The modern era of the “wave” election began in 1994, when after 40 years of legislative dominance, Democrats were cast aside en masse and the new Republican majority swept into power, a popular reaction to the perceived overreach of the Clinton administration. The GOP gained eight Senate seats that night, ten Governor’s mansions, and an astounding 54 House seats.
Since then, we’ve had three more such elections, always in midterm years, and always punishing the party whose representative sits in the White House. While it’s typical for the party in power to lose seats in a midterm, the back-to-back-to-back wave elections of 2006, 2010, and 2014 constitute something new on the American electoral landscape, a pervasive discontent with both parties manifesting in wild swings between them, with no viable third alternative for voters to turn to.
George W. Bush’s first midterm election, in 2002, is the sole exception to this wave rule in the new millennium, as a shell-shocked electorate granted modest gains to the Republicans in the wake of 9/11 (with two net GOP pick-ups in the Senate and eight in the House). In 2006 it was the turn of the Democrats to ride the wave, winning six Senate seats, 31 House seats and six gubernatorial contests, to wrest control of both Houses from the Republicans, who were mired in the poor policy and disastrous execution of the Iraq War.
Since then, midterm waves have become the norm, with “death panel”-touting GOP candidates scoring big in 2010 by capitalizing on public confusion and skepticism over the Affordable Care Act; and again in 2014 by hyping Ebola and ISIS fears, as well as a continued sense of economic malaise, despite improved financial indicators. Republicans gained six Senate and 63 House seats in 2010 (plus six Governor’s mansions), and eight Senate and 13 House seats in 2014 (with an additional six gubernatorial wins), resulting in the biggest House majority since 1929. [Note: several House races and one Senate race are still undetermined as of this writing, but lean Republican.]
There is an astrological pattern to these recent waves, which all show both the Sun and Mercury forming significant hard aspects to Black Holes, those deep space anomalies whose gravitational pull is so strong, not even light can escape hem. Astrologically, Black Holes represent the volte-face, the sudden, dramatic shift in the status quo reality, wherein conditions change in the twinkling of an eye and alternate realities are substituted for those currently pertaining.
Black Holes also absorb vast amounts of energy (witness this year’s phenomenal campaign bill, totaling almost $4 billion dollars) and tend toward extremes, often smashing old records and setting new ones. The Sun determines the “flavor” of the day, while Mercury rules the voting process itself, from the deliberations of the voters, to their final decision, casting ballots, and the ballots’ tabulation and recording. Having both these crucial Election Day elements in aspect to Black Holes is an open invitation to chaos, excess, and chicanery.
On November 8, 1994, the Sun at 16 Scorpio exactly opposed a Black Hole at 16 Taurus, leading to perhaps the most dramatic political reversal of our times, as Republicans gained a majority in the House of Representatives after 40 years in the legislative wilderness. Control of both the House and Senate went to the GOP. Mercury at 28 Libra was exactly conjoined another Black Hole reinforcing the sense that major change was in the works.
The Democratic “Blue Wave” of 7 November 2006 was a startling reversal of the new status quo, and showed the Sun at 15 Scorpio highlighting that same Black Hole polarity, wiping out the previous GOP majority to reassert progressive dominance. Mercury was conjoined the Sun from 18 Scorpio, also opposing the 16 Taurus Black Hole, doubling down on its influence. Although once again in the majority, the 1994 House deficit wasn’t entirely erased by Democrats until Obama’s election in 2008, when Dems picked up another 24 seats and won back the earlier losses.
So these two elections, highlighting the same polarity, each showed dramatic “flips” in the power base of Washington DC. The subsequent two midterm elections, in 2010 and 2014, also share a resonance, with both Election Day Suns within two degrees, and highlighting the same deep space energies. On November 2, 2010, the Sun at 10 Scorpio was one degree shy of exact conjunction to the Black Hole at 11 Scorpio, and squaring another at 9 Leo. On November 4, 2014, the Sun at 12 Scorpio was one degree past the 11 Scorpio anomaly, and exactly squared a second Black Hole at 12 Aquarius. The first of these elections saw the GOP take back their majority in the House, while the second gave them control of the Senate. Mercury in 2010 was at 20 Scorpio, exactly semisquare the 5 Capricorn Black Hole; in 2014 Mercury at 23 Libra conjoined one Black Hole at 22 Libra and squared another at 22 Capricorn.
