by Robert Wilkinson
Time for a victory lap and some reflections
As I write this, it’s 7 am the day after, and to my surprise, Obama took VA! That officially makes Virginia, as well as North Carolina, “swing states” in future elections. The Republican party can no longer automatically count on those two states in their “safe” column. Election 2008 could have been an anomaly, but two consecutive elections indicate a trend. And it would seem that Iowa, Nevada, Colorado, and New Hampshire also are trending Democrat.
As could be expected, Florida is still out. But Obama is up with 97% of the vote in. If that holds, Obama will have won with 332 electoral votes (he got 365 in 2008). Anything over 300 is considered a clear mandate.
The Senate is pretty much as I called it. Two seats are supposedly still undecided (MT and ND, both of which have Dems up at this time), but as of now it’s a clear Dem majority, expanded a little from yesterday. It is expected the House will wind up with 198 Dems, 10 less than I thought, but still a small increase in Dem House numbers.
Rove had his public hissy fit about Fox calling Ohio for Obama - still waiting on the vote flipping, Karl? - and it seems the party of the billionaire robber barons got well thumped all over. They spent well over half a billion dollars and didn't accomplish ONE of their election intentions. They thought they would take the Senate AND the White House while increasing their majority in the House. That's ZERO for three. As I saw it put, “United citizens beat Citizens United.”
This marks the acceleration of the end of the Republican Party, due to trends clearly indicating overwhelming support for Dems from the top to the bottom of the ticket among Hispanic and Latino/Latina voters, and the number of young people voting Democrat remained as high as in 2008. The party of angry entitled white men is dying a slow death, and screaming all the way.
I’ve been on a few comment streams already. It’s amazing that on some of them Republicans are screaming that Obama is not their president, and they hope he fails. This also indicates the national mood is ugly, with members of one party unwilling to accept they are not the majority, and refusing to accept the election results actually show what the nation wants.
It seems that many Republicans insist in public forums that the majority of Democrats are lazy parasites on welfare, and many actually believe illegal aliens and slackers on the public dole made up the majority of Obama voters and refuse to accept any other possible cause of his re-election. They are openly refusing to accept reality. Again, this does not bode well for our nation, since about 20% of the population refuse to accept the results of democratic elections regardless of the facts and reality that they are an extremist minority.
Publicly the Republican power players have begun recriminations and are eating their own. This will further fracture the Republican party, since it’s become a party of extremists shouting out the moderates, and making sure only Grover Norquist purists get the nod in the primaries. This is also going to end, given that a few Republicans have openly stated they are no longer willing to be bound by his pledge. This could be the beginning of a good trend, since a sane tax policy must be put into motion for the good of our country.
I do take joy in the fact that Mitt Romney’s lies and shapeshifting obviously did not fool the majority of American voters into buying into his vulture capitalist philosophy, and Ryan’s “Ayn Randian” approach to killing Medicare, Social Security, and the safety net was utterly repudiated. Billionaire robber barons did not manage to buy the election, and Republicans do not get to destroy what’s left of the American dream.
Exit polls clearly and overwhelmingly indicated Romney “doesn’t get” and “doesn’t care” for the vast majority of Americans. This indicates that the public saw through the chameleon foisted as a candidate who was willing to say literally anything to pander for votes. Perhaps the majority of the voting public are not as gullible as Republican strategists would have us believe. They certainly spent enough money trying to sell us a two-faced empty suit and someone whose only job before government was driving a weinermobile.
Republicans tried to make this an election about Obama not being good for the economy, and openly mocked and stated they would repeal the ACA. I believe it’s safe to say the election proves the majority of Americans do not agree with these positions. While several red states voted on opting out of the mandate (which originally was a Republican party idea in the 90s) it doesn’t matter.
Exit polls indicated a vast majority of the American voting public supports what Obama has tried to change in the health insurance model. While I expect there will be more legal challenges to the health care law, hopefully any amendments and changes will benefit the public even more than what’s already in place (as we inch toward a single payer system….)
So effectively we have the same scenario as yesterday, which was re-affirmed by the voters of the United States. Barack Obama is the President. The House of Representatives is still dominated by Republicans, though the influence of the Tea Party extremists is diminished by what this election was about and what message won the day. The Senate still has a Dem majority, though some are Dems in name only and may not support legislation that would make their red state constituents unhappy. Still, all in all a good result, given the stakes.
While House Republicans can insist the President must work to accommodate them, that is not the message a significant majority of Americans sent the Republican party yesterday. Should the final Senate tally be 53 Dems plus two independents, unless the Republicans continue to stonewall legislation in lockstep, threatening more hundreds of filibusters as they did in the first term, then we should have more legislation passed, more judges appointed, and maybe even get a Supreme Court justice who will put people ahead of corporations.
While our nation still has horrendous problems that have been neglected for years, and the environment continues to degrade, it’s a blessing that yesterday turned out as it did. I suspect that old saw “necessity is the mother of invention” may dominate the political landscape for the next four years, since there are forces at work beyond the ability of political parties to ignore or postpone.
Copyright © 2012 Robert Wilkinson