I Will Sing This Victory Song

Republican victories on November 3, 2009 in New Jersey and Virginia have been the subject of analysis. In light of all the attention given to these elections during the leadup, it is unsurprising to have found many commentators extacting messages from the results.

This article presents the straightforward facts. Christie rode suburban financial angst to victory . I like this article for two reasons. First, it presents the issues as local concerns, and does not mention the federal government. Property taxes, for example, are strictly a state issue. That is proper subject matter for a state election. Second, it spells out the issues on voters minds instead of speculating.

Another article expresses the view that widespread angst about the economy is shared by voters. Voters to pols: Give us jobs, results, not spats. With some 250 House Democrats and 16 Senate Democrats who will be up for re-election, this piece warns these candidates to take notice of these financial concerns, or else voters will give them the boot.

I have a problem with this view. It assumes, despite all the media coverage about the recession and unemployment, that Washington is oblivious. I am certainly not one to shift what I like to call the "burden of truth" away from politicians. But this viewpoint goes too far in its assumption that they are ignorant, illiterate, and isolated from reality (a view that I do not generally dispute). Nearly 16 million people cannot find jobs and employers have shed jobs across most industries. Currently unemployment is at 10.2%, with predictions it will reach 10.5% next year. Even I, the quintessential cynic, cannot imagine a congressman waking up to this news, scratching his head, and saying bemusedly, "The economy?"

One thought-provoking analysis, however, relates to conservative democrats. If they get the hint from the November 3, 2009 election results, they may design campaign platforms based on fiscal and social conservatism. This podcast provides more insight on this angle as to this week's changing of the guard.