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Opinion: Elections Have Consequences

The Buck Starts Here

President Obama won an Electoral College landslide on Tuesday. He held on to every swing state that Romney needed to win. Obama defeated Romney in his home states of Massachusetts and Michigan and in Paul Ryan's home state of Wisconsin.

Democrats picked up two Senate seats in a year that they were supposed to lose seats. They even won in Indiana, Missouri, Montana and North Dakota -- states not carried by the top of the ticket.

In the House, Democratic candidates garnered more votes than Republicans nationally. Strictly because of the gerrymandered districts Republicans are able to draw in states, the GOP controls the House of Representatives. But Democrats made gains there as well, likely picking up a net of seven seats in the House.

How gerrymandered are they? For example, 25 Republicans won House seats in Ohio and Pennsylvania with 9 Democrats winning despite statewide victories for Democrats up and down the ballot in both states.

Now GOP House and Senate members seem to have a hard time dissecting the results of this election.

The next and final test of this Congress is the so called fiscal cliff, or sequestration, that Republicans opted for over a Grand Bargain on the deficit in the Summer of 2011.

Republicans then bet that by denying President Obama a victory on the deficit they could beat him at the polls.

They were wrong.

Rather than putting their country first and joining the President and Congressional Democrats in addressing a critical issue, the GOP put party and ambition before country.

As Mitt Romney might say, the Republicans in Congress built this sequestration mess.

Now they have to swallow the bitter pill of defeat and take a deal on the president's terms.

But the Republicans remain too weak to address the issue now. In the face of defeat, Republicans have grown smaller. They prefer to kick the can down the road and hope that their fortunes change.

They know if they act in the countries best interest then a bunch of Tea Party nuts are going to primary them in 2014.

If they do not act, however, we all suffer.

The GOP leadership still says publically that they think that if they put off the issue and try to hurt the president politically that they will win the next election.

The day after the voters spoke in our democracy, Republicans sought to set aside the results and focus on winning next time.

It is not just a losing proposition for Republicans, it is a losing proposition for America.

The great thinkers and strategists of the Republican party thought the sequester was a great idea. As we saw during the manufactured debt-ceiling crisis, Republicans are comfortable with damaging the U.S. economy for political strategy. Now it's time to do a deal that is in line with what the American voters demanded, not the rejected ideas of the Tea Party.

About Bill Buck

Bill Buck is a Democratic strategist, President of the Buck Communications Group, a media relations and new media strategies consulting business based in Washington, DC, and Managing Director of the online ad firm Influence DSP. He has over twenty years of international and national communications experience. The views and opinions expressed in this post are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of CBS Local.


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