I am surprised… not dismayed, but surprised. I never expected that the results of today’s election would leave us with essentially the same political problem we’ve had for the past two years (and really four years, if you include the ineffective Democratically controlled Congress of 2009-2010). But with a 6% approval rating, it just didn’t occur to me that the people’s decision would be to say “try again” to the team they so harshly disapprove of.
As of 11:00 PM Central Time, President Obama has been declared the winner of the election by every major news organization (although Governor Romney had not yet conceded the race). In my home state of Iowa, we lost 1 of our 5 seats in the House in redistricting, and of the 2 Republicans and 3 Democrats currently representing Iowa in the US House, 1 of the Democrats lost and left us with 2 Republicans and 2 Democrats, all incumbents. No meaningful change in our Congressional representation. Our state Senate will likely be seeing a shift from Democrat control to Republican control, and our Republican controlled House will apparently remain that way, but we’re still waiting for poll results to confirm this.
Shortly before midnight, Romney gave his concession speech, and 45 minutes later the President gave his victory speech. Both speeches were the best of any I’ve heard from either man, and expressed a desire for bipartisanship that will be absolutely required to get through the next two years. The President will not succeed unless he and Congress reach across and work out their differences in a way that keeps us from financial ruin.
Although we’ll have a lot more to talk about in coming days and weeks about where this takes us, it is important to recognize immediately that the results of this election are not likely to lead us to economic success in the near term. State Governments, businesses and individuals are facing impending mandats of the Affordable Care Act, and the costs will either be passed to consumers or result in slower business starts. Expect the stock market to take a hit over the next few days (I nor TCR are providing investment advice, and are not licensed to give investment advice).
But expect a lot of emotion on the part of both sides… happiness amongst Democrats, sadness (or very likely anger) amongst Republicans. Those who know Christ as Savior should be happy to know that God is still on His Throne and that this is all part of His plan (so figure out how to deal with it in Faith, okay?).
After the emotion, let’s look at what we have to work with, focus on our priorities, and plan for the future. Taking back the US Senate in 2014 (and keeping hold of the US House) is our next big election priority.
However (and I would say this regardless of Tuesday’s results), we have representatives to hold accountable. We sit back and allow Congress to screw up without pressing them to do the right thing. And Tuesday we rewarded them for their failures. This can’t be allowed to go on, and it can’t wait 2 years. Watching what Congress does, what they fail to do, and calling them on the carpet is critical. And should start next week (yes, let them rest for a few days). Fixing the debt situation has to happen now, and without any more games. Demand this of your representatives.
Take a few days to relax.
Then get ready to fight even harder. Do not back off. Do not give up, ever.