No Republican Mandate in 2010 Elections

John Boehner has been droning about “the nation’s will” and “the American people”.

As in: the American people have sent us a message.

As in: Americans have spoken out against the failed policies of the last two years.

As in, Republicans are going to take their mandate for change and change…something.   –  (When anyone asks for a specific, they loop back to “the American people” and start again. Someone forgot a microchip.)

Did I miss something? Like two years, or the first page of my ballot? If not, Americans participated in a mid-term election. Mid-terms are run by states, they are to elect people to represent them in state and local positions. With the Citizens United ruling, it’s become understandably difficult to see that these elections (if not their financing) are statewide, not nation-wide.

I hate seeing all that red on the map, but it’s commonplace for the party in power to lose seats in a mid-term. The GOP planned a total sweep; they didn’t get one. The GOP got the house. Republicans are still the minority in the Senate, but the conservatives have more Senators than they did yesterday. For that, I’m grateful: without the exact 60-40 split, there is more room to compromise. For the Republicans, it was manna from heaven when Nebraska senator Ben Nelson voted against his party and cost the Democrats important legislation. Now there is not only room to compromise, they have to compromise. If Republicans pull out the filibuster, America will shut down. The Tea Party alone will cheer, but it will also dwindle. Americans want the government to get stuff done.

The Tea Party has no place in a victory lap (not one of their candidates on the ballot won), but the Republicans will continue to court their private funding and personal celebrity, so expect a turn even further to the right. (If our founding fathers could see this, they would weep. George Washington fervently hoped for the United States to become a liberal nation.)