Republicans have won "de facto control" of the U.S. Senate, syndicated columnist and Fox News commentator Charles Krauthammer declared early this morning.
The message voters delivered on Election Night was so strong, Krauthammer said, that Senate Democrats will continue to distance themselves from President Barack Obama's policies for fear of political repercussions.
"I think there will be great resistance to any advance of the Obama agenda, and I think there will a lot of sympathy among these Democrats, the ones who are now up for reelection in two years for example, for an extension of the Bush tax cuts, for even a nibbling away of some of the edges of Obamacare," he said.
Some of the Democratic senators coming into the new Congress, such as West Virginia Gov. Joe Manchin, who defeated Republican John Raese, actually ran in open opposition to the president's policies.
"So I think what's happened is you've had a real shift of power to the Republicans, de jure in the House and de facto in the Senate," Krauthammer said on Fox News. "But if you're a Republican, I think it works rather well in terms of strategy for '12.
"You really didn't want control of the two houses, because then Obama could do a Truman, where he ran against the do-nothing Congress and won re-election," the Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist said. "If you put too much of the actual, official power to the Republicans, it makes them responsible.
"Right now, I think they're in the perfect position tactically: Control the House, object, propose stuff that Obama may veto, and run against him on that in 2012," Krauthammer said.
The trend toward a more conservative Democratic caucus runs counter to the result in the House, where Democratic blue-dog moderates sustained heavy losses in GOP-leaning districts.
MSNBC analyst, columnist, and author Patrick J. Buchanan recently used the term "massacre" to describe the fate that awaited members of the Blue Dog Coalition.
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