Michael Gaynor
Why Republicans won big, but didn't win even bigger
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By Michael Gaynor
November 3, 2010

There is much in the election results for conservatives and Republicans to celebrate, but there is more that smart strategizing could and should have accomplished...and much more to do to renew America by returning to its founding principles and make Obama a one-term president.

Glorious news: Nancy Pelosi will no longer be Speaker of the House next year, because the Republicans reclaimed the House majority with a historic net gain of at least 60 seats and a significant margin.

That's huge. The entire House was up for election and the results prove that America is a center-right country that rejects President Obama's radical policies that Pelosi pushed through the House.

NOT glorious news: Harry Reid will still be the Senate Majority Leader if he wants to be (although with a much reduced majority). That's very big for Team Obama, because control of the Senate is very big. (The Senate, not the House, acts on treaties and presidential nominations.) Undoing Obama damage to the American Republic requires Senate action, but at least Republicans will be able to block proposed radical actions (including presidential appointments).

Warning to Democrats: if the entire Senate had been up for election, Reid would have held his seat, because he convinced enough voters that his Republican rival, Tea Party favorite Sharron Angle, was too extreme, but the Republicans would be in the majority. To win a Senate seat, West Virginia Governor Democrat Joe Manchin (the governor with the highest approval rating, about 70%), did a commercial showing him shooting (with a rifle) a copy of Obama's Cap & Trade bill and ran from Obama like a scalded dog, begging voters who strongly disapprove of Obama and his radical agenda to trust him to put West Virginia first. (He will be up for re-election in 2012 and he can see from the election returns that the Obama rubber stamp Congressman, Tom Perriello, in neighboring Virginia lost, along with other Southern Democrats who made the mistake of backing Obama.)

The lay of the land for 2012: Democrats easily held their governorships and Senate seats in California and New York, but Republicans prevailed in their big state bulwarks, Florida and Texas, and took over the governorships and Senate seats at stake in Michigan, Ohio and Pennsylvania. Those takeovers are ominous for Obama's re-election prospects. Even Illinois looks dicey for Obama: incumbent Democrat Governor Pat Quinn may have been re-elected, barely, but the Senate seat Obama held will be taken by Republican Mark Kirk (a RINO).

BUT... do not underestimate the task of defeating Obama in 2012.

To date, Obama won't be running against Generic Republican and, thanks to the liberal media establishment and timidity of many Republicans, Obama remains personally popular, even though his job performance approval has plummeted. Voters continue to care about honesty, but the case that Obama has not been honest with the American people has not been effectively made and that failure helped Democrats keep the Republican tidal waive from rising even higher.

Fortunately, the Republicans won control of the House and the American people generally may become familiar with the stories of whistleblowers Anita MonCrief, a former ACORN/Project Vote employee and J. Christian Adams, a former United States Justice Department Civil Rights Division attorney.

The truth remains the best treatment for an American afflicted by Obama's radical policies.

See "The emerging corruption is stealth socialism" (July 31, 2010) (www.renewamerica.com/columns/gaynor/100731):

"When then presidential candidate Obama called for America's 'fundamental transformation' in 2008, his stealth socialist allies knew what he meant. To them, it meant taking power and doing as fast as feasible whatever could be done to transform the United States of America into a socialist state, so that 'progressives' would retain power in perpetuity (with the help of legislators who would vote for 'progressive' legislation against the will of the people and the addition to the federal judiciary of activists who would rubberstamp unconstitutional acts instead of honor sacred oaths to 'support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic;...bear true faith and allegiance to the same...[and] well and faithfully discharge the duties of...office,' and 'administer justice without respect to persons,...do equal right to the poor and to the rich...[and] faithfully and impartially discharge and perform all the duties...under the Constitution and laws of the United States.'"

See also MonCrief's "Obama, ACORN and Stealth Socialism" (May 29, 2010) (http://hotair.com/archives/2010/05/29/obama-acorn-and-stealth-socialism-dire-domestic-threat/):

"As an ex-ACORN insider and ex-radical who used Democrat donor lists to raise money for ACORN alter-ego Project Vote and designed the ACORN 2005, 2006 and 2007 Political Operations Year End PowerPoint presentations, I know that President Obama (for whom I now regretfully admit I proudly voted) was an ACORN guy for many years and realize that he became the instrument for the implementation of its stealth socialism agenda."

