On the national and state levels, the brains in The Buffalo News Opinion corner continue to tease out the meanings of Tuesday's elections:
- Now what? - Buffalo News Editorial
William F. Buckley Jr., the great guru of the 20th century conservative movement, described the conservatives' role in politics as "standing athwart history, yelling 'stop!'"
The American electorate did exactly that Tuesday. The question now becomes whether the newly empowered Republican Party, in control of the House and with much greater pull in the Senate, wants to do anything other than stand athwart everything President Obama may propose, or whether it has anything truly constructive in mind.
Because history, despite Buckley's expressive turn of phrase, does not stop. The federal government will need to do things. ...
The voters, now, must be on watch to see if either party wants to solve any of the nation's problems, or if one or both is all too happy to see them go unsolved, so that they can be used as a club to beat their rivals with in the next election campaign.
Which begins right ... about ... now.
- Americans recalibrate - David Broder/Washington Post/Buffalo News
The message to President Obama from Tuesday’s election could not have been plainer: Don’t abandon your goals. Change your way of operating.
- Americans recoil - George F. Will/Washington Post/Buffalo News
This election was a nationwide recoil against President Obama’s idea of unlimited government. The more he denounced Republicans as the party of “no,” the better Republicans did.
- A path forward - Ruth Marcus/Washington Post/Buffalo News
In the unhappy aftermath of another Election Day, an American president offered some wise words. “Our task,” he said, “is to be sure our leaders do not fail the American people.” Ronald Reagan was right. To my fellow patriots across the aisle: Let’s win one for the Gipper.
- Sorting Out the Election - New York Times Editorial
The Republican victory was impressive and definitive, although voters who made it happen were hardly spread evenly across the electorate. The victory was built largely on the heavy turnout of older blue-collar white men, most in the South or the rusting Midwest.
- The Boehner Evolution - Wall Street Journal Editorial
We're probably destined more for gridlock than accomplishment, which after the last two years is an accomplishment itself.
- Obama's challenge - Chicago Tribune Editorial
He can start by recognizing that his overly ambitious policy agenda in his first two years signaled that the president is intent on enlarging the government and its power, regardless of the real-world consequences.
- Six Lessons From the Democratic Disaster - Eliot Spitzer/Slate
President Obama lost his capacity to harness the support of the disaffected middle when he enhanced the bailout of Wall Street without getting anything meaningful in return. That was the emotional Rubicon for this administration. Had the bailout been accompanied by fundamental reform, genuine contrition, and actual pounds of flesh, the public might have accepted it. But when the banks, in the midst of the foreclosure morass and economic disaster, returned to the same old bonus behavior, the public sensed one thing: betrayal.
- Obama's Morning-After Plan - Tina Brown/The Daily Beast
A president who thinks he can change Washington is as misguided as a new studio head thinking he can change Hollywood. He may say he’s arrived to foster new ideas and adapt the great novels he was raised on, but he will still wind up doing Pirates of the Caribbean IV or succumbing to some bollixed-up development process that ends in tears or a frightful Nicolas Cage movie.