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James Shott / Nov. 11, 2014

The Election of 2014 Is Over. What Did We Learn? Where Do We Go?

Last week’s mid-term election results surprised almost everyone in some way. Republicans won control of the US Senate, increased their majority in the House of Representatives by 13 seats, and won a number of other victories, as summarized here by The Washington Post:

  • Net gain of 8 legislative chambers, increasing from 59 to 67 out of a total of 98 (Nebraska is technically unicameral, but it is dominated by Republicans as well).

  • This sets a record for the modern era, breaking the one in 2012.

  • Republicans now have total control of 24 states, controlling legislative chambers as well as the governor’s office.

  • Republicans have supermajority status in 8 states.

  • Control is split in 17 states (3 of whose governors flipped from Democrat to Republican).

  • Republicans now have four lieutenant governorships due to defeating Democrat incumbents.

  • Democrats have total control in 6 states.

Given the broad and deep defeat of Democrats across the nation it is apparent that the country disapproves of what liberal Democrats have been doing. Those who voted elected Republicans in big numbers, and those that didn’t vote made a strong statement of non-support for the radical policies of liberal Democrats.

A day after the election, President Barack Obama was defiant, showing no inkling that he understood that his policies and the direction he and his fellow liberals had set were to blame for what happened the previous day.

“What we’ve seen now for a number of cycles is that the American people just want to see work done here in Washington,” he said. “They’re frustrated by the gridlock. They’d like to see more cooperation, and I think all of us have a responsibility, me in particular, to try to make that happen.”

That sounds promising, but no more had he sounded the trumpet of cooperation than he committed to going around Congress with a plan to stop deportations and allow as many as 5 million illegal aliens to stay in the United States, at least temporarily. Given that he did nothing on immigration for the first six years of his tenure, except weaken border security, why is this so important now?

His position not only is a slap in the face of Congressional leaders, but also of the American people. Seventy-four percent of voters said in an exit poll by The Polling Company that President Obama should work with Congress rather than go around Congress on immigration.

The Polling Company results showed that “majorities of men (75 percent), women (74 percent), whites (79 percent), blacks (59 percent), and Hispanics (54 percent),” oppose an executive amnesty, and that opinion was shared by Republicans (92 percent) and Independents (80 percent), and even by a majority of Democrats (51 percent).

He is also on the wrong side of the Obamacare issue. The Real Clear Politics Average of polls conducted in October shows that nearly 52 percent of those polled are opposed to Obamacare, while only 38 percent favor it.

Nevertheless, “On healthcare, there are certainly some lines I’m going to draw,” Mr. Obama said on Wednesday. “Repeal of the law I won’t sign," and he will resist efforts to improve the bill, such as by getting rid of the individual mandate.

This election was certainly not a mandate for Congress and the president to work together to pass the same kinds of legislation that liberal Democrats favored before the election. The people want change.

The mission statement for the new Republican majority should be "First, do no harm.” That means no amnesty, and fix or repeal Obamacare, among other things.

The federal government is too big, too expensive, too intrusive; it is out of control and a danger to the freedom of the American people: Government must be reigned in. That is what the election meant.

Participants in a nationwide CBS News poll in late October were asked what was the most important issue that would affect their vote in the upcoming election. The stagnant economy topped the list at 38 percent.

To get the economy moving we have to cut tax rates across the board, both corporate and personal, which will put millions of dollars in the hands of people and businesses to spend as they see fit.

And then:

  • Cut government spending. There’s more than enough waste in administrative agencies to “pay for” tax cuts.

  • Repeal the tax on medical devices imposed by the Affordable Care Act that punishes companies developing needed technology.

  • Approve the XL Pipeline, and both create jobs and help end dependence on foreign oil.

  • Reign in the EPA, remove the shackles on domestic energy production. Defund it, if necessary.

  • Secure the borders and stop the influx of illegals, drug cartels and other criminals from Mexico, and potential terrorists. Deport or jail the criminals among the illegals.

  • Start restoring our military to its former strength, and try to reacquire those seasoned officers driven to retirement by the Obama administration.

  • Restore selection of US Senators to state legislatures, as it was originally designed.


James Shott is a columnist for the Bluefield Daily Telegraph, and publishes his columns on several Websites, including his own, Observations.

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