Republican Landslide: Now What?

Republican Landslide: Now What?

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The Republican Party is being swept back into power in the U.S. House of Representatives and has chipped away at Democrat dominance in the U.S. Senate. President Obama, who was given two years to push through his agenda, now finds that much of what he and his supporters accomplished during that time has been repudiated by voters.

That is one way to look at what happened on Election Day 2010. Of course, not every policy pushed by the president faced the same voter ire as health care and the economy, but those two issues were of immense concern to many Americans. These citizens — who were still angry at the way national healthcare was shoved through the system and the disingenuous handling of the costs related to this multi-trillion dollar entitlement — sent a message, “Enough is enough.” In essence, if you ignore the voice of the people, you’ll be sent packing.

Local Changes

As important as this election was on a national level, significant changes were made locally too. In North Carolina, the Tarheel State will see Republicans take control of the state General Assembly, the first time that has happened since 1898. Like so much of the South, North Carolina has been controlled by Democrats on the state level although when it comes to Washington, North Carolinians and other southerners typically vote Republican senators into power. The GOP will now be able to redistrict the state, offering a more balanced layout of political power.

Governorships changed hands too as Republicans took away at least 10 seats currently held by Democrat governors. South Carolina, Ohio, Tennessee, Ohio and Michigan are among the states who will now be led by Republicans though California will once again me run by a Democrat as Jerry Brown returns to Sacramento following his defeat of Meg Whitman.

National Tsunami

Nationally, Harry Reid was able to hang on to his senate seat as did Barbara Boxer. Both campaigns were hard fought with the victors narrowly winning what should have been easy wins in any other year. But this year many established incumbents found their tenures in Washington threatened as voters rode the Tea Party tsunami.

Russ Feingold, U.S. Senator from Wisconsin, was defeated by Republican challenger Ron Johnson. Feingold’s 18-year tenure in D.C. effectively ends in January. Barack Obama’s former seat in the Senate will now be held by a Republican as U.S. Rep. Mark Kirk defeated Illinois state treasurer Alexi Giannoulias.

In the House, the tossing of incumbents — especially hard-core liberals — became the Tea Party rallying cry. With some votes still be counted (or recounted) the GOP is expected to pick up 65 seats, 12 more than what they gained in 1994 when the “Republican Revolution” took over behind Newt Gingrich.

Now What?

Exactly how will the Republican Party proceed now that the House is back under their control for the first time if four years? After having their heads handed to them in 2008, the GOP has got to follow through on their promises to the American people to end or change Obamacare, control federal spending and give something that Obama campaigned on, but never delivered — hope.

The one mistake the GOP must avoid is compromising on principles in order to appear cooperative with Democrats. Voters aren’t looking for Republican appeasement, rather they want GOP resolve as American continues to deal with double-digit unemployment.

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Categories: Commentary

About Author

Matthew C. Keegan

Matt Keegan is a freelance writer and editor as well as publisher of "Matt's Musings", his personal blog. Matt covers campus, consumer, business and financial topics on various websites and blogs, and has been published in the "Houston Chronicle", "Sam's Club Magazine" and "Wisconsin Golfer".