The task of defeating Obama would be easier, and the Republican triumph would have been even bigger, if the Republicans had nominated their strongest general election candidates in states like Delaware and Nevada.

Sarah Palin's "Mama Grizzly" strategy was less than a resounding success.

To be sure, Palin's support was key to the primary victories of Angle in Nevada, Christine O'Donnell in Delaware and Joe Miller in Alaska.

BUT... Reid won in Nevada, Christopher Coons won easily in Delaware and it appears that Alaska senior Senator and Palin foe Lisa Murkowski may have done what only the late Senator Strom Thurmond had done more than half a century earlier — win a Senate race as a write-in candidate.

During the general election a Miller character problem was publicized that will pose a big problem for Palin if she runs in 2012, as she seems to have been positioning herself to do. See "Now Sarah Palin's Got a Big Joe Miller Problem" (October 28, 2010) (www.webcommentary.com/php/ShowArticle.php?id=gaynorm&date=101028).

Palin also will be pressed on the inconsistency of her positions in the Delaware and New Hampshire Republican primaries. (In each case, she supported a female, but in Delaware it was an unelectable Tea Party favorite with a troubled past trying to begin her political career as a United States Senator, while in New Hampshire it was a lawyer who had been reappointed New Hampshire Attorney General.

Before he was upset in the Delaware Republican Senate primary, two-term former governor and nine-term Congressman Mike Castle was considered a lock on winning the Senate seat. He was the only Republican who won a major statewide race in Delaware for decades. Thanks largely to Palin, O'Donnell won the primary, 53.1% to 46.9%, a 6% win that O'Donnell trumpeted as "overwhelming." Then O'Donnell lost to Coons by a margin nearly three times as large, 56.6% to 40.0%.

In some states the best conservative Republicans can realistically hope for is a "moderate" Republican (sometimes referred to as a RINO). That was the case when Scott Brown won a Senate seat from Massachusetts last year. That was the case yesterday when Mark Kirk won a Senate seat from Illinois. A viable true conservative is infinitely preferable to a RINO, but RINO's are better than Democrats, because they vote for Republican control and who controls the Senate sets the Senate's agenda.

Control of the United States Senate matters, especially with a stealth socialist like Obama in the White House.

Potential Obama opponent Palin impacted yesterday's elections both positively and negatively, largely based on the persons she endorsed.

O'Donnell proved herself persistent (she's run for the Senate in Delaware every two years starting in 2006, winning 4% of the vote as a disgruntled write-in candidate in 2006, 35% in 2008 and 40% in 2010). But she also proved herself not ready for prime time and a whiner who blames others without admitting her obvious shortcomings as a candidate.

In New Hampshire, Palin was instrumental in the election of former New Hampshire Attorney General Kelly Ayotte to the Senate. Ayotte was the candidate of the Republican "establishment," not New Hampshire's Tea Party patriots (who generally supported the "true conservative," Ovide Lamontagne. Ayotte won the primary by the narrowest of margins, with the benefit of a Palin robo-call on election eve falsely assuring New Hampshire Republicans that Ayotte was the "true conservative." Either Ayotte or Lamontagne would have won the general elections. Republicans retook both House seats from incumbent Democrats, and Ayotte thumped her Democrat opponent Paul Hodes with more than 60% of the vote.

There is much in the election results for conservatives and Republicans to celebrate, but there is more that smart strategizing could and should have accomplished...and much more to do to renew America by returning to its founding principles and make Obama a one-term president.

© Michael Gaynor

 

The views expressed by RenewAmerica columnists are their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of RenewAmerica or its affiliates.
(See RenewAmerica's publishing standards.)

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Michael Gaynor

Michael J. Gaynor has been practicing law in New York since 1973. A former partner at Fulton, Duncombe & Rowe and Gaynor & Bass, he is a solo practitioner admitted to practice in New York state and federal courts and an Association of the Bar of the City of New York member... (more)

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