The morning after

As the post-election dust settles, here is my prediction.

I believe the Republican winners have a bigger problem than the Democrats who lost.

The Democrats now realize that they must deal with the need to create jobs, and they will. The Republicans have to deal with the Tea Party extremists, some of whom were beaten — O'Donnell, Angle, Paladino. But the influence of the Tea Party’s successful candidates — Rand Paul, for example — will push mainstream Republicans to take extreme positions and continue their past recalcitrance with the more collegial Obama. Those postures will annoy the middle-of-the-road American public. Traditional Republicans will have to corral their Tea Party partners, and submission is not their nature.

The Democrats’ problems are 1) focusing on bread-and-butter issues, 2) closing down the wars and 3) communicating their accomplishments better.

My bet is that Obama will do that. Look for his reelection in 2012, along with a Congress with no significant majority on either side for the foreseeable future.


Ronald Goldfarb, a Washington attorney and author, served in the RFK Department of Justice.