Wednesday, November 03, 2010
Told You So
Told you so.
Jerry Brown, outspent 6-to-1 by ebay bazillionaire Meg Whitman, made it look easy in returning to the office he left 27 years prior.
Moonbeams ago, we suggested in "Jerry Brown: The Chessman Cometh," that the former Governor-Mayor of Oakland-Treasurer-Attorney General's lackadaisical campaign was born of a sublime knowledge about how the California mind works.
Meanwhile Whitman, as we also forecast, spent nearly $180 million in an effort that downgraded her status to late-night joke punchline.
In California, where we happily take stimulus money and give our state a facelift; where we recognize an oil industry-financed campaign against the laws enacted to limit the crap in our air; where we don't allow candidates who accept corporate funding to delude us with cant about liberty and freedom; in California, Democrats won every major state office.
Barbara Boxer, whom highwayscribery never believed was in any kind of trouble, beat a discredited Hewlett Packard executive rather easily, because her actions matched her commercials' claims of standing up for the little guy/gal.
Kamala Harris, defeated L.A. District Attorney Steve Cooley, because L.A. politicians don't fair well statewide and because Cooley's a jerk who spent too much time making hay on the marijuana issue in a place where smoking marijuana's not an issue.
A guy like that isn't going to beat a gal named after the courtesan lover of "Siddhartha" from Herman Hesse's classic novel.
Not in Cali.
Nationally, highwayscribery's prediction the Democrats might hold onto their majority was impacted by this same Blue State insularity and a cash windfall from undisclosed sources that would make Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito blush, if he had any shame.
Which he doesn't.
But it doesn't really matter. Scott Brown's election to the U.S. Senate last autumn, by the otherwise sane people of Massachusetts, effectively ended the Democrats' ability to halt Republican obstruction in that dysfunctional institution.
In the end, a House majority means squat without a similar advantage in the upper house and the White House.
Two houses beat one every time.
John Boehner can run his legislative paper mill day-in-day-out, passing tax cuts for the rich, de-funding the health care bill, and neutering American unions, but those measures won't get any farther than that chamber's portal.
In an environment befouled by an economic crash that started on the prior administration's watch, the House Democrats lost seats in places where Republicans reliably roost, but withstood challenges in the Senate from low-grade Tea Party picks like Ken Buck in Colorado.
The Tea Party, for all the breathless analysis it has spawned, was a wash last night (though you won't read, hear, or see that anywhere). Yes, Rand Paul won in Kentucky and good luck with that Mitch McConnell.
Kentuckians should only be slightly less ashamed of voting-in a guy whose supporters step on ladies' heads than the Louisianans who reelected a man (Sen. David Vitter) who enjoys a good bordello stop between filibusters.
Can you say political metaphor?
Christine O'Donnell lost in Delaware, where the GOP had a chance to grab a Senate seat until the Tea Party stuck its runny, juvenile nose into the mix. And Joe Miller is losing up in Alaska to someone whose name you had to find on six pages of write-in candidates, consisting mostly of his ornery supporters.
Yes, Marco Rubio won in Florida, but, even as a Democrat, the highway scribe would have to admit he was the most compelling candidate in that race.
Parties are good, and loyalty to them useful, but you should always vote for the smartest guy/gal on the ballot.
The founding fathers were kind to minorities. And so it looks like so much thunder on the right, because those voting where less people reside went GOP, while states where everybody lives, and which generate most of the national wealth, ie., New York and California, stayed emphatically Democratic.
In short, this is simply not the end of the world.
As the "Washington Post's" Ezra Klein noted, "A few dozen politicians" lost their jobs last night, but the country won in the long run.
Wrote Klein, "[I]f you see the point of politics as actually getting things done, the last two years, for Democrats, have been a stunning success. Whatever else you say about the 111th Congress, it got things done."
highwayscribery recommends you read his beautifully crafted laundry list of accomplishments.
A "New York Times" conservative stand-in, Ross Douhat, mostly agreed with Klein, to whose article he linked his own post-mortem entitled, "Was It Worth It?"
"Politics," he wrote, "often gets covered as though the legislative sessions are just a long prelude to the real action of election season. But for all the breathless horse-race coverage, elections only matter to the extent that they produce (or forestall) actual legislation. And where the policies of the United States government are concerned, all the ground the Republicans gained tonight doesn't change the fact that what liberals achieved in Barack Obama's first two years in office was more consequential than any conservative victory in recent memory."
It's hard to envision the GOP and its single house delivering like results to a fickle and impatient people in the 12 months before media outlets begin shaping perceptions for 2012.
Congratulations on those new seats, Republicans, but don't get too comfortable.