When the dust settled after the polls closed on Nov. 4, 2014, historians couldn’t help noticing that the Democrats, especially Harry Reid and President Obama, were licking their political wounds. Similarly, it was impossible to notice who finished the night strengthened for 2016. The highest of the high fliers was Scott Walker:
Gov. Walker’s victory speech Tuesday night after dispatching Democrat Mary Burke was laced with national themes and felt more like a speech for the next campaign than the one that just ended. After winning three statewide elections in four years, a striking political feat, Walker clearly had another capitol on his mind.
“The folks in Washington like this top-down approach that’s old and artificial and outdated that says the government knows best,” he said. “We believe that you should build the economy from the ground up that’s new and fresh and organic, and that’s what we’re going to do.”
Invoking the American immigrant experience, he said, “That’s the difference between what we believe here in Wisconsin and what they’re (selling) in Washington. We believe the opportunity is equal but the outcome is up to each and every one of us.”
It isn’t difficult to hear the outline of a Walker presidential stump speech in Gov. Walker’s victory speech. Perhaps, Gov. Walker’s impressive victory caused Jeb Bush to jump into the presidential race early. Perhaps, that’s a question we’ll never get answered. Two questions that were answered that first Tuesday in November were whether Harry Reid and President Obama would hold onto any power in DC.
In Sen. Reid’s case, the emphatic answer given by voters nationwide was a loud no! Republicans needed a net gain of 6 seats to regain the majority in the Senate. They were the only races worth watching that night. When the 114th Congress is sworn in next week, Republicans will hold 54 seats in the Senate and 247 seats in the House.
When the dust settled, Republicans won 9 Senate seats and came within a whisker of winning 2 additional seats.
At the opposite end of Pennsylvania Ave., President Obama is acting like he still has power. Since getting drubbed, President Obama has made more unconstitutional executive actions, starting with immigration. When serious historians write about him, one thing will be clear. He will have been unanimously rejected by the Supreme Court more often than any other president in history.
In fact, the number of times he’s been unanimously rejected looks like the political equivalent of Cy Young’s record of 511 victories. It isn’t likely that another president will be rejected by the Supreme Court half as many times as President Obama has been.
The American people’s rejection of President Obama’s policies and Harry Reid’s obstructionist tactics are the 2014 political story of the year.