Election Day at last, and it dawns noisy and nonsensical. Consider that politicians spent $4.2 billion on campaign ads to get here. President Obama has granted an exclusive radio interview to, uh, “American Idol” host Ryan Seacrest, broadcast Tuesday to discuss the “state of the nation.” Sarah Palin and online news maven Andrew Breitbart continue to draw partisan attacks for one reason or another, though neither is running for office. Meanwhile, voter anger percolates in the poll booth while Democrats frame the election as a “battle for the American dream” and pine for a possible recount.
Citizens wonder if the midterms have simply devolved into political caterwaul, insider cocktail parties and media froufrou. But here’s some reassurance. As the sun sets on Election Day, the Tea Party Patriots will stage a modest flag ceremony to symbolically “reclaim the U.S. Capitol in the name of the citizens of the United States,” says Randy Lewis, spokesman for the umbrella group that represents 2,800 local “tea party” chapters - about 15 million people. Old Glory and bright yellow “Don’t Tread on Me” Gadsden flags figure heavily in the thinking.
“We have Gadsden flags that have traveled with us from town to town, signed by tea party members from around the country, with personal messages to their fellow citizens. We’ll plant those flags, along with American flags, on the west side of the Capitol and declare it the property of the people of the United States of America,” Mr. Lewis continues. “It’s a good way to go into an election night and remind Washington politicians and bureaucrats who’s really paying their bills.”
THE FINAL COUNT
“In the hundreds of calls and 22,769 e-mails the ombudsman received, many said the same thing: ‘NPR, you’re fired.’ Or, ‘I’m never donating to NPR again.’ Some asked for pledge money back.”
NPR ombudsman Alicia C. Shepard, addressing on Monday the fallout at NPR after news analyst Juan Williams was fired Oct. 20 for commenting on Muslims.
ON THE HORIZON
“As Democrats sort through the rubble caused by Tuesday’s landslide - even Wisconsin will become a red state - they will realize what many of us have warned them of for quite some time: President Obama and his agenda are having a Kevorkian-like effect on the Democratic Party,” predicts Peter Wehner, a senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center and Commentary magazine contributor.
“The next two years will feature stalemate and confrontation between Capitol Hill and the White House. President Obama, unlike Bill Clinton, is not likely to tack to the center. Mr. Clinton was a New Democrat; Mr. Obama has shown himself to be a man of the left, through and through. The class of 2010 will be less interested in compromise with the president than the class of 1994. And the new speaker of the House, John Boehner, will have far less latitude to strike deals than did Newt Gingrich,” Mr. Wehner continues.
“In 2011, Paul Ryan, chairman of the Budget Committee, will emerge as one of the five most important Republicans on Capitol Hill. Marco Rubio will become a GOP superstar. And wise Republicans will promote governors as the face of the Republican Party, reassuring both independents and conservatives who are skeptical about congressional Republicans and their capacity to govern well.”
FOR THE LEXICON
Another name for the Republican takeover of Congress - and a snappy 10-second “Red Wave” video produced by the Ace of Spades blog, posted everywhere, including here: www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jy9r6H-czWA