Well, I voted. Now, I’m sitting here waiting for the polls to close and for the results to start coming in.
I can make at least one prediction at this time without sticking my neck out too far - West Virginia will have its first female Senator since both major party candidates are women. And, if the Republican candidate wins it will be the first time that a Republican senator has been elected in this State since the 1950s.
So, will Republicans wrest control of the Senate from the Democrats?
That’s not certain right now. And it might not even be known for quite some time. There are numerous candidates running for the U.S. Senate in Louisiana. According to Louisiana law if the top candidate doesn’t get 50 percent of the vote there has to be a runoff election between the top two vote getters. That will take place in December. Same situation in the state of Georgia except their runoff election wouldn’t occur until January if that became necessary.
Then there’s the state of Alaska. The western side of that State is five or six time zones away from the Eastern Time zone where I’m at. It will be 1 o’clock in the morning tomorrow here when their polls close. And it gets worse. Alaskans prefer the paper ballot that has to be counted by hand. Then, according to Alaskan law, all of those paper ballots have to be transported to the capital city of Alaska, Juneau, to be officially counted. Here’s the problem: Alaska is a gigantic mountainous wilderness, much of it in the Arctic, with very few roads and lots of very remote towns and villages.
(Map of Alaska, to scale, overlaid over Europe. Juneau is the red dot)
Many ballots have to be transported by a combination of dog sled, boats and small planes. Then those clever Alaskans have located their capital city in the far South East corner of the State. Some packages of ballots have to travel a zigzag path in excess of 1500 miles and all of that before they even get a chance to be counted.
American politics is fun.
Well, here it is the day after the elections. I am now watching the President on television giving a press conference and telling his view on what the future holds.
Many people that I know consider me to be a political junkie. I pay a lot of time and attention to politics and I have been doing that for a lot of years. Most Americans pay very little attention to what goes on in the political scene and it would be my guess that the same thing is true in Britain. From what I have read over the years it is my guess that the average British voter, or more specifically, the average political leanings in Britain is considerably to the left of what exists here in the States. Everything is perspective. Those who are considered centrist in the US would probably be viewed as very conservative in the UK.
For example, that newspaper link that you provided was for a publication that is described in Britain as center-left. Here, it would probably be considered far left. If you were suddenly to transpose all of the Democrats elected to the US House of Representatives and make them members of the British Parliament, a significant number of them would stand with the Conservative Party.
What occurred yesterday in the American midterm elections was not that the American people suddenly fell in love with the Republican Party but rather that they showed a clear rejection of the policies and agenda of President Barack Obama.
The headline “America lurches to the right…” is not accurate. What occurred yesterday was a demonstration of the American people realizing, finally, after six years, that this President was attempting to take this country too far to the left and tossed out of office those who had sided with him.
A couple of more notes:
The transformation of the political landscape is even more profound when you take into account the elections that occurred at the State levels. Republicans will now control about two thirds of State legislatures and at least 31 of the 50 governorships (two Governor races are still too close to call).
For the last six years Senator Harry Reid, a Democrat, was the majority leader in the United States Senate. The party with the majority of the seats gets to decide who the majority leader will be. One of the responsibilities of a majority leader in the Senate is to decide what bills come up for debate and vote in that chamber. Any bill must be passed by both houses of Congress before it goes to the President for his signature or veto.
Reid refused to bring bills up in the Senate that could put President Obama in a difficult political spot. 352 bills passed by the Republican House and sent to the Senate never saw the light of day. Reid never varied from that position. Very little enacted legislation left Congress and got to the President’s desk.
Now, the Senate will be controlled by Republicans and more than likely Republican Senator Mitch McConnell will become the new Senate majority leader.
Senator McConnell’s philosophy -“In any government there can be little progress without Party leaders who are great navigators and who are able to steer their side to meet the opposition half way.”
(Everybody say hallelujah.)
Soon, there will be an avalanche of legislation getting to the President. He has threatened to veto almost everything that the Republicans pass that violates his far-left agenda.
I cannot imagine being in a State where I can end up in the wilderness over 1000 miles away from the nearest fast food restaurant. The two miles I have to go here to get to a restaurant is already too far.
I know that Alaska is over half a million square miles of nothing but natural breathtaking beauty but it’s not for me. I require electricity and ready access to double cheeseburgers
Yesterday she was elected to the West Virginia Legislature from the 59th district.
She’s a Republican.
She is 18 years old making her the youngest elected legislator in the United States.
She’s a college freshman and ran her entire campaign out or her dorm room.
She was elected in the first election in which she was old enough to vote, and won the Republican primary at the age of 17, before she was eligible to vote so she was unable to vote for herself in the primary election.
Nobody need read too much into my choice of newspaper from which to select a headline, it was just the first one I had looked at that morning, and it being the online edition the headline changed throughout the day - on that one subject.
I don't doubt OM, that politics in the US is a near 'flat-earth' affair;anything on the left is as likely to fall off as not, and pretty much nothing can be too right wing.
Again, you are probably on the money as to the likelihood that the legislative tide will now be on the flood. Nevertheless, this is a testing time for the GOP. For the President to look bad in vetoing some bills, those bills need to be top-notch. The GOP has now to walk their talk, they have had it easy for so long.
Can there be any doubt that it will be the GOP that is first to elect a horse, or an Imam, if it comes to that?
I don’t believe that politics anywhere could be described as flat-earth. There are factions and wings within every political party. And then, of course, there are the political organizations that are formed because, in the US or the UK, the Labour Party or the Democratic Party isn’t far left enough or the Conservative Party or the Republican Party isn’t far right enough.
I have found over the course of my multitudinous decades that individuals who are politically active focus in one of three areas. Their primary concern is either on social issues, fiscal issues, or political issues.
I consider myself to be a political conservative meaning that I am chiefly concerned about reducing the size and influence of the central government in Washington in regard to domestic affairs. I have other concerns, of course, but this is my chief focus. I have known many Republicans who are what I would call members of the religious right. They are social conservatives. They are anti-abortion and want to have their religious beliefs as part of every school curriculum. I get the impression sometimes that they would like to change the name of the party to the First Republican Church of God. They agree with my main purpose (though I don’t agree with theirs) and so I cope with them. Then there are the hard-core fiscal conservatives who believe that taxation should be reduced to almost nothing. I guess they believe that if the government needs monies it should hold a bake sale. They agree with my main purpose (though I don’t agree with theirs) and so I cope with them, as well.
There is the same mixed bag among Democrats. I’ve known some so far to the left they considered Lenin to be a moderate. One catchall belief among Democrats in America is that they have no faith in their fellow citizens and they believe that anyone elected or appointed to positions in the central government is always wiser than the collective populace. There are social liberals, fiscal liberals, and political liberals. I’m not gonna spend time here describing everybody but suffice it to say, regarding my main point, that the great wave of Republican successes in this last election includes Republicans of all stripes.
I have been witness to this type of Republican election success in the past and was sorely disappointed in their lack of action on issues of concern to me. I am hopeful once again given that this is an entirely new batch of people.
I know at some point they are going to recognize that only I am capable of making everything right on all the issues and will appoint me as Supreme Omnipotent Emperor of America. I will sit here and wait by the phone for them to call me and inform me of the date of my coronation.
As a token of my appreciation for your support, as soon as they place the crown on my head I will give you the State of Montana as your own private vassal state. It will make a fine summer retreat. Feel free to landscape its 94 million acres any way that you choose.