“If we pretend it didn’t happen, it will all just go away.” Welcome to the time machine mentality of Washington one year after the 2010 election thumping.
One year ago today, voters sent House Democrats a stunning rejection message by ousting Democrats from 66 seats, ushering in a new Republican majority in the House of Representatives.
Ending the careers of many entrenched Democrat members, voters sent Republican small business owners, physicians, farmers and veterans to make up the now 89-member freshman class in the House of Representatives. Not since 1938 have Republicans been elected to the House majority with such force.
While Democrats still own Washington, they now must reckon with a Republican House that cuts spending, fights job-destroying regulations and tax hikes and holds the Obama administration accountable for scandals such as Solyndra and Fast and Furious.
But today’s Democrats are living like November 2, 2010 didn’t happen. Following their 2010 election repudiation, House Democrats promptly re-elected Nancy Pelosi as their leader — despite her starring role as speaker in losing the Democrats’ House majority.
Since then, House Democrats have systematically doubled-down on the same failed policies that voters rejected last election.
House Democrats stand up for the deeply unpopular Obamacare law, voting against House Republican attempts to repeal it. They push for more government as House Republicans wage war against job-destroying regulations and tax increases that discourage economic recovery. And they cheer wildly in Washington at President Obama’s Stimulus 2.0 plan that mimics the same 2009 stimulus that failed to keep unemployment under 8 percent as promised or keep the economy from turning worse.
While Democrats have ignored the 2010 rebuke, the American people have not. With accountability from the top down, confidence in President Obama continues to plummet. Now 50 percent of Americans don’t think President Obama deserves re-election, according to an Associated Press poll released in October.
With Washington still reeking with unpopularity, voters are taking their anger out … on Democrats. In September, voters in Nevada and New York City special elections delivered more astounding rebukes to Democrat policies. In addition to winning by 22 percent in a competitive Nevada congressional district, Republicans handily won a Democrat New York City congressional district that the party hadn’t won since the 1920s.
The rejection message to Democrats continues. But don’t count on them listening. In 2012, Democrats are positioned to re-learn the election message of 2010. With President Obama at the top of the Democrat ticket, 2012 will be a referendum on Democrat policies on jobs and the economy.
The national unemployment rate was over 9 percent on Election Day 2010, and it’s still over 9 percent. And with all the trillion-dollar spending sprees, class-warfare policy plans and new federal regulations, the Obama administration predicts over 9 percent unemployment through 2012.
No wonder Americans believe Democrat policies have made a bad economy worse. According to a Washington Post/Kaiser/Harvard poll released in September, 81 percent of Americans believe President Obama’s economic program isn’t working and 85 percent believe they’re the same or worse off financially as they were when Obama became president.
Leaving behind “hope” and “change,” the 2012 election is also a choice about a basic national identity: the American dream. Will we protect the American dream both now and for future generations by electing Republicans to stand for sustainable jobs through free enterprise, entrepreneurship and individualism? Or will we continue handing power to Democrats in Washington to manage America’s demise with more government, more taxes and more regulations?
The American people know that elections have consequences. It’s time Washington Democrats understand that elections have consequences. That means 2010. And that means 2012.
Congressman Pete Sessions (R-TX) is serving as chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee for the 2010 and 2012 election cycles.