Fret not fellow liberals. What happened on election night was actually a good thing.
Sure, locally speaking, there are some rough spots. We were faced with the hard reality that Michelle Bachmann is not going to lose her seat any time soon. The DFL party suffered major defeat in both houses. Worse yet, we might be faced with yet another recount. The only outcome worse than Tom Emmer winning the gubernatorial election is Tom Emmer winning the gubernatorial election via a recount.
Still, despite the results of elections nationwide, liberals have every reason to be optimistic about the next election.
The Republican Party is excellent at being a minority party. No trick was too dirty, no tactic too low for them. So long as they were able to throw a wrench in the gears, they succeeded in their goal of making sure Democrats were not able to accomplish anything. Now that they are sitting in the big boy chair, they have to make big boy decisions. Unless they have been hiding all their brilliant ideas for the past decade or so, Republicans are in a lot of trouble here.
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Now the responsibility is with them. Now they need to give the American people some results. As we’ve seen over the past few election cycles, the opinions of American voters change faster than the direction of the wind. They will need results, and they will need them fast.
Republicans have made it clear that there are two main issues on their agenda for the upcoming Congress, cutting taxes (surprise, surprise) and repealing the just-passed health care reform bill.
Congressional Republicans have made their goals very clear on how they will go about cutting taxes. Bush’s tax cuts are set to expire after 2010. President Obama has proposed a bill that would extend those tax cuts for every individual less than $200,000 per year and couples making less than $250,000 per year. This bill was shot down and decried immediately by the Republican spin machine, saying that they wouldn’t agree to it unless all of the Bush tax cuts are extended. If it wasn’t blatantly obvious whose interests the Republican Party has in mind, it sure is now.
Any effort to repeal the health care reform bill will certainly be met with fierce opposition. The Republicans will waste just as much time on health care as Democrats did, making their complaints that the economy was being ignored while Democrats focused on health care reform completely void. Obama will be forced to play rough and use his veto power often. Republicans will complain, but they are the ones who wrote the book on obstructionism, and any complaints will only make them look silly.
It’s important to remember that both Reagan and Clinton got re-elected just two years after their party lost at least one of the houses of Congress. There is no reason to expect the same won’t happen for Obama.
It does not help anyone to mope around and be sad about the results of this election. As our great Senator Paul Wellstone said, “The future will not belong to those who sit on the sidelines. The future will not belong to the cynics. The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.” They wanted a fight, and let me tell you brothers and sisters, they got one. Now is not the time to feel sorry for yourself. STAND UP! KEEP FIGHTING!