The Morning After

As I write this, it's 1:35 am in Solomons, Maryland. It's a bittersweet time for me because some of the races in which I was personally invested didn't turn out as I'd hoped, but the overall outcome was historic, and a repudiation of the radical direction in which President Obama has taken this nation the past two years. It remains to be seen if he has the humility of a true public servant and accepts the verdict of the people as a directive to change his current course.

Frankly, I'm not hopeful. He has already indicated he thinks we are bitter, misinformed, angry and therefore not thinking clearly, incapable of grasping the complexity or appreciating the goodness of his agenda – he’s stopped just short of calling us ignorant, uneducated hillbillies. If he attempted to process the fact that Americans do indeed understand his policies and reject them, I believe his brain would short-circuit.

Perhaps the most painful loss for me personally was that of Charles Lollar, who fought a hard yet uphill battle against 29-year incumbent and House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer.

Charles is a man of great personal integrity and impeccable qualifications to be a citizen legislator - Marine combat veteran, successful businessman, devoted husband and father of four girls, and a man of unshakeable optimism and faith. His charisma, magnetic personality and powerful presence on the stump made him an irresistible candidate. The Republicans haven’t fielded a candidate of his caliber in Maryland for many years, and this was our best shot to take down a man who has come to personify the arrogant career politician who elevates himself above the people.

Charles made Steny Hoyer work harder than he has in over a decade, and the passion of Charles’ supporters was genuine and unmatched. He didn’t win, however, even though he improved on the party’s 2008 results by 10% and won three of the five counties in the district. I was pleased to hear Charles suggest that this was just the beginning, and he strongly implied that he would challenge Hoyer again in 2012. We have much work to do to overcome the advantages incumbency brings to Hoyer, mostly his ability to buy votes with taxpayer dollars.

Our tendency to vote for whoever is more generous with other people’s money has to change. We are out of money, so all the pork sent our way is deficit spending, not actual dollars, and with the national debt at more than $13 trillion and rising, our nation is paying dearly for our collective greed. Our piles of pork will be meaningless if our country becomes a debtor nation.

As of right now, the Republicans look like they’re going to pick up 65 seats in the U.S. House of Representatives, an historic number. By way of comparison, the 1994 takeover of Congress by the Republicans during President Clinton’s first term, the standard by which historic shifts in power are measured, saw a gain of 54 seats by the GOP. The 2010 results represent the largest swing by either party since 1948, when the Democrats won 75 seats, and the largest in a mid-term election since 1938, when the Democrats lost 72 seats to the GOP because the voters had lost confidence in President Roosevelt’s New Deal, a radical leftist agenda not unlike Obama’s.

The Republicans also are expected to pick up six to eight U.S. Senate seats, short of a majority but a significant pickup that could moderate the votes of senators seeking reelection in 2012. The Republicans won a majority of the governorships, a critical outcome with redistricting on the horizon, and governors exert a lot of pull in presidential election years. As of now, at least 16 state legislatures flipped from Democrat to Republican.

Thumbs up to Rand Paul, Ron Johnson, Pat Toomey and Marco Rubio, all of whom will bring the fervor and agenda of the Tea Party movement to the U.S. Senate chamber.

A hearty salute goes out to Daniel Webster, who decisively defeated one of the most demagogic and mean-spirited men in American politics, freshman Democratic congressman Alan Grayson.

The 112th United States Congress will have not one, but two black conservative Republicans, Tim Scott from South Carolina and Allen West from Florida. This will be the first time two black GOP congressmen have served together since 1996, and the first time any black Republican has served in Congress since 2003. My hope is that these two men will reveal to the nation that black people think for themselves and don’t follow the herd, and will give black conservatives, of which there are millions, the courage to come out and make their voices heard in the public square.

I was disappointed to see Harry Reid escape the wrath of the voters in Nevada. Not only has he sold out the people of his state and the nation to be President Obama’s willing lackey, his dependence on the SEIU and other unions is unseemly. The fact the people who maintained the electronic voting machines were SEIU members, and that Harrah’s, the Las Vegas hotel and casino chain, supposedly strong-armed employees into supporting Reid, just makes me want to wash my hands repeatedly.

Nevada leads the nation in unemployment and mortgage foreclosures, and the voters’ inability to make the connection between failed national policies promoted by Reid and their own circumstances boggles my mind. I blame union leadership, who are among the most selfish people in America. They are obsessed only with their own agenda, the nation’s well-being be damned, and they will do anything to advance it.

Besides the fact I wanted to see him punished for running the country and his state into the ground, I didn’t want to endure another year of Reid mangling the English language, saying the wrong thing at the wrong time, or making some racially insensitive or sexist comment. The former boxer who loves to use boxing metaphors to describe his political career clearly took too many blows to the head.

In the category of “you get what you vote for”, California and my home state of Maryland, one insolvent and the other going down the same path, elected tax-hungry and spendthrift Democrats to the governorships of their respective states. Only California could reelect a former governor from more than three decades ago who was then known as “Governor Moonbeam”.

In addition, California reelected a long-time U.S. Senator who even the San Francisco Chronicle couldn’t endorse, proclaiming she “failed to distinguish herself during her 18 years in office” and would bring nothing but “more of the same uninspired representation.” That’s not even damning with faint praise, and Californians elected her anyway. A state that is literally broke has a bleak future ahead of it.

I love where I live. Calvert County, Maryland is a beautiful rural county with great people and a high quality of life. We love the schools and we love our church, and we live in a beautiful home in a safe neighborhood.

Despite a roughly 50/50 split between Republicans and Democrats, the voters gave Republicans the keys, with a first-time GOP candidate, Mark Fisher, unseating an earnest and likeable Democrat who still couldn’t restrain her impulse that government is good and holds all the answers. A county commission with a 3/2 Republican/Democrat split is now all GOP for the first time in its history, should the current order hold after absentee ballots are counted. Our Republican sheriff won reelection to a third four-year term, and House of Delegates minority leader Tony O’Donnell was reelected as well.

What is frustrating, however, is that our oasis of red is surrounded by a sea of blue, which means we will continue to fight fairy tale policies that defy reality and common sense. The governor and the 150-year plus one party monopoly in Annapolis will continue to yoke our county to other counties whose priorities differ from our own, leaving us underrepresented in the General Assembly.

We will continue to struggle under nonsensical leadership that claims to want jobs but does everything legislatively possible to drive job creators and wealth builders out of the state, that decries high teenage unemployment but creates a sanctuary state for illegal aliens who steal low-wage jobs from Maryland teens, and that wonders why the state’s economy struggles despite our proximity to the federal government when billions of dollars are transferred from the private sector, which creates wealth, to the public sector, which drains it.

We are overtaxed and overregulated, and despite the fact that higher taxes, among the highest in the nation, have actually resulted in less revenue, they will continue to try to tax and spend their way out of billion dollar annual deficits, and beg the federal government for more money which it doesn’t have. They’ve already telegraphed that gasoline and alcohol taxes are going to go up, among others, so even if we can’t drive anywhere, we can’t afford to drown our sorrows in adult beverages. I’m glad I rarely drink!

I don’t intend to take government’s presumption of ownership of the people’s money lying down. I want to continue living here, and I will be a pain in the backside of every elected official who presumes they know better than the people how to conduct their business and spend their money.

It’s now 8:19 am. I’m going to take some time to rest, but not a lot. I have two years ahead of me to annoy tax-and-spend liberals and embolden conservatives who have been given a new lease on life.