Two More Years for the “Party of No”

At first glance, Tuesday’s election was an obvious rout of Democrats, with Tom Periello, Rick Boucher and Gelnn Nye losing their seats in the U.S. House of Representatives. The fate of Gerald Connolly isn’t known yet.

House Minority Whip Eric Cantor easily won relection and with Republicans now in charge of the House, he’ll likely be House Majority Leader, giving the Old Dominion GOP new luster in Washington.

The convention wisdom is that popular frustration with the lack of job growth, President Barack Obama’s health care law, growing federal debt and deficits and the expansion of federal government power, either real or imagined, fueled the drubbing.

But if one starts to dissect the voting, the exercise becomes a bit more confusing. Periello
lost because he backed Obama on many issues, including health care. Nye lost because, for one reason, he broke with Obama on health care. Boucher, a veteran, 14-term congressman from the state’s coal country lost because he backed cap and trade legislation to control global warming. Perhaps, but real cap and trade is quite a ways into the future and the boom, if any, in the state’s coal industry is from exporting metallurgical coal to Chinese steel mills which would not be affected by any U.S. cap and trade law at all.

If you read columnists at The Wall Street Journal, Cantor is responsible for the Republican victories because he helped conceive and lead a come-back strategy for his party. The “Young Gun” admitted his party srayed during the years of George W. Bush, although Cantor forgets he voted lockstep with Bush on just about everything.

So, what’s next? If Cantor prevails, we are certain to have a federal legislature that won’t do anything at all. Cantor and his confederates will raise “the Party of No” to a new level, but it will still be “No.” They will spend the next two years trying to repeal Obamacare, which is still a long-shot because the Republicans did not take the Senate and Obama still has veto power. As for creating new jobs, there hasn’t been much in the way of ideas on the Cantor front.

Another curiousity is how Cantor will get along with U.S. Rep. John Boehner, who will likely replace Nancy Pelosi as Speaker of the House. But don’t expect a new GOP lovefest. There appears to be tension between Boehner and Cantor, who somehow left Boehner out of his “Young Guns” book.

As for the Tea Party movement, they got on the roadmap by fanning their frustrations with Washington, but they didn’t have a complete sweep. Delaware’s Chrstine O’Donnell, for instance, was easily defeated despite her support from Sarah Palin.

True, Tuesday was a GOP victory. But it was a limited one and did not give the GOP both houses of Congress as their 1994 rout against Bill Clinton did. Virginia’s new congressmen and Cantor’s ascension do not spell progress, but two more years of stalemate.

Peter Galuszka

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23 responses to “Two More Years for the “Party of No””

  1. One of the biggest lessons to learn from this election is that not only can candidates be "defined" to their harm but they can be "defined" in a number of ways much more powerfully than ever before.

    For instance, the SCOTUS has said that ..for all intent and purposes… than ANY money spend on ANY media for ANY purpose is "free speech".

    Eventually – even the Obama-haters are going to see what a threat to Democracy – that misinformation campaigns can be.

    Obama screwed up in a number of ways to include not realizing that he was being "defined" by the Media to include the internet media, FAUX and company and 3rd party anonymous funders of TV ads.

    Obama and his team were young, inexperienced and ARROGANT in grossly underestimating the damage that the economy had suffered and his belief that a bailout/stimulus strategy would take care of the problem and allow him to to move on to health care and cap&trade.

    Dumb.

    Easy to Monday-morning quarterback here.

    On the Republican side- Since 1999 – not ONE credible plan to balance the budget and get us out of deficits.

    Then their blatant hypocrisy and Demagoguery in conflating current deficits with projected debt … then further conflating the issue by treating FICA-financed Entitlements with income-tax-funded discretionary spending including the Military and Homeland security.

    So the Dems and Obama by NOT calling out the Republicans early on – on this hypocrisy and at the same time – pursuing wrong policies for the circumstances – allowed the rabid dogs of Conservatism to get into the compound.

    The Republican party is one gigantic mess.

    Anyone who thinks they have the capacity to make meaningful beneficial changes to this country is smoking illegal things.

    We'll go another 2 years and I predict that there will be no balanced budget proposal coming from them and that their goal will continue to be how to turn this into a one-term Presidency.

  2. James A. Bacon Avatar
    James A. Bacon

    Yup, the GOP victory was a "limited one" indeed — limited to being the biggest gain in House seats since 1946. Heh.

