As readers know, I’m reluctant to infer too much from an off-off-year election in a handful of states. However, my friend Bill Otis is not. Here are his top five lessons all of which, I think, are probably valid to one degree or another:
1. The “independents” or “moderates” get it. That is, they seem to understand that the Obama agenda and those allied with it are bad news for the economy. Whether they understand HOW bad Obama is for the economy, and how much of a danger he poses to other things like, say, freedom, cannot be determined from last night’s results. But the independents are no longer nearly as taken in by the smooth talk as they were a year ago.
2. The era of succeeding by running against George Bush is over.
3. Intensity counts.
4. Far from being a post-racial figure, Obama is the most racially polarizing politician since George Wallace. The white vote shifted dramatically against the Dems. On the other hand, what did they expect after Van Jones, ACORN, and the rest of Dear Leader’s fellow “community organizers”?
5. Goldwater 2.0 is underway. That is, the Republican Party, which, in domestic policy, had been all but emasculated by Bush’s playing kissy-face with welfare state and corporate liberalism (No Child Left Behind, prescription drug benefit, cheap and easy money, bank bailouts, and more), is into the process of discovering that conservatism is its heart and its salvation.