" -- and we're back. Time now to ask our Pack o' Pundits for the big takeaways from Tuesday's election results. What did you guys see in all those numbers? And what does it all mean?"
"No question about it, Joe: It was a great night for the Republicans. Barack Obama comes out of Election Day a very damaged brand. The voters made it absolutely clear that they don't support his activist agenda, and they think he's been a complete failure at getting this economy up and running like he promised to do. He's definitely on the ropes."
"No question about it, Joe: It was a great night for the Democrats. The GOP comes out of Election Day a very damaged brand. There's a civil war going on between the few remaining Republican moderates on the one hand, and the Sarah Palin/Glenn Beck/tea-party crew on the other. They're ripping their party apart in the name of purity."
"So then who's on top here?"
"The Republicans -- no question about it. You can't win elections when the country has turned against you, it's as simple as that. And all those voters who thought they were voting for change in 2008? They've abandoned Obama in droves. That's why you've got new Republican governors in New Jersey and Virginia, and it's only going to get worse for him. A terrible night for the Dems."
"The Democrats came out on top -- no question about it. You can't win elections when you try to impose ideological litmus tests on local races. Just look at upstate New York -- the Republicans threw away a congressional seat they've held since God was in grade school, and the far right says they're going to keep using that same strategy all across the country. A terrible night for the GOP."
"So do you guys expect any changes in -- "
"Look, this is a center-right nation, and it's perfectly obvious that the Dems are living in Fantasyland if they think the American people buy all these big-government, top-down, tax-and-spend 'solutions.'"
"Look, this country turned its back last November on eight years of failed Bush-Cheney policies. They're hungry for change, and it's perfectly obvious that the Democrats are the only party that can deliver it. The reason some Dems stayed home on Election Day was that they didn't see their party's candidates this time around as embodying that change."
"I'll tell you one thing: Those Blue Dog Democrats are running plenty scared right about now. Obama's got to pull back on his activist agenda or he's making them walk the plank for 2010. It's precisely those swing districts where you can't afford to be so far out of synch with your constituents."
"I'll tell you one thing: Obama's got to stay bold or those Blue Dog Democrats will be walking the plank in 2010. It's precisely those swing districts where you need to energize your base."
"So is there any chance that -- "
"You know, the Republicans are perfectly willing to work with Obama to find sensible solutions, but he'll have to tell Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi that they can't call all the shots."
"You know, Barack Obama has been perfectly willing to reach across the aisle, but there have to be people on the other side willing to reach back."
"So anyway -- "
"The clear message of Tuesday night is that voters are fed up with the Democrats."
"The clear message of Tuesday night is that voters are fed up with the Republicans."
"So what you're saying, basically, is that the big takeaway from Election Day is that you can take away whatever you want to take away."
Rick Horowitz is a syndicated columnist. You can write to him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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