by Sen. Doug Whitsett
Tuesday evening’s elections were the most exciting since Ronald Reagan swept 49 of 50 states in 1984. Gail and I watched in awe, as a “constitutional conservative” Republican surge flowed across the nation.
We have too often been derided by both Democrats and “moderate” Republicans for being too zealous in our unbending support for constitutional conservative principles. Oregon Republicans are often advised they must compromise those core principles if they have any hope of political control.
Tuesday’s election belies that “advice.” It clearly demonstrated how voters in most of Oregon share those conservative principles. Donald Trump, our constitutionally conservative President-elect, carried 28 of 36 Oregon counties.
Congratulations to Secretary of State-elect Dennis Richardson, Senators-elect Dennis Linthicum and Alan DeBoer and Representative–elect Werner Reschke. These constitutionally conservative candidates were shining stars in an otherwise dismal election for Oregon Republicans.
Unfortunately, the remainder of Oregon did not participate in the Republican takeover that swept the nation. Democrats retained the offices of the Governor, State Treasurer, Attorney General and significant majorities in both legislative chambers.
Republicans were able to avoid super-minorities in both chambers. This will at least prohibit Oregon Democrats from raising or levying new taxes on party-line votes. To levy new taxes, they must either secure at least one Republican vote in each chamber or refer the new tax issue to the people to decide.
The national Republican surge certainly represents a massive denunciation of the past eight years of the Obama-led Democrat party. The reasons for that repudiation are more than adequate.
Obama forced widely unpopular legislation through Congress on party-line votes.
His Affordable Care Act is a classic example of his majority party arrogance. It has turned out to be just as unaffordable and ineffective as Republican opponents believed it would be.
It has resulted in both exorbitant insurance premiums and a sharp reduction in access to private health care. Its Medicaid component is rapidly becoming too expensive for state governments to sustain or endure. Obamacare is the Albatross that will deservedly serve as Obama’s legacy.
The ill-conceived Dodd-Frank banking law was also forced through Congress, on largely a Democrat party-line vote. That law has done little for banking security. It primarily serves the will, and the bottom line, of Wall Street investors and international banking conglomerates. The law is well on its way to destroying our centuries-old national system of locally owned community banks.
In subsequent elections, voters deprived Obama of his Democrat congressional majorities. He responded to that voter rebuke by reverting to ruling by administrative fiat.
He condescendingly circumvented Congress with executive orders and extra-legal regulations.
The courts have found a number of his more arrogant actions unconstitutional.
The election results across the nation speak to the measure of the peoples’ rejection, of Obama’s above the law policies.
When first elected, Obama enjoyed a filibuster-proof Democrat majority in the Senate and an untouchable 257 seat majority in the House of Representatives. As of Tuesday, Republicans held their largest majority in the House of Representatives since 1928. And against strong odds, Republicans maintained control of the US Senate, winning virtually every closely contested race.
Of the remaining 193 seats held by Democrats, fully one-third are located in California, New York and Massachusetts. Ten more are found in Oregon and Washington.
On the local level, Donald Trump won 194 of the 207 “swing counties” across the nation. He was virtually elected by that 94 percent change in voter approval among those who had previously voted for Obama.
Twenty-nine states had Democrat governors in 2009, and the Democrat party controlled 60 of 99 state legislative chambers. Today, Republicans hold 33 governorships and control 69 of the 99 legislative chambers.
Republicans now control the governorship, and both legislative chambers, in 25 states. They also elected 31 lieutenant governors, 31 Secretary of States and 29 state Attorneys General.
In fact, only four states remain that have both Democrat Governors, and Democrat control, of both legislative chambers. Those states are Oregon, California Washington and Nevada!
Sadly, our left coast remains “out of touch” with the American mainstream. Our governors, and the mayors of major cities, appear to approve, and even encourage, anti-Republican rioting in their major West Coast cities.
It is now obvious that voters across the continent were deeply concerned with the political course of our nation. On Tuesday, productive working-class Americans rose up in mass to correct that course.
Hopefully, west coast voters may soon join that American “constitutional conservative” mainstream.
Senator Doug Whitsett is the Republican state senator representing Senate District 28 – Klamath Falls