From: Washington Post
N.B.: what we have not been able to achieve on our own – building class consciousness – gets a big assist from the tea party: Thanks.
“This week’s elections around the country were brought to you by the word “overreach,” specifically conservative overreach. Given an opportunity in 2010 to build a long-term majority, Republicans instead pursued extreme and partisan measures. On Tuesday, they reaped angry voter rebellions.
Mathis’s defeat could also have allowed conservatives to amend the Iowa Constitution to ban same-sex marriage. Mathis prevailed despite robocalls from an obscure group instructing voters to ask Mathis which gay sex acts she endorsed. (It should be said, as the Des Moines Register reported, that better-known organizations opposed to gay marriage denounced the calls.)
The one potential bright spot for Republicans was not as bright as it was supposed to be. In Virginia, both sides had expected the GOP to take over the state Senate. But at best, the Republicans will achieve a 20-to-20 tie, giving Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling (R) a decisive role. And their chance of getting even to 20 hangs on the recount of an 86-vote margin in one district.
The split means Virginia has not reverted to its earlier status as a Republican bastion. It remains a purple state. Especially significant, Democratic consultant Mo Elleithee observed, were the party’s successes in the Washington suburbs and exurbs and in Hampton Roads, precisely the areas where President Obama needs to do well if he is to carry Virginia next year, as he did in 2008. Democrats also comfortably held the New Jersey Legislature, suggesting the limits of Gov. Chris Christie’s (R) much-touted political magic.
One of the only referendum results the GOP could cheer was a strong vote in Ohio against the health-insurance mandate. While health-reform supporters argued that the ballot question was misleading, the result spoke to the truly terrible job Democrats have done in defending what they enacted. They can’t let the health-care law remain a policy stepchild.
That useful warning aside, Tuesday’s results underscored the power of unions and populist politics, the danger to conservatives of social-issue extremism and the fact that 2010 was no mandate for right-wing policies. They also mean that if Republicans don’t back away from an agenda that makes middle-class, middle-of-the-road Americans deeply uncomfortable — and in some cases angry — they will lose the rather more important fight of 2012.