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Election Night Open Thread

Submitted by Pat on Tue, 11/02/2010 - 3:54pm

We're not likely to be a hotbed of late-breaking election news tonight, but here's an open thread to talk about the results as they come in. Here's a couple of tidbits to get you started.

Over at NRO's The Campaign Spot, Jim Geraghty reports on some initial reaction to the exit polls:

I am told that one Democratic strategist, helping a television network with Election Night analysis, just declared that the Democrats were experiencing something on par with mass murder.

More seriously, I think everybody committed to sane, rational political discourse in this country should read John Fund's Requiem for the Pelosi Democrats, which appeared in the Wall Street Journal the other day. Pay particular question to the admissions of retiring Representative Brian Baird (D-WA). He clearly saw the overreaches and missteps being made by his party's leadership... but he did nothing about it. He still voted for all of those excesses. He voted for cap and trade, for health care, for financial regulatory reform, even though, as he says now, he saw that they didn't do a lot to help some of the key problems (wondering in particular why the latter didn't address Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and why those two federally-owned entities were so involved in the political process to begin with).

Both Democrats and Republicans need to take a close look and learn some lessons from Mr. Baird's confessions. The Democrats because it tells them just where they screwed up (like the Republicans after 1994, they got drunk with power and started rewarding their constituencies rather than governing responsibly), the Republicans because it tells them where they're most at risk of screwing up. The Republicans will have their own share of Mr. Bairds, who will see serious flaws in legislation, yet still vocally support the bills and the Congressional party leadership. The new Republicans should not let themselves fall into the same trap. Yes, compromises are part of governing and politics... but those compromises should be open and honest and PUBLIC. If a bill being pushed by the party truly fails to address a crucial issue, then it is the responsibility of all members to speak up about that bill and the problem, and to try to make it better. And if the party leadership keeps making the same obvious mistakes over and over... STOP VOTING FOR THEM. To hell with having the good office or getting some nice pork for your district back home. Your constituents will respect you if you speak your mind and stand up for principles.

And just to be clear, I recommend this article not to praise Mr. Baird, but to criticize him. Fools, used and manipulated by others without realizing what's really going on, are bad enough. Mr. Baird saw the problems, but was too weak-willed to stand up to his party leadership and for his principles. Shame on him... and let his lessons be a cautionary tale for all new Members of Congress.

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