Am I surprised by the results of Tuesday's elections? No, not really. Americans have historically always voted for the opposing party when they start to see Washington bend in a direction more left or more right than center. So if the Democrats control both the Presidency and Congress, they'll tolerate it up until the point in which it pushes to far from center. They'll let Republicans control the Presidency and Congress until it gets too far right from the center. So we as Americans (and we do it EVERY time) will vote the dominant party out of office in order to maintain the status quo of the moderate center. We say that we're frustrated with the way that Washington works, but we as voters influence the way that Washington works - it is a direct reflection of the majority of public opinion - especially the House of Representatives. Which is EXACTLY the way it was designed by the Founding Fathers. The beauty of our political system is that it prevents the tyranny of the minority from ever taking too strong of a hold over the government.
Obama's best shot to get any new laws and policies through Congress were in these first two years. I believe his administration in their naivete thought they could enact sweeping reforms and "change" in the country without having to play the political game in Washington (which sort of flabbergasts me considering Obama himself was a senator prior to becoming President, so he should have known that). People both from the right and the left bombard him with accusations that he is either the worst president in US history or that he hasn't done "enough". I hold either beliefs or thoughts against him. Do I agree with the laws, platforms, and policies - both domestic and international - that he has enacted since taking office? No, not really. Am I concerned about the size of the national debt and no coherent plan on how to attack that without further destabilizing the income of middle class Americans (which, by the way, I consider a family with a dual income of $250k middle class, not wealthy)? Yes, I am. Our current economic policies are very worrisome - inflation, deflation, exports, imports, strength/weakness of the dollar, stock market, housing industry, bank policy, consumer spending power, etc - it is all up in the air. But do I totally blame Obama for the state of our economy? No. Do I blame Bush? No. The writing was all over the place in Clinton's administration, Bush Sr., etc. I really blame Alan Greenspan and the Federal Reserve who should have known better. But this cycle, this recession with all of its hardship is a byproduct of our capitalist economic system - and are you going to really change that? Are you going to limit people's ability to succeed in the corporate world and their capability of making a buck? Yes, there are deep-seeded problems with it...but, isn't that more of a reflection of base human nature than the economic system itself? But I digress....
Bottom line - the election results don't surprise me. I'm more surprised that Obama and his advisers would be surprised or remorse - he/they should have been expecting it. This is why history is so important to learn and understand - because if he had been expecting it, he could have planned for it and figured out a way to adapt to the inevitably of a new party coming to Washington. How awesome would it have been during the press conference that he gave today if he had said "Oh, I knew this was going to happen. This happens to every single sitting president in modern American history. In fact, I welcome this new change. I understand that this is a statement by the majority of Americans that they are not happy, and my administration is going to reach out across the aisle to learn and work together on these pressing issues." Sure, that would flip the diehard liberals on their heads - but here's the thing - extreme minorities may have loud voices but they are NOT reflective of the majority! So alienate the minority - for they'll find some reason to alienate themselves anyway - and work with the majority. That's the only way to work the "system" of Washington.
But that's just my take. What's yours?