Saturday, November 22, 2014

GOP didn't 'win the midtems'; Democrats lost them

The Midterms’ Real Winner? Independents and Fiscal Sanity (Maybe) | TIME - Nick Gillespie:

November 6, 2014 - "Republicans mistake the meaning of the midterms at their own peril. These elections were a particularly frank repudiation of Barack Obama and the past six years of failed stimulus, disastrous foreign policy, and rotten economic news. Even the President’s historic health-care reform remains a negative with voters. But if the GOP thinks it has a mandate to return to the equally unpopular bailout economics and social conservatism of the George W. Bush years, it too will be sent packing as early as the next election....

"As can be gleaned from some of the midterms’ other results, voters want a government that keeps its nose out of our private lives and morality. Alaska, Oregon, and Washington, D.C. all legalized recreational pot and staunchly anti-abortion 'fetal personhood' initiatives were voted down in the two states that put the matter before voters (support for Roe v. Wade, the 1973 Supreme Court decision that guarantees a woman’s right to a first-trimester abortion, has remained above 50% for decades). Gallup finds fewer and fewer Americans think the state should 'promote traditional values.' Currently, 48% agree with that notion, while an equal number says 'the government should not favor any particular set of values.'

"At the same time, twice as many Americans think there’s too much regulation of business and the economy as believe there’s too little and 59% think the government has 'too much power.' That’s up 17 percentage points from a decade ago.

"If the Republicans are actually listening to the voters, they would do well to drop the social issues that they have harped on in the past and focus instead on reducing the size, scope and spending of government. Unfortunately, there’s every reason to believe that the new GOP Congress will be ready to increase spending on the military and old-age entitlements such as Social Security and Medicare. Headlines like 'Election Outcome Is Good News for Defense Industry' pretty much tell you all you need to know about Republican attitudes toward the former."

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