A Dose of Reali-tea

Just how far out is U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s reality? Her political party lost two governorships in states that solidly supported her party’s presidential candidate a mere 12 months ago. It lost six of seven statewide races in politically potent Pennsylvania.

And it narrowly won, with less than a majority, a special Congressional election in upstate New York where Republican and Conservative Party candidates combined for more votes than the Democrat. (In other words, a third party candidate split the conservative vote.)

Ms. Pelosi’s party “accomplished” all this on Tuesday and she still stated Wednesday, “From my

perspective, we won last night.” Really?

Ms. Pelosi acknowledged that her “perspective” applied only to two special Congressional races won

by Democrats, the aforementioned one in New York and one in northern California just across the bay

from Pelosi’s own San Francisco district (hardly mainstream America).

At least Democratic National Committee Chairman (and lame-duck Virginia Governor) Tim Kaine

admitted to being “disappointed” with Tuesday night’s results. Even the usually verbose White House

was smart enough to refrain from commenting on Election Night.

Elections have consequences. Tuesday’s vote reminded us that tea parties do, too.

The people who made banners and marched in parks in April and July showed up at the polls this

November. Those who gave their Congresswoman an earful in August did, too. In contrast, the

people who made banners and marched in parks last November did not. Their Obama bandwagon

thrill ride has passed. They’ve largely returned to their pre-political patterns.

But those who pay taxes and understand economics have stayed engaged. They’ve noticed that

President Obama doesn’t much look like candidate Obama sounded last year.

He spoke then of changing the tone in Washington, of bringing the sides together and the best out of

everyone. Instead, he’s allowed the most liberal members of Congress to bring the most liberal

initiatives out of him, not entirely surprising since he once was one of them.

Nevertheless, the tea partygoers and the town hall attendees have communicated the kind of

message that gets the attention of most politicians – the ballot box variety that often sends a party in

power packing.

With confirmation in the books that people aren’t thrilled with the government-centric solutions being

offered in Washington, we’ll now see how blinding the ideology of this president really is.

Which reality is his: Speaker Pelosi’s or the reality revealed by Tuesday’s returns? Will he press

forward with his expansive government programs, or will he govern from the center like you might

expect from a bright mind like his?

One thing’s for certain: the people who turn out to vote in next November’s Congressional elections

will look more like those who voted this November than last. If President Obama doesn’t understand

that, then his thoughts on Tuesday’s outcomes, had he been allowed to share them, would have

made Ms. Pelosi’s sound cogent.

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