    Peter is right about one thing. The GOP really doesn't have a clue about the magnitude of the challenges the country faces. Hopefully, the Washington Times will publish my post-election analysis; when it does, I will re-post it here and show how GOP promises in the "Pledge to America" would not accomplish anything budget-wise that President Obama hasn't already vowed to do.

    Given the fact that the electorate has no great love for, or trust in, Republicans, the election can only be seen as a massive and stunning repudiation of the Democratic Party agenda of the past two years.

    The Republicans will have two years to get it right. When they fall short, as I expect them to, we'll be looking at a serious third party.

  3. What Jim Bacon says here is …think about it…

    pretty earth-shattering…

    what he is saying is that people were so pissed off by the Dems/Obama performance

    that the Republicans could lie their butts off every which way but Sunday…

    and still get elected….

    that says TONS about the American Electorate.

    and bodes ill for the future of the country.

    What this says is that the same folks who buy gadgets from rip-you-off-with-shipping infomercials ….

    are running American politics.

    GAWD!

    folks.. bend over.. all the way

    and kiss your ___ goodbye.

  4. Andrea Epps Avatar
    Andrea Epps

    The larger issue for me is the fact that this bunch will have control over redistricting. I am going to watch that one very closely.

    I called Cantor's office ( prior to the election on the advise of a friend who happens to be a great lawyer) to ask the for help/ideas for funding to launch my TDR/LDR program.Constituent services, you know? Mr. Lynhart was quite polite and pointed me to the Small Business Administration.
    I'll give them a call and see how helpful they are. Read into this what you will:)

  5. James A. Bacon Avatar
    James A. Bacon

    Larry, I'm not saying that the Republicans "lied" to the public. I just don't think they've thought things through… which isn't a whole lot better.

    Andrea, have you talked to Marc Hirth about your business idea? Do you know Marc Hirth? If I understand correctly, he trades conservation easements and historical tax credits… similar to what you propose to do.

  6. Jim Bacon – "not thought things through"?

    Man that's WORSE.

    That means as a party they are clueless as opposed to actually knowing what is going on and lying their butts off.

    I gave them more credit than you did!

    I certain think Mr. Ryan is not dumb.

  7. Anonymous Avatar

    Virginia's new congressmen and Cantor's ascension do not spell progress, but two more years of stalemate.

    What are you defining as progress? Passing legislation, regardless of what's in it?

    Boucher, a veteran, 14-term congressman from the state's coal country lost because he backed cap and trade legislation to control global warming. Perhaps, but real cap and trade is quite a ways into the future and the boom, if any, in the state's coal industry is from exporting metallurgical coal to Chinese steel mills which would not be affected by any U.S. cap and trade law at all.

    The Obama EPA is preparing to start implementing carbon regulations without a Cap and Trade law. They can do that because of the bizarre Supreme Court decision saying carbon dioxide is a pollutant even though (1) it's not, and (2) Congress has never said so. What are you saying, little or no VA coal is consumed domestically? It's hard to believe there's so little metallurgical coal in China that they have to import it.

    As for creating new jobs, there hasn't been much in the way of ideas on the Cantor front.

    Uh, for the millionth time, conservatives don't believe the government creates jobs. The idea that it does is built into liberal beliefs but is disputed by economic conservatives. Liberals think jobs somehow come from government programs.

    The Obama "stimulus", which has added to the exploding deficit that many economists believe will end badly, is predicated on that notion. Japan over the last 2 decades is a case study in the idea of running huge deficits to create growth but liberals seem not to be able to learn from others' mistakes.

    A good way to jump start job creation would be repealing Obamacare which is causing health care costs to go through the roof for business, the opposite of what Obama and friends dishonestly claimed. It's also adding to the future deficits which are increasingly spooking financial markets.

    Extending the Bush tax cuts would encourage small business to hire again.

    Allow oil drilling permits to again be issued in normal fashion in the Gulf of Mexico. The Obama admin has destroyed thousands of jobs there alone. Stop the issuance of new environmental regulations that are having a chilling effect on various industries, of which the carbon regulations are just one example – the cement industry is another.

