Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Gop Wave Was Smaller Than It Appeared

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Gop Wave Was Smaller Than It Appeared

Article excerpt

Many essays have been written since the midterm elections trying to explain why the Democrats were clobbered so badly. The best chin-strokers in the business have declared the results a Republican tsunami.

In my usual contrarian way, it seems to me more like a Rubber Ducky dropped into a bathtub from a height. There was an element of surprise and absurdity about it. A large splash resulted and caused a big mess that will be a job to clean up.

But the question is whether the wave was big enough for any conservatives in the tub to surf out of the bathroom and into the corridors of power forever. I think not.

For one thing, if you hold a referendum on the Obama presidency among voters who, reportedly, were whiter and older than usual, this is what you get.

Nothing against older, white people - I have been one myself for years - but we tend to be rather predictable in our tastes. We don't like newfangled modern music, either.

As for all the talk of mandates and the people speaking in a loud clear voice, there's only one problem with those theories - a shortage of people at the polls.

Across the nation, the turnout was only 36.4 percent, according to early data from the United States Election Project, which studies these things. It was the lowest figure for midterm elections since 1942.

To be sure, the Democrats might have done better with the uphill challenge they faced and you have to hand it to the Republicans - the "it" in this context being the U.S. Senate.

As it often turns out, the Republicans' best friends were the Democrats. Medic! Medic! Can someone bring some spines for these Democratic candidates? Can we give them character injections so that they can stand up for what they believe?

Mr. Obama, their supposed leader, hasn't helped. Now it is announced - just in time for the elections to be over - that 1,500 more troops are to be sent to the war in Iraq that he was supposed to end. They are to train the Iraqi military, just in case the Iraqis might want to defend themselves.

So we are caught in the film "Groundhog Day," the been-there, done-that routine, except now we are supplying guns to the groundhogs. …

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