Hermed kommer (i spredt fægtning og opdateret lidt efter lidt) nogle fortolkninger af det amerikanske midtvejsvalg, som jeg personligt finder interessante. (Update: Peter Wehner fra Commentary har en faktuel opremsning af, hvor stort Demokraternes nederlag var i historisk perspektiv. Josh Kraushaar fra National Journal vurderer, at det kan gå endnu værre i 2012.)
Først den konservative Washington Post-kommentator Charles Krauthammer, der stort set altid er velskrivende, snusfornuftig og med begge fødder plantet på jorden:
Tuesday was the electorate’s first opportunity to render a national verdict on this manner of governance. The rejection was stunning. As a result, President Obama’s agenda is dead. And not just now. No future Democratic president will try to revive it – and if he does, no Congress will follow him, in view of the carnage visited upon Democrats on Tuesday.
This is not, however, a rejection of Democrats as a party. The center-left party as represented by Bill Clinton remains competitive in every cycle. (Which is why he was the most popular, sought-after Democrat in the current cycle.) The lesson of Tuesday is that the American game is played between the 40-yard lines. So long as Democrats don’t repeat Obama’s drive for the red zone, Democrats will cyclically prevail, just as Republicans do.
Nor should Republicans overinterpret their Tuesday mandate. They received none. They were merely rewarded for acting as the people’s proxy in saying no to Obama’s overreaching liberalism. As one wag put it, this wasn’t an election so much as a restraining order.
The Republicans won by default. And their prize is nothing more than a two-year lease on the House. The building was available because the previous occupant had been evicted for arrogant misbehavior and, by rule, alas, the House cannot be left vacant.
Den altid lige så kloge og snusfornuftige Wall Street Journal lederskribent havde bl.a. disse ord:
One lesson of the big GOP victory is that voters are again open to a message of limited government, but they want messengers with the savvy and smarts to implement it. Voters swept dozens of newcomers to power on Tuesday, but they also rejected prominent tea party candidates who didn’t seem up to the task. This cost at least two seats in the Senate, and it ought to chasten tea partiers who want House Republicans to perform immediate miracles. It should also inform the 2012 GOP Presidential nominating debate.
By all means, tea partiers should hold Republicans to their promises, while recognizing that Harry Reid still has a Senate majority and Mr. Obama still has his veto pen. Republicans did not win a governing majority on Tuesday. They were given a chance to build one in 2012, if they can show they deserve it over the next two years.
Fhv. WH-vicestabschef & chef-strateg Karl Rove sagde næsten det samme på samme sider:
Tuesday’s results mean Mr. Obama no longer has the luxury of jamming through legislation solely with his party’s support. A week after saying it was “time to punish our enemies,” the president will have to find ways to reach common ground with them. In yesterday’s press conference, the president mentioned earmarks and energy policy as two places to start.
Republicans must not delude themselves: The voters didn’t throw out the Democrats because they are enraptured with the GOP. The polling data suggest that many voters, while warming to the party, still remain nervous about it. Republicans are on probation. And whether they get off of it depends on whether they do what they said they would on the campaign trail.
Voters want Republicans to press for reform—regardless of the obstacles placed in their way by Mr. Obama. They understand Mr. Obama is president for two more years and retains the veto, but they will insist Republicans at least fight for change.
Republicans should be willing to compromise on details. Ronald Reagan was right when he said, “I’d rather get 80% of what I want than to go over the cliff with my flag flying.” But voters will not tolerate compromise on fundamental principles.
Den sejrrige de facto leder af Tea Party-bevægelsen–nej, ikke Sarah Palin eller Glenn Beck, således som danske journalister gerne vil fremstille det–senator James DeMint (R-SC) var derimod allerede dagen efter valget ude med den ideologiske rive i en hilsen til de mange nyvalgte TP-kandidater:
Congratulations to all the tea party-backed candidates who overcame a determined, partisan opposition to win their elections. The next campaign begins today. Because you must now overcome determined party insiders if this nation is going to be spared from fiscal disaster.
Many of the people who will be welcoming the new class of Senate conservatives to Washington never wanted you here in the first place. The establishment is much more likely to try to buy off your votes than to buy into your limited-government philosophy. Consider what former GOP senator-turned-lobbyist Trent Lott told the Washington Post earlier this year: “As soon as they get here, we need to co-opt them.”
Don’t let them. Co-option is coercion. Washington operates on a favor-based economy and for every earmark, committee assignment or fancy title that’s given, payback is expected in return. The chits come due when the roll call votes begin. This is how big-spending bills that everyone always decries in public always manage to pass with just enough votes.
But someone can’t be bribed if they aren’t for sale. …
When you are in Washington, remember what the voters back home want—less government and more freedom. Millions of people are out of work, the government is going bankrupt and the country is trillions in debt. Americans have watched in disgust as billions of their tax dollars have been wasted on failed jobs plans, bailouts and takeovers. It’s up to us to stop the spending spree and make sure we have a government that benefits America instead of being a burden to it.
Tea party Republicans were elected to go to Washington and save the country—not be co-opted by the club. So put on your boxing gloves. The fight begins today.
Og her lidt af Dr. Conservative, George F. Will:
Unwilling to delay until tomorrow mistakes that could be made immediately, Democrats used 2010 to begin losing 2012. Trying to preemptively drain the election of its dangerous (to Democrats) meaning, all autumn Democrats described the electorate as suffering a brain cramp, an apoplexy of fear, rage, paranoia, cupidity – something. Any explanation would suffice as long as it cast what voters were about to say as perhaps contemptible and certainly too trivial to be taken seriously by the serious.
It is amazing the ingenuity Democrats invest in concocting explanations of voter behavior that erase what voters always care about, and this year more than ever – ideas. This election was a nationwide recoil against Barack Obama’s idea of unlimited government.
The more he denounced Republicans as the party of “no,” the better Republicans did. His denunciations enabled people to support Republicans without embracing them as anything other than impediments to him.
I sin næste klumme, fortsatte Will i samme spor:
As he promised it would be, Barack Obama’s presidency has been transformative, but not as he intended. Whether it lasts two or six more years, it is an exhausted volcano because its biggest consequence may already have happened: It has resuscitated the right, making 2010 conservatism’s best year in 30 years – since the election of Ronald Reagan.
Republican gains were partly a result of the “shock-and-awe statism” (Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels’s phrase) of the health-care legislation passed in March. Seven months later, a federal judge in Florida, hearing arguments about the constitutionality of penalizing Americans who do not purchase health insurance, was bemused.
Lawyers defending the legislation said that the fee noncompliant Americans would be forced to pay is really just a tax. But during congressional debate on the legislation, Democrats adamantly denied it was a tax. So, in a rehearsal of an argument that will be heard by the Supreme Court, the judge said:
“Congress should not be permitted to secure and cast politically difficult votes on controversial legislation by deliberately calling something one thing, after which the defenders of that legislation take an ‘Alice-in-Wonderland’ tack and argue in court that Congress really meant something else entirely, thereby circumventing the safeguard that exists to keep their broad power in check.”