Harry Reid survives.
The 26-year beltway veteran staked his claim as the most resilient politician in Nevada history on Tuesday, surviving a national GOP onslaught to hold his Senate seat in the face of a furious challenge from Republican Sharron Angle.
The victory is a tribute to the senator’s political skill and organization – and, most likely, to Ms. Angle’s shortcomings.
Harry Reid will return as Senate majority leader with a smaller advantage in the upper house. At age 70 and slowing considerably, he is likely in his last term. Will he continue to blindly follow the hyperliberal Obama agenda — which put him in jeopardy this election cycle — or will he revert to acting like the moderate Democrat he passes himself off as every time he holds a grins and shake in the Silver State?
Nevadans will soon find out.
Meantime, Tuesday’s balloting was a striking repudiation of the Democratic statist agenda, a mere two years after Barack Obama promised a post-partisan, post-racial America. The GOP not only added about eight governorships — especially important with redistricting on the horizon — the party picked up almost five dozen seats in the U.S. House to take the majority. And it was accomplished primarily by grass-roots, amateur activism, despite the absence of a single, strong, national Republican voice on the order of Ronald Reagan.
But the real battle starts now.
As usual, Republicans got themselves elected on a platform of lower taxes, reduced regulatory meddling with job-creating businesses, and reducing the deficit by cutting spending — without any “revenue enhancements,” hidden or otherwise.
But the weather vane of a disgruntled electorate is now capable of swinging sharply every two years, if not more often. Should new “Tea Party” Republicans content themselves with saying, “Gee, we’ve got a seniority system here, and we’re still in the minority, it’s likely to take five or six years before we can really make much progress …” they’ll quickly learn just how short American tempers have grown.
Meantime, will an arrogant and narcissistic president continue to push his radical agenda of socialized medicine, the elimination of secret-ballot union elections, higher taxes, amnesty for illegals, and cap-and-trade plans that will raise the energy bills of every American?
If so, President Obama may still learn something. He may learn a president can plan, but he can’t finance anything if an opposition House of Representatives simply turns off the money spigot and refuses to fund his plans.
That is, assuming Republicans this time find the courage to stand their ground.