Wednesday, November 03, 2010

PostMortem: Is It Really a Shift to the Right?

Have we suddenly all become Ronald Reagan Republicans? Has the nation really shifted to the right? Just as it was a mistake for liberals to think Obama's election was a green light to cap-and-trade and Pelosicare, it is a mistake to think last night means we've suddenly all become limited government advocates.

Most of us are really somewhere in the middle, and are upset that President Obama and Congressional Dems ignored a 9.6% unemployment rate in favor of everything else. Unless Republicans do something about jobs, they'll be gone in the next election.

Feel free to post your postmortem here.

49 comments:

Anonymous said...

Sort of like Angle and his puppet republican Council. The citizens of Northampton County do not believe you should sell seniors to buy land.

Anonymous said...

Ds believe in selling seniors for votes - at any price. They've perfected the transaction. Take your crushing loss with dignity and be proud that this area, and PA, in general, has supplied the new Senate with its most conservative member.

Anonymous said...

Gracedale is only worth votes. As long as government union is there, it's worth a lot to D's. Once sold, there will be a last ditch effort next election to revive the argument, but after that, it'll be Grace-what?

Anonymous said...

for the record, Ron Regan wasn't a ron regan republican, at least in its current incarnation...

Anonymous said...

"The citizens of Northampton County do not believe you should sell seniors to buy land"

they do believe, however, you should sell seniors to buy pop-tarts.

Anonymous said...

Bernie -

I hope we can all agree that last night was an overwhelming repudiation of the Obama agenda - particularly the health care bill.

If nothing else, I think Republicans have a green light to undo much of what was passed over the first two years of Obama. If there was one thing that I heard over-and-over again from people voting in a predominantly Dem district yesterday is that they don't want the health care bill.

Let's hope the Republicans start by repealing that. Yes, I realize the President will probably veto any repeal, but that's still the place to start.


P.S. - "Pelosicare"? Nice try, but the President owns that mess.

Anonymous said...

7am misses the point bernie is making... it's the economy stupid. people want clinton centism. that created jobs.

Anonymous said...

86% of Congress was re-elected.

Anonymous said...

Obama inherited a bad economy. He listened to the Krugmans of the world and attempted to fix the problem with a radical borrowing and spending plan. The results have been disastrous. Last night, voters said they want the experiment to stop. Last night was positive and purposeful vote for gridlock. The middle of the road mostly prefers gridlock. Gridlock is predictable and more sound to invest in. Nothing will be done for the next two years. After the significant and costly accomplishments of the last two, that's a good thing.

Anonymous said...

Geeting is awfully quiet. Bet his "independent" blog suddenly becomes a lot less active.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"The citizens of Northampton County do not believe you should sell seniors to buy land."

Hey whackjob, this post is about the R victory, not Gracedale. The fact that you got signatures by corralling people at the polls and lying to them about seniors, means nothing. I'll be interested in what 51% of the informed electorate thinks.

monkey momma said...

All of my liberal leanings take a back seat to fiscal responsibility, and I think that was the case with many voters yesterday. My own ballot reflected a desire to see grown-ups in charge of handling taxpayer dollars. The time for government to rein in spending is here, and there is simply a much better chance of that happening (overall) under Republicans than Democrats.

Anonymous said...

Have to agree with you Bernie. I know I am getting sick and tired of paying for people who can't get off their asses. We need real sustainable jobs in this country not min wage jokes that require people to live off the welfare system.

Anonymous said...

Sad to say not a lot will change, and it will soon "shift" back to the other side. Politics are an ugly game in which there are no real winners. Only those individuals that have earned the right to represent us, or should I say the right to appear to represent us.

Anonymous said...

Geeting has not posted since Sunday...we'll see if the NYC Carpetbagger ever posts again.

Anonymous said...

people obsessing of another blogger. Grow up. blogging wars are stupid.

Anonymous said...

I am not surprised that Charlie Dent won. The majority of people are not stupid and really know a good person when they are in front of them as Charlie is. The problem is most politicians anymore are not that but only for themselves

Anonymous said...

Bernie:

Any thoughts on Municpal offices in Spring?

Will local tea party have influence?

Guy Williams said...

Gotta hand it to the tea party movement they really shook up the system leaving the liberal agenda dead in the water.Now the fight will be among Rep conservatives and moderates.Hope Charlie can hold on to his moderate views. It wont be easy.

noel jones said...

Bernie--I like the title of this post a lot.