    These are among the things that actually get to why the economy is not creating jobs. None of them is a cure all, but the point is they are predicated on a completely different idea of how jobs are created – by business pursuing profit – rather than by ever larger government programs. Therefore one should look at what circumstances business is dealing with and how they make decisions. This kind of thinking is completely absent from how Democrats formulate economic policy, as exemplified by the notion there's no Republican "ideas" to create jobs.

    Of course Republicans will not have the power to do any of the above. So all they can do is block further damage for now, which is a good thing.

  8. Anonymous Avatar

    Virginia's new congressmen and Cantor's ascension do not spell progress, but two more years of stalemate.

    What are you defining as progress? Passing legislation, regardless of what's in it?

    Boucher, a veteran, 14-term congressman from the state's coal country lost because he backed cap and trade legislation to control global warming. Perhaps, but real cap and trade is quite a ways into the future and the boom, if any, in the state's coal industry is from exporting metallurgical coal to Chinese steel mills which would not be affected by any U.S. cap and trade law at all.

    The Obama EPA is preparing to start implementing carbon regulations without a Cap and Trade law. They can do that because of the bizarre Supreme Court decision saying carbon dioxide is a pollutant even (1) it's not, and (2) Congress has never said so. What are you saying, little or no VA coal is consumed domestically? It's hard to believe there's so little metallurgical coal in China that they have to import it.

    As for creating new jobs, there hasn't been much in the way of ideas on the Cantor front.

    Uh, for the millionth time, conservatives don't believe the government creates jobs. The idea that it does is built into liberal beliefs but is disputed by economic conservatives. Liberals think jobs somehow come from government programs.

    The Obama "stimulus", which has added to the exploding deficit that many economists believe will end badly, is predicated on that notion. Japan over the last 2 decades is a case study in the idea of running huge deficits to create growth but liberals seem not to be able to learn from others' mistakes.

    A good way to jump start job creation would be repealing Obamacare which is causing health care costs to go through the roof for business, the opposite of what Obama and friends dishonestly claimed. It's also adding to the future deficits which are increasingly spooking financial markets.

    Extending the Bush tax cuts would encourage small business to hire again.

    Allow oil drilling permits to again be issued in normal fashion in the Gulf of Mexico. The Obama admin has destroyed thousands of jobs there alone. Stop the issuance of new environmental regulations that are having a chilling effect on various industries, of which the carbon regulations are just one example – the cement industry is another.

    These are among the things that actually get to why the economy is not creating jobs. They are predicated on a completely different idea of how jobs are created – by the private sector pursuing capitalism – rather than by ever larger government programs.

  9. Anonymous Avatar

    Virginia's new congressmen and Cantor's ascension do not spell progress, but two more years of stalemate.

    What are you defining as progress? Passing legislation, regardless of what's in it?

    Boucher, a veteran, 14-term congressman from the state's coal country lost because he backed cap and trade legislation to control global warming. Perhaps, but real cap and trade is quite a ways into the future and the boom, if any, in the state's coal industry is from exporting metallurgical coal to Chinese steel mills which would not be affected by any U.S. cap and trade law at all.

    The Obama EPA is preparing to start implementing carbon regulations without a Cap and Trade law. They can do that because of the bizarre Supreme Court decision saying carbon dioxide is a pollutant even (1) it's not, and (2) Congress has never said so. What are you saying, little or no VA coal is consumed domestically? It's hard to believe there's so little metallurgical coal in China that they have to import it.

  10. re:

    " Uh, for the millionth time, conservatives don't believe the government creates jobs.
    .
    .
    Extending the Bush tax cuts would encourage small business to hire again. "

    see what I mean about the Republicans talking out of both sides of their mouth?

    If the Republicans were actually serious about getting the US on the right track – they'd insist on a balanced budget.

    Instead they are a bunch of blather-butts in search of mythical ideologies and the 2nd coming of Ronald Reagan to show them the way.

    so. the Republicans.. they can't propose a way to reduce our trillion dollar deficit?

    The Republicans are FRAUDS!

    I never heard even a WHIMPER from them when Cheney said "Deficits don't matter".

    Not a word from Cantor or Boemher ..zippo….

    There is TWO Principled Republicans in Congress… both named Paul.

    the rest of them and their supporters are FRAUDS that deserve to be deported to 3rd world countries to practice their brand of capitalism.

  11. Joel Klein said it succinctly. We have the best of both worlds: The Republicans don't have the authority to govern and the Democrats don't have the power to govern.

