Here are some quick takeaways from the election.
1. Now the Republicans are on the hot seat. We move from campaign rhetoric, which always gets the juices flowing, to the actual business of governance. Two test cases for you to watch. The first is that certain Republican principalities and porkers are in line (seniority-wise) for plum spots in new line up in the House of Representatives. If they get them, this is evidence that the GOP didn’t get it. A second example, this one in the Senate. If Lisa Murkowski (did I spell that right?) wins her write-in bid, she was clearly the choice of the people of Alaska. But she wasn’t the choice of the Republicans of Alaska. So if she gets all her old perks back from her Republican pals in the Senate, then this will be further evidence that the Republicans think that going on the wagon means five drinks instead of six.
2. Over the course of the next year or so, you will be told ad nauseum that the nation is suffering from endless gridlock. The American people, it will be said, want things to “get done.” Well, I might want to ask, what things? If I am tied up on the deck of a pirate ship, with a bunch of fellow hostages, and a fight breaks out among the pirates, with one faction wanting us to walk the plank, and the other faction wanting to run us all through, I cast my vote for gridlock. As in, yay, gridlock.
3. Of course, the jostling for 2012 began immediately. It seems to me that unless Obama demonstrates some of the flexibility of Clinton, who was President Gumby, he is done. Turn the oven off. Further, he does not appear to me that he has the capacity to do that kind of thing at all, what the pundits call pivoting. Further still, I think that things could get so bad for him that he decides not to run again, like Johnson, or he gets a serious primary challenge, from someone like, say, Hillary. On the Republican side, Sarah Palin had a very good night on Tuesday. If she decides to run, it seems to me that the nomination is hers to lose. I am not cheerleading here. I’m just sayin’. . .