A few things to remember….

In 1992, Bill Clinton was elected President ending 12 years of Republican domination of the White House. Once in office, President Clinton ran to the left. The result was the 1994 election which ushered the GOP in control of the Congress for the first time in nearly 50 years.

In 1994, congressional Republicans, giddy at having won control of the Legislative Branch, ran hard against President Clinton leading to a government shutdown in 1995. The result was derailing the Republican revolution and stregthening President Clinton who easily won re-election in 1996.

In 2004, President Bush won over Democratic candidate John Kerry, by three percentage points. Having acutally won the popular vote this time around, he embarked on an agenda of reforming Social Security and staying the course with his Iraq policy. The result was the end of 12 years of Repblican control of Congress.

The is a lesson here. In each of these instances, the winners misread the election. They saw their wins as mandates from the people to do what they want. They refused to see that the vote was less a vote for them than a vote against their opponent.

As the Democrats get ready to take over Congress, they need to realize that this win is not necessarliy a validation of the party. The Republicans had messed up royally and the public was in, to paraphrase the President, in a “thumping” mood.

The Dems need to govern with some modesty and not listen to those who want the gloves to come off. Work with the President on things like Immigration Reform and try to find a way to get out of Iraq gracefully. Dems should not take this win as some kind of mandate. Politicians are hired by the American people and can be easily fired too.

In short my Democratic friends: don’t let this win go to your collective heads.

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  • Bob J Young

    Yup! Winning an election always leads to irrational exuberance and an inflated opinion of your own self worth.

    I’ve been busting on the republicans for quite a while about their corrupt incompetence. Now that the democrats are back, I have faith that the demands of the extreme wing of their party will force them to have their own Terry Schiavo moments.

    So far they have said all the right things, but………….

    My best guesses for the Democrats to alienate the American public are:
    Pardoning illegal immigrants
    Gay marriage.
    Gun control

    Most likely way to woo the public:
    Raising the minimum wage.
    Removing the provision that forbids the Medicare from negotiating for better prices from drug companies.
    Rein in spending.

    Things that need to be done that will be pontificated on, but ignored because it’s to hard.
    Social security
    Reducing fossil fuel use.
    True border/port security.
    Dealing with the nations addiction to easy credit.

  • PatHMV

    The GOP lost against Clinton in 1996 because we ran Bob Dole, not because people were dissastisfied with the Republican Congress. The GOP lost only 1 Congressional seat in the 96 election.

    This isn’t the place for a debate on the role of the goverment shutdowns and who ultimately “won” or “lost” those as a political matter, but I think there’s an argument to be made that they helped pave the way for all those budget surpluses the Democrats kept touting in this last election.