As Americans, we tend to have very short attention spans, and attach our current conditions to whomever is in power (like babies, furious at Mommy because Daddy dropped us off for visitation with a dirty diaper, and it burns).

As an example, we get angry at President Obama and the Democratic majority when the recession and deficit caused by eight years under George Bush and Dick Cheney proves to be a hole so deep that it doesn't go away within two years of electing President Obama. The irony is that the hole is even deeper than anyone imagined, and when the Republicans can't fix it in just two more years, they will have to get ready for the blame, and Obama will likely be re-elected in the backlash.

I think that Democrats this morning are probably experiencing a combination of horror and the unbearable lightness of being, now that the mantle of guilt for the economy has now been lifted and placed squarely on Republican shoulders again. And Republicans are probably experiencing a triumphant gloating sensation, with an underlying current of "oh, shit, what do we do now" dread.

At some point, we're all going to realize that we have to put our pride, cynicism and snarkiness aside to work together to fix our country before it crashes and burns altogether.

What I wonder is, if we're all holding our noses to vote because there aren't any great candidates on either side that we can be fully enthusiastic about, at what point do Independents--who are the largest group of voters in the nation right now--start running, supporting and voting for Independent candidates instead of voting for Democrats and Republicans? I think a strong third candidate in every race would do the country some good.

What is also going to be interesting, is whether or not Tea Party candidates like Rand Paul will keep their promise not to increase debt by voting against raising the debt ceiling--a vote coming due in the next few months in Congress--and I hear, if the debt ceiling (our nation's credit limit) is not raised America will, for the first time as a country, default on all our debts, potentially causing a global depression? Does anyone know about this? Will the Republicans wrangle the Tea Partiers into submission?

On a state level, I'm terrified that our new Republican governor, and majority Republican house and senate will now fast-track the golden egg of hydrofracking for natural gas without finishing studies on the health risks and establishing strong safety procedures, as they have fought doing all along, with the exception of Mensch, who is a Republican with a conscience. There are 50,000 wells currently waiting near our water source (the Delaware) to start drilling. 2 hours north of us, in Dimock, 34 families are sick, and their property values destroyed due to water contamination from drilling. As citizens, we have to write letters to be the voice of reason in this gold rush, to protect our water, health and property values.

GASLAND is now available on Netflix, by the way--that's the fastest way to take in the water crisis we face as Pennsylvanians due to gas drilling--kind of a crash course.

Time to brace ourselves--it's going to be a wild ride.

LVCI said...

My election take away is according to a CBS Exit pole .. 18% of the votes came from youths aged 18-29 in the 2008 elections and now in 2010 only 9% of the voters were from this age group.

Years ago we were screaming for the right to vote at 18. We wanted to be a part of the action. Now it appears that the young could give a hoot. If this group wants to criticize the last generation for mucking things up, they better get out and do something about that!

Otherwise...

Maureen Thomson said...

Bernie --

Can you believe that Simmons beat Horton in the Saucon Valley PA Rep race?? I frankly can't beleive that.... at 24... I wish him the best, but... (kind of at a loss for words)

Anonymous said...

7 am,
You just doesn't get it..The republicans have house control..They have no chance in hell of repealing health care! None ..Zero!!! They'll try to keep their troglidites happy by passing some type of repeal bill which will go nowhere. That's the problem with all of these right wing folks..They just don't know how government works...All that aside, in 2000 the republicans gerrymandered the heck out of the map and thought they had locked in house supremecy forever..Most of the house losses in 2006 and 2008 were in Republican districts..it is no real surprise that they reclaimed them..Now they will gerrymander the hell out of them again and probably keep control of the house forever...So what..they have a crop of pathetic Presidential candidates and will lose in 2012 again..So all this House superiority means crap! They'll never get anything of substance done..Thank God!!

Anonymous said...

You just don't get it, lol..And I don't get grammer..

Anonymous said...

Good job Justin. Now the hard work starts. Don’t let us down!

Anonymous said...

I think that we all believe in limited government. We resent the interference always.

Wayne said...

Anonymous said...
"I think that we all believe in limited government. We resent the interference always."
-------------------------
But, usually it doesn't really sink in until your own personal ox is gored and reality mugs you. Until that happens most of us are content to spend the money we don't have on the things other people are unwilling to prioritize for. Doing that avoids confrontation, it's human nature to "make nice".

If our current crop of politicians fall back into "making nice" instead of making the hard decisions we'll have achieved nothing.

Anonymous said...

This may be a shift to the right ... but things are only going to get worse, not better. Why?

