A most interesting part of the morning-after analysis of the midterm election took place on MSNBC.
It delivered a clue about the progressive politics on the day after the national electorate sent a resounding “NO” to more government. It may be that rabid progressives have shrugged off the big GOP win.
Democrat Christopher “Chris” Van Hollen Jr., the U.S. representative for Maryland’s 8th Congressional District since 2003, spoke confidently about new legislation on raising the minimum wage and equal pay for equal work.
The interviewer, reading from the Democratic playbook, went through the list of progressive ideas that voters had just turned down. There was no discussion about the startling loss of Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley, which certainly should have clued Van Hollen about the preference of his own constituents.
No doubt the congressman has the notion that his party and allies in the media can put the GOP on the defensive and that the recent landslide was only a bump in the road toward a progressive-leaning governing process. By any fair measure, the losses might lead an independent observer to another conclusion — rejection of Obama-led policies.
In North Carolina, conservative policy has made an impact. Just last month, The Wall Street Journal, under the headline “States of Taxation,” had high praise for business tax reductions written into law by the North Carolina GOP-controlled legislature and signed by Gov. Pat McCrory. The editors referred to a new report by the Washington-based Tax Foundation that listed North Carolina as “the state showing the most improvement since last year’s rankings.” Our state moved from a ranking of 44 in 2013 to number 16 this year.
“Media pundits have cast the state’s Republican U.S. Senate candidate, Thom Tillis, as handicapped for being speaker in the Tar Heel state House,” the editorial further noted. “But North Carolina’s surge in this closely watched tax ranking suggests that the state has made progress on his watch, and the economic benefits should become apparent over time in more investment, jobs and growth.”
It is ironic that our state delivered control of the Senate to the GOP and Mitch McConnell. Elections have consequences — as President Obama likes to say — and if past performance is any indicator, removing the regulatory and tax shackles from American business will set a foundation for economic growth and the return of this country to an unapologetic leadership role in the world.
Obama and his close associates have an embarrassing view of American history that overlooks the role of individual freedom, places an emphasis on the negative, and ignores the building of the greatest economic engine of all time. No system is without some flaws, but Americans work for truth and justice at most levels, and the public has a better track record than some of the bureaucratic machinery in Washington.
Now a startling attitude on the part of the losers has begun to emerge. The will of the people has no impact on the progressive agenda. Failing policies are not failures, and the voters should know better. We know best — so sit down and shut up.
In his post-election news conference, Obama continued his imperialistic tone despite having the rug pulled out from under his administration. His attitude represents a serious problem for faithful Democrats, and his unwillingness to rethink his priorities will only deepen the divide between groups of Americans.
The strength of our nation is rooted in a robust party system that encourages robust debate and compromise solutions. The flaw in recent years has been a trend toward comprehensive solutions to a broad range of problems and the silencing of debate by executive fiat. Some would view the actions of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is anti-democratic, and he may be as harmful to his own party as he is to the opposition.
Telling the public over and over that the opposition is obstructionist when the government has operated under fiscal continuing legislation for a number of years, and when there is little or no debate on the floor of the United States Senate, has to make one wonder who is obstructing whom. Political talking points cannot explain away the chaos in government. Using carefully selected statistics cannot provide for a believable outcome when the hearts and minds of the public believe something else.
As GOP governors change the role of state government to one that serves the citizens of their state, and as they lead to policies that create fiscal, economic and social success, one has to wonder whether the centralized power center created in Washington, D.C., can be diluted to produce benefit for all regions of this great country.