Here's my problem with Ken Davenport's view that this was a "throw the bums out" election, rather than an embrace of the Dems. People certainly didn't vote for us either. The problem is we have now had several "throw the bums out" cycles; and at some point we've got to begin to suspect that its more than just the fact that voters are fed up with Republicans who get elected and then stop acting like Republicans. They need something to vote for - this year that was "hope and change." When you don't like what you've got, the first person coming around that's peddling something new and better is going to capture the market. Unfortunately, this year we had nothing more than repackaged same old same old. Change looks mighty good.
There was a price to be paid for all those Republicans who "grew in their office" once they got to DC, there was price to pay for becoming the party of Washington as usual and being the problem of government instead of having a problem with government.
We've paid that price for being the party of Bush and Cheney - and then some. We need to stop and take stock of where we are, and who we are, or two years from now were going to be talking about how continue to lose seats because the voters are still in a "throw the bums out mood."
It's clear that there was some Bush backlash again, and the media - which had effectively laid the groundwork and message for this election over the past 8 years - helped create an environment that painted the party as out of touch, reactionist, elitist and corrupt.
We will have to overcome a huge message and public perception disparity - something I'm not confident that we can do. However the first step is to begin, once again to give Americans something to vote for. Something more than hope and change. We can do that.