1. The country is sick of politics and government in general. The political machine in this country has become a never-ending cycle of attacks, cynicism and gamesmanship focused on nothing more than trying to convince one side is the devil and one side is the angel. The money that has been poured into the process on both sides of the political spectrum is astounding, and it's become tiring to continually watch and hear the governing process in this country tear itself apart. People are rightly disgusted with the process and last night it was manifested in two ways: The first is voter apathy. It's still early to see the exact numbers, but turn-out seemed to be lower than usual for mid-terms. Now, for older voters, it seemed like that turn-out was up, but for the below 30 year old crowd, it was pathetic. This is a sign of apathy from the electorate and disconnection of the government to the people. So, the party that openly despises government in general won in large numbers last night. Why? Because they seized upon the anger, frustration, and general unhappiness that the people have with the government and did a brilliant job of focusing all of that energy on one specific person. The President of the United States.
2. The country is massively dissatisfied with the President. President Obama's job approval rating is sitting about 40% and has been this way for a long time. Interestingly enough, the party that won big last night have a general job approval rating in Congress of something like 14%. However, it's easy to focus on one person than a group of people, and it's apparent that the country has had it with the President. Either by voting against him or not voting at all, the young man who offered "Hope and Change" in 2008 has taken another major loss in the mid-term elections. It's not surprising that the party out of the White House loses ground in Congress in mid-terms. This is especially true in the mid-terms during the 2nd term of a President, any President. It's happened to every 2 term president since Reagan, but this thumping was massive. The President's own party ran away from him in almost every race. It's clear that the folks who were energized to support the President were far outdone by the folks who were energized to oppose him.
3. The election seemed to be not about issues but anger. Core conservative ballot measures, such as Personhood bills went down in defeat everywhere they were on the ballot. Marijuana legalization referendums passed everywhere they were on the ballot except Florida. So, on specific issues that were on the ballot, seemed be tilted towards more progressive attitudes. However, this didn't hold true for the people on the ballot. Candidates such as Joni Ernst in Iowa, a Tea Party favorite, took Tom Harkin's open Senate seat rather handily. She and several others on the ballot last night voiced the anger at Washington and could pose big problems for presumed Majority Leader McConnell after the new Congresss comes in to office next January. All over the country, expressions of distrust and dissatisfaction with Washington's lack of action were voiced with the candidates who won.
4. Conservatives have made their case. I'm totally surprised that Sam Brownback won reelection in Kansas. Same with Pat Roberts in Kansas. Both candidates were deeply flawed and in Brownback's case, his track record for the state has been horrible. Yet, he was reelected. Rick Scott, the deeply unpopular governor in Florida won reelection over a former Republican Charlie Crist. In Texas, Wendy Davis's campaign was obliterated by Gregg Abbott, a conservative candidate with the charisma of a snail. As a liberal, atheist, gay-rights and tree-hugging, union loving voter, this of course saddens me deeply, but you have to acknowledge when you are on the wrong side of the country's perspective, and it's clear that I am. The conservative movement in the country is strong, and it is likely to make the 2016 presidential race very competitive.
All in all, this was a blow-out. There's no other way to describe what happened and one must congratulate the winners. They did the work, pounded the pavement, convinced the voters they were on the right side of the issues and were successful. I hope this energy translates into something good and useful for the country. Even with our differences in political views, the people are much closer together than it seems. All of us want the country to have a good economy, security from harm, and an ability to leave a place better for our kids. So, we have once again an opportunity to do something useful. I hope the GOP will leverage this massive victory into something positive. I hope the President will find a way to work with this new Congress and throw out the last 6 years of obstruction and grid-lock. It remains to be seen what will come of this, but every two years we have a chance to reset, start fresh and do something good. We've not done that in a long time, and I think that is what the country emphatically told us last night.
Tell me what you think.