red. I was very disappointed about Harry Reid winning in Nevada. I sincerely think that there was some corruption and foul play in that particular election and I hope that it will be investigated. I was also sad to see that Barney Frank & Barbara Boxer retained their seats. However, I think that overall voters have sent a clear message to Washington in general and the President in particular, and that message is “We don’t like what you’re doing. Cut it out.”
Like I said at the beginning of this post, Republicans HAVE to stay humble. They have to remember who they work for, as do the Democrats. It is especially important for the Republicans to keep that in mind though if they plan to win the elections in 2012. More than likely people will still be feeling the effects of the recession in 2012, and people will still be upset over the Obama agenda. The Republicans, conservatives, Tea Partiers, and Libertarians have a golden opportunity here to take back the country from liberals and Democrats, if they keep their finger on the pulse of the people and remember that those seats they just won do not belong to them. They belong to US – we the people – and our finger is hovering over the “eject” button, ready to press it if our politicians don’t behave. These are just some things for the GOP to keep in mind over the next two years. John Boehner seems to have the right attitude. I just hope that he and the rest of the newly elected conservatives can maintain it.