2014 Elections

2014: A Year In Review

 Year In Review

A new year has begun. A new slate upon which to write our hopes and dreams, a new opportunity to do better, to be better, to rise above past disappointments, and to build upon past successes. As we look to the future, however, wisdom dictates we study the past to gain enlightenment and clarity. Though seemingly impossible, our memories telling us they occurred long ago, each and every one of these stories occurred in just the last year…

We kicked off the year in January with overheated rhetoric and under-heated weather, first forced to suffer through another of Obama’s interminable State of the Union addresses, where he tried to one-up Joe Biden by plagiarizing himself (which makes sense, considering Obama thinks he is smarter than the rest of us, so who else would he quote?). This speech was pretty much a copy-and-paste montage of past speeches; whining that the rich need to pay more, we need to “invest” more in “renewable” energy, and how six years of his economic policies don’t have us where we want to be yet, but are showing promising gains…blah, blah, blah. Add to that more promises of more bailouts for people who took on bad loans, to be paid for higher taxes on people who paid for the first bailout, plus a renewed demand for a “comprehensive” immigration reform bill, which seems pointless now that Obama has decided he is Emperor after all and will just make law by executive fiat, and refuse to enforce provisions he doesn’t like.

Surprise, Surprise! Top 2014 political donors gave overwhelmingly to… Democrats

Obama, Reid, and Pelosi

Democrats took a thumping in the 2014 midterm elections. And though Harry Reid and many of his colleagues actually campaigned against the influence of money in politics, a POLITICO report reveals (not surprisingly) that Democrats were the recipients of millions in campaign contributions from wealthy businessmen.

Kenneth Vogel writes:

POLITICO’s analysis of top 2014 donors suggests that liberals have gotten over their big-money qualms.

Donors who gave exclusively or primarily to Democratic candidates and groups held down 52 of the top 100 spots — including by far the biggest donor of disclosed 2014 cash: retired San Francisco hedge fund billionaire Tom Steyer.

He donated more than $74 million to Democratic candidates and supportive committees, but it was the way he gave that highlighted both the potential impact and the limitations of the new breed of mega-donor to shape elections.

Democrat “economic wedge issue” playbook failed in 2014, but they’ll probably re-hash it in 2016 anyway.

Hillary Clinton 2016

After suffering a historic beating at the polls in 2014, many leading Democrats now say a big reason for their losses is that they failed to drive home with voters a message of economic populism; namely, income inequality, wage stagnation, and the need to raise the minimum wage. They say they are determined to fix that failure in their quest to win back seats from Republicans in 2016.

Democrats, fleeing from Obama’s myriad failures and seeking wedge issues with which to win close races, actually did implement quite a bit of economic populism in the months leading up to the midterms; it just didn’t resonate with voters. As for why it did not resonate, it might be that after six years of Obamanomics – from the “stimulus” package that actually increased unemployment by more than 2%, Son of Stimulus, Cash for Clunkers, Summer of Recovery, Summer of Recovery 2, Summers of Recovery 3 and 4, and so on and so forth - voters simply no long gave Obama and the Democrats credibility on economic matters.

And with good reason. The issue of raising the minimum wage polls well, but in actuality has little bearing on the lives of most voters. The reality is that, according to a report issued by the U.S. Department of Labor earlier this year, only 2.8% of the U.S. labor force earns at or below minimum wage. Of that 2.8%, many workers, such as restaurant servers, make much higher than that due to tips, which reduces the number of Americans actually earning minimum wage to just 1.1%. Of those earning minimum wage, roughly half are workers between the age of 16 and 24 years, and most of these are students working part-time.

“Abandon the Democrats!” — The rallying cry of defeated, marginalized progressives

Occupy Wall Street

For years Republicans wandered in the political wilderness with no leadership and no guidance. Barack Obama ushered in a new era of Democratic dominance and Republicans would be doomed without a unified message in opposition to Obama and his policies.

That’s the narrative the mainstream media attempted to portray.

But in the wake of the 2014 midterm elections, it seems the tables have turned. Republicans made significant gains in state legislatures, won governor’s races in traditionally Democratic states, increased their margin in the House, and re-took the Senate. This has caused much hand-wringing and soul-searching among Democrats and progressives within the grassroots.

Salon.com has been one of the loudest voices on the Left taking the Democratic Party to task for its cozy relationship with Wall Street. Bill Curry, former White House counselor for President Bill Clinton, tells progressives to build a framework outside the Democrats Party, much like the tea party’s relationship to the Republican Party. He writes:

Democrats are in denial regarding the magnitude and meaning of their defeat. It is a rejection not just of current leaders but of the very business model of the modern Democratic Party: how it uses polls and focus groups to slice and dice us; how it peddles its sly, hollow message and, worst, how it sells its soul to pay for it all. Party elites hope party activists will seek to lift their moods via the cheap adrenaline high of another campaign. For once, activists may resist the urge.

GOP picks up last House race of 2014 elections, now hold largest majority since 1949

Martha McSally

Though the 2014 Midterm elections were more than six weeks ago and Republicans were assured an even stronger majority than in the last Congress, one closely-watched race was just decided today.

In Arizona’s 2nd District — a seat once held by Gabrielle Giffords (as AZ-08, due to redistricting) — Republican challenger Martha McSally eked out victory by fewer than 200 votes. McSally challenged Giffords’s former district director, Ron Barber, who was elected after the tragic shooting that left 14 injured and six dead in a supermarket parking lot where Congressman Giffords was holding a community meeting.

McSally is a retied U.S. Air Force Colonel and the first woman to fly in combat since the ban was lifted in 1991.

Roll Call reports:

Republican Martha McSally has officially defeated Rep. Ron Barber, D-Ariz., after a protracted recount in the Tucson-based 2nd District reaffirmed her lead.

