The Hill is a Little Higher

President Obama’s efforts to push through his agenda this year and get re-elected next year were dealt another blow (arguably) by the results of the special election in New York’s 9th District.

Republican Bob Turner beat Democratic candidate David Weprin by a comfortable margin in the election to replace Democrat Anthony Weiner who was pressured into resigning by Democrats who didn’t want to deal with his Internet obscenity scandal.

The 9th District has picked Democrats since 1923.  Republicans are saying that this election is yet another repudiation by voters of President Obama and his policies.  Democrats are saying that the 9th District has a disproportionate percentage of Orthodox Jews who don’t like the President’s policies towards Israel.  Some Democrats are also arguing that since Weprin voted in favor of gay marriage in New York, “homophobic” voters turned against him.

For Republicans–they should not start celebrating too early.  The presidential election is still more than a year away–the President still has time to impress undecided voters and inspire his base again.

For Democrats–that need to accept the fact that if voters in the liberal Northeast replace a Democrat with a Republican once (like in Massachusetts), it might be an aberration.  When it happens multiple times, it’s a trend.  Also, just because some people are uncomfortable with a definition of marriage that hadn’t existed for the previous six thousand years, it does not automatically stand to reason that such people have an irrational fear of homosexuals (which is what it means to be homophobic).  And since the 9th District has been voting for the more liberal party for the last 88 years, why would one assume that they were against gay marriage today?  Bob Turner presented himself as an opponent of Barack Obama’s economic policies, so why should we assume that the voters picked him because of foreign policy or a social issue?

Whatever the explanation, a previously Democratic seat in the House of Representatives is now a Republican vote, making it just a little more difficult for President Obama to get the kind of legislation he wants.