Victory on all sides


By Jeff Kazmierski – Copy Editor

Another election has come and gone. Once again, in our biannual celebration of democracy and

freedom, the American people have gone to the polls and exercised their rights to choose their

representatives, mayors, governors and senators. Across the nation, millions of people went to

their respective voting booths and voted to either throw the bums out or let them stay.

Now what?

   It’s hard to say for the moment whether this election was a win for the Republicans,

Democrats or the upstart Tea Party. It may be that all three can claim some element of victory last


To be sure, the Republicans did score some big wins. They reclaimed the House of

Representatives, and now we can look forward to adjusting the color balance on our televisions

every time Speaker Boehner makes an appearance. However, they failed to gain a majority in the

Senate, which will to some degree limit their ability to push their agenda.

   The Democrats had some big losses in the House, but holding on to the Senate means they’ll

be able to keep the more radical elements of the opposition parties in check. They’ll have to work

very hard not only to push their agenda but also to get their message out before the 2012 races.

   The Tea Party scored major wins, more than any other third-party movement in recent history.

But it shouldn’t get too cocky – the people it puts into power are now officially “Washington

Insiders,” and that means they’re vulnerable to the “throw the bums out” attitude that drove the

revolution in the first place. They have a few seats, but not a mandate. They’ve been armchair

quarterbacks until now. I think they’ll find there’s a vast difference between complaining about

how the other guy did the job and actually having to do it yourself.

   So in the end, we have a divided government. Republicans control the House, Democrats

control the presidency, and the Senate, despite having a majority of Democrats and

Independents, is largely up for grabs.

   This is good. This is how mid-term elections typically turn out, as the fickle American

electorate votes for change yet again. In the end, mid-term elections aren’t so much a referendum

against one party or the other; they’re more a reflection of Americans’ pathological desire for

instant gratification. We want change and we want it now, and if we don’t get it right away,

we’ll put someone else in charge. We expect government to be nimble and responsive like a finely

tuned racecar. Unfortunately, it’s more like an aircraft carrier, and that doesn’t fit with our ideas.

This result is good all around – it means no party will be able to advance its agenda without

active participation by the others.

   It means the Republicans will have to actually work with Democrats to push their corporate-

sponsored agenda and further deregulate Wall Street, enable more outsourcing of American jobs

and giving tax breaks to people who don’t need them.

It means the Democrats will have to find Republican support to advance their socialist cause and

fix the broken health care bill, bring the banks and investment firms under government control

and turn us all into serfs.

   It means if the Tea Party expects to restore America’s greatness by declaring every law

passed after 1812 unconstitutional, they will have to find willing accomplices on the right and

left. They might even have to talk to actual reporters instead of just the talking heads on Fox


   It means they’ll all have to work together toward a common goal to make this country great


Of course, I could be wrong. It could just mean two more years of whining, bickering gridlock. I

hope, for the good of the country, that the various parties choose the higher ground. Frankly,

we’ve had enough vitriol already.


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