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They flipped the hourglass quicker than you could say “Days of Our Lives.”

Many first-time and young-adult voters were naive enough in 2008 to think they could change the ways of Washington. But the culture of Washington — like the entire reality-TV lot — is scripted.

So, what now?

“From Scott Rigell’s congressional victory in my home area of Hampton Roads to those of other Republican and ‘tea party’-supported candidates nationwide, the will of the people is clear — no more bailouts, no more excessive spending on failed government programs and no further encroachments on our rights and liberties as a free people,” said Coby Dillard of Virginia, co-founder of the Hampton Roads Tea Party.

“Republicans have the majority, not a free pass. Virginia’s motto — sic semper tyrannis — gives no allegiance to political party, and [Tuesday] night’s results are an echo of that motto. Liberals who have tread on our freedoms and wallets were removed via the electoral process; those who replaced them can expect the same result in 2012 if they do the same.”

Voters have spoken: Symbolism is dead and politicians have until 2012 to reset America’s course.

Deborah Simmons can be reached at