As of now, Democrats have been given control of the House of Representatives, and there are two outstanding races in the Senate that will determine who controls that chamber. This is definitely going to make it harder for Republicans to get their initiatives through, to be sure, but let’s look a little closer.

As Michelle Malkin notes, Republicans may have lost but conservatism did not. She lists a number of indicators.

Property rights initiatives limiting eminent domain won big. MCRI, the anti-racial preference measure, passed resoundingly. Congressman Tom Tancredo, the GOP’s leading warrior against illegal immigration–opposed by both the open-borders Left and the open-borders White House–won a fifth term handily. Gay marriage bans won approval in 3 states. And as of this writing, the oil tax initiative, Prop. 87–backed by deep-pocketed Hollywood libs, is trailing badly in California.

While an AP article headlines 3 items that could be considered conservative setbacks–rejection of SD abortion ban and AZ gay marriage ban, and approval of stem cell research in Missouri–it lists later on in the article all the items that could be considered conservative wins, and on balance conservatism did very well. Written after Malkin’s post, it notes 8 states that banned gay marriage, as well as the aforementioned sunsetting of affirmative action in Michigan, and a number of anti-illegal-immigration initiatives in Arizona. (And the Missouri stem cell amendment, as I noted previously, was passed with a margin that could suggest that if it had been worded honestly, it may not have passed at all.)

Also, as ScrappleFace notes, the win for Lieberman and the loss for Lincoln Chafee could be considered a gain of 2 seats for Republicans. >grin< So unlike Democrats after previous elections, you won't find Republicans hiding under the covers for days, packing for their move to Canada, or suing Diebold. (Gee, where did all those Democrats go that insisted that Diebold machines were “fixed”? Is it OK when they’re “fixed” for Democrats? Love the choice; either Democrats win, or someone cheated.) The victory for Democrats was more a typical 6-year-itch midterm result mixed with some “throw the bums out” mentality with some hope by Republican voters that this may wake up the Republican lawmakers, as I noted in this thread. I think that there was plenty of deserved anger with Republican lawmakers, but this, in my opinion, wasn’t the way to express it.

And don’t forget all the moderate to conservative Democrats that were elected, including many former Republicans like Webb in Virginia (though the “elected” part has yet to be determined there).

What will they do with that platform?

Will they try, for instance, to impeach the president? Or will they stick to Ms Pelosi’s stated goal of leadership?

Probably the latter. Many of the new intake are moderate Democrats, conservatives even, who are not looking for an ideological fight.

Could they have won without pro-Iraq-war, anti-abortion Democrats? Given some of the margins of victory, it would have been interesting to see what would have happened if they’d all looked more like Ned Lamont.

So Republicans should not, and most likely won’t, go sulking around your office. Yeah we’re disappointed, and we deserved much of what we got. On the other hand, apart from party label, this election shows that the American public in general still leans conservative.

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