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It's Grand Old Party Time
November 10, 2010 - Mike Frank
(Author's Note: The following column is NOT about sports.)
At the end of my most recent entry, I promised some thoughts on the election. Of course I didn't keep the promise of the day after the election, because it's about politics! (That's my story anyway.)
Anyway, a week after Election Day, the dust has settled in about 90 percent of the races. Still TBD are the Senate seat in Alaska, the governor's race in Minnesota, and about a half-dozen House races (two in our own little Empire State of Heaven.)
Well, as a lifelong conservative Republican, let's just say it was a pretty good night. Starting at the state level, Cathy Young won another well-deserved term. Andy Goodell won ugly against a weak candidate for the 150th seat, and Joe Giglio cruised in the 149th.
I had accepted that Paladino was going to lose to Cuomo Jr., but I think Greg Edwards did a good job of getting some statewide experience for a future possibility. I think some folks need to talk him into taking on Brian Higgins next time round. (A for the rest of the "row offices", I don't care and neither do you.)
I saw a letter to the editor in today's (Nov. 10) paper by Geoff Tuner of Ashville that "the cry to stop the insanity was heard on Election Day nearly everywhere across the nation except New York, where it was a whimper."
As Lee Corso says, not so fast my friend. Yes, as the writer points out Chucky Schumer and K. Gilly both won. But, Schumer is a big shot in the Senate leadership and people like sitting with the cool kids. As for Gillibrand, I was really disappointed that a stronger candidate did not emerge. This was Gillibrand's first election (after taking over for HRC). She's up again in 2012, so hopefully she gets picked off then.
He also says "only four of 29 House seats changed party control". Actually, the count went from 27-2 (Chris Lee and Peter King being the Republicans) to 20-7. Granted that's five versus four, but for a blue state like NY, every one matters. And the races in the 1st and 25th are still being determined, so it might wind up at seven. (Should have been one more here in the 27th, but Higgins managed to make enough promises to Buffalo.)
Of course, a 60-seat gain in the House was AWESOME. The Dems went from 255 to 189 in the House. They managed to hang onto the Senate, but we won't be hearing any talk about "filibuster-proof" any time soon. As for the GOP, we got rid of Snarlen' Arlen Specter in PA and Jim Bunning in KY (Pat Toomey and Rand Paul taking over).
Overall, the national media decided to go with "What happens to tea party candidates/groups now?" Well, I think they gave a well-deserved wake up call to the Grand Old Party.
I am a conservative ahead of being a Republican. The message needed to be sent that elections are up to the PEOPLE, not the state organizations hand-picking candidates.
Yes, some Tea Party-backed candidates lost. (I'm betting a few moderate folks on both sides of the aisle lost as well.) But Sharon Angle put a hell of a scare into the Majority Leader, Ken Buck gave a good fight in Colorado, and my new hero, Christine O'Donnell, battled the Dems without much support from the state party in Delaware.
Just remember, none of them were third-party folks. Ronald Reagan had an "11th Commandment" — Thou shalt not speak ill of any fellow Republican. That means once you're past the primary, it's time to unite behind the choice that was made. That's what I did with Bob Dole and John McCain in 1996 and 2008. That's what the Delaware GOP should have done with O'Donnell.
One final note — Carly Fiorina and Linda McMahon proved that you can't buy people's enthusiasm.
A few words about 2012. Two years ago, the Republicans were being left for dead and "tea party" was a phrase from the American Revolution. So guessing the political landscape for 2012 is silly. But the GOP had a big wave in 1994 and let Clinton slip through 1996. So don't get too puffed up, but to borrow a phrase from somebody "YES WE CAN" take back the White House.
Back soon....always SPEAKING FRANKLY!
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