1. Gridlock - while gridlock was a good think in the mid-1990s when the economy was good, we are in a period of time when we need politicians to be leaders and progress to deal with the serious problems we face. A Government shutdown was ok in 1997, it is not ok in 2011.

2. Lack of Leadership - Like him or not, Obama has stepped up and led the best he could (in my opinion) considering the situation - bad economy and Republican leadership that stated outright that they would not compromise. In 1994 we had Newt Gingrich who, like him or not, stepped up and acted like a leader. John Boehner has already said that he won't be the leader with ideas, etc. (see Slate.com article below). To me this tells me he is a pussy and more interested in his next reelection then actually solving problems.

http://www.slate.com/id/2273344/

3. Unemployment will NOT get any better - With a $5 Billion gap facing PA and a new governor who will not raise any tax or fee, all he can do is unreasonably cut services, which ultimately means a lot of layoffs. Sounds good (in theory at least), especially if you are a Tea Partier. But ... how do you get higher employment with layoffs coming here and in many other states?

4. Smaller Government spending will equal lower tax revenues and less economic activity. this is exactly what happened in Germany circa early 1990s, is currently happening in Greece, and will start to be seen in the UK in the next 12 months.

5. Rule of the Corporations - they already write the laws and finance the elections of those who "represent the people."

http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2010/09/you-vs-corporations/

It doesn't matter if it is a turn to the right or not, nothing good will come from the gridlock and stupid policies that come from the far-right Tea Party. I feel like this is the beginning of the Fourth Turning.

Publius

Anonymous said...

"Sell Land, Save Seniors"

PAX

Wayne said...

In response to the 2:10 post.

Great post, I understand your position though I have a few problems with it.

1
Publius said:
"...we need politicians to be leaders and progress..."
------------

Yes we need politicians to be leaders, but than there's that loaded word "progress". To use that word like some politicians use it today is to almost have a religious fervor and claim on what it means to "progress". Using that word says you know which way to go and that all the rest of us are "regressive" or literally evil. It's great branding to claim the "progressive" position but it's also the height of hubris to impose a particular vision of it on the nation because it's got the "correct" label.

2
I agree for the most part. Though congresspersons doing the right thing in spite of flawed "leadership" would be even better.

Points 3 & 4
I take what you say as:
Reduced Taxes = Reduced Gov't = Reduced Gov't Employees = Higher Unemployment = Pandemonium

And the answer is to stick our collective heads in the sand, hire more gov't employees with money we don't have and expect jobs that spend wealth, as opposed to creating it, to bring the economy around?

If the amount of gov't spending is so large that reducing a fraction of it causes Greece-like problems (your point #4) the answer is that government is too large, not that you should never reduce it. But that just sounds so "anti-progressive", doesn't it?

5
Agree in part, that the Left is just as much "in bed" as the Right. Except that the vilification or punishing of profit is counter productive. Government should not be picking the winners (too big to fail = too small to succeed) or bailing out and propping up failure.

Anonymous said...

Noel:
Very intelligent post, thank you.

Anonymous said...

Noel Jones:
referring to us as
"like babies, furious at Mommy because Daddy dropped us off for visitation with a dirty diaper, and it burns"
is precisely why your ilk is considered elitist.

lvtp912 said...

Anonymous said...
Bernie:

Any thoughts on Municpal offices in Spring?

Will local tea party have influence?
_____________________________

Come out and see:
You're invited!

Our guest speaker's topic will be on why the role of the Tea Party remains unchanged after the November election.

Anonymous said...

Gridlock prevents career politicians - most lawyers and school teachers - from screwing up economics and public policy more than they do already. Most have no concern for citizens, and usually hold them in contempt. I remember Rich Grucela showing his true colors as he sailed bitterly off in the sunset with numerous stockpiled pension from a very healthy career on the public nipple. Pretty shitty for a guy who never earned a private dollar in his life. I think most politicians are just like him. We should not look to these creeps for answers. We should be prepared to do battle with them and attempt to check their power and corruption at every turn. Most of them hate us and our demands on them. They hate being reminded whom their bosses are. Both sides are contemptible. All the "work together" stuff is outright bullshit. It's what they say at the onset of their next campaigns. The best we can hope for is gridlock.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"As John said in his speech he looks forward to continue to work with Rep Dent to do what's best for the lehgh Valley and the 15th district as a whole. "

I'm sure Deny will be happy to work with Mayor Callahan on what is best for Bethlehem, as he has done in the past. The election is over. Callahan ran a good campaign (except for that veteran flyer) and now it's over.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"Can you believe that Simmons beat Horton in the Saucon Valley PA Rep race??"

