It was always expected that the 2010 congressional election would provide something of a speed bump for President Obama’s agenda. That is the norm for mid-term elections, particularly in a president’s first term, and especially when his party is also dominant in Congress. But the 2010 election was no ordinary mid-course correction. Republicans gained more than 60 seats in the House of Representatives and now hold their largest working majority in that chamber since just after World War II. They also picked up six seats in the Senate, 675 seats in state legislatures, and now hold 29 governorships. This was a Republican rout of historic proportions.
Moreover, the election did not turn on trivialities. It was a contest between two competing visions of America’s fiscal future and government’s role in our national life. Voters — including an unprecedented grassroots movement built around a desire to restrain spending and debt — sided decisively with those who favor smaller, less intrusive, and less expensive government.
Republicans have clearly won a major battle, but they are still very far from winning the war for limited government and fiscal sanity. They now have a House majority, but still confront a Democratic Senate and a Democratic president. Given these constraints, and given their new opportunities, what should Republicans do when the 112th Congress begins? How should they use the resources at their disposal to best address the looming economic and fiscal challenges the country now faces, while also restoring government to its proper place?
Capretta goes on to argue persuasively that the Republican House must deal with the budget, spending, the economy health care, government largesse and more! Whole thing here.