  12. People expected instant gratification out of the Obama administration on the economy and they were upset when they did not get it.

    Why they are so PO'd over health care reform is beyond me. A "Federal Takover" of health care so far means I have the same insurance company and the same doctors.

    Where is the takeover?

    ================================

    It is pretty clear there will be spending cuts. Now comes the fun part: whose spending will get cut?

    =================================

    What is TDR/LDR?
    I had my best luck with the Agriculture Department. If you base in a rurla area they've got tons of money.

  13. Liberals think jobs somehow come from government programs.

    =================================

    How many people work to support NASA programs?

    NASA is not the sort of thng a rugged individual entrepreneur can do.

  14. Obamacare which is causing health care costs to go through the roof for business.

    =================================

    Well yes. Especially those businesses that did not provide any health care.

    The cost is going up because the coverage is going up.

    If you have less than 25 employees you are exempt, if you have less than 50 employees you are exempt or eliglble for tax breaks for providing health insurance.

    It might cost more, but, shoot, anything is more than nothing. Besides, costs were going up ANYWAY. We are not talking about costs going down, but if you look at total costs, includng the value of benefits recieved, the net cost might be lower.

  15. Groveton Avatar

    Dear President Obama:

    Your policies suck.

    Love,

    The American People.

    Hopefully, Obama is reading his mail.

  16. Yes, but HOW they suck is important.

  17. Not a peep out of the Obama_Haters back when we killed the surplus and replaced it with a deficit – to pay for tax cuts.

    Not a whimper.

    Remember?

    Then further tongue-tied hypocrisy when we said we'd go off and fight two wars – and just add them to the deficit.

    Nope. Not a word from the would-be Oboma_haters even when we tried to kill Medicare but saying we'd also give away free over-priced drugs and put that on the Medicare tab.

    The only thing I ever heard was Mr. Cheney saying "deficits do't matter".

    Then the same Republicans who could have done something about the deficit, done something about health care, done something about govt spending get thrown out they complain bitterly about "out of control" govt spending…"crushing debt" on the kids and the heartbreak of psoriasis.

    And here's the part I like best.

    If tax cuts that create deficits do't actually generate increased tax revenues and more jobs – guess what the correct response is?

    That's right – more tax cuts continued permanently.

    Now who in their right mind would believe this?

    more folks than you think…given yesterday.

    I was not surprised to be honest.

    Obama was dealt a stinker of a hand and like any amateur – the man booted the hand with ample help from his "crack" team.

    But Mr. Bacon here and I suspect Mr. Groveton know the truth about the Republicans.

    They are FRAUDS.

    They had 16 years to do "something" about health care, deficits, govt spending and the heartbreak of psoriasis and they did none of the above

    and… if you think one of their first legislative actions in January will be to present a balanced budget, I have a swamp in Spotsylvania to see you.

    Why am I so hard on the Republicans?

    Well.. because it's the truth?

    We know what most of the Dems are. They do believe in taxes and not without some merit because at some point – we'll end up with a deficit that cannot be balanced by cuts alone.

    But I digress.

    We know this about the Dems.

    But the Republicans I reserve special contempt for because they claim to have a better path towards fiscally responsible govt – and they are incompetent at it AND they LIE about it.

    The Dems are support gays and lesbians and their lifestyles.

    The Republicans say that kind of behavior is immoral and against God's rules.

    so what happens?

    you got it… the same Republicans who condemn those lifestyles are .. themselves gays and lesbians – in hiding .. and knowing no limits to their own hypocrisy when speaking out against said "disease".

    At least the Dems are honest about their approach.

    The Republicans are just downright slimy.

    Dear Repubilcans –

    Take your DANG door-to-door vacuum cleaners and put them where the light don't shine.

  18. Gooze Views Avatar
    Gooze Views

    Anonymous,
    It may be hard for you to believe, but metallurgical coal exports to China from the Central Appalachian fields are way up:

    See:

    http://www.commodities-now.com/news/power-and-energy/2943-us-steam-coal-exports-to-support-freight-rates.html

    China does have met coal, but probably the highest quality met coal on earth is in the coalfields of southern West Virginia, southwest Virginia and eastern Kentucky. It is in great demand now.