Yes, Maureen. Horton ran a horrible race. He should have won easily but was the invisible candidate who allowed the state house Dems try to buy it for him.

I disagree w/ Simmons on practically every issue, but hw knows how to run a campaign.

Anonymous said...

This was a just another election dominated by folks who are angry about the economy. It has less to do with Republicans or Democrats than just the "feel" of things.

The biggest demographic of Independents to jump to the "Right" were folks 64 and older. It should be interesting as time goes on to see how that plays out.

Since The tea party folks call Social Security a ponzi scheme and Medicare too damn expensive. The oldsters may make a major jump in just two years if the "R's" follow thorough on any of their policies.

Factual Fred Flanders

Anonymous said...

In response to Wayne @ 4:15

I did not use the word "progress" in the sense that progressive is used in left-right politics. Maybe it was a poor choice of words in discussing politics. What I meant is that the world is constantly changing and Government policy should be proactive, not reactive.

The best example I can give are financial derivatives and the collapse of Lehman Brothers (LEH). Because derivative contracts were private contracts and not regulated and traded on an exchange, there was no way of really knowing the depth of the problems until many months after LEH's collapse, and there was no practical way to unwind the positions.

Regulation is not bad, but in fact necessary. That is not to say that over-regulation is a solution to any problem.

Regarding my points 3 & 4, I think you again missed my point. I agree that Government may need to be right sized, which does mean jobs lost. But ... the point I think most people don't understand is the effect this will have, and that right now groups like the local tea party are looking for this to happen in big steps immediately.

Downsizing of government and government spending needs to happen over a period of time (5-7 years maybe?) while the private sector recovers. If you shock the economy with large spending cuts and layoffs, recovery will be a long way off. So rightsizing government over time is fine.

And you missed the point on Greece. Greece had a major problem which is now being exacerbated by drastic cuts in spending. Those cuts were the reaction to the problem, not the cause.

And there was no "vilification or punishing of profit" in my last point. I do just fine for myself, own a business, pay my taxes, and understand this is the price of civilization. Taxing me isn't punishment, it's the cost of living in this country; It's the cost of having a quality road system; It's the cost of having an education system.

But large corporations have too much power and influence. You say that "Government should not be picking the winners (too big to fail = too small to succeed) or bailing out and propping up failure," yet you fail to understand that big business writes the regulations for their industry. Nowhere in the Constitution does it say that corporations are people and have rights.

And there is one more negative effect this election could have that I forgot to mention earlier:
the restriction of free trade. There are many Dems and Repubs who have been talking of placing trade restrictions on some of our trading partners. A trade war would be devastating on the global economy.

Publius
This is why the middle class has been squeezed while the top 5% receive an insane amount of this nation's wealth.

Your

Anonymous said...

The fact the Simmons won, is a real testimony to how race plays a role in elections. The Malcom X comment was so divisive that it lost votes for Horton....Bernie I think you should have proof about what he said and not take someones word for that comment...I also feel this might have been an inside job, by other Dems that want a shot at Simmons

Anonymous said...

Anon 7:33 said:

7am misses the point bernie is making... it's the economy stupid.

Anon 12:15 said:

7 am, You just doesn't get it..The republicans have house control..They have no chance in hell of repealing health care! None ..Zero!!!


+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

7:00 am here, and I get it precisely. People don't want the economy-strangling, job killing programs Obama put in place. Little will improve economically until those programs (like health-care) are dealt with.

As I wrote in my original post, I am well aware that the President will veto the repeal. But politics is a process. If there are House members and Senators who want to go on the record again as supporting the health care bill, let them. The voters will know and will pick them off one-by-one.

Anonymous said...

Factual Fred Flanders said:

"...Medicare too damn expensive. The oldsters may make a major jump in just two years if the "R's" follow thorough on any of their policies."

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Fred, let's remember whose health care bill just cut a huge amount from Medicare/Medicaid.

I think the seniors realize who's out to screw them.

eckville press said...

Proposed Cut To Lehigh County 2011 Budget.

Account # 1214111000

Line 44145 cut $1

Now that's funny!!!

Bernie O'Hare said...

"The fact the Simmons won, is a real testimony to how race plays a role in elections. The Malcom X comment was so divisive that it lost votes for Horton....Bernie I think you should have proof about what he said and not take someones word for that comment.."

I do have proof. Two people who were there have told me. I have not used their names only bc I have not asked them. Perhaps Horton should have thought twice before pretending to be the disenfranchised black man.

