By Mark Green
Only connect! Where's the narrative? Shellacking or tsunami?
Let the clichés begin! But first, here are the numbers: Democrats captured 54 GOP House seats and 14 Senate seats in '06 and '08. Tuesday, Republicans won back 60+ back in the House and six in the Senate - and six statehouses. Was this result ideological or situational? A mandate for the GOP's austerity plan or just against the status quo? (Listen to highlights of the weekend program below.)
*On the 2010 results. So, why were the Democrats hosed? Mary exuberantly concluded that "the dog won't eat it", referring to voters and Obama's agenda. Arianna also laid the losses at Obama's feet because he didn't adequately understand the jobs crisis: "Democrats didn't cause the problem but they understated it and so made all the wrong decisions." Reflecting the President's perilous situation, Mary criticized him for doing too much (stimulus, health care, spending) and Arianna for doing too little.
*On Harry Houdini Reid and the Tea Party. How'd Reid win? Unions, field and Angle's weirdness, the women agree. As for the Tea Party, Arianna believed that candidates Angle, O'Donnell and Buck probably cost the GOP three Senate seats; Mary, however, considered this movement a big net plus, notwithstanding the Delaware loss since "Mike Castle wasn't a real conservative anyway."
*On a Mandate? Obama Resurrection? Arianna argued that steep Democratic losses should push Obama to better focus on and cure our economic blues and not just put "jobs" in a list with other "issues." Mary concurred with the Boehner-Cantor view that Obama would now have to accede to GOP demands to shrink spending and government (but aren't the Senate and White House still Democratic? - ed. note), though she stressed that a lot of cutting and innovating would now move to Republican state-houses.
As for Obama pulling an FDR, Reagan and Clinton by winning re-election after badly losing a mid-term, Arianna expressed impatience: it all depends "on what his priorities are and if he has a road-to-Damascus moment" about the pain of unemployment.
*On YouTube-Terrorism, Pay-as-you-go fire services, Rally for Sanity. In our Quick Takes segment, both women awarded a gold medal to Rep. Anthony Weiner for prodding YouTube to take down videos of terrorist cleric Alwaki. And while Arianna thought it ridiculous for a Kentucky fire department to allow a house to burn down because the owner hadn't paid a $75 fee, Mary creatively defended this libertarian approach by saying that the homeowner should have been charged double on the spot to extinguish the blaze. Also click below to hear Mary sing and Arianna express regrets that she didn't go to camp as a young girl but did bus to and from the Stewart-Colbert "pilgrimage."
Mark Green is the creator and host of "Both Sides Now", which is powered by the American Federation of Teachers.
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