And the winner is …

The election results are in (mostly) and the winner is … to be determined.

The Republicans won back the House, Democrats still control the Senate and the American people will get either real compromise and change or worse gridlock than ever. It is much too early to tell. I am hopeful yet skeptical.

In my opinion, the election this week was NOT a mandate for the Republican viewpoint; it was a mandate for more change. That can be a good thing. One part of the traditional Republican stand that I agree with is the need for smaller government. Yes, registered Democrats like me can hold that view. Get over it. In fact that is one thing that backs up my belief that we do not live as Democrats or Republicans; we live as individuals with concerns about things that affect us on a personal level on a daily basis, like traffic jams and rude people at the grocery store.

One take away I have from all the television news election results babble this morning is that independents held the most influence at the polls yesterday. Those were the voters who looked at all sides and voted on issues and feelings more than party affiliation.

A Republican friend of mine who generally does not agree with me on party issues had one of the best pre-election attitudes: vote out all the incumbents! While I do not think that is necessarily practical and I would not vote against an incumbent just because they are already holding that office, I do feel that significant new blood in Congress is what we need right now.

Registering as an Independent is looking more attractive than ever and I think maybe it is time to think about term limits in Congress.

Here are my predictions for the next 2 ½ years:

Obama will be a one-term President. The second half of his term will be better than the first, but it’ll still be his only term. He’ll be blamed for things that aren’t his fault. If it plays out this way, he will consider resisting the urge to run for a second term but unless a dynamic potential Democratic candidate emerges in the next eight or nine months, party leaders will still look at him as the best choice and he may ultimately go along with that.

The Tea Party will eventually be exposed for what it is: the radical right. Sensible Republicans will take control of their party and nominate someone who can actually win. It will not be Palin, although she will be a powerful player. If I am wrong and it is her, and she becomes President,
I’ll consider moving to Italy for four years. Who is coming with me?

Congress will pretend to be getting along, but it’ll be the same gridlock crap as always. The House will try to repeal the entire health care bill, good parts and bad parts, the Senate will block it and the resulting compromise will be just as unclear as the current legislation. Meanwhile the economy will get better, which would happen anyway because that’s how cycles work; and of course the Republicans will try to take credit for the recovery. I’ll be the only person on the block who remembers that the crap economy began during Bush’s Presidency and that the deficit was almost non-existent at the end of Clinton’s second term.

The new Republican majority leader will be just as arrogant as Nancy Pelosi was on the Dem side but he’ll get away with it because arrogant Republicans are usually more fun than arrogant Democrats.

Fox News and MSNBC will continue to present obviously biased news coverage, far right and far left respectively, and I will finally stop watching either, mostly because I get a sore throat from yelling at my TV. My stress level is always lower after watching reruns of NCIS and Criminal Minds.

OK, enough of this for now. God bless America – we need it. Ciao!