Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

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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.  
Categories > Elections

Discussions - 2 Comments

Here's some even better news for you:

Florida, a state that has been hit incredibly hard by the recession, was still able to maintain massive Republican majorities in both of its state legislatures and elect Rick Scott (Rick Scott!) as its governor. This is a state that has been under consistent Republican control (of all of its state branches of government) for the past twelve years and has paid dearly for it (in my opinion).

Yet Republicans here were able to win off of an anti-Democratic, anti-establishment narrative that kind of demanded delusional logic (i.e. the Republicans who ran our state into the ground without any help from the Democrats have the new ideas to make it better!). THAT should make you guys happy - no matter how bad things get or how obviously your party screws up, you will always have enough people somewhere buying into your "smaller government" mantras and constant deference of contemporary problems to "the founders".

Congratulations. You better hope that most of these voters (especially in Florida) aren't old enough to die off before 2012 and 2016. I'm hoping my grandma's still around (even if she believes Obama is a communist godless Muslim from Kenya bent on killing her by decree of an all-black death panel), but I wish she wasn't so nuts.

Yuck, those sour grapes taste just awful!

Matt, the equation is very simple -- in terms of wealth-generation, government does jack-squat. The best it can hope to do is spur on the private sector (in a variety of ways -- military procurement, tax incentives, sound monetary and fiscal policy). Spending like a stoned Paris Hilton to help unions and the like only weighs down the productive part of the economy, giving us a very prolonged recession (see the Great Depression for how NOT to handle an economic crisis).

My advice to Democrats everywhere is to stop acting like Rand's "looters." Democrats don't need to be so two-dimensional. Redistribution occasionally does some good -- be smart about it instead of greedy and resentful.

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