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A discussion of the election results today.

digsbe

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Hopefully later tonight the results will start pouring in. I predict a Republican House, Democrat Senate with roughly 5-10 pick ups for the Republicans (I think there is a very slight chance that the Senate may go Republican). The governors races are trending to go Republican by a 2 to 1 ratio. I think it will impact the country by making a statement to the Obama administration that much of America is not happy with his policies. I think a Republican majority House will limit Obama's governing agenda. The most important aspect in my opinion will be the fact that Republicans would now be the heads of the House committees, not just their majority voting power.
 

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I'm hopeful for how this will turn out and its actually the basis for another thread I plan on starting here in a few weeks once this opens up a bit more.

I'm truly hoping the Republicans take one, if not both, of the houses. This isn't simply republican homerism...though I can't deny part of it I'm sure is that. Its more to do with the idea that I think government, in general, does better with split control when reality is actually taken into account. Either there will be legitimate and honest compromise on the part of the President and Congress and we'll hopefully get some decent legislation out of it or it will be deadlock which at this point I think would be good as well.

I think the Republicans will do well in the elections right now, but I think in the past week or so expectations in the media have been trumpted SO much that it'll almost certainly seem to be a "disappointment" even though it would have looked like a major success if compared to the thoughts of a month ago.

I think of it like a big budget movie. Take The Dark Knight, where with Ledger's death the "buzz" for the movie grew so big that even though it was WILDLY successful some people thought it got to the point where it was over rated. Or perhaps Avatar, a movie in my case that I thought was enjoyable and decent, but felt like a let down because of such a HUGE buzz for it.

It will definitely be interesting to watch the returns tonight, and I think a thread discussing it is a great idea!
 

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I'm truly hoping the Republicans take one, if not both, of the houses. This isn't simply republican homerism...though I can't deny part of it I'm sure is that. Its more to do with the idea that I think government, in general, does better with split control when reality is actually taken into account. Either there will be legitimate and honest compromise on the part of the President and Congress and we'll hopefully get some decent legislation out of it or it will be deadlock which at this point I think would be good as well.

I can't even express how much I agree with this. We saw what a disaster unchecked Republican rule was during the Bush years. The first two years of the Obama administration haven't been much better. Both parties have had their turn at nearly unchallenged rule and neither party has produced a positive major piece of legislation. Compare that to the accomplishments we saw in the 90's when Bill Clinton and Newt Gingrich were butting heads. Welfare reform. A balanced budget. We almost got the line item veto and term limits too!

Plus the worse case scenario is we get gridlock and the government isn't able to screw things up even more. Please return us to the sweet days of partisan gridlock!
 

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Well the results are in (mostly). The Republicans are gaining control ofthe House by picking up 60 to 65 seats according to the projections I'm hearing. They've gained at least 6 seats in the Senate, but still are the minority party there. Curious what the folks here think this means and how things could play out from here.

For the Democrats, while obviously the economy's lackluster performance was a huge issue, I also think tonight was a clear statement that they misread their "mandate" in the '06 and '08 elections. Democratic gains were made as a result of a backlash against a Republican Party that many people felt lost its way. People were voting against Republicans and not for Democrats. Obama and the Democrats took this as a mandate for liberal, big government policies, things like the stimulus, the bailouts, and of course, Obamacare. People voiced their displeasure over this and the Democrats largely ignored them. Now they're paying the price. Even Democrats that voted against Obama's agenda are getting tosed out in favor of Republicans. The one oddity is with the moderate to conservative Blue Dog Democrats getting massacred, it means what's left of the Democratic Party in the House is largely the staunchly liberal wing of the party.

For Republicans, I think it would be a mistake to see it as a wholesale endorsement of conservatism. The people primarly seem to want to see fiscal conservatism - low taxes, reduced spending, reducing the deficit, and smaller government.

Going forward, I expect House Republicans to test the resolve of the Senate. By pushing proposals that extend the Bush tax cuts and that scale back spending, and specifically scale back Obamacare. According to some of the pundits I've been listenting to tonight, a number of the Democratic senators up for re-election in 2012 come from red states. Will they stake their re-election chances on opposing such measures? Or will some of them flip and pass the buck to Obama expecting him to veto such measures?

And will Obama be able to move to the center? Or will he stay firmly on the left? Where is there room to compromise between Obama and the House? I heard one pundit suggest a proposal that extended the Bush tax cuts for the middle and lower classes indefinately, but extended the cuts for the rich only two years. Would Obama go for it? It would give parties what they want (extending cuts to the middle and working class), and would let Obama punt on the issue of tax cuts for the upper class. I think it could be a win/win proposal. The Republicans get mostly what they want and Obama can come across as a bipartisan centrist and not a hard left winger.
 

