It's 10 p.m. on Election Night and it looks like the Democrats are taking a beating in Ohio, including Reps. Zack Space in the 18th House District and John Boccieri in the 16th.
As President Obama reflects on the election tonight, he perhaps should prepare an apology to his fellow Democrats tomorrow for the huge losses in offices on every level in every state. Cap and trade? Health care insurance overhaul? Reckless stimulus spending?
It was all about fixing the economy, Mr. President. It wasn't about overhauling every aspect of our lives, which apparently you wanted to do. Good Lord, I wanted you to succeed. And you blew it in two short years.
Space is going down to defeat (understatement) in his home county of Tuscarawas, which should be enough for challenger Bob Gibbs to claim the seat. Boccieri is being defeated by Jim Renacci in the mostly Stark County district.
Space and Bocierri are two good men who wanted to do right by their consitutents and by their country. But they got caught up in the machine that meets and greets rookie congressmen upon their arrival in Washington. And then they were lobbied hard by Speaker Nancy Pelosi and even the president himself. Space's pushback on the health care issue didn't help him either. His "no" vote announcement came too late and voters smelled conspiracy. There wasn't one.
It was just too late. And he had already cast a "yes" vote on cap and trade -- a terrible, terrible idea, the people claimed. And no one countered.
And no one forgot.
* * *
By my count, Ohio likely will have five Democrats in the the U.S. House of Representatives and 13 Republicans.
* * *
OK, let's assume at this point, it's a Republican sweep in Ohio's statewide offices. Let's assume the Republicans control the U.S. House and that the current administration has been repudiated.
What's the message to Republicans?
I suspect they will believe that the American people want smaller government -- much smaller government. And that will mean massive job cuts in government. School districts will be among those feeling the brunt because the majority of people have no personal stake in the schools and won't fund them with property taxes. So, we'll have more school districts in financial trouble sooner rather than later. I'll bet on that.
We will take some steps backward here.
With future stimulus money in question, infrastructure construction probably will taper off and we will have to hope the private sector will add jobs with assurances from the Republicans that no new costs (taxes) will be imposed. Those question marks have to be removed if the private sector is going to add jobs.
Free trade? Fair trade? Who knows the answer to that? We have to be able to trade with China and India going forward. Too many consumers to ignore. But they continue to dump cheap products and services on us, costing American jobs. A dilemma for sure.
As for the health care legislation, look for the GOP to attempt to repeal some, if not all, of the aspects of the legislation that cost so many Democrats their offices. But allowing pre-exisiting conditions -- like genetic defects -- to affect an American's ability to be insured seems un-American to me.
Look for initiatives for "green" energy to more or less dry up in the short term. We'll be committed to fossil fuels in the near future.
Maybe this is the right way to go. Goodness, I hope so. We're in for further tough times here in America as we try to figure it out. As for President Obama, well, I think he will still shoulder blame in 2012. I don't expect him to win a second term as it stands now, but, of course, it depends on whether the Republicans can find another Ronald Reagan.
And for John Kasich? Chill, big guy. Don't let that temper affect your ability to lead. You worry me.
Good luck to all the winners. They'll need it.
Now, about the stock market...