Fred Barnes, in the Wall Street Journal, on today's election:

There's a simple way to test whether Democratic policies, rather than the economy, are the dominant factor in the midterm election: Consider the alternative. After Mr. Brown was elected on Jan. 19, Mr. Obama could have abandoned his full-throttle blitz to pass health-care reform and other legislation, instead seeking compromise with Republicans. The bipartisan route, adored by independents, was open to him.

Mr. Obama could have yielded on health care and settled for a scaled-back bill that provided coverage for the uninsured and those with pre-existing conditions. He also could have proposed meaningful spending cuts or a second stimulus that included broad-based tax incentives for private investment. And he could have chosen to extend all the Bush tax cuts for another year or two.

On each of those issues, Mr. Obama would have attracted significant Republican backing—and he and his party wouldn't be in such dire straits. Democrats would still lose House and Senate seats, but not nearly as many.

And yet Democrats will explain their losses today by faulting the economy, not themselves. Their fortunes will improve once the recovery picks up, they say. And if that line of thinking isn't persuasive, they assert that there's a general anti-incumbent mood among voters this year.

Many incumbents are in trouble, but voters have a specific target: the party whose policies they so heartily dislike.

Whole thing here.

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