November 4 was a good day for conservatives and Republicans everywhere – except, of course, Oregon. The election was a complete and indisputable repudiation of President Barack Obama and his policies. You can try to spin it anyway you want but the scoreboard comes up LOSER with a picture of Mr. Obama prominently displayed.
The only thing surprising about the election is how poorly the pollsters and pundits performed in predicting the closeness of races that turned out to be cakewalks for the Republican victors. Some may suggest that the pollsters simply reflect the bias of their principle customers – the mainstream media – but the pollsters might be better served understanding that the populace is so disgusted by the intrusion of “all politics, all the time” that they simply lie to the pollsters – I do.
But there are other things to be garnered from this election. First, there appears to be a wave of repudiation of “political dynasties.” Jack Carter, grandson of former President Jimmy Carter, running for governor in Georgia – LOSER. Michelle Nunn, daughter of former Senator Sam Nunn – LOSER. Senator Mark Pryor, son of former Senator David Pryor, running for re-election – LOSER. Senator Mark Udall, son of former Rep. Mo Udall, running for re-election – LOSER. And likely to join the list is Senator Mary Landrieu, daughter of former New Orleans mayor, Moon Landrieu, and sister of current New Orleans mayor, Mitch Landrieu – likely LOSER. Members of the Kennedy and Bush “dynasties” fared better but the message from 2014 might give pause to the potential candidacies of Hillary Clinton and Jeb Bush.
Second, overwhelming corruption and incompetence can result in the ouster of incumbents even in the deepest of blue states like Illinois – unfortunately the same standard was not applied in Oregon where the corruption was milder but the incompetence was at least as great. The voter reaction to the corruption and incompetence of Illinois governor Pat Quinn (D) might signal that Mr. Obama would have difficulty carrying his own home state if the election were held today.
Third, the “war on women” was as transparently phony as the Democrats who espoused it. The primary example is in Colorado where Senator Mark Udall (D) turned virtually every question into another lecture on the “war on women” which he equated to taxpayer funded unrestricted abortions for all women. In doing so, liberals stereotyped women as having a singular focus and failed to recognize that their concerns are as complex and varied as men. Women are just as concerned about jobs, the economy and national security as men and yet liberals failed to address them with any realistic solutions.
And fourth, a new dialog regarding race and the Democrat party appears to be emerging. Sen. Tim Scott (R) was returned to the United States Senate from South Carolina marking the first time that an African-American has been elected to the Senate from a former Confederate state. Mia Love (R) became the first woman elected to Congress from Utah and the first Republican woman elected to Congress nationally. They join a growing list of prominent Republican politicians who also happen to be Black. But more importantly there is a growing anger amongst blacks that, despite their unflagging support of Democrats, their station in life continues to deteriorate. They are dismayed that the Democrats focus their attention on the race hustlers like Rev. Jesse Jackson, and Rev. Al Sharpton who grow increasingly more wealthy while they are mired in poverty and a welfare state that has confined them, like the Native Americans before them, to a ghetto/reservation with little hope for a chance at success. A small, but growing, number of African American leaders are beginning to embrace the prospect of a “hand up, rather than a handout.” And the white, liberal leadership of the Democrat party is worried. Without the overwhelming Black vote, the coalition of big government special interests will collapse. But as long as Democrats (unfortunately with the tacit approval of some Republicans) keep Blacks uneducated and impoverished they will continue to support the Democrats who promise even more welfare access.
Which brings us back to Oregon. Oregon continued its three decade old slide toward a universal welfare state. In returning John Kitzhaber as governor, they have indicated that twelve years without progress or accomplishment are just fine so long as welfare rolls grow and the public employee unions prosper. The Democrats doubled down on that theme by increasing their numbers in both the state House and Senate with each nearing the “super majority” status necessary to enact another massive tax increase. Never mind the incompetence demonstrated in the CoverOregon fiasco. Never mind the ethical quagmire created by Mr. Kitzhaber’s live-in First Lady and her varied consulting contracts. And never mind that the current track in job creation envisioned by Mr. Kitzhaber guarantees that Oregon will never reach the job penetration level experienced immediately preceding the Bush/Obama recession and the tepid Obama recovery.
The Bob Packwood/Gordon Smith liberal wing of the Republican party were successful in nominating a bright and accomplished physician who was an absolute neophyte at politics and who accepted their strategy that acting like a Democrat can get a Republican elected in Oregon. She lost by a wider margin that the bright, accomplished and political savvy lawyer who remained true to his lifetime of fiscal conservatism in the race for governor. Neither Dr. Monica Wheby nor Rep. Dennis Richardson ever had a chance. This is Oregon and its center right populace continues to be overwhelmed by uber liberal Portland.