Roger’s Rules

Reverse peristalsis: What it means

It will be a few days at least before the final numbers are in. Colorado, I suspect, we will know about later today, ditto Washington, but who knows when they’ll sort through the 160 Mr & Ms Write Ins in Alaska.

This much clear clear now, however:  the American voters have indulged in a violent but purgative episode of reverse peristalsis with respect to the Obama-Reid-Pelosi stew of statist, high-tax, politically correct European-style government bureaucracy.

Yes, Harry Reid and Barbara “call me Senator” Boxer are still stuck there in the public craw. Who knows where Barney Frank is lodged. I, too, regret it. But it is seldom that any one bout of regurgitation is 100 percent effective. Let us draw a veil over this unpleasant spectacle and concentrate instead on the deeper meaning of last night’s activity.

If you look at the headlines, you’ll see lots variations on this AP banner: “Republicans ride voter unrest to control of House.”

But it wasn’t “unrest” that was on view last night. It was disgust tinctured with condign anger, fear, and contempt. And it was only incidentally the Republican party that rode this wave of nausea. Republicans were, en masse, merely the vehicle. The cause  was the rumbling, grumbling, visceral feeling of being betrayed by an arrogant and overweening government. Perhaps somewhere along the corridors of power, someone is reciting Kipling to the President, the former speaker of the House, or the Senate Smaller-Majority leader:

“The Saxon is not like us Normans, his manners are not so polite
But he never means anything serious till he talks about justice and right
When he stands like an ox in the furrow with his sullen set eyes on your own
And grumbles ‘This isn’t fair dealing,’ my son leave the Saxon alone.”

The point is that most of the headlines, like most of the stories,  from the Legacy Media, miss the point. The election was only incidentally about Republican gains in the House and the Senate.  More basically, it was, as Charles Krauthammer put it, a resounding, a definitive expectoration of the Obama agenda. The real story goes far beyond the  huge gains in the House, Senate, and Governors’ Mansions. As Erick Erickson at observes, yesterday’s election was a veritable tsunami whose significance will be measured as much in changes in state legislatures across the country as in Washington. It’s not just that Republicans picked up some 65 seats in the House  — more  than at any time since 1948; it’s not just that Republicans — with 47, 48, or possibly even 49  Senate seats and joined by a passel of Democratic Senators who, up for reelection in two years and cognizant of the scalps of their colleagues who supported Obama’s statist agenda — will have tremendous influence in that chamber. It’s also the extensive tributaries etched out by this tsunami.  Some observations from Erickson:

  • The North Carolina Legislature is Republican for the first time since 1870.
  • The Alabama Legislature is Republican for the first time since 1876.
  • The entire Wisconsin and New Hampshire legislatures have flipped to the GOP by wide margins.
  • The State Houses in Indiana, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Ohio, Iowa, Montana, and Colorado flipped to the GOP.
  • The Maine and Minnesota Senates flipped to the GOP.
  • The Texas and Tennessee Houses went from virtually tied to massive Republican gains.

And so on.

This was a tide, as Erickson notes, that reaches right down to the municipal level. In 1994, the Republicans made massive gains in Washington. In 2010, the American people made massive gains in rejecting statism and returning America to a more  traditional political posture. It’s not, as Winston Churchill said of an earlier struggle, the end.  It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning. Care for a cup of tea?

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