iOS app Android app More

Featuring fresh takes and real-time analysis from HuffPost's signature lineup of contributors
Andy Ostroy

Andy Ostroy

Posted: November 3, 2010 01:05 PM

It was a great night for the Republican Party, with remarkable House, Senate and gubernatorial victories across the nation, as well as impressive state and local wins. And it was a terrible night for voters, whose bipolar behavior may cause the worst political gridlock these next two years that Washington has ever seen.


Republicans and Tea Party braggarts are beaming that voters have spoken. But have they? The truth is, I don't think they've said much of anything. Rather, what they did Tuesday instead was grunt and groan, letting out unintelligible gasps of exasperation. These schizophrenic voters, with their short memories and misguided rekindled love affair with Republicans, demonstrated what an angry, impatient and uninformed electorate is truly capable of.

To be sure, the economy still faces many challenges and unemployment remains unacceptably high, as it was in 2008 when Barack Obama and Democrats were swept into power. Yet while we give our presidents four year terms, these voters expected a miracle fix in just two, utterly ignoring the progress he did make and the fact that the GOP opposed him virtually uniformly on every single measure he tried to pass for them. So they punished Obama and sent him an even more obstructionist body of Republican opponents, ensuring that even less gets done for them these next two years. And who does that hurt the most? The poor, the middle class, the sick, the unemployed, the elderly, and everyone else the Republican Party traditionally hurts. It hurts those who are most impacted by the struggling economy and slow-moving jobs recovery. It makes no sense at all. Voters simply brought back to power the very same people who screwed things up for them in the first dang place. Hey voters, are ya forgetting why you gave controlling victories to Democrats in 2006 and '08? Apparently so.

Voters' inexplicable, illogical and counter-intuitive shift back to the right is without question the over-riding takeaway from Tuesday's midterm elections. As NBC's Tom Brokaw marveled, "There's a wild bull loose in the arena, and it's the electorate." But there's so much else to comment on that I'll just list a few key thoughts and observations in no particular order:

  • The super-rich trio of Meg Whitman, Carly Fiorina and Linda McMahon proved that pouring GOPzillions of your own money into a campaign won't buy you victory. And, it's borderline criminal that they spent200+-million on such selfish, ego-fueled pursuits. Think of all the good that money could've been used for.
  • A delusional Christine O'Donnell declaring in her concession speech: "We have won! We were victorious because the Delaware political system will never be the same....The Republican Party will never be the same." I guess that's what you say when you were literally embarrassed out of an election because of your bizarre comments about evolution, mice-cloning and masturbation. This witchy nitwit then arrogantly gave advice to her winning opponent Chris Coons, the New Castle County Executive and Yale Law School grad, to listen to Delawareans and to watch her moronic 30-minute campaign video so he can get in better touch with voters' needs. Get on your broom and leave us alone already.
  • Although it was way too close for comfort, thank heavens that that other cracked Tea Potter Sharron Angle in Nevada lost to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. Had she won, I think I'd have moved to Canada with Alec Baldwin.
  • Tuesday's results, for sure, badly damaged Sarah Palin's stock. Her biggest failure was in her home state of Alaska, where her personal, vitriolic hate campaign against incumbent Lisa Murkowski, the write-in candidate, and her support of lying Tea Party loon Joe Miller, appears to have backfired. Angle's and O'Donnell's losses are a huge embarrassment to her as well.
  • Tea Party favorite Ken Buck's loss in Colorado is a major win for Democrats and another solid repudiation of Palin-esque radicalism.
  • A cocky, arrogant Rand Paul declaring "There's a Tea Party tidal wave" and that "We've come to take our government back." Get ready, as the new Senator from Kentucky who claims we are "enslaved by debt" will, as MSNBC's Lawrence O'Donnell warns, likely kill any effort to raise the debt ceiling, currently around14-trillion, which would result in America's default and cause a global depression. Something chilling to think about.
  • During MSNBC's election coverage, a frustrated Chris Matthews to an evasive Rep. Michelle Bachmann, who responded to every question with the same mindless partisan spin: "Are you hypnotized? Has someone put you under a trance tonight?"
  • How one of the smartest, most dedicated most honest politicians with unparalleled integrity like Wisconsin's Russ Feingold can lose his Senate re-election bid. Utterly disheartening, and devastating for his state's residents and, quite frankly, for America.
  • The GOP's impressive gubernatorial wins will now strongly favor Republicans in the redistricting process and hurt Obama in 2012.
  • After Miller, Angle, Buck and O'Donnell's losses, is Tea Party extremism dead? Has the "Keep your government hands off my Medicare" crowd been marginalized? And let's not view Paul's Kentucky win, where he replaced the retiring conservative Jim Bunning, or Florida's victory, where Democrat Ken Meek and independent Charlie Crist's boneheaded strategy to give newcomer Marco Rubio a split ticket gift, as an indication of Tea Bagger success. These two guys got lucky.
  • Happy that Bill Owens retained his NY 23rd Congressional seat in the district that hasn't seen a Democrat win in over 125 years.
  • Frustrated that the Republican Revolution of 1994 gave them 12 years of Congressional rule while Democrats imploded after just two years (or four, if you count the small majority after the '06 midterms)
  • With all their talk of "listening to the people" (as in, 'most Americans don't want health care reform'), you can bet the first thing Republicans will try to do is extend the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy, which costs the government700 billion, despite the fact that most Americas are firmly against it.
  • The new House Speaker John Boehner so overcome with emotion over his long-awaited ascent to the top spot that he sobbed uncontrollably through his victory speech. Hey, I thought Democrats were the wussies? First Glenn Beck and now Boehner...is this the new and improved sensitive Republican Party? The guy literally came unglued with glee.
  • And as Boehner was feigning humility by saying that Tuesday's victories are not a cause for celebration, GOP chairman Michael Steele and Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour, along with other giddy right wingers, were reveling in their new found success and literally getting drunk with power. "Get ready for a big ride," Barbour boasted. Yeah, a frustrating, gridlocked road-trip filled with Republican arrogance, elitism and staunch opposition to everything Obama seeks to accomplish. Strap on your seat belts, America...
 

Follow Andy Ostroy on Twitter: www.twitter.com/AndyOstroy