NEWS AND OPINION:
Some stern advice is arriving for Republicans as midterm fervor cools to lukewarm reality, and GOP credibility comes under scrutiny by voters and critics alike.
“It is important to stress this: Not one single candidate ran as a moderate Republican. Not one. And the voters who voted for these candidates are not going to stand for ‘business as usual’ from Republicans campaigning as conservatives and then governing as moderates. That is simply dishonest,” says Brent Bozell, founder of the Media Research Center and chairman of the online activist organization For America.
“The first act of the new Republican majority in Congress must be to keep its promise — finally — and move to repeal Obamacare as fast as the doors to the new Congress swing open. Challenge the president to veto their legislation. Take that veto to the American people. Republicans will win the presidency in 2016, period. The GOP must reject its professional consultants and stop governing as big government Republicans. This would be a prescription for failure,” Mr. Bozell declares.
“Republicans have repeatedly used limited-government rhetoric to get elected and then have embraced big government when they have controlled it. I expect the same thing to happen this time,” cautions Steve Stanek, a budget and tax policy analyst at the Heartland Institute. “At the state level, Republicans might have more impact, because true believers in limited government have a better chance of being elected at state and local levels, and turning a state is easier than turning the national government. In recent years we’ve seen big improvements in tax and regulatory policies in a number of states, including Indiana, Michigan, Missouri, North Carolina, and Wisconsin. If Republicans stick to their promises, good things could happen. But that’s always a big ‘if.’ “
HEADLINES OF NOTE
“Hollywood Reeling From Bitter Election Defeats”
SEE ALSO: Ben Carson launches TV ad as GOP stars look ahead to 2016
— The Hollywood Reporter
“The United States Slaps Obama”
—The Repubblica, a newspaper based in Rome
“Midterm result will further thwart Obama”
— China People’s Daily, a Communist Party publication
FOX NEWS TRUMPS ELECTION COVERAGE
SEE ALSO: Larry Hogan gets unprecedented win in governor’s race on public financing
Well, here’s a sobering reality check. Even when politics reach a fever pitch, Americans still pine for crime — or amateur singers. Some stark overnight ratings from Nielsen reveal that 11.7 million watched the CBS crime drama “NCIS” on Tuesday night, compared to 5.3 million who stuck around after 10 p.m. for the network’s special election coverage. On NBC, “The Voice” pulled in a hefty 9.5 million viewers before election fare kicked in; 4.3 million stayed to watch. At ABC, a pop culture special garnered 3.5 million viewers — and so did their election coverage.
And the ultimate winner? Fox News won the ratings derby altogether for prime time election coverage in the 10 p.m. time slot, pulling in 6.6 million viewers, followed by CNN with 1.9 million, and MSNBC with 1.6 million.
FLUKE FLOPS, WHINERS WHINE
“The rout of the ‘war on women’ theme is complete. Sandra Fluke has lost her bid for a seat in California State Senate. Fluke lost to a fellow Democrat, Ben Allen. It wasn’t close. Allen won by 61-39. Allen is member of the Santa Monica-Malibu school board. This alone, I should think, makes him a better candidate than Fluke, whose only qualification appears to be her oft-stated desire for free birth control,” says Paul Mirengoff, an attorney and PowerLine.com contributor.
“Republicans aren’t waging war on women and neither is the electorate. Instead, they are warring against whiners — e.g. Fluke, Wendy Davis, and Mark Udall — and frauds like Alison Grimes, Michelle Nunn, and Charlie Crist,” Mr. Mirengoff adds.
A JITTERY PRESS EYES SCOTT WALKER
Now that he’s won re-election, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker is riveting attention from journalists already in 2016-mode. Sometimes those journalists appear a little nervous. “Scott Walker for President begins now,” notes Andy Kroll, a senior reporter for Mother Jones.
“The Republican who made a national name for himself by clashing with labor unions, won a second term as governor of this state on Tuesday, keeping alive the possibility that he may be among the candidates for president in 2016,” wrote Monica Davey of the New York Times while the Daily Beast’s Ana Marie Cox notes, “Scott Walker — too boring to beat. It is incredibly difficult to get excited about the Wisconsin governor, but that’s what makes him so hard to defeat.”
He is, however, straightforward.
“Gov. Walker was very clear about what he was going to do, and that’s probably why the voters chose to elect him,” Nick Novak, spokesman for the MacIver Institute told Slate.
Meanwhile, the Wisconsin Journel-Sentinel’s “Walk-o-Meter” — which fact-checked 65 of the governor’s campaign promises since 2010 — found that Mr. Walker broke 23 percent of them. Not a bad record, all things considered. Will he join the fray of 2016 presidential hopefuls somewhere around March when they make their future intentions known? Probably not. He’s wise enough to wait, get a few things done at home and remember what he learned in the midterms.
“I’m an optimist. I believed all along if we got a positive message out that in the end people of the state wanted to be for something not against something. And look what happened,” Mr. Walker told his fans in the aftermath of his victory.
DRILL BABY DRILL
There’s some “renewed hope” that the Keystone XL pipeline could have a whole new life following the midterms says Lloyd Bentsen, an energy analyst with the National Center for Policy Analysis.
“The new Senate chamber will have at least 61 votes in favor of the pipeline. This is a clear majority that was needed for the pipeline’s approval.,” Mr. Bentsen says, noting that “anti-pipeline” Democratic Senators Mark Udall and Jay Rockefeller were defeated, while Tim Johnson and Tom Harkin retired.
Republicans are not the only ones seeking to get in touch with their true political identity. Democrats are now in soul-searching mode as well.
“It’s time we remember who we are,” former Clinton adviser Lanny Davis advises the party, and not without drama. “There is no better statement of the soul of our party than the moving words of the great liberal Democratic senator from Minnesota and former vice president, Hubert H. Humphrey.”
Mr. Davis suggests Democrats revisit the following Humphrey words and make it their “anthem” going forward: “It was once said that the moral test of government is how that government treats those who are in the dawn of life, the children; those who are in the twilight of life, the elderly; and those who are in the shadows of life, the sick, the needy and the handicapped,” Humphrey once said.
“This is who we are,” observes Mr. Davis.
POLL DU JOUR
• 98 percent of Americans know it is dangerous to text while driving; 82 percent “feel good” if they try not to text and drive.
• 61 percent sleep with their cellphone; 53 feel anxious if they forget their phone or have no service.
• 43 percent have both read a text message or looked at their phone while driving.
• 33 percent feel an “intense urge” to answer if their phone rings or vibrates.
• 27 percent have sent a text message while driving.
• 23 percent always keep their phone with them at meals.
Source: ATT’s “It Can Wait Compulsion Survey” of 1,004 U.S. adults conducted May 20-28 and released Wednesday.
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