First, New York's top spots are still firmly in the hands of Democrats. Andrew Cuomo crushed Carl Palladino for the governor's mansion. There is a glimmer of hope here in that Cuomo did some good things for New York as Attorney General, and I can only hope he will govern from the center and not the radical left. Chuck (where's the camera?) Schumer and Kirsten (tell me how to vote, Chuck) Gillibrand easily won re-election over two Republicans nobody ever heard of. I don't know why better Republican candidates could not have been found to oppose them, but now we are stuck with these losers for six more years. I'm not a fan of term limits, it's just too bad we can't implement it selectively.
As long as I'm nit picking when I probably should be celebrating, let's look at a couple of other races that should have been won. The hated Senate Majority Leader, Harry Reid, won re-election as did the closet Communist Barbara Boxer in California and Richard (I mis-spoke about my military record) Blumenthal in Connecticut. Better candidates should have been found to oppose these incumbents. Picking someone just because they have money to fund a campaign is not justifiable. I am thrilled about two local Republican wins: Michael Grimm stunned incumbent Mike McMahon, and Nicole Malliotakis swamped incumbent Janele Hyer-Spencer in two of the biggest upsets ever in Staten Island politics.
One reason I am not as happy as I should be with these results is that I wonder if we're just changing the players without ever changing the system. All winners seem to march off to Washington and Albany saying they will effect change in government when in the end, it seems like they are the ones who change. There are a few exceptions like Governor Chris Christie in New Jersey who bucks the system to do what he thinks is right, all along knowing that not playing ball with the power brokers might cost him re-election. Am I naive in believing that elected representatives are supposed to stand up for their constituents and not just do what is necessary to keep their jobs?
I am also bothered by the mean spiritedness and dirty tricks that have come to characterize American politics. The Tea Party folks employ some of these tactics, but sadly it is both sides who campaign in the gutter. Some recent taunting quotes from President Obama on the campaign trail: “We don’t mind the Republicans joining us. They can come for the ride, but they gotta sit in the back." And another: "I want them to just get out of the way and not do a lot of talking,” he scoffed in response to critics of the federal trillion-dollar stimulus boondoggle. So much for his call for bi-partisan cooperation.
And so the people have spoken on election day, 2010. I think the best line I heard about the repudiation of Obama's agenda by the American people came from journalist P.J. O'Rourke who said: "This was not an election, it was a restraining order". Whether we will move the country toward the traditional values that made us great remains to be seen. Maybe we will never see that America again. And so, instead of sitting here gloating about the rejection of the Obama rush to socialism, I worry about the world my children and grandchildren will inherit. Are the Roovevelts, Trumans, and Reagans of tomorrow sitting out there in classrooms somewhere ready to ride to the rescue, or are we doomed to elect the Jimmy Carters and Barack Obamas to drag us down. Stay tuned folks.
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