As the “lame stream” media and the Obama administration gear up their all-too-predictable divide and conquer strategy after their election debacle, and establishment Republicans blame Tea Party candidates for the GOP failing to take back the Senate, it may be instructional to look at what happened in a state that has been pretty blue, in more ways than one, recently.
In Michigan, starting from the governor’s race on down, it was almost uniformly a GOP shellacking of the Democrats. Businessman turned politician Rick Snyder won a smashing victory, with almost 60 percent of the vote, over Obama Democrat and career politician Virg Bernero, who returns to his regular day job as mayor of Lansing, the state capital. The state attorney general and secretary of state positions, both open with no incumbents, also went to Republicans. So did state Supreme Court positions. Not only that, a Republican majority from the state (nine to six) will be seated in January’s U.S. House of Representatives. And the state legislature, which was previously split between the Democrat House and the Republican Senate, is now totally in GOP hands. Needless to say, all of the above is huge for one of the bottom performing states in this recession-plagued economy of ours.
The $64,000 question, of course, is will the new governor deliver on his promise to get Michigan working again? He presumably has everything (except of course much of the local media) on his side, including a public that expects positive results in return for their votes. However, he will have a fight on his hands similar to what New Jersey Governor Chris Christie has been fighting with the entrenched government and other unions. These groups will undoubtedly fire all kinds of venomous attacks at Snyder at his first mention of cutting pension benefits or limiting government employee salary increases (perhaps, gasp, even recommending some cuts). And he will need to negotiate those rough rapids at the same time he’s streamlining business taxes and regulation to encourage badly-needed business growth in a state that has lost a lot of ground in the last 10 years.
As the election of Snyder and other Republicans in Michigan was a sort of bellwether for what happened across most of the country, so will their performance over the next months and years be an indicator of how successful this new Republican revolution may or may not be. To borrow from Rush Limbaugh, I hope he and they succeed.
Copyright ©2010 A. L. Smith