By Jeff Kazmierski – Copy Editor
Another election has come and gone. Once again, in our biannual celebration of democracy and
freedom, the American people have gone to the polls and exercised their rights to choose their
representatives, mayors, governors and senators. Across the nation, millions of people went to
their respective voting booths and voted to either throw the bums out or let them stay.
It’s hard to say for the moment whether this election was a win for the Republicans,
Democrats or the upstart Tea Party. It may be that all three can claim some element of victory last
To be sure, the Republicans did score some big wins. They reclaimed the House of
Representatives, and now we can look forward to adjusting the color balance on our televisions
every time Speaker Boehner makes an appearance. However, they failed to gain a majority in the
Senate, which will to some degree limit their ability to push their agenda.
The Democrats had some big losses in the House, but holding on to the Senate means they’ll
be able to keep the more radical elements of the opposition parties in check. They’ll have to work
very hard not only to push their agenda but also to get their message out before the 2012 races.
The Tea Party scored major wins, more than any other third-party movement in recent history.
But it shouldn’t get too cocky – the people it puts into power are now officially “Washington
Insiders,” and that means they’re vulnerable to the “throw the bums out” attitude that drove the
revolution in the first place. They have a few seats, but not a mandate. They’ve been armchair
quarterbacks until now. I think they’ll find there’s a vast difference between complaining about
how the other guy did the job and actually having to do it yourself.
So in the end, we have a divided government. Republicans control the House, Democrats
control the presidency, and the Senate, despite having a majority of Democrats and
Independents, is largely up for grabs.
This is good. This is how mid-term elections typically turn out, as the fickle American
electorate votes for change yet again. In the end, mid-term elections aren’t so much a referendum
against one party or the other; they’re more a reflection of Americans’ pathological desire for
instant gratification. We want change and we want it now, and if we don’t get it right away,
we’ll put someone else in charge. We expect government to be nimble and responsive like a finely
tuned racecar. Unfortunately, it’s more like an aircraft carrier, and that doesn’t fit with our ideas.
This result is good all around – it means no party will be able to advance its agenda without
active participation by the others.
It means the Republicans will have to actually work with Democrats to push their corporate-
sponsored agenda and further deregulate Wall Street, enable more outsourcing of American jobs
and giving tax breaks to people who don’t need them.
It means the Democrats will have to find Republican support to advance their socialist cause and
fix the broken health care bill, bring the banks and investment firms under government control
and turn us all into serfs.
It means if the Tea Party expects to restore America’s greatness by declaring every law
passed after 1812 unconstitutional, they will have to find willing accomplices on the right and
left. They might even have to talk to actual reporters instead of just the talking heads on Fox
It means they’ll all have to work together toward a common goal to make this country great
Of course, I could be wrong. It could just mean two more years of whining, bickering gridlock. I
hope, for the good of the country, that the various parties choose the higher ground. Frankly,
we’ve had enough vitriol already.