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The 2006 election was about the War in Iraq and the War on Terror primarily along with a referendum on Republicans and Bush. It was won in large part by running a number of moderate to conservative "blue dogs" to take traditioanlly Republican locations. However, the results were read as if it was an endorsement more of Nancy Pelosi's agenda than the agendas presented by the Blue Dogs and as an endorsement of more than simply acting against the War's. I believe the Democratic Party misread the results and over reached, which helped lead to today.

The 2010 election was about fiscal and governmental responsability. The Health Care Plan, taxes, stimulus, bailouts, government spending, government growth, etc were the focuses. The Republicans won not by running moderates in Democratic strongholds. On the contrary, they primaried out many of those moderates and ran staunch conservatives.

They are now at a situation akin to the Democrats of 2006, either read the message correctly and possibly see longevity or misread it and see defeat in short order. I think the message is relatively clear, work towards fiscally and governmentally conservative goals, finding compromise where you can, but don't compromise on principle. If the Republicans capitulate immedietely and start compromising on the things that swept them into election they're going to be doomed in 2 to 4 years. Additionally if they over reach and take this as a mandate to push a staunch SOCIAL conservative agenda, again they will be doomed in about 2 to 4 years.

The Tea Party movement, even in places where they didn't have a "tea party backed" specific candidate, was instrumental in this. One polling number showed that the tea party had a 9% lead with regards to positively or negatively affecting peoples votes. One need on look at the Contract from America to see the focus for those people was fiscal and governmental, not social.
 

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The 2010 election was about fiscal and governmental responsability. The Health Care Plan, taxes, stimulus, bailouts, government spending, government growth, etc were the focuses. The Republicans won not by running moderates in Democratic strongholds. On the contrary, they primaried out many of those moderates and ran staunch conservatives.

They are now at a situation akin to the Democrats of 2006, either read the message correctly and possibly see longevity or misread it and see defeat in short order. I think the message is relatively clear, work towards fiscally and governmentally conservative goals, finding compromise where you can, but don't compromise on principle. If the Republicans capitulate immedietely and start compromising on the things that swept them into election they're going to be doomed in 2 to 4 years. Additionally if they over reach and take this as a mandate to push a staunch SOCIAL conservative agenda, again they will be doomed in about 2 to 4 years.

I think this is essentially correct. Looking at the exit polling, I see two major themes.

1. People want a balanced budget
2. People want the deficit reduced.

The democrats didn't do it and now the republicans are getting a crack at it.

I see much less emphesis on social things like health care, abortion, gay people, etc.
 

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I agree with everything you said Mega, EXCEPT for health care. Look at the blue dogs that voted for Health Care and how that was a main tool in bludgeoning them out of office. The repeal and replacement of the Health Care law was a primary point of the vast majority of republican campaigns. While I think 1a and 1b is the budget and the deficiet, I think certain issues like Health Care are a close number 2. I don't think it's fair to put it on the same plane as Gay Marriage or Abortion, as those things were mostly a non-factor in a national sense. That simply wasn't the case with regards to Health Care.
 

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I gotta agree with Zyph. The economy, the budget, the debt, those where the main issues in this election, but to lump health care in with non-issues like gay marriage or abortion would be a mistake. Many Republican campaigns did emphasize repeal of Obamacare. What I'd like to know is what do the left wingers here want and expect the Democrats to do for the next two years? What measures do you think the Democrats can take to strengthen their position come 2012?
 

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I gotta agree with Zyph. The economy, the budget, the debt, those where the main issues in this election, but to lump health care in with non-issues like gay marriage or abortion would be a mistake. Many Republican campaigns did emphasize repeal of Obamacare. What I'd like to know is what do the left wingers here want and expect the Democrats to do for the next two years? What measures do you think the Democrats can take to strengthen their position come 2012?

I think we need to try and work with the republicans, to reduce the deficit, and reduce spending. But we need to hold firm on thing's like healthcare, because while the healthcare bill was not ideal, I do think it is a good piece of legislation, and will improve conditions in America in the long run. I think welfare reform would help with the democrats image, promoting legislation similar to Workcare that Reagan wanted to implement in the 80's. But the biggest thing I think that will help the democrats image is the economy improving, and if the republicans try to put socially conservative policy's into place, and/or fail on their promise to reduce spending.
 