MsSally won the seat by 167 votes, picking up six votes after the recount, according to elections officials.

Barber conceded the race shortly after the official tally was released.

“Today I congratulated Martha McSally on her victory, and wished her well in serving Southern Arizonans,” Barber said in a statement. “This result is not the one we hoped for, but we take solace in having spoken out loud and clear for the principle that every legal vote should be counted.”

Democrats: If It Wasn’t for Double Standards…

Double Standards

Several recent news stories brought to mind the old joke about liberal Democrats, that if it weren’t for double standards they would have no standards at all. Sometimes the hypocrisy is enough to stupefy any reasonable person. For your reading pleasure, I offer the following examples…

In his November 20 speech to the nation regarding his “executive amnesty” actions, Obama said, “Even as we are a nation of immigrants, we’re also a nation of laws. Undocumented workers broke our immigration laws, and I believe that they must be held accountable  – especially those who may be dangerous.” The hypocrisy of this statement coming from that man is glaring. Obama declares we are a nation of laws as a precursor to explaining how he is about to continue the violations of his oath of office by expanding the scope of his non-enforcement criteria, and beyond that, actually rewarding the lawbreakers.

America is indeed a nation of immigrants, yet Obama is not declaring amnesty for immigrants, he is declaring amnesty for millions of illegal aliens whose first actions in relation to America were violations of our immigration laws. He has for more than half a decade failed to faithfully enforce those laws, declaring entire categories of illegals exempt from prosecution and deportation under the law. He now seeks to reward them with legalization and work permits.

Michael Bloomberg’s gun-grabbing agenda is this Election’s Biggest Loser

Come and Take It

At the ballot box and in the courtroom, it has been a good year for the Second Amendment. In some states, citizens took to the polls to make it known that their Second Amendment rights were not to be undermined. In others, it was the courts that solidified our right to bear arms.

Take a look at some of the highlights from this past year, and check out who really lost big in November:

Alabama

In this past election, the voters of Alabama went to the polls and overwhelmingly supported a constitutional amendment that further secured their Second Amendment rights. Amendment 3, as it was called on the ballot, made firearm ownership a fundamental right and added extra security against any international treaties that might seek to undermine the Second Amendment.

The language of the Bill reads as follows:

(a) Every citizen has a fundamental right to bear arms in defense of himself or herself and the state. Any restriction on this right shall be subject to strict scrutiny.

Licking their wounds, House Democrats lash out at Nancy Pelosi

Nancy Pelosi

The 2014 elections were not kind to House Democrats. Republicans now have their largest majority in over 60 years, and some in the Democrats’ dwindling minority are looking for someone to blame.

Barack Obama is the obvious first choice. He said a little more than a month before Election Day that, though he wasn’t on the ballot, ‘[his] policies [were] on the ballot. Every single one of them.” How’d that pan out? Earlier this year, Nancy Pelosi said Obamacare would be a “winner” for Democrats on Election Day, but polling shows Obamacare’s popularity is still on the decline as premiums continue to rise.

And now that the dust has mostly settled on the 2014, House Democrats are taking out their frustrations on Pelosi, who has held a firm grip on the Democratic caucus since 2003 when she was first elected to lead her party in the House.

POLITICO reports:

The discontent with Nancy Pelosi is breaking out in the open.

Democrats in the House have quietly grumbled about Pelosi since suffering devastating losses on Election Day, but there is a growing number of members willing to go public on their party leaders.

Why the new Republican Congress has a mandate — in one chart

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On January 23, 2009, in a meeting with Congressional leaders about his stimulus proposal, newly-inaugurated President Obama responded to Republican critiques of his plan with, “I won.” In another meeting on February 25, 2010, this time about the soon-to-be-passed healthcare law, Obama responded to a question from John McCain about kickbacks in the bill with, “The election’s over.” And in a November 5, 2014 press conference after the recent midterm elections, President Obama still maintained the same stubborn arrogance about his political position by arguing that the 2/3 of the country who didn’t vote still support him. The facts, however, paint an entirely different picture.

On Election Day 2014 as each state’s results rolled in, and more Senate seats and even deep blue state governorships fell to the GOP, it was clear a wave election was taking place. Usually when a wave happens, the new majority party has mandate to pursue their policy. The Republican Revolution of 1994 caused President Clinton to retreat and compromise with the new majority on many planks of their Contract with America.

Midterm bloodbath reveals cracks in Democrats’ racial, gender divisions

Senate Democratic Leadership

The midterm elections were an epic butt-kicking for Democrats in more ways than one. Not only was it the second disastrous midterm election in a row for Democrats, it also revealed some serious cracks in the party’s carefully crafted electoral model whereby Democrats divide voters along racial, gender, and socio-economic lines, and then cobble together a majority by stoking grievances against those not in the protected classes.

First, let’s analyze of just how disastrous this election was for Democrats. On election day, Republicans needed a net gain of six seats to take control of the upper chamber, and by midnight Republicans had picked up seven seats, lost none, and are poised to pick up two more seats after the final vote counts in Alaska (where the Republican challenger is up 49%-45% on Democrat incumbent Mark Begich), and a run-off in Louisiana, giving them a net gain of nine seats in this election cycle. And they almost lost a seat in Virginia that no one even had on the radar.

In the U.S. House, Republicans started the day with a 233-199 majority, and by the time the polls closed on November 4, Republicans had swelled their majority to 243 seats (won 15 seats, lost 3), with the chance of that total being 249 seats once a half dozen close races report their final tallies. This represents the largest Republican majority as of now since the administration of Harry Truman, and if the other seats break their way, it will be the largest majority since the administration of Woodrow Wilson.


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