Dennis M. Howard
Election reflects seismic shift, but Obama's still singing 'My Way'
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By Dennis M. Howard
November 12, 2014

The midterm elections were a nearly clean sweep for conservative candidates across the nation and reflected a distinct shift in public opinion among minorities, young people and women. Block voting patterns dating back to the Clinton era were shattered, seriously weakening President Obama's core political strategy.

The voters restored Republican control of the U.S. Senate, dramatically increased their majority in the House, and elected Republican governors in key states like Michigan, Illinois, Maryland, Florida, Ohio and Wisconsin.

It was also a significant victory for pro-life candidates. Several strongly pro-abortion candidates bit the dust, while victories went to a long list of social and economic conservatives.

Over the protests of embarrassed Democrats who didn't want to be seen in the same voting booth with him, Barack Obama brazenly put his record on the line, and the voters just as brazenly rejected it. His words may be dipped in honey, but he is still determined to go for gridlock. At least, he's still singing Frank Sinatra's favorite song, "My way:"
    "Ýes, there were times, I'm sure you knew
    When I bit off more than I could chew.
    But through it all, when there was doubt,
    I ate it up and spit it out.
    I faced it all and I stood tall;
    And did it my way."

The best news for pro-lifers is that the Republican victory promises to forestall any effort to pack the Supreme Court with anti-life liberals who could control the court for the next 30-40 years. If Democrats had kept control of the Senate, Obama would have had two more years to pack the court. Even if Justice Ginsberg resigned tomorrow, it would be nearly impossible to push a new nominee through the lame duck Senate.

Meanwhile, Obamacare is headed for a showdown in the Supreme Court over the legality of subsidies in the 36 states that did not set up their own exchanges. The administration has been handing out subsidies to folks on federal exchanges in those states. If the Court strikes that down, it could cripple the entire law.

The other losers on Tuesday were clearly Bill and Hillary Clinton. None of their heavily endorsed candidates won, leaving them looking like fading screen stars from a bygone era. If this was a wave election, it was more like a tsunami for Hillary. She's now in a race with Obama as the #1 butt of jokes on the internet.

What clouds were there in this big blue sky for pro-life conservatives?

In Pennsylvania, pro-life Governor Tom Corbett lost out to pro-abortion Tom Wolf, despite the cloud over the keystone state left by the Kermit Gosnell scandal. Corbett had signed into law a bill requiring that abortion mills meet minimum health standards and another protecting children with disabilities. Until conservatives crack the black vote in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania remains a tough state for Republicans.

Elsewhere, the Colorado Personhood Amendment went down to a nearly 2-1 defeat despite efforts by backers of the amendment to soften the language to win support. Personhood advocates clearly need more effective ways to change public opinion before victory can be won.

There are four major takeaways from this grand exercise in American voter opinion:

1. Republican moderates and libertarians worked overtime to mute the so-called "extremists" in the GOP in an effort to win over so-called "moderate" Democrats and independents. That may seem like a smart move, but it could lead to major divisions ahead. The real lesson of the campaign is that economic and social conservatives must find common ground if they want to win in 2016.

2. Cracking block voting patterns among women, the young, and minorities was a major factor in the Republican victory. But that job has only begun. Pro-life, tea-party and moderate Republicans all need to work together to finish the job. Block voting has to be confronted as the last refuge of racism in America.

3. The folly of Democrat pro-abortion policies can be seen in the attrition it causes in their own voting base. Black abortions over the last 47 years have cost them 20 million future black voters, 13 million of whom would be of voting age today. If just half of them voted 80% Democrat, that cost them at least 5 million votes in this election, more than enough to change the outcome in every close race. In effect, the left is aborting itself out of business.

4. The big job ahead is winning the battle of public opinion on social and economic issues. Pro-lifers can move into the mainstream by connecting the life issue with the nation's economic health. That's not a hard case to make. Econocons urgently need the extra 15% to 20% pro-lifers can bring them. The "big tenters" who want the pro-lifers to hush up can't win without us.

© Dennis M. Howard

 

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Dennis M. Howard

Dennis M. Howard is founder and president of The Movement for a Better America, a non-profit, pro-life educational organization. Before starting MBA in 1995, he had a long and successful career in journalism and creative marketing. He has been writing since 1950, when he helped launch The Sun Herald of Kansas City, America's last attempt at publishing a Catholic daily... (more)

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