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Strangely enough, I think the voters of both parties...while wanting compromise on issues they can legitimately find REAL compromise on...are saying they don't want their people compromising on the core principle things they find most important. This is evident I believe as you look at the House, where rather than a large moderate grouping on both sides with staunch ideologs being on the outside you now have a small amount of moderates with staunch ideologs firmly on both sides. How that will affect compromise is going to be easy to see.
 

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I think we need to try and work with the republicans, to reduce the deficit, and reduce spending. But we need to hold firm on thing's like healthcare, because while the healthcare bill was not ideal, I do think it is a good piece of legislation, and will improve conditions in America in the long run. I think welfare reform would help with the democrats image, promoting legislation similar to Workcare that Reagan wanted to implement in the 80's. But the biggest thing I think that will help the democrats image is the economy improving, and if the republicans try to put socially conservative policy's into place, and/or fail on their promise to reduce spending.

What Republican backed reductions in spending would you find acceptable?

And do you want Democrats to hold 100% firm on health care even if it means risking losing the Senate and/or the White House in 2012? Or would you accept minor roll backs in the name of political pragmatism?
 

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What Republican backed reductions in spending would you find acceptable?

And do you want Democrats to hold 100% firm on health care even if it means risking losing the Senate and/or the White House in 2012? Or would you accept minor roll backs in the name of political pragmatism?

I really don't know what the Republicans are planning to do to reduce spending, I haven't heard any Republican give a plan to do so, besides the repeal of the Healthcare bill. Could you link me to some?

I think the problem with the healthcare bill politically, is that the people won't be able to reap the benefits of it until after the 2012 elections. I know the bill is deficit neutral, and I don't want them to compromise on the core of the bill. If anything I would the bill to change to where we actually have a public option. It's going to be a tricky situation over the next 2 years, but I'm hoping the healthcare bill will survive until 2014. And for that to happen I think Obama needs to be reelected, and the democrats need to atleast keep the status quo in congress.
 

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Unfortunately a lof of Republican candidates have been very vague about spending cuts. One of the reasons I'll be watching them closely to see if they follow through. So I don't have anything to link to you, but I was wondering if you had any cuts in mind or thought of ones you could at least accept given the current political climate.

I do agree that the key to the healthcare bill's short term survival is going to be Obama's re-election. Which I think is only is going to happen if he moves somewhat to the center and embraces at least some parts of the Republican fiscal agenda.
 

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That's gonna be the damned if you do, damned if you don't kind of situation. If he moves to the center part of what will be needed to make that look legitimate is likely some compromise on rolling back part of the health care bill. However, one of the main reasons to move to the middle is to get reelected to enusure the longevity of the Health Care bill.
 

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Unfortunately a lof of Republican candidates have been very vague about spending cuts. One of the reasons I'll be watching them closely to see if they follow through. So I don't have anything to link to you, but I was wondering if you had any cuts in mind or thought of ones you could at least accept given the current political climate.

I do agree that the key to the healthcare bill's short term survival is going to be Obama's re-election. Which I think is only is going to happen if he moves somewhat to the center and embraces at least some parts of the Republican fiscal agenda.

I would agree with cuts in defense spending, although that's probably unrealistic. I would accept major cuts in the DEA, but also probably unrealistic. I would accept some cutbacks in welfare, and thing's like that, if, and it's a major if we can reform them, so we can pay less into them, while making them better for the people who need them.
 

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That's gonna be the damned if you do, damned if you don't kind of situation. If he moves to the center part of what will be needed to make that look legitimate is likely some compromise on rolling back part of the health care bill. However, one of the main reasons to move to the middle is to get reelected to enusure the longevity of the Health Care bill.

I think if he makes large compromises with Republicans on tax cuts and spending, he might be able to get away with standing firm on health care. Maybe.
 

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Would you agree to some give an take? For example, if they make a 5% cut to Defense Spending allowing for half of the total saved from that to be applied to other budgets such as foreign aid, various scientific or artistic grants, grants to organizations that provide a welfare-esque type service, and other things typically derided by Republicans but defended by Democrats as necessary?

IE, it seems the places you'd be willing to compromise on aren't actually compromises...its stuff that ultimately Democrats would want to reduce spending in anyways. If Republicans went along with some of those cuts would you be on board with similar cuts to things democrats would rather not see cut?

I say half of the total in the defense spending because its well known that next to Social Security and Medicare defense spending is generally the largest. Doing an equal % cut to another program is horribly disproportionate and not likely to garner any republican support. Wanting a fully equal monetary amount for cutting I don't think would get Democratic support. Thus I'd suggest cuts equaling to half of the amount cut from the defense budget...a number large enough to be significant cuts to the budget, but a number smaller than the amount the Democrats would be getting to cut out of the military.
 

