Because of deadline pressures, I’m writing this Wednesday morning. We still don’t know all the election results. But what we do know is that an amazing change has taken place in the political landscape of America.
Let me note the biggest of them all: In the world’s most important legislative body, the U.S. House of Representatives, Republicans gained more than 60 seats. Come January, they will have a very comfortable majority. This is incredibly significant for several reasons.
First, it means that nasty Nancy Pelosi will no longer be Speaker of the House of Representatives. Of all the results of yesterday’s elections that brought a huge smile to my face. That is the best news of all.
Pardon me for wallowing in a joyous bit of schadenfreude for a few moments, but I can’t tell you how happy this makes me. (In case you’re not familiar with that marvelous German word, schadenfreude means “taking delight in someone else’s misfortune.” This is normally not a very admirable emotion, but in this case, it is 1,000 percent justified.)
Proclaim the news throughout the land: The wicked witch from the West is dead. Well, not exactly dead. But she will no longer be able to call the Air Force and order a luxurious jumbo-jet to fly her and her party back to San Francisco (or anywhere else she wants to go). No, she’ll have to go to an airport, stand in line, and put up with those incredibly invasive security procedures, just like thee and me.
But it’s not just Pelosi who is getting demoted. Beginning in January, every single committee in Congress will be chaired by a Republican. Consider what this means for just one seat.
Yes, the Democrats won all 10 Congressional races in Massachusetts. Yes, that odious liberal, Barney Frank, won re-election for the 17th time. Scott Bielat wasn’t able to pull off the miracle many of us prayed for. But consider this: As of Jan. 21, Frank will no longer be chairman of the ultra-powerful House Banking Committee. In fact, no Democrat will be chairman of any committee!
We don’t know yet who will be chairing the various committees. I hope that when it comes to parceling out key committee assignments, some of the toughest conservatives in Congress will get some of the most important posts. We’ll see. But take heart in knowing that every single Democrat chairman will be forced to relinquish his or her chair.
The new Speaker of the House of Representatives will be John Boehner, a fairly conservative Republican. And while Leader Boehner has not been as tough in the past as you and I might prefer, he will be surrounded by a cadre of very bright, very dedicated and very determined conservatives. When he needs to have his backbone stiffened, there will be plenty of people ready to pour the cement.
And here’s something else that is even more important: Every dollar that the Federal government spends — and folks, it spends a lot of them — must be authorized by an appropriations bill that originates in the House of Representatives.
This means, pure and simple, that no matter what President Barak Obama wants, no matter what the Senate approves, and no matter what the present law says, the House can “just say no!” to spending any money on it.
During the victory celebration I hosted at my house Tuesday night, one of the guests said the best thing we could hope for over the next two years was gridlock in Washington. Yes, that’s an outcome to be very much desired, especially compared to the “ram unpopular legislation down our throats” that we’ve experienced for the past two years.
But I don’t agree. We can expect — in fact, we can demand — better than gridlock. We can expect and demand that the House of Representatives start defunding the left. I don’t think a “bring our troops home” movement will gain much ground in the new Congress. But by golly, a “bring our money home” measure should.
How about slashing foreign aid? Eliminating all funds for “community activist” groups like the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN)? Cutting out all sorts of subsidies and supervision; from farms to schools to banks to automobile companies? Republicans in the House could do all of this and more.
Let the debates begin!
When I greeted our first guests at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, I was wearing a bright-red Rand Paul t-shirt. I’m proud to say that I was one of the very first contributors to his campaign (in large part because of my admiration for his dad, Representative Ron Paul of Texas). His victory over an establishment Republican in the primary brought joy to my heart. His election to “the world’s most exclusive club” means there will be a battle-hardened libertarian in the U.S. Senate. Oh boy, is this going to be fun!
The biggest disappointment of the night was that Sharron Angle wasn’t able to force Harry Reid into retirement. As you probably know, the unions poured tens of millions of dollars into that election, along with enough storm troopers… uh, excuse me, election volunteers… to win World War II. I’m not surprised Angle lost; she had a mountain of difficulties to overcome.
Three days before the elections I had an exclusive interview with former Majority Leader Dick Armey, the chairman of FreedomWorks, one of my favorite organizations. During the interview he predicted that the Senate race in Nevada could be very close. And then he added, “If it’s close, they’ll steal it — just like Minnesota last year.”
I can’t prove that the rabid redistributionists stole the election in Nevada, any more than I could prove it about Al Franken’s victory last summer. (See my column, They Stole That Election Fair and Square, for my comments then). But I’ve got my suspicions. I’ll still wear my Sharron Angle t-shirt with as much pride as the one from FreedomWorks. (Yes, I put on quite a fashion show Tuesday, changing shirts several times during the course of the evening.)
I know the liberals who dominate most of the mass media in this country will try to put their own “spin” on the results. And I’m sure that Obama will do the same thing when he addresses the nation in the coming days. I’ll have more to say about all of that in future issues of Straight Talk.
But for now, let me conclude by pointing out what really happened Tuesday: This wasn’t just a midterm election. No, a majority of Americans did something I’ve hoped to see for years: They put a restraining order on out-of-control government.
If there’s a particular election that made you happier than you’ve been in years, why not take a moment to tell us about it? Just go to the “comments” section below and start typing away. (Not in all caps, please.)
We won a big one, folks. But remember, as important as Tuesday was, it is just one battle in a life-long war. If you want to keep what’s yours and get this country back on the path of leadership and growth, what you do tomorrow, next week, next month and next year will be just as important.
Until next time, keep some powder dry.
— Chip Wood