Democrats cannot spin Tuesday's election as an anti-incumbent exercise. Rather, it was Washington, D.C.'s biggest midterm shift in party power since 1938. At this writing, no sitting Republican senator and only two GOP House members lost re-election.
Meanwhile, two Senate and 49 House Democrats — including the Armed Services, Budget, and Transportation Committee chairmen — will clear their desks and go home. (Several tight tallies could shift these numbers.) The American people gagged on government — gargantuan, profligate, and pugilistic — especially in its domestic quintessence: Obamacare. Calls to repeal the Democrats' wheezing contraption grew louder Tuesday.
Voters shunned the few Democrats who shouted their support for Obamacare. Sen. Russ Feingold of Wisconsin and Reps. Tom Perriello of Virginia and North Dakota's Earl Pomeroy were the only incumbent contenders who waved their Obamacare pom-poms. Voters sacked the trio.
Conversely, Gov. Joe Manchin, D, West Va., seemed trapped in Charleston until he said this in mid-October: Obamacare "needs to have a lot of it repealed. If you can't fix that, repeal the whole thing." His numbers rose, and he won.
President Obama told journalists Wednesday, "I think we would be misreading the election if we thought the American people for the next two years want us to re-litigate the arguments of the last two years." Actually, on this issue, that is precisely what a near majority of Americans desires.
According to national exit polls, 48 percent of voters surveyed want Congress to repeal Obamacare. While 31 percent (supposedly fans of really big government) want Obamacare expanded, only 16 percent would leave it untouched. Obamacare is an unwanted orphan — hated by the Right, unloved by the Left, and yawned at by the middle.
"Among Democrats who favored repeal, 36 percent voted for Republicans," veteran Democrat pollster Patrick Caddell explained on Fox News Channel on Wednesday. "Among independents who favored repeal, 86 to 9 (percent) voted Republican. In my lifetime, this is the first time my party will have less than 200 seats in the House. (GOP: 239; Democrat: 186; Disputed: 10) Healthcare is a major thing . . . The American people found this a crime against democracy. I have been saying this since March. They wanted repeal. And this issue is going to go on and on, and he (Obama) seems absolutely tone deaf to understand this."
Among the states, 55 percent of Arizona's voters and 65 percent of Oklahoma's approved propositions to quash Obamacare's individual mandate to possess health insurance. While 55 percent of Colorado voters spurned similar language Tuesday, 71 percent of Missouri's electorate endorsed an anti-mandate proposal last August 3.
The GOP's conquest of 19 previously Democrat state-representative chambers, 10 full legislatures, and 11 governorships gives state-level Republicans brand-new opportunities to hammer Obamacare. GOP control of the most state-legislative seats since 1928 could spawn fresh anti-Obamacare lawsuits beyond the 21 that states have filed.
After voting to repeal Obamacare, the GOP House should convene hearings to showcase how this 2,801-page grotesque already hikes costs, boots Americans from their insurance plans, and spreads confusion among businesses. The Democratic Senate presumably would kill any such repeal bill. And President Obama likely would veto any bid to liquidate his hideous baby.
"If Senate liberals or the president block repeal, conservatives must do everything in their power to defund and delay Obamacare's implementation until 2012, when they can elect a conservative president and more Senate conservatives," says Michael Needham, CEO of Heritage for America, a leading pro-repeal organization.
Ironically, Obamacare has performed a worthy clinical purpose. Barely seven-months-old, this monstrosity has been a $2.5 trillion inoculation against future outbreaks of U.S. socialism. Over unanimous Republican opposition and the contrary screams of the American people, Democrats injected the electorate with the Obamacare needle, insisting that it would ease their pain.
Instead, it triggered Tuesday's dramatic side effects. But Obamacare seemingly has vaccinated Americans against future charlatans who soothingly promise free unicorns and rainbows that are nothing but mirrors and gases.
Deroy Murdock is a columnist with Scripps Howard News Service and a media fellow with the Hoover Institution on War, Revolution and Peace at Stanford University. E-mail him at deroy.Murdock@gmail.com
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