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My, How Things Change...

In these heady days after the elections, I find myself thinking to how things were right after President Obama was elected. We were told, repeatedly, by our "betters" that the GOP was well and truly and thoroughly beaten, that the Democrats now had a lock on the reins of power for years and years to come, and we non-Democrats could just suck it.

One of the key elements cited was just how solid the Democrats' lock on the US Senate was -- after all, they'd just won a decisive majority, and 2010 was gonna only cement it -- after all, 19 of the 34 seats up for re-election were held by Republicans.

My, did those numbers change in two years. Arlen Specter switched parties, Robert Byrd died, and Joe Biden and Hillary Clinton resigned to join the Obama administration -- and suddenly the number of seats in play became 18 Republican seats, 19 Democratic.

We still have two races to determine, with Washington and Alaska's results still undetermined, the Republicans now hold 46 seats and the Democrats 52 (and the Senate's two independents, who caucus with the Democrats).

But let's take that same logic from 2010 and apply it to the next election, shall we?

In 2012, there will be 33 seats up for grabs (not counting any seats that might open between then and now). Of those seats, 10 are Republican, 21 Democratic, and those two "independents" (Bernie Sanders of Vermont and Joe Lieberman of Connecticut) who are Democrats in all but name.

Gosh, that certainly looks ominous for the Democrats, doesn't it? After getting "shellacked" this time around, they have two years to redeem themselves in the voters' eyes, or look at losing the Senate.

On the flip side, the Republicans will have to show that they can please the American people in the House, or they could find the tsunami they rode to victory Tuesday coming right back at them.

But as this year showed, that number can turn out to be meaningless. So, it needs to be said, over and over and over:

Don't get cocky.


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Comments (8)

I only hope the Republicans... (Below threshold)
Bob:

I only hope the Republicans can stand firm against the Obama Agenda and finish the Senate takeover in 2012. Finding the right candidate to lead the party would be a big help. We have lots of folks that I'd like - but each of them has some strong negatives when reaching out to those independent voters that seem to be the key to winning elections. The most articulate spokesman right now seems to be Marco Rubio - but it's ridiculous to think a first term Senator could be Presidential material. (Sorry, Barry.)

Congratulations on the win.... (Below threshold)
James H:

Congratulations on the win. Good luck governing.

Thank you, James. Personall... (Below threshold)

Thank you, James. Personally, I'm waiting for all the crazy liberals to start telling the new GOP "I hope you fail."

J.

Yup. We were treated to ho... (Below threshold)
Oyster:

Yup. We were treated to hoots and hollers from our "intellectual betters" right here in this blog. We were told that when the Democrats took over they'd finally shut us up. We were called "30 percenters", nazis, warmongers and that the "country had spoken".

Except they misinterpreted what the country said.

The country didn't say, "Force us to buy insurance." They didn't say, "Find more creative ways to tax us." They didn't say, "Tell us how stupid we are." They didn't say, "Sue us for trying to enforce laws."

They didn't say, "The GOP spent too much money. We want that quadrupled!"

Demonization of the new hou... (Below threshold)
glenn:

Demonization of the new house leadership to start in 5.....4....3....2....

Congratulations on... (Below threshold)
Congratulations on the win. Good luck governing.

This is a strsnge thing to say, at least as it pertains to the national level. Last I heard, the Democrats were still in control of the Senate, and the Executive branch. So it's not like the GOP is now in control of everything in Washington.

Personally, I'm looking forward to the obstructionism and gridlock.

2014 is no better than 2012... (Below threshold)
Jim Addison:

2014 is no better than 2012 for the Democrat Senators. The odds favor a heavily Republican Senate in the near future.

This wasn't a real "wave" election, it was more a reversion to the historical norm, continuing the trend of the last half-century or so. The country is gradually but steadily becoming more conservative, and that hasn't changed.

2006 and '08 saw a combination of the normal fatigue which sets in late in second Presidential terms, weariness with the long slog in Iraq, and then the financial crisis which was caused by the federal government.

Even so, Democrats only win nationally when they lie about who they are and how they intend to govern. Clinton and Obama both promised to put partisanship behind, to govern from the middle. That's how they win elections.

Obama's simply not smart enough to pivot like Clinton, and he doesn't have a "Republican Congress" to run against since he still controls the Senate. Plus, he's an America-hating Marxist who can't change. And once the budget for White House partying and lavish trips ($200 million PER DAY for this trip to India with 3000 of his closest friends) is cut back by the GOP House, Obama may just decide to take the pension and quit.

Meh.Look at the sp... (Below threshold)
Clint:

Meh.

Look at the specific states. The ten republican seats include tough races in Maine and Massachusetts, and it's hard to see where we'll pick up more than half a dozen seats at most from the Democratic list.

For example, if we couldn't beat Senator Boxer in '10, we're never going to being Senator Feinstein in '12 in California.

And that's assuming that the media and Democrats don't manage to lob an unfair amount of blame on Republicans over the next two years -- never a safe assumption -- and that congressional Republicans don't actually shoot themselves in the foot.




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