Thursday, November 4, 2010


Look at what we've done! A hearty congratulations goes out to all conservatives and tea partiers for a job well done. It was historic, and a devastating blow against communism, socialism, marxism and all the other unsuccessful big government ism's out there. Through all the tears, aches and pains suffered over the last two years -- we have been triumphant.

Not since 1938, has there been such a blowout, and all the negative attacks by the press, the libs, and especially the soon-to-be-gone 'moderate' Republicans, cannot dim the light of this bright and shining victory.

The National Journal reported today that the GOP picked up 680 seats in state legislatures across the country, and now hold more seats than at any time since 1928. It far exceeds the 472 seats in the 1994 "Contract With America" blowout with a 52 seat pick up in the House, and the post-Watergate 628 Democrat seat pickup in 1974.

And yet, Obama is in complete and utter denial. Again, he blames an ignorant and mis-informed people for his "shellacking", and insists the election in no way is a reflection on him or his policies, but rather on a weak economy.


This conservative victory means more than meets the eye, for the 10 Republican Governor pickup means the all important redistricting process will play a huge part in the 2012 election.

So, while there were a few heart-breakers in the momentous 2010 election, there are so many reasons to be grateful and proud. It reminded me of the disappointment I felt when Ronald Reagan lost the presidential nomination in 1976, and why he is so loved to this day. His words were powerful then, and appropriate now -- so take heart, keep your spirits high, and keep up the great. Three cheers for all. You deserve it.

If anyone forgot why Ronald Reagan became the greatest president in modern times, here's one of many examples. This is a speech he gave as he bid farewell to his campaign staff after his second defeat for the presidential nomination: (h/t Mark Levin)

"Sure there's disappointment in what happened, but the cause.... the cause goes on. Don't get cynical ...because, look at yourselves, at what you were willing to do, and recognise that there are millions and millions of Americans out there that want what you want, that want it to be that way, that want it to be a shining city on a hill."

It brought tears to my eyes, and then he wrote --

We fought, we dreamed, and the dream is still with us.
Ronald Reagan

Keith Hennessey writes an excellent piece about Obama's post-election speech, his off-the-mark, carefully structured, sharp words, which "foreshadow his upcoming economic priorities and themes for next year’s budget and State of the Union address".

Reactions to the President's Post-Election Press Conference
by Keith Hennessey - November 3, 2010

Here are my initial reactions to important economic policy elements of the President’s press conference.

The President argued the electoral losses were the result of a continued weak economy and his inability to convince voters that he had made things better quickly enough. He repeatedly ducked the question of whether his policies contributed to the Democrats’ devastating losses. Two conclusions are consistent with ducking this question: (1) he thinks his policies did not hurt Democrats on Election Day; or (2) he knows they hurt Democrats but doesn’t want to admit it because doing so would further risk the policy gains he has achieved. I find it very hard to imagine (1), but I misjudged him last January and as a result I incorrectly concluded he would stop pushing for health care reform, so I lack confidence in my ability to discern between the two.


He did not acknowledge learning anything from the election or that he was in any way surprised by the result. In contrast he surprised me with the word “confirmed”:

And yesterday’s vote confirmed what I’ve heard from folks all across America: People are frustrated — they’re deeply frustrated — with the pace of our economic recovery and the opportunities that they hope for their children and their grandchildren.
Given this answer, I’d like to ask him “Were you surprised by Tuesday’s results?”


The initial press reaction was that the President “took responsibility for the losses.” The precise words in his prepared statement were, however, artfully phrase:

Over the last two years, we’ve made progress. But, clearly, too many Americans haven’t felt that progress yet, and they told us that yesterday. And as President, I take responsibility for that.
The President took responsibility only for “too many Americans [not feeling] progress yet.” That’s a minor concession, along the lines of “We didn’t communicate our policies well.” He conceded nothing about the effectiveness (or lack thereof) of his economic policies, nor about the unpopularity of stimulus, health care, or cap-and-trade.


In a prepared statement as important as this one, no language is accidental. These sentences foreshadow his upcoming economic priorities and themes for next year’s budget and State of the Union address:

But what I think the American people are expecting, and what we owe them, is to focus on those issues that affect their jobs, their security, and their future: reducing our deficit, promoting a clean energy economy, making sure that our children are the best educated in the world, making sure that we’re making the investments in technology that will allow us to keep our competitive edge in the global economy.

In this century, the most important competition we face is between America and our economic competitors around the world. To win that competition, and to continue our economic leadership, we’re going to need to be strong and we’re going to need to be united.
He also tends to connect economic competitiveness with domestic infrastructure, R&D, and education spending. This linkage is not accidental.


He tried to erect a firewall around the health care laws:

And with so much at stake, what the American people don’t want from us, especially here in Washington, is to spend the next two years refighting the political battles of the last two.
Yet for several months he has been refighting (is that a word?) the tax rate battle of ten years earlier, and his entire economic message has been a backward-looking complaint and a relitigation of the policies and conditions he “inherited.”


He floated a few areas of potential bipartisan agreement:

•the looming tax increases;
◦expanding domestic natural gas supply;
◦energy efficiency;
◦“how we build electric cars”;
◦expanding nuclear power;
•limiting appropriations earmarks;
•fixing one tax provision in the health care laws that hurts small businesses;
•infrastructure spending; and
•immediate (and temporary) expensing of business investment.

He acknowledged that legislation pricing carbon is dead for the foreseeable future. In doing so he acknowledged a well-established conventional wisdom, but it’s still significant when the President says it. His “this year” language should kill silly speculation about a lame duck Congress trying to enact cap-and-trade in 2010, and his “… or the year after…” language takes cap-and-trade off the table through the remainder of this Presidential term.

I think there are a lot of Republicans that ran against the energy bill that passed in the House last year. And so it’s doubtful that you could get the votes to pass that through the House this year or next year or the year after.
He also signaled a willingness to trade legislative action on “clean energy” with dialing back (or prohibiting?) EPA from regulating greenhouse gases:

So I think it’s too early to say whether or not we can make some progress on that front. I think we can. Cap and trade was just one way of skinning the cat; it was not the only way. It was a means, not an end. And I’m going to be looking for other means to address this problem.

And I think EPA wants help from the legislature on this. I don’t think that the desire is to somehow be protective of their powers here. I think what they want to do is make sure that the issue is being dealt with.

Finally, on the question of looming tax increases he signaled that “this is something that has to be done during the lame duck session,” and he made no negative statements about extending all the rates. When asked directly “So you’re willing to negotiate?” he replied “Absolutely.” In upcoming days I’ll write about potential paths to a tax deal.

Keith Hennessey served as the senior White House economic advisor to President George W. Bush from August 2002 through the first three weeks of 2009.