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I would agree with cuts in defense spending, although that's probably unrealistic. I would accept major cuts in the DEA, but also probably unrealistic. I would accept some cutbacks in welfare, and thing's like that, if, and it's a major if we can reform them, so we can pay less into them, while making them better for the people who need them.

The military and the DEA are not likely to be on the Republican radar for major cuts. What would be realistic form of welfare reform that you could accept?

Really, the elephant in the room is entitlements. They eat up a huge portion of our budget and no meaningful cuts will be achieved if entitlements are untouched. And I think Republicans will need Democrats on board to make major reforms or changes to entitlement programs. I'm not sure the Republicans have the guts to try it and I'm not srue the Democrats are even willingto discuss it, so I'm not holding my breath.
 

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I would support welfare reform, that makes welfare cost less. By fundamentally changing welfare to actually help people, and give them the skills to provide for themselves, instead of just throwing money at them.
Also, I would support Zyphiln's plan. But I do think welfare reform is overdue, and now is probably the perfect time to do it.
 

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Perhaps its something for another thread at a later time but I liked a generalized idea that I think it was either Huckabee or McCain put forth during the primaries of the presidential election. The short of it was using welfare money to invest in training environments where basic trades and skills are taught in hopes of helping people transition into a job, even if its relatively menial, by giving them actual skills rather than simply giving them money. Its something that struck me as an interesting third way rather than simply staying the course or cutting completely.
 

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Perhaps its something for another thread at a later time but I liked a generalized idea that I think it was either Huckabee or McCain put forth during the primaries of the presidential election. The short of it was using welfare money to invest in training environments where basic trades and skills are taught in hopes of helping people transition into a job, even if its relatively menial, by giving them actual skills rather than simply giving them money. Its something that struck me as an interesting third way rather than simply staying the course or cutting completely.

I would support this 100%
 

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Perhaps its something for another thread at a later time but I liked a generalized idea that I think it was either Huckabee or McCain put forth during the primaries of the presidential election. The short of it was using welfare money to invest in training environments where basic trades and skills are taught in hopes of helping people transition into a job, even if its relatively menial, by giving them actual skills rather than simply giving them money. Its something that struck me as an interesting third way rather than simply staying the course or cutting completely.

Yep, this is what I would want congress to do, and would support it 100%, and it is something that I think both parties could support. Which is rare these days.
 

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I agree with everything you said Mega, EXCEPT for health care. Look at the blue dogs that voted for Health Care and how that was a main tool in bludgeoning them out of office. The repeal and replacement of the Health Care law was a primary point of the vast majority of republican campaigns. While I think 1a and 1b is the budget and the deficiet, I think certain issues like Health Care are a close number 2. I don't think it's fair to put it on the same plane as Gay Marriage or Abortion, as those things were mostly a non-factor in a national sense. That simply wasn't the case with regards to Health Care.

I gotta agree with Zyph. The economy, the budget, the debt, those where the main issues in this election, but to lump health care in with non-issues like gay marriage or abortion would be a mistake. Many Republican campaigns did emphasize repeal of Obamacare. What I'd like to know is what do the left wingers here want and expect the Democrats to do for the next two years? What measures do you think the Democrats can take to strengthen their position come 2012?

Many politicians did emphasize it, but I don't see much mention of it in the exit polling as compared to the economy. I think there are certain groups that are opposed to it, strongly, but I don't see much coming from the guys in the middle.
 

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I can't even express how much I agree with this. We saw what a disaster unchecked Republican rule was during the Bush years. The first two years of the Obama administration haven't been much better. Both parties have had their turn at nearly unchallenged rule and neither party has produced a positive major piece of legislation. Compare that to the accomplishments we saw in the 90's when Bill Clinton and Newt Gingrich were butting heads. Welfare reform. A balanced budget. We almost got the line item veto and term limits too!

Plus the worse case scenario is we get gridlock and the government isn't able to screw things up even more. Please return us to the sweet days of partisan gridlock!

Well, here's one of the issues with regards to the Bush administration. While the Republicans held both the Presidency and the Congress, eventually the Democrats were able to regain control of Congress. However, that didn't lead to more moderate legislation being passed - it just meant more conservative Democrats joined with the Republicans to pass legislation.

The GOP, however, doesn't have any liberal Republicans to join with legislation passed by the Democrats. In fact, it could be argued that the Tea Party movement is an attempt to purge any liberal wing of the Republican Party. And that's something I don't like at all, as it will likely lead to more political showdowns between Congress and the President with regards to government policies. And it's the citizens and civil servants who are going to get caught in-between.
 
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