Bitter Thrush at Politico: GOP Cemented 'A Ten-Year Grip on the House' in 2010, Fails to Mention Tea Party's Influence

July 28th, 2013 11:37 AM

Has Glenn Thrush at the Politico thrown up the white flag on Democrats regaining control of the House until 2022, the first election cycle after the next wave of congressional and statehouse redistricting? If so, he clearly underestimates Republicans' ability to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory, but I digress.

It would appear that Thrush has thrust himself into the throes of despair, based on the bolded sentence seen after the jump from his Friday report on how 2010 losses of control of the U.S. House and especially control of so many statehouses and state legislatures "still haunt" Dear Leader Barack Obama:

Obama’s states of despair: 2010 losses still haunt

Barack Obama has spent well over $1 billion on his political campaigns, but it’s the $20 to $30 million Democrats didn’t shell out three years ago that is costing the White House as he slogs through the first six months of his second term.

The GOP’s wildly successful, low-key, and stunningly cheap campaign to seize state capitals in 2010 has come back to haunt Obama and his fellow Democrats. It’s now clear that the party’s loss of 20 state legislative chambers and critical Midwestern governor’s seats represents an ongoing threat every bit as dangerous as the more-publicized Republican take-back of the House that same year.

There was no stopping the GOP wave that year — but strategists in both parties say Obama’s team might have blunted it if they had somehow managed to cut into the GOP’s $30-to-$10 million cash advantage in state house races by making campaigns at the very bottom of the ballot a priority.

For that seed money, Republicans secured an historic return, cementing a ten-year grip on the House of Representatives and a score of state houses, and erasing the remaining smudges of blue in red states.

... It might be the greatest opportunity cost of the Obama Era in terms of sheer damage to Democrats, a gift that keeps giving to the Republicans in the form of GOP-dominated redistricting and a barrage of state actions that challenge Obama’s core agenda on health care, civil rights and abortion.

... the conservative revival has capped the number of states fully developing their own health care exchanges at 17, far fewer than Obama’s team had anticipated.

Thrush might as well have stopped at "There was no stopping the GOP wave that year," as he didn't cite a single race in which more money would somehow have swung the balance.

It also takes a special brand of deliberate historical revisionism to spend over 1,400 words on the 2010 congressional and state elections and never bring up the terms "tea party," "economy," "stimulus," or "deficit."

Naturally, Thrush didn't even consider the idea that the debacle might not have been so bad if Obama, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid hadn't governed so radically and so fiscally irresponsibly during 2009 and 2010, causing hordes of conservatives who had never been politically active to man the barricades.

Sour-grapes Thrush also convenient ignored the fact that large blue states like California, New York, and Illinois, whose congresspersons make up over 22% of that body, have been every bit as ruthlessly gerrymandered to favor Democrats.

Predictably, the Politico reporter also finds space to blame the Supreme Court's Citizens United decision, Democrats' imaginary excuse for all that ails them, while tagging caricatured enemies in the process:

Then came January 2010, when Republicans’ luck turned. The Supreme Court decision in Citizens United opened up the spigot for conservative donors, followed a couple of weeks later by Scott Brown’s Senate win in supposedly safe Democratic Massachusetts.

(Ed) Gillespie & Co. pounced, pulling in millions from traditional GOP donors, including Wal-Mart, tobacco companies, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and other conservative donors, according to a report by the online investigative web site Pro Publica. In addition, the RSLC activated a subsidiary to funnel cash to the party’s best map-drafter — the snowy-haired bane of liberals for decades, Tom Hofeller.

In other words, Republicans played aggressive hardball politics based on the playing field as it existed. I guess Democrats never do that. Boo hoo.

As to Wal-Mart, it supported Obamacare.

The big picture point is that Thrush somehow, like so many in Washington, believes that the amount of money spent in political campaigns means almost everything. When Democrats lose, it simply must be because they didn't spend enough of it. It can't possibly be because so much of the country rejects their political views. Keep telling yourself that, Glenn.

Cross-posted at