The 2016 election will be held on November 8, with the Sun at 16 Scorpio once again highlighting the 16 Taurus Black Hole polarity that brought us the Republican Revolution of 1994 and the Blue Wave of 2006. With Republicans having to defend 23 of the 34 Senate seats in play that year, it’s likely we’ll see control of the upper house return to the Democrats, but the wave would have to be of tsunami proportions to win back the lower chamber.
The 2014 midterm election broke several records, in typical Black Hole fashion, but it didn’t shatter them. In addition to the total campaign expenditure, up several hundred millions from 2010, there will now be more than 100 women in both houses of Congress, the first time that psychological barrier has been crossed. But this is incremental change, up from 99 women in the 113th Congress to 101 in the 114th (this figure could rise to as much as 106 when the remaining disputed races are decided, several of which feature female candidates). Another record was one we wish we didn’t see—2014’s voter turnout was barely 36% of the electorate, the lowest percentage of participation in 72 years.
At first blush, given the dismal state of affairs in Washington already, the GOP takeover of the Senate doesn’t seem to matter much. And indeed, in many ways, it won’t. Obstructionist Republican parliamentary tactics and an inveterate hatred of the President from Tea Party elements and others have conspired to prevent any significant legislation being passed since the House fell to Republicans in 2010. So what’s the difference if the 114th Congress is as inactive as its predecessor?
There is one important difference, however—committee chair changes. Whichever party is in the majority has the right to chair the various committees which attempt to do the business of government, setting the legislative agenda, prepping bills for vote, deciding what makes the floor and what doesn’t, allocating funds, etc. These have been headed by Democrats since 2006, but now Republican ranking members will move into the chair positions, unseating their Democratic rivals.
One immediate effect this shift will have is in the realm of our response to global climate change. The current chair of the US Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, which oversees this issue, is Barbara Boxer (D-CA), but she’s about to be succeeded by James Inhofe (R-OK), perhaps the most famed climate change denier on Capitol Hill. Despite a 97% consensus among climatologists worldwide that global warming is happening and is at least partly manmade, in 2012 Senator Inhofe wrote a book on the subject: The Greatest Hoax: How the Global Warming Conspiracy Threatens Your Future. How sympathetic to climate change concerns do you suppose this committee will be under his leadership?
The House’s Committee on Science, Space and Technology, in Republican control since 2010, already has such luminaries as Paul Broun (R-GA), who describes evolution as a “lie from the pit of hell”, and Randy Weber (R-TX), who argues that science can’t make claims about events happening tens of thousands or millions of years ago, because it couldn’t directly observe them. Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA) speculates on the possibility that global warming could be eliminated if countries with rainforests simply clear cut them, to eliminate greenhouse gases (a fundamental misunderstanding of how the process works), while fellow committee member Sandy Adams (R-FL) has introduced legislation to kill energy-efficient light bulbs, adding an amendment “to prohibit the use of funds for maintaining, developing, or creating any Web site which disseminates information regarding energy efficiency and educational programs on energy efficiency specifically to children under 18 years of age”, presumably regarding it as propaganda.
With both chambers now being run by such intellectual giants, the future does indeed look bleak.
But is this really the future we voted for, collectively? Widely disparate numbers between pre-election polling and official results could indicate that 2014 was a revisiting of the notorious electoral fraud of 2004, which gave the Bush-Cheney administration another four years to wreak havoc in America. Please note, in most cases, I’m not disputing the final outcomes, just wondering if the extent of the wave was “helped” by Republican secretaries of state with easily manipulated electronic voting machines. Such was certainly a viable option, given Mercury’s Black Hole stance, which can indicate unseen mechanisms operating behind the scenes, altering realties with an agenda for acquisition of power.
