07 November 2012

V I C T O R Y ! ! !


We won -- massively, crushingly, across-the-board.

Seamus, John Lauber, Super