    Peter Galuszka

  19. Accurate Avatar

    Gridlock – fine by me. We didn't have the choice/chance/option to get rid of Obama so let's just make it hard for him to continue to screw us. Tighten up the purse strings, quit spending money we don't have and let us have our own money cause even though YOU THINK (Mr. Obama) that you know how to spend my money better than me – YOU DON'T.

    I just wish the win had been even MORE. However, it's got Larry properly spun up so it's been a good election. Quit propping up companies that can't stand on their own. Oh, I know, Obama owed the Unions and Wall Street tons of favors for all the money they poured into his campaign but enough already.

    Should be interesting, as of today Obama needs to start campaigning for re-election. Let's see if he can continue to tick off the American public like he already has. In my world is that we're at the bottom of the pit, time to FINALLY start digging our way out of it. As for Obama, take some more vacations and play some more golf – quit screwing up MY country!!!

    As we say in Texas –
    "How do you like them apples, boy?"
    (and no, it's not racist, we say to whites, blacks, asians, basically anyone who just got a wake up call/surprise).

  20. I think one of the things we learned here is if you let the right wing media "define" you – they will.

    For instance Accurate talks about bailing out companies.

    Never let a fact get in the way of the right wing narrative.

    The TARP was Mr. Bush's idea and a whole ton of Republicans voted for it including Mr. Cantor.

    But even before the TARP, the Republicans had killed PAYGO then passed tax cuts that destroyed the surplus and took us into deficits – on the supply-side "theory" that tax cuts will return even more tax revenue. Did not happen. Did not create new jobs.

    We lost jobs.

    Two wars on credit card – adding to the deficit..you know …the one the right-winger blather on about needing to fix.

    So.. now the game plan is to freeze govt for two years.

    and these are the guy that will do right by the country?

    ha ha ha…

    yes sir.

    these guys are ZEROS.

    these guys are just fine with deficits that THEY created for stuff they think is worth it – you know like bogus tax cuts and NeoCon war mongering.

    I'm not be so smug if I were Accurate.

    About half the people are okay with ObamaCare and the Republicans have already made themselves enemies of Hispanics, Muslims, Teachers, Scientists, gays/lesbians, and now those folks the Republicans would take health care away from.

    I'm not unhappy.

    I just think the current crop of Republicans are shysters and frauds who in no way, shape or form are capable of governing.

    They proved it under Bush and I see only the 2 Pauls honest enough to tell the American People what we're are going to need to do – to balance the budget.

    This crop of Republicans gives Fiscal Conservatism a bad name.

  21. What I hear is a lot of "what the people really want" talk and "mandate". While one repubican said they didn't get a mandate, what they got was a second chance.

    He is probably right. If the elctorate doesn't get instant gratification from the new crowd, there will be another round of throw the bums out. Fortunatey for the Repubiclans, many economic indicators are and have been on the rebound, though they would not admit it until now.

    In a few weeks or months, they will start taking credit for what is already happening.

    As for "what the people want" I don't think we really know. The elections are too dissociated to transfer much discrete information, and the private polls are well coooked.

    There is going to be a huge bttle over whose money gets cut (probably no one's, in the end) and very little direct input from the people, as to what the priorities should be.

    Now is the time to put that budget form on the back of the tax form, so we can find out what the people want and get the politicians to shut up and go to work.

  22. Uh, for the millionth time, conservatives don't believe the government creates jobs.

    ===================================

    But everyone pretty much conceds the DC are has a recession proof economy – because of the effect of government.

    Nice thing about conservatives is that they don't let facts get in the way of their beliefs.

  23. If Conservatives don't believe the govt can create jobs why do they make that claim for tax cuts and why do they blame the govt or the unemployment rate?

    Have you noticed also that stimulus, especially stimulus in the form of tax cuts – to the Republicans is not the same as the Bush Tax cuts in terms of benefits?

    My perception of the Republicans is that they are a bunch of frauds and hypocrites who basically want to rule – to put in place – their principals rather than govern.

    This is why they argue the deficit is killing us – but not a one of them will say what they will cut.

    They won't do that until they have total control and can render their version of "tough love".

    That's not governing..

    But that's what they want.

    Further proof is their attitude towards freezing government until they can get total control..

    In the interim until they get total control – they are just fine with not doing anything and stopping anything else that the opposition would propose – even to arrive at compromises.

    Why a majority of independents in this country are willing to take this deal is beyond me but they are – at least right now.

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