Since Robert Schlesinger came up with reasons 2010 was good for Democrats, here are as many reasons why it was a great year for Republicans:
Scott Brown: The election of Scott Brown to the United States Senate was the political “shot heard around the world.” His emergence was perceived as a sign that Democrats had overplayed their hand and that Americans were rebelling against big government. During a debate over the seat of the late Sen. Ted Kennedy, then state legislator Brown reminded the moderator that the position belonged to the people of Massachusetts and not to any individual or political party. His populist statements and his down-to-earth style of driving his own pickup truck painted him as the epitome of the everyday hardworking American. [See who donates money to Brown.]
White House C-SPAN Healthcare Meeting: Just when Republicans thought the bill was dead after the Brown's election, Democrats worked hard to revive it and succeeded in getting it signed into law. While the Democrats won the process battle, they lost the message war. Republicans complained daily that the bill was being crafted behind closed doors after President Obama promised that every major piece of legislation would be created in an open and transparent process broadcast on C-SPAN. Tired of taking a daily pounding over the course of months, President Obama invited Republicans to debate the merits of healthcare in roundtable fashion in February in front of the press corps. In the end, it became obvious that the GOPers knew more about facts of the healthcare bill than Democrats did. The debate fueled the fire of Republicans to keep the communications barrage going and winning overwhelming public disapproval of the bill. Americans didn’t want a government takeover of healthcare and that was a major factor in electing a House Republican majority. [Check out our editorial cartoons on healthcare.]
The Tea Party: The Tea Party became a force to contend with after it was able connect with frustrated independent voters who felt betrayed by failed promises of change by President Obama. It became a symbol of the frustration millions of Americans had with runaway spending, higher taxes, and massive government regulation. The rebellion began in earnest during the August 2009 Democratic town hall meetings on healthcare, ousted long-time Republicans in primaries and culminated by electing a House GOP majority. It will be constant reminder to House Republicans going into 2012 that they must earnestly work overtime to change the ways of Washington or be put in the tea party cross-hairs during primary season. [Check out our editorial cartoons on the Tea Party.]
The BP Oil Spill: The Obama administration's botched response and failure to immediately understand the magnitude of the BP oil spill crisis this summer reminded Americans of the failed response by the Bush administration during the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. The daily video feed showed thousands of gallons of oil spilling into the Gulf of Mexico and sunk the approval rating of President Obama to an all-time low. [See photos of the Gulf oil spill disaster.]
Speaker-Designate John Boehner’s Election Night Speech: Democrats popped the champagne and boasted their win with election night victories in 2006 and 2008 that told the American people that change was on the way. Instead, the economy tanked, millions of jobs were lost and millions of taxpayer dollars were spent. When Speaker-designate John Boehner took to the stage election night after an overwhelming House Republican takeover of at least 60 seats, there wasn’t a grand toast or high fives. Instead, Boehner set an example of his colleagues to follow: a humble tone of being grateful for the opportunity to lead again and understood that Americans didn’t hand him a mandate, but simply another chance to get the job done that Democrats failed to deliver. [See who donates to Boehner.]
Nancy Pelosi Elected Minority Leader: Speaker Nancy Pelosi was used thousands of times by frustrated Republicans in campaign ads, speeches, town hall meetings, and media interviews about what is wrong with Washington. They turned Pelosi’s refusal to moderate a left-wing liberal agenda into a symbol for big government’s arrogance. After a pounding in the 2010 elections, Democrats decided to elect Pelosi as minority leader with the hopes she could become speaker once again. Republicans see this as the gift that will keep on giving during the next Congress. [Read more news about Nancy Pelosi.]
The Senate Republicans Blockade: If Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid had their way before the election, Congress would have passed a cap-and-trade bill, a $1.1 trillion omnibus spending package, and allowed tax rates to rise with the expiration of tax cuts among just a few examples. What stopped them? Although Obama has had several lame duck bipartisan victories, Senate Republicans remained united through the election to take down liberal agenda items pushed by the other side. They deserve a lot of credit for keeping the Democratic agenda on ice while keeping the “party of no” label from sticking.
- Check out this month's best political cartoons.
- See a slide show of the 10 keys to an Obama comeback.
- Check out our editorial cartoons on the Tea Party.