1. Constitutional conservatives were the big winners. The framers of the Constitution erected it as a wall to stop any president from fundamentally transforming our country. The message of Tuesday from a free people was music to our ears. Let’s hope President Obama is not politically hard of hearing.
2. President Obama is ontologically incapable of saying that the voters have rejected his agenda and collectivist worldview. He is too much the liberal ideologue to pull off a Clinton-like triangulation. Like Jimmy Carter, he will be a one-term president.
3. Sen. Jim DeMint. He is a principled warrior!
4. The conservative movement is back to fighting form and ready for the next round: 2012.
5. Marco Rubio.
— Ken Blackwell is a senior fellow at the American Civil Rights Union.
Who was the biggest winner of Election Day 2010? Marco Rubio, for rising above the fray in Florida.
Who was the biggest loser? Nancy Pelosi, hands down. (And hand over the gavel!)
Who was your hero of the midterm election cycle? Renee Ellmers, who beat Bob Etheridge in North Carolina’s 2nd congressional district. A true grassroots success story.
What was the most important lesson? The grassroots, when pushed, can successfully work around the traditional party structure.
Who do you have the highest hopes for? The conservative women of the freshman class, who are keenly aware of what’s at stake if they don’t succeed in reining in the federal government.
— Teri Christoph is co-founder of Smart Girl Politics.
Biggest Winner: the Midwest. Now we know where your patriots are. The grownups, too: Mitch Daniels is suddenly looking very good for 2012. Imagine what he would do to BO2 in the debates without Barry’s teleprompter.
Biggest Loser: California. The fast-tarnishing Golden State now gets to call the diminutive Babs Boxer “senator” for six more long years, and has raced headlong back to the future to re-install Jerry Brown as governor, in order to party like it’s 1974. Woo-hoo! Watch for another recall election in the next two years, right after Hollywood decides to relocate en masse to Deadwood, S.D. First runner-up: Connecticut.
Hero: Does Michael Steele get any credit for this? Time to stop slapping him around, if results count, and it’s hard to argue they don’t. Show the man some respect.
Lesson: A unified front, and a willingness to just say no to us, can work wonders.
Next Lesson: Stop accepting any of our ridiculous premises, especially those that have a “moral” component. Make “Principles, not Programs” your rallying cry. Show us lefties the same respect we’ve shown you, which is none. And stop being afraid of a bunch of pot-bellied schoolyard bullies who wear bow ties, for crying out loud . . .
High Hopes For: America. The “bonds of illusion,” as Mephisto calls them in Faust, have finally fallen from the eyes of at least half the country, and we stalwarts of the Left are on the run back to our coastal hidey holes. Now we’ll commence our usual whining about “bipartisanship” and “working together,” but don’t believe us for a moment. Now is not the time for negotiation — it’s time to demand and get our unconditional surrender by Election Day 2012. Otherwise, we’ll be back at your throats before you know it. We are nothing if not relentless.
— David Kahane is the author of Rules for Radical Conservatives.
Kathryn Jean Lopez
The biggest winner Tuesday night was human dignity. The health-care debate and legislation were an affront to human life and dignity, individual responsibility, and truth — a manipulative mess of a debate and dangerous reality. Republicans took the House Tuesday night having promised to pass a universal, permanent Hyde Amendment — an across-the-board prohibition on taxpayer funding of abortion. (This is a plan you don’t have to want to overturn Roe v. Wade to get behind.) Thank John Boehner for that. Thank co-sponsors Chris Smith and Democrat Dan Lipinski for that. It was a big win for life, and one that defies the idea that social issues are irrelevant. Congratulations, too, to groups like the Susan B. Anthony List, Americans United for Life, and the National Right to Life Committee for holding “pro-life” congressmen who voted for the health-care legislation accountable.
The biggest loser was the old nonsense female politics. Not all women are liberal — and increasingly we see that in how women vote, and in what motivates them to be civically engaged.
My heroes are all of the people — those who won, those who lost, those whose names were on ballots, and those who were working for the ones whose names were on ballots — who made sacrifices, who were maligned and mistreated, who invested time and energy and money and heart and soul, in truth and justice and the future of the United States our Founders envisioned. The most important lesson may be that truth finds a way to the surface. I think of John Boehner being the only one mentioning abortion funding at the White House health-care summit at Blair House. I think of those who were concerned about the betrayal of conscience, but were drowned out by some liberal women religious and a trade association. And now I look at “pro-life Democrats” like Steve Driehaus of Ohio — who went so far as to make the Susan B. Anthony List go to court to put up a political billboard — and Kathy Dahlkemper and Paul Kanjorski of Pennsylvania, all now being forced into retirement, and, well, I see hope and change!
My highest political hopes are for everyone faced with new challenges post-election day, in statehouses and on Capitol Hill. My highest hope is for those newly engaged this cycle — that they stay civically aware and active. And that they pray for Speaker Boehner and the rest, that they may stay true to their principles and be prudent and humble as they serve in a profession that isn’t always known to be a cradle of integrity.
– Kathryn Jean Lopez is editor-at-large of NRO.