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Joe Guzzardi Democrats are bruised, but Republicans need to find better candidates

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Joe Guzzardi

Posted: Saturday, November 6, 2010 12:00 am

On Tuesday night, like millions of other Americans, I voted the straight GOP ticket even though I'm not a Republican. I'm a registered Independent and previously a nominal Democrat, but one who didn't vote for President Barack Obama. Of the Independents who backed the Democratic ticket in 2008, 24 percent of them abandoned the party.

After two years of Obama and a Democratic-controlled Congress, I've had enough heavy-handed politics. The objective in this election cycle was to kick out the Democrats and to replace them with Republicans, even though I don't admire the party's platform.

Majority House Speaker-designate John Boehner in his Wednesday comments said that the election represented a referendum on spending in Washington, and promised to listen to the American people.

Obama will not be in the listening audience. Any hope that Obama will be conciliatory after his historic drubbing like former President Bill Clinton was after his 1994 rejection is wishful thinking.

Clinton is a shrewder politician than Obama. As Clinton said, recent elections are never the last elections. The best thing the defeated can do is learn, adjust their course and move forward.

But Obama has never governed from the middle. Obama made this telling remark during his primary campaign: "We are the people that we are waiting for."

In 2007, according to the National Journal, Senator Obama had the most liberal voting record of all the 100 members. From furthest to the left to the center is a long trip, even if a politician is willing to travel it. During his Wednesday speech, Obama owned up to being "sad" about seeing his Democratic allies dismissed, he's not "sorry" for his programs.

Even though voters spoke clearly Tuesday night, I anticipate that Obama will press ahead with his extreme agenda, or at least he'll try to.

Several of Obama's key allies survived, notably Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, who hung on to edge out Republican Sharron Angle.

Reid, who will preside over a Senate with at least five fewer seats, remains, but his comrade-in-arms, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, may not. At a minimum, she's been stripped of her power. Pelosi, like other defrocked speakers before her, may decide to resign from Congress.

Like Nevada, California has a huge budget deficit and staggering levels of unemployment, home foreclosures and personal bankruptcies. But it, too, voted for more of the same by sending Barbara Boxer back to D.C. for a fourth term. Assuming she completes it, Boxer will be 76 and have served 34 years in Congress, including her five House terms.

Boxer's liberal voting record is not far behind that of her former Senate colleague, Obama. As you look around California this morning, can you see any evidence of Boxer's positive accomplishments?

Republicans remain the biggest Democratic enablers. As I predicted a few weeks ago, Boxer would be tough to get rid of because the Republicans continue to nominate weak opponents.

Carly Fiornia, who lost a 10-point rout, had scant political credentials. She was a neophyte candidate with no campaigning experience who in her personal life rarely participated in the civic process. Professionally, she's a failed Hewlitt Packard executive that during a period of double-digit unemployment promotes a globalist perspective. The only thing Fiorina had going for her is that she wasn't a Democratic incumbent. That wasn't enough to persuade voters.

Although I'm only cautiously optimistic that the Republicans can create meaningful change, the notorious "change you can believe in," I'm pleased that the Democratic freight train that has disregarded the people's will for two years is derailed.

A bit of good news: Meg Whitman proved that money doesn't always buy high office. Despite Whitman spending more than $140 million, Brown crushed Whitman by a stunning 13 points. Like Fiorina, Whitman was a bad candidate.

California Democrats outnumber Republicans by 2.3 million registered voters, a gap that has grown consistently throughout the 21st Century.

Republican consultants recommend greater outreach to California's growing Hispanic block. Even that isn't a guaranteed route to success. No politician had a more expansive 25-year Congressional record of endorsing Hispanic causes, including amnesty and the DREAM Act, than Sen. John McCain. Yet in the 2008 presidential election, McCain lost to Obama by 25 points.

For the California GOP, the question going forward is whether it's worth the effort.

Joe Guzzardi is a Senior Writing Fellow at Californians for Population Stabilization. Contact him at

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