Refudiation Day +1: California Screamin’

November 3, 2010

(This is the second of two posts. In the first I gave my impressions of the nationwide results. In this one, I’ll discuss results specific to California.)

There’s no way around it: this was a bad day for California, from the sea to the Sierras, and from Calexico to Crescent City. The cry of “California, here I come!” is more and more turning into “Flee! Save yourselves!

In statewide offices, it was a near-wipeout with Democrats winning all, except maybe a seat on the obscure State Board of Equalization. (Yippee.) Attorney-General Jerry Brown was elected to a third term as governor (his first two being from 1975-83), while Barbara Boxer won a fourth term as US Senator. And yes, it hurt to type that. Kamala Harris completed the Trifecta of Terror by moving from the San Francisco DA’s office, where she ran an incompetent and scandal-plagued operation, to Jerry’s old seat in the AG’s office. Democrats similarly won all the other state executive posts. (State Education Supervisor is technically non-partisan, so I don’t know the winner’s affiliation.)

Meanwhile, our state legislature oligarchy remains largely unchanged, thanks to gerrymandered safe seats, leaving a large Democratic majority dominated by progressives from the San Francisco Bay Area and Los Angeles. Few legislative seats changed hands, as apparently happened with our congressional delegation. I was very sorry to see Van Tran lose to the race-baiting idiot Loretta Sanchez in district 47, while former Marine Nick Popaditch lost his battle against Democrat incumbent Bob Filner in the 51st district on the Mexican border.

State propositions were a mixed bag: Prop 19, the marijuana decriminalization initiative, lost. I was inclined to vote in favor it on personal liberty grounds, but concerns about employer vulnerability to discrimination suits lead me to vote no. The big disappointments were Props 23, which would have suspended the job killing AB 32, and Prop 25, which allows the passage of a state budget on a simple majority vote. In other words, the Democrats can run riot with the budget and the Republicans have no influence. Fine then. Vote no on every budget measure and make them own the mess.

The propositions also provided the few bright spots of the night. Proposition 20, which takes the power to draw congressional district lines and gives it to a citizens’ commission, passed. At the same time, Prop 27, which would have disbanded the commission and returned power to the legislature, failed. That means gerrymandering, or at least its worst excesses, is dead in this state. Anyone who’s read my posts on California’s arrogant legislature and gerrymandering know I welcomed this. The oligarchs may have ensured their reelection this time, but, in the next cycle, they have to face competitive races. While I think that’s great for the long-term health of my state’s politics, it’s a subtle change that will take time -several years- to play out.

In the short and medium term, however. I can’t sugarcoat it: we’re screwed, and we did it to ourselves. Instead of looking coldly at the policies that got us into the mess we’re in, the majority voted for a governor who took money from terrorist supporters and admitted he runs for office with no plan of what to do. He’s a reactionary left-liberal dinosaur who has no idea how jobs are created or businesses made successful. And now he’s governor-elect. The same with Boxer, who’s not only a reactionary, but adds a mind-numbing stupidity to the mix. And I’ve made clear my contempt for Harris. How they were able to win, I don’t know, since my votes were decided long ago and I didn’t follow their races.

In short, with a liberal Democrat governor beholden to the public employee unions that got him elected, a progressive legislature freed of any political restraint, and an attorney-general who sees herself as a crusader for every progressive cause under the sun, but won’t seek the death penalty for cop-killers,  we’re well on our way to becoming “Greece on the Pacific,” and America’s first failed state. Things may get better in the future, but I suspect they’ll have to get much worse, first.

LINKS: Good off the cuff analysis at Flash Report, while CalWatchdog has an interesting theory about why Republicans have such a hard time winning here in recent years. Also from Power Line and especially Maggie’s Farm.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)

A sea of red

November 3, 2010

Take a look at this graphic from yesterday’s results in House races:

(Click the image for a larger view. Source.)

That is a bloodbath. With a few scattered exceptions, the Democrats are reduced to their coastal and big urban enclaves; but they’ve lost the vast middle, especially states like Ohio and Pennsylvania, which are crucial to Obama’s reelection hopes in 2012.


