After four years of defensive strategy in the House, conservatives can finally assume the offense. With their newfound control they can begin to dismantle, defund, and ultimately repeal the Obamacare legislation. Democrats will be forced to defend 21 Senate seats in 2012, with four to eight seats already looking shaky. No matter the final outcome, after the elections of 2010, Democrats will be stepping lightly in their response to whatever legislation the conservative wing of the House throws at them.
Don’t assume that the GOP will receive carte blanche. The Tea Party wants nothing to do with the likes of Karl Rove or the RNC which has become a laughing stock under the leadership of Michael Steele. These old institutions are the same ones that led America into unabashed nation building, which has continued under the Obama administration.
The New York Times’ Robert Pear quotes GOP Whip Eric Cantor as saying, “If all of Obamacare cannot be immediately repealed, then it is my intention to begin repealing it piece by piece, blocking funding for its implementation and blocking the issuance of the regulations necessary to implement it.”
In 2012, Democratic senators from states like Nebraska, Florida, Wisconsin, Virginia, Pennsylvania, Montana, and Missouri will have to defend their voting records. All voted for Obamacare. All voted for TARP. All voted for the Stimulus package. The GOP is not off the hook. Look for major primary challenges to Olympia Snowe from Maine, and possibly Orrin Hatch who saw his Senate colleague from Utah, Bob Bennett ousted from his seat in a hard fought 2010 primary.
Even more important than their voting records in 2012, may be the Tea Party’s newfound organization. There are now masses of people in each state with conservative ideology, motivation, and organization on their side. That’s a potent mix going into 2012. Don’t expect the Tea Party wave to subside at anytime during America’s most radical administration’s tenure.
The master of numbers, Michael Barone, writes on Realclearpolitics.com that the GOP will also get help from redistricting. The GOP picked up 125 state senate seats and 550 state house of representatives seats. That’s a tidal wave to be sure. Barone writes that “Republicans look to have a bigger advantage in this redistricting cycle than they’ve ever had before.” The new balance of power in state assemblies, along with the massive number of GOP governors elected will generate a number of House pickups in 2012 to go along with probable GOP pickups in the Senate.
The job of the Tea Party folk is to make sure those pick ups are conservatives, not big spending, war mongering, neocon RINOs whose only goal is to reshape the world in America’s image, or help out their buddies in certain special interest groups.
In all this is an utter disaster for the Democratic party. It is unbelievable that Nancy Pelosi would have the gall to stand for reelection to House Minority Leader. It is also surprising that she would have any support. Pelosi is one of the least liked people in America, why would Democrats want her to represent them on the House floor for two more years? Nearly every Republican campaigned against Pelosi in 2010, and that was a very effective strategy. Why would the Democrats want to give the GOP the ability to use it again in 2012? The National Review’s Daniel Foster answers these questions, “One supposes that Pelosi’s logic is that the Democratic caucus has since the Tuesday purge of a number of Democrats in swing districts, become more — and not less — friendly to her brand of left-progressivism.”
That would be fine if Democrats assumed that progressivism was what Americans wanted. But there can be no doubt that Americans have rejected progressivism with this election.
The first order of business for the newly empowered GOP is to protect the Bush tax cuts. But to make way for continued tax cuts, Congress must cut spending. The Wall Street Journal notes that “Rand Paul, Kentucky’s newly elected GOP senator and another tea-party favorite, said he would advocate an immediate 5% across-the-board spending cut for all federal departments, including the Pentagon.” That’s a great idea. As Paul says, Washington doesn’t have a revenue problem, it has a spending problem.