….as Rand Paul indelicately put it, writes Michael Tanner of the Cato Institute. Here is a short, top-down look at Mr. Tanner’s take away from the midterm elections.
- Republicans were not so much the winners as Democrats were the losers. Voters held their collective nose as they pulled the lever repudiating Obama’s agenda.
- Opposition to Obamacare was a major advantage to every winning Republican candidate. But as Mr. Tanner wrote several weeks ago, although substantial changes can now happen, Obamacare is not going to be repealed and will remain an albatross for Democrats.
- Rand Paul, with “his brand of libertarian-tinged Republicanism,” was in high demand among candidates as well as voters.
- It’s important, of course, that Republicans block some of Obama’s worst initiatives. But Republicans cannot be the party of do-nothing. It needs to show that it can “accomplish something, anything.” Mitch McConnell, as majority leader, will face a tough balancing act between Ted Cruz & Co. wanting to confront the president versus the priorities of half of Mr. McConnell’s caucus “either running for president or thinking of a vice-presidential nod.”
As Mr. Tanner points out, “virtually the entire Republican party is at least considering running.” That means all eyes and ears are going to be on the Iowa caucuses, just 440 days away, which makes for a narrow window to accomplish anything.