Generational Change

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A man lost in thought is liable to say anything.  Anything at all. 

A guy sitting behind me at a restaurant in Lambert airport began singing along with the background music.  “Burning down the house (do do).” 

Perfect.

November 2, American voters burned down the U.S. House.  Before the vote, estimates ranged from 45 to 70 seats switching from Democrats to Republicans. Burning down the house, indeed.  The final number was 63.

Among the states, the GOP took control of a majority of state legislatures and governorships.  That means that Republicans will determine (with help from interventionist federal judges) how Congressional districts will look for 2012 and beyond.

While Republican U.S. House and Senate candidates are, on average, slightly more conservative than usual, at the state level, candidates skew even further right.  Moreover, the state candidates tend to be young, intelligent, and determined. And the decline of the Democrat party has some of its state legislators jumping over the GOP.

Combined, this could position GOP conservatives to dominate legislative politics in America for a generation or more. Paul Curtman, a Marine who dressed down Senator Claire McCaskill in July 2009 won Missouri’s 105th House seat—a rare feat for a Republican.  Paul is just one of hundreds of highly qualified new faces in government. 

When the Tea Party movement started in February 2009, we said we’d make a difference—quickly if we could, gradually if we must.  While some of us are more patient than others, it seems we might score both short-term and long-term gains in 2010.  That would be a remarkable gift from the Tea Party to America.