By Jim Stanford on November 5, 2010
Step back from the edge. On a whole, the election results weren’t as bad as they could have been. Voters saw through what one friend described as a “fog of irrationality” to elect good candidates locally. The county, another friend said, will continue to have “cohesive, responsive, logical leadership.”
Nationally, Democrats still control the Senate by essentially a 53-47 margin, with 51 Democrats and two independents who caucus with the party. No matter what wacko legislation comes out of the Republican-led House, the Senate will cool the wilder impulses.
How now, Tea Partiers? Ye wingnuts who have railed against government woke up this week to find out, guess what, you ARE the government! That means you bear the responsibility for getting things done, not just ranting angrily. Odds are these “outsiders” become just like everyone else elected to Washington, feel voters’ wrath and get tossed out next election.
In a year when the radical fringe invigorated the GOP, Wyoming Republicans found success by doing the opposite, selecting relatively moderate candidates. Teton County Republicans deserve credit for this. Ruth Ann Petroff, Paul Vogelheim, Keith Gingery and Leland Christensen are moderates who will represent the community, not just supporters in their party. They are light years ahead of some of their predecessors. There’s even hope for Governor-elect Matt Mead, who, despite his campaign rhetoric and lack of insight about health care, holds promise for governing from the center.
For eight years Republicans have enjoyed an unfair advantage in Teton County, after the GOP-dominated Wyoming Legislature redrew voting districts in their favor. The delegation we send to Cheyenne will have a hand in redistricting. Christensen and Petroff are on record saying they will work to make Teton County whole again. We will be watching very closely.