Refudiation Day +1: the national view

November 3, 2010

(This is the first of two posts on yesterday’s election. This one deals with the overall results, while the next will focus on California.)

Forget any the spin coming from the Democrats and their allies on the Left. And you Righties put down your disappointment that Republicans didn’t sweep all before them. An honest look at the results tells us one indisputable fact: last night was a great night and a near-total rejection of the (Social) Democratic agenda and their anti-Constitutional means of pursuing it. In the results so far, the Republicans have gained 60 seats in the House (11 outstanding), for the biggest win by any party since 1948. And they knocked off several powerful committee chairmen. Minority Leader and Speaker-in-Waiting John Boehner struck the right tone in his victory speech, even getting a bit emotional toward the end:

Boehner has it right: Republicans won, but largely because the Democrats scared the Hell out of the electorate. They now have to prove they’re worthy of the second chance the public has given them.

In the Senate, the Republicans have so far gained six seats, a good result in any year, but, honestly, a bit disappointing nonetheless. Colorado may go to a recount and Alaska may take days or weeks to resolve (“Write in” currently leads). A Murkowski win there would be a black eye for Sarah Palin, a longtime foe of the Murkowski family. Disappointments include West Virginia, California, Nevada, and maybe Colorado and Washington, though those are too close to call and may go to recounts. Losing the first three killed any realistic chance to flip the Senate.

On the bright side, though, were several nice wins: Ron Johnson upended Russ Feingold in Wisconsin, in a big victory for the 1st amendment (Feingold was one-half of the execrable McCain-Feingold campaign “reform” act.) Mark Kirk defeated Mob banker Alexi Giannoulias in Illinois; because this was also a special election, Kirk takes his seat immediately, reinforcing our side in the event a filibuster is necessary to stop any stupid legislation from passing during the coming lame-duck session. Pat Toomey won a close race in Pennsylvania, bring a voice of fiscal sanity to the Upper Chamber.

Perhaps the most promising win last night, though was that of Marco Rubio in Florida, for two reasons. First, it was the final nail in the coffin of Charlie Crist, the Governor of Florida who revealed himself to be free of any sense of honor, principle, or even shame. Good riddance.

However, it’s even better because of Rubio, himself. He has a fantastic personal story, his principles are good (and he sticks to them), he’s intelligent, and the man gives one helluva good speech. Here’s his victory address from last night:

Republicans also managed to capture many governorships (22 of 37 races, with 6 to go) and legislatures, some of the latter for the first time since Reconstruction. (And congratulations to my blog-buddy Sister Toldjah for the Republican takeover of the North Carolina legislature for the first time since 1898. We know you were the secret power behind it all.  ) These results are important not only for the individual states themselves, but also for redistricting in the wake of the 2010 census. (Yes, I know I’ve railed against gerrymandering in the past, and I still loathe it, but, if those are the bad rules in place, we might as well put them to good ends.)

So, what does this mean for the future? For the Republicans, as Ed Morrissey writes, they’re on probation. The new class, with a strong majority in the House and a strengthened minority (and chastened Democratic majority, perhaps) in the Senate, has a mandate to reign in spending, debt, and the growth of intrusive government. They may be able to accomplish some of this, but I wouldn’t expect many legislative accomplishments on all but the most bipartisan issues. And were they able to pass, for example, a repeal of ObamaCare, they wouldn’t be able to override a veto.

A more reasonable expectation is for the Republican caucuses to act as a break on the progressive-statist agenda, stifling new measures and slowing down the implementation of what’s been passed, perhaps through a refusal to provide funds. However, I also expect Obama to pursue his radical agenda through the bureaucracy, via administrative regulation and executive order, now that he’s effectively lost Congress. He’s not the skilled political triangulator that Clinton was; he’s an ideologue whose goal is the fundamental transformation of the United States in a democratic-socialist direction.

In other words, with renewed Republican caucuses that have markedly shifted to the Right toward small-government, free-market politics and a president who’s whole political life has been on the the far Left and whose arrogance inclines him against compromise… Well, let’s say I think gridlock might be the most likely result. And that wouldn’t necessarily be a bad thing, for it means Cap-and-Trade and Card Check are dead.

So, consider this step one. Step two is in 2012, when we finish the job.