Chris Casey said...

Be careful what you wish for....

The Republican Party now owns the economy, nationally and in the State.
If things get worse, there will be no pity for them or Obama in November 2012.

But that won't matter if the Mayans were right, it all ends before Christmas that year anyway, right? LOL!

Wayne said...

Publius 8:41PM said...
In response to Wayne @ 4:15

We actually are agreeing on many of your points. It's too easy to talk past each other in this medium sometimes...

...If you shock the economy with large spending cuts and layoffs, recovery will be a long way off. So rightsizing government over time is fine.

Agreed. Most of the proposals I have seen are to stop the planned hires and unnecessary replacement hires. I believe that's what Gov. Christie is doing. Even this causes howls of protest.

...And you missed the point on Greece. Greece had a major problem which is now being exacerbated by drastic cuts in spending. Those cuts were the reaction to the problem, not the cause...

Agreed, I thought we were talking about the reaction to the cuts (riots). Can we agree that the cuts were needed, only maybe earlier and therefore not as drastic?

And there was no "vilification or punishing of profit" in my last point...

I was speaking to how "profit" has become a dirty word in the politicians lexicon, not meaning you

...you fail to understand that big business writes the regulations for their industry.

Actually that was the part I was agreeing with you, the Left in Right in bed with business and letting them dictate legislation

...There are many Dems and Repubs who have been talking of placing trade restrictions on some of our trading partners. A trade war would be devastating on the global economy.

Totally agree

Publius

Anonymous said...

People did not really have a clear understanding of many facets of stimulus and healthcare reform. The GOP even portrayed the TARP bank bailout as a dem proposal when in fact it was proposed by Bush and support strongly by many Republicans like McCain and Dent.

People failed to realize that nearly half the Stimulus was tax breaks. Instead of giving it in the form of a tax credit, Obama should have handed out checks like Bush to every family so they can feel the money in hand. That would have been a better way to stimulate projects. Instead, a homeowner had to pay upfront and wait for their money. Only those that had cash on hand or felt secure in their jobs were bold enough to invest in their properties could take advantage of the program.

The real irony here is that the folks who bad mouth cash for clunkers and the stimulus were the first ones to take advantage of the program. I sure would be interested in the statistics of Dems vs Reps who got cash for clunkers and will get a tax credit.

There are signs the economy is improving. An accountant friend told me that many clients are turning profits which is a great sign.

I do not think this was an endorsement of GOP ideology. I think it was a call for a balanced approach. I suspect within the next year or so, folks will have buyers remorse when they see some of these fringe candidates in action. Campaign slogans are one thing, effective governing or legislating is another.

Anonymous said...

Chris Casey said:

"The Republican Party now owns the economy, nationally and in the State."

**********************************

Chris -

I must have missed the Republican takeover of the Senate and the resignation of President Obama (with a Republican taking over).

Perhaps you're giving us the spin Democrats would like to have, but the reality is obviously different.

Anonymous said...

Business headlines this week:

Automakers report stronger October U.S. sales

Lehigh Valley jobless rate drops nearly half a point to 9.3 percent

Olympus CEO Mark Gumz touts growth at Greater Lehigh Valley Chamber of Commerce meeting

Sands Casino Resort Bethlehem's slot revenue is up 17 percent from last year

Big Oil resets its sights on Gulf of Mexico Despite tougher regulations resulting from the BP disaster, the opportunity for more drilling is too lucrative for oil companies too pass up.

Anonymous said...

A party that loses a House seat can win it back two years later, as Republicans just proved. But a party that loses a legislative fight against a middle-class health care entitlement never restores the old order. Pretty soon, Republicans will be claiming the program as their own. Indeed, one of their favorite arguments against this year's health care bill was that it would cut funding for Medicare. Now they're pledging to rescind those cuts. In 30 years, they'll be accusing Democrats of defunding Obamacare.
Most bills aren't more important than elections. This one was. Take it from Mitch McConnell, the Senate Republican leader. Yesterday, in his election victory speech at the Heritage Foundation, he declared, "Health care was the worst piece of legislation that's passed during my time in the Senate." McConnell has been in the Senate for 26 years. He understands the bill's significance: It's a huge structural change in the relationship between the public, the economy, and the government.
Politicians have tried and failed for decades to enact universal health care. This time, they succeeded. In 2008, Democrats won the presidency and both houses of Congress, and by the thinnest of margins, they rammed a bill through. They weren't going to get another opportunity for a very long time. It cost them their majority, and it was worth it.