Consider these facts: veteran GOP Senator Pat Roberts from Kansas looked like being in serious jeopardy for most of the campaign season. Saved originally by a three-way split between both a Democratic and Independent challenger, when the Democrat pulled out of the race in September and threw his support to Independent Greg Orman, Roberts’ campaign foundered. Down in some polls by double digits, a massive infusion of cash and high-profile surrogates from the GOP slowly reversed this trend, until by Election Day Roberts had clawed his way back to parity with Orman, who had a slight lead, 43-42%. But at the polls, Roberts emerged the victor by almost 11 points, 53.2% to Orman’s 42.5. So we’re to believe that EVERY undecided voter in Kansas, unable to commit in advance to the known quantity Pat Roberts (who had been their senator for 18 years), unanimously decided at the last minute to support him, and brought along another 1% of Orman’s voters as well?
In Kentucky, where Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell dreamed of finally swapping out his title for “Majority Leader”, the story was much the same, although the outcome was not seriously in dispute. But on Election Day McConnell, who had been polling barely 7 points ahead of Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes, increased his margin to a whopping 17.5%! A similar pre-election poll showing incumbent Democratic Arkansas Senator Mark Pryor trailing his Republican challenger Tom Cotton by 7 points was magically transformed into a 17 point loss, and in Iowa a race that was within the margin of error days before the election came down to a decisive nine-point blitz by Republican Joni Ernst.
Virginia’s Senate race wasn’t even on the political radar, with popular incumbent and former governor Mark Warner apparently cruising to an easy victory over former RNC chair Ed Gillespie. But when the votes were “counted”, Warner barely won in a real squeaker, his ten point lead having shrunk to barely half a percent.
None of this is conclusive evidence of electoral fraud, but it does leave a bad taste in the mouth of statisticians and pundits, many of whom have pronounced themselves “baffled” by the “incomprehensible” variance between polling and results. Wild swings in polling and outcomes isn’t necessarily a red flag, but when the results are multiple and consistently favor one party, as occurred in 2004 and 2014, we need to seriously consider the possibility that the government we’re getting is not the one we voted for, and take steps to make the process more transparent and tamper-proof.
A large number of 2014 candidates had PNAs (Personal-Named Asteroids) representing them, which factored strongly into the day’s major transits, but the results are mixed and inconclusive. Despite asteroid Davis at 12 Aquarius exactly squared the day’s Sun at 12 Scorpio, both Wendy Davis and Paul Davis, Democratic gubernatorial candidates in Texas and Kansas respectively, lost their electoral bids, perhaps overwhelmed by that 12 Aquarius Black Hole. It didn’t help that Davis was also squared asteroid Atropos at 13 Scorpio, indicating a “death” or end of a matter, and that asteroid Wendy at 29 Libra was also on a Black Hole and closely conjoined asteroid Achilles, denoting vulnerability or weakness, at 0 Scorpio. Achilles may also have sunk Pennsylvania’s incumbent governor Tom Corbett, with asteroid Corbett exactly squared from 0 Leo.
Saturn contacts seemed to help in governor’s races, which makes sense, as notwithstanding its ‘limitation’ and ‘withholding’ qualities, it also rules chief executives. Greg Abbott won in Texas, with asteroid Abbott at 27 Scorpio conjoined Saturn at 24 Scorpio, and Rick Scott won re-election in Florida, with asteroid Richard at 29 Cancer in trine, and asteroid Scott at 22 Virgo in sextile. But Mary Burke lost her hotly contested governor’s race against Wisconsin incumbent Scott Walker, although asteroid Burke at 24 Aquarius was exactly squared Saturn (while asteroid Walker at 15 Capricorn conjoined Pluto), and Gary King lost to New Mexico incumbent Susana Martinez, with asteroid King also squared Saturn from 21 Leo (the “hard” aspect may be to blame in both these cases), while asteroid Martinez at 24 Capricorn was in exact sextile.
Over all, a night of suspense and surprise, which ultimately surprised no one. We’ll have to wait another two years to see what 2016’s contest brings, but don’t be shocked if that Black Hole takes us “back to the future”, and we see a final knock-down, drag-out battle encapsulating the conflict of the last quarter century, with (Hillary) Clinton versus (Jeb) Bush, a dynastic death match which spells the last gasp of our dying democracy.