Final Thoughts: Election 2006

First, I need to admit that I was wrong about voter sentiment and willingness to vote in Democrats out Republicans. But I’m not a professional prognosticator, so it just proves that I can be an amateur idiot. Go, me! At least it’ll inform my future thinking, which is a small victory.

I did get the result I wanted, which is the chance for gridlock. For most races, I don’t think we have cause to celebrate, though, as much as we have a chance to regroup and start anew. I imagine that will be squandered, so I haven’t engaged in any gloating, save one race. With the inevitable concession out of the way, I’m laughing hysterically at James Webb’s defeat of Sen. George Allen. Few candidates in recent memory deserved to go from presidential contender to unemployed in three short months more than Sen. Allen. Good riddance. So, Sen. Allen: Ha-ha!

Looking ahead, I’m not making a prediction, but the tossing around of bipartisanship already leaves me thinking that the big government proponents on both sides of the aisle will form an alliance. Wonderful. Is any politician capable of paying attention?

For example, from Robert Novak:

Republican leaders are still in denial in the wake of their crushing defeat. They blame individual losing candidates for failing to prepare themselves for the election. In contrast, the private reaction by the candidates was anger at President Bush and his political team.

The candidates should look in the mirror as much as they should look toward President Bush. Yes, he’s reckless, but he only has Constitutional control over one branch. Many of the Republican candidates tossed aside on Tuesday had control of their own and they bowed at President Bush’s feet at almost every opportunity. Once a politician, always a politician. If they can’t figure that out, they’ll never achieve the permanent majority they thought they had in 1994. Nor should they.

The money quote from George Will’s column states this well:

The country remains receptive to conservatism. That doctrine — were it to become constraining on, rather than merely avowed by, congressional Republicans — can be their bridge back from the wilderness.

It’s too early to talk about, but I think 2008 is up for grabs. Thankfully. Will either party put common sense ahead of party ideology and a lust for power? I doubt it, but the next two years should be different, at least, if not exactly fun.