By William Saracino
Webster’s defines schadenfreude as “pleasure derived from the misfortune of others”, and boy do they have my mood pegged.
The American people delivered an historic smackdown to the Democrats on election day, so as they say in New Orleans - Laissez les bons temps rouler – let the good times roll !
There are no bills to report on, and minor GOP gains in the California legislature give some hope that when the time comes again to do so next spring, the roll call will not be quite as desolate and bleak as before. So for this edition, sit back, relax, you might even consider having your favorite cocktail in hand, and revel in the extent of the destruction rained down upon the Democrats by an energized citizenry. Consider:
• When Obama took office in 2009 the Democrats had 60 Senators to the GOP’s 40 and 270 members of the House of Representatives to 165 Republicans. Assuming wins for the Republican leading in Alaska and the GOP candidate against Senator Mary Landrieu in the Louisiana run-off in early December (both of which are considered close to slam dunks), the new Senate will be 54 R – 46 D, while the House will be 248 R – 187 D. The magic that is Barry Obama has cost his party 14 Senate seats and 83 House seats – a near record in American politics.
• If the GOP does in fact end up with 248 House members, it will be more than they’ve had since 1920. If they can squeeze out two more wins and hit the 250 mark, it will be more House members since Teddy Roosevelt’s 1904 re-election brought in 261 Republicans to the House.
• When Obama took office in 2009 the Democrats had 29 Governors to the GOP’s 21. Come January the GOP will have 31 Governors – a gain of 10 during the Obama nightmare years. This includes GOP victories in Obama’s home state of Illinois and the heavily Democrat states of Massachusetts and Maryland.
• The voters increased the number of state legislative chambers with Republican majorities to 69 from 57. Democrats now control only 29 legislative chambers, as Nebraska has a non-partisan, unicameral legislature. Democrats lost their majorities in the West Virginia House, Nevada Assembly and Senate, New Hampshire House, Minnesota House, New York Senate, Maine Senate, Colorado Senate and House, Washington Senate and House, and New Mexico House to Republicans, who also won enough seats to tie control of the West Virginia Senate for the first time in 80 years. According to the non-partisan website “Real Clear Politics”, the Democrats will control the fewest number of state legislatures since 1860. Yes – 1860.
• Come January Republican state legislators will out number their Democrat counterparts roughly 4,100 t0 3,100.
• Here in California, the GOP achieved its primary goal of denying the Democrats the two-thirds “super majority” in the legislature they had previously enjoyed. Republicans appear headed for a pickup of two State Senate and three Assembly seats. Modest – yes, but as the old saying goes, even the journey of 1,000 miles begins with one step. The California GOP took that first step.
So let us chortle for awhile – we deserve it. Let us schaden our freude for a bit – we deserve it. But then let us also realize that what happened a couple of Tuesdays ago will be meaningless if Republicans don’t deliver a positive program nationally and continue to hammer the myriad shortcomings of the Obama Regime. Both parts of that are vital. Simply opposing the Obama abominations won’t set us up for larger wins in 2016. We must tell the American people what we are for – and show them, as we did with 1994’s Contract With America, what a positive Republican agenda looks like. Join us at this month’s meeting for a bit of schadenfreude, a lot of joy, and some serious planning for the future.
[First published in the November newsletter of the Southern California Republican Women and Men]