Republicans won an historic wave victory on Tuesday of amazing proportions. They will probably end up with 54 Senate seats (after Mary Landrieu takes an almost inevitable swan dive in a December run-off) and came within a whisker of ending up with an astounding 56. No one that I know of was predicting that — not even Sean Hannity on a fifth martini. And then there were the gubernatorial races. Massachusetts, Maryland and Illinois? Are there any blue states left? Obama destroyed them all. (Well, there’s still California — but we’re working on it.)
Too bad there’s no time to celebrate. We almost lost our country. There’s no time to lose getting it back.
Depending on whether Barack Obama decides to behave like an adult or not in the face of massive defeat, all Hell can break loose in the next few months. He can subvert Congress and initiate an absurd amnesty program that nobody wants except for perhaps some random aging members of La Raza. Just as bad, or maybe worse — it involves weapons of mass destruction — he can subvert Congress again and sign a deal with the Iranian mullahs that, on latest reports, relies on our good friends the Russians to police the Iranian nuclear program. How insane is that? Ask any Ukrainian.
And that’s only getting started. The litany of possible mischief small and large is endless from Obamacare to accusations of racism (how else could Obama lose?) to that monumental absurdity the “War on Women.” (That one doesn’t seem to be working out too well lately with the Senate filling up with Republican women.)
And then there are the Clintons who have been in their Westchester bunker all night long working the phones while staring at walls of televisions and plotting their way back, speaking of the “War on Women.” There must be another way. It doesn’t matter what to them. Power is all.
So what should Republicans do? Stand up and lead, obviously. Come up with programs and put them through the House and Senate. Do away with Obamacare, either in one gulp or, if that’s not possible, piecemeal.
But they all should make a monumental and immediate outreach to African Americans. No group has been so brutally screwed over by the Democratic Party — and I suspect more than a few of them are beginning to realize it. Republicans should take this opportunity to come up with some fresh ideas and communicate with them, and with Latinos, and Asians, and with women, and break the back of our identity politics that is so reactionary and divisive, so hurtful to the very people it pretends to help.
This victory creates the beginning of an opportunity to end it. It won’t be easy. Identity politics is so deeply entrenched in our culture sometimes I think we’re a bunch of Shiite tribesman building IEDs south of Fallujah. But think of this — even a thirty percent inroad by Republicans into the black vote would change the political landscape of our country beyond recognition. And it would do so much for all those minority groups into the bargain.
Okay, now I’m going to celebrate. But just for a few hours. In the end, it’s just like tennis. The minute you think you’re ahead, you start to lose. Stay hungry.