While there’s still some debate about whether 2014 should be called a “wave” or a “tsunami” or some other sort of nautical disaster, it’s fair to say it looks very similar to the elections of 2006, 2008, and 2010, where one side wins a disproportionate share of the closest races, and party control over Congress and/or the White House switches hands.
In every one of these elections, the victorious party perceives their win as a vindication of their policies and positions instead of what it really is: a sign of deepening frustration by an electorate that thinks the party in power isn’t properly addressing their concerns. In fact, if there were any mandate from voters this year, it was for an end to gridlock and partisanship. Newly elected members say they got the message. Post-election press conferences found GOP leaders and the President preaching the virtues of compromise or, at the very least, comity.
But, the dirty secret about “wave” elections is that they actually wash out those in Congress who are the most willing (and most politically motivated) to
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