Political Herd: Republican Columnist

The message came in loud and clear to both sides of the aisle. Winners from both parties were anti-Washington and anti-incumbency, candidates who proved that they too yearn for something different (notice I didn’t say change) from our nation’s capitol.
The voting fad created by the ‘08 election and the Obama administration’s stout-turned-arrogant legislative agenda left many college students not participating in Tuesday’s election. Many who did still turned out in support of the President and Democrats. But Obama’s agenda was not a winner. The fad is over. This is the fourth election in which I was eligible to vote and it was the first time I ever saw any part of my generation starting to ‘get it’.
What we saw across the country in this election was nothing short of insane, especially in the past few weeks. There was Facebook status after Facebook status complaining about the number of political ads and their content, concern over racially-charged ads and sentiments that restoring sanity is going to take a lot more than a rally in D.C.
Joe Manchin, Democratic Senator-elect from West Virginia, morphed into a Republican by running gun-toting, Carhartt-wearing ads that painted him as a mountaineer ready to go to Washington and straighten some people out. His victory ensured early in the night that the GOP would not take the Senate. We saw John Boehner cry and Reid win a racially-charged race by 5 points that was more a story of union turnout than the nail biter many thought it was going to be. A 30 percent turnout in Philly gave Pennsylvania a Republican senator in the final hour. The Latino sensation, Tea Party-backed Marco Rubio, won a very interesting battle in a three-candidate-thick Senate race. It was the largest Republican sweep since 1948.
That being the case, some might call election night ‘epic.’ Some might also call the haughty agenda of the Obama administration and the Pelosi Congress an ‘epic fail’.
The two most staggering points of the election were exit polls that said things like ‘4 in 10 voters said they supported Tea Party movement,’ and the victory of Republican Senate candidate Mark Kirk, who will take President Obama’s former Senate seat in Illinois currently held by Senator Roland Burris.
Two years ago, the Tea Party was referred to by Nancy Pelosi as ‘Astroturf.’ She accused the Republican party of hijacking the good intentions of people who share some of the same interests of her right before she put forth a legislative agenda that put the federal deficit on steroids.
While Tea Party candidates did not win across the board, the success they enjoyed proved that they are a fault line in the American political landscape. The losses of Christine O’Donnell and Sharon Angle were predictable. It was clear to Americans that there are much better ways to be edgier, inflammatory candidates., While it can be argued that Republicans would have won two more seats in the Senate without them, the attention they brought to the message and rhetoric of the Tea Party is invaluable to the aspects of conservative movement that demand financial responsibility.
But most staggering is the simple fact that both President Barack Obama’s and the late Democratic Senator Ted Kennedy of Massachusetts former seats are now held by Republicans. Initially, I wasn’t sure if this midterm election was a complete referendum on Obama administration’s policies, but after seeing an 11-point Republican victory by Mike Kelly here in Pennsylvania three and victory by Mike Kirk in Illinois, it became clear that’s exactly what Tuesday night was.