We know the basic story-line- Democrats lost big in the House, survived a Senate scare and Republicans took the statehouses and the Governor’s mansions. But here are the real losers from Tuesday’s election. Oh, and one political epiphany and one disturbing historical note.
Proposition 19 Supporters
They came up short but did manage to get 45% of the vote to legalize the recreational use of marijuana in the state of California. Regrettably, tens of thousands of prop-19 partisans showed up at the polls on Wednesday.
Charles Schumer/Dick Durbin
The two Senators, who room together in a Washington D.C. apartment, were in line for a battle royal to succeed Harry Reid as the next Senate majority leader. Except, somehow, Harry Reid managed to beat back Tea-party darling Sharon Angle. I can see them sitting on their apartment futon about 1am last night.
Republican House member, Joseph Cao
The poor guy was the only Republican incumbent to go down in defeat. The Louisiana lawmaker lost to Democratic state representative, Cedric Richmond by a 2 to 1 margin. How do you lose your seat by a landslide in a year that your colleagues were swept into office in one of the largest tidal waves in political history? Well, when he was elected two years ago, only a handful of voters turned out in an election delayed by hurricanes. And it helped he was running against incumbent William Jefferson who was- under indictment.
And the Epiphany
Popular West Virginia Governor, Joe Manchin, survived a strong challenge to win the Senate seat vacated by the late Robert Byrd. Interesting, though, was who came to campaign against and for him in the final 48 hours of the contest. Sarah Palin stumped for his opponent, Republican businessman, John Raese. And on her heels, or stilettos, as the case may be- weighing in on behalf of Manchin- none other than Bubba.
Bill Clinton is the Sarah Palin neutralizer! The guy who used to ride around Arkansas with astro turf in the bed of his pick-up truck appears to be the antidote to the gun-toting Momma Grizzly.
Remember all this in 2016. Impatient because the new House Republican majority failed to turn the economy around in 6 months, the voters, overwhelmingly lash back by re-electing Barack Obama in 2012. Four years later, Hillary Clinton and Sarah Palin duke it out and Bubba rides to Hillary’s rescue as the nation finally elects its first female President.
Final Historical Footnote
The last two occasions in American history that the U.S. Senate was controlled by Democrats and the House of Representatives was controlled by Republicans, the following happened; the American Civil War and the Great Depression. Go ahead, look it up.