Best News of the Night
Okay, enough of the sober reflections for a moment. Let's permit a little bit of a happy dance here. Sean Trende
at Real Clear Politics explains--in all its glorious detail--the extensive reach of yesterday's Republican gains:
The National Conference of State Legislatures estimates that Democrats
had the worst night in state legislative seats since 1928. With races
outstanding in New York, Washington and Oregon, Republicans have flipped
at least 14 chambers, and have unified control of 25 state
legislatures. They have picked up over five hundred state legislative
seats, including over 100 in New Hampshire alone.
The obvious take-aways from this are that the GOP just expanded its bench by a mile and that the coming re-districting in the several states is going to make political life uncomfortable for existing and would-be Democrat politicians in the coming decade. It also points to a much needed and sorely over-due injection of youth, life and vitality into the Republican party.
But, getting back on message, it should be remembered that the thing about youthful and energized movements (think 2008) is that they are easily disappointed, too easily inspired by emotion, and can turn on a dime. (Just think: whatever your age today, weren't you more [misguidedly] triumphant the day after the '94 midterms than you are today? Age and experience have a way of tempering expectations and setting the jaw.) What is needed to sustain the kind of energy that has been generated is intellectual firepower and a rhetoric designed to inspire attention to it. These new Republican representatives are going to have to get excited about the ideas and do the homework necessary to continue to persuade majorities. Given that these are busy men (and women) with much practical work to do, they're going to need some tutors. I happen to know a few.
5:13 PM / November 3, 2010