Last night’s midterm elections marked a decisive repudiation of Barack Obama. Not only did the Republicans seize control of the Senate, increase their majority in the House, and win an overwhelming number of the governorships being contested, but most Democratic candidates wanted nothing to do with Obama, with the Kentucky candidate for the U.S. Senate refusing even to say whom she had voted for in 2012.
It is hard to say that this repudiation was undeserved. The economy, always the main issue for most voters, remains in dismal shape, and Obama has done nothing about one of the major causes of our economic malaise, the outsourcing of American jobs, even though it was his campaign’s deft portrayal of Mitt Romney as a champion of outsourcing par excellence that was largely responsible for Obama’s reelection. Indeed, Obama has never seemed terribly interested in helping Americans remain gainfully employed. His priority during his first two years in office, when the Democrats had a large Congressional majority, was not jobs but ramming through the misnamed Affordable Care Act, which is now making health insurance less affordable for most Americans. And it is now quite clear that Obama, far from being the inspiring figure the media made him out to be in 2008, has little leadership ability. As one post I saw on Facebook put it, “When voting, ask yourself am I more likely to be infected, beheaded, or audited than I was six years ago?”
Of course, the anti-Obama tide swept into office many weak and undeserving Republican candidates. And owing to the malign influence of the large contributors who bankroll the GOP, we are already hearing calls for Republicans to compromise with Obama on issues near and dear to the elite, especially immigration. That would be a fatal mistake for the GOP. CNN’s exit poll showed that the GOP won a crushing majority of the white Protestant vote, 71%-27%, and a substantial majority of the white Catholic vote, 58%-40%. The GOP lost every other racial and religious grouping, with non-white voters going 73%-25% for the Democrats. In other words, the major factor preventing the GOP from dominating American politics is the massive demographic change that has been caused by the Immigration Act of 1965 and the refusal of multiple Administrations to secure our southern border. The Republicans should use last night’s victory to kill Obama’s plan of granting an administrate amnesty to illegal immigrants, not to facilitate their party’s own long-term decline by cooperating with Obama on immigration.
Thomas Piatak is a contributing editor to Chronicles: A Magazine of American Culture. He writes from Cleveland, Ohio.