Wednesday, 3 November 2010

Cautiously Delighted about the Midterms

Is it possible to be cautiously delighted?  I'm not particularly sure but that is how I am feeling about last night's astounding win by the GOP in the House and Senate.  Although one might point to the fact that the Senate power didn't officially change hands, everything else is pretty much win-win.

As I said in my previous post as well, the Republicans essentially have power now in both houses, as the Dem side of the Senate now consists of a lot of either moderate, or scared Democrats.  They know that their necks are on the line, and if they vote as a bloc against repeal of healthcare, against tax cuts, or against spending cuts, then they will not be in the Senate after 2012.  A vote for Obama and against the GOP at the moment is electoral suicide, and they know it.  So I wouldn't expect too many problems as long as the GOP stick together in the Senate.  The House of course is about as red as it gets, and considering the Representatives have the power of the purse, we should be slowly saying goodbye to the era of big spending.

However, it is important not to get too excited just yet.  It is especially important not to underestimate Obama.  This guy has a lot of trick up his sleaves, and if you think that he is just going to roll over for the next two years, you have another thing coming.  This guy will play every card, use every tool at his disposal (including the media) to get the American public back on his side.

If the Republicans are not clear about everything they do, or if they abandon their principles, or if they get lazy, Obama will strike.  He might not turn it around by moving to the centre like Clinton, but he could turn it around in other ways that we might not be able to foresee right now.

Don't get me wrong, I am not overestimating Obama either.  The guy is NOT the wonderful, super-intelligent guy we have been told about.  He is a hard-left ideologue and ultimately that always comes back to haunt him.  I don't think that he will go back on his leftist principles by any stretch, but I do think that he will try and control the debate.  For instance, he will spend the next 6 months (trust me on this) saying that "Ok, well, if we want to reduce the deficit, we need much higher taxes!"

He will seek to control the debate, and it will be at this point when the GOP will need to jump in, shout just as loudly as Obama and say "NO!  That doesn't work" and explain why.  If it doesn't, then Obama will chip away at Republican support, both amongst the electorate, and in the House amongst the more 'moderate' Republicans.

The Republicans have the momentum, and unlike two years ago, 2012 is the Republicans to throw away.  If they do what they have promised, control the debate, and stick to their principles, 2012 will  be a success.  But if they implode, then Obama or another Democrat will take advantage, and we will be looking at another 4 years of socialism, instead of a fresh conservative new beginning in 2012.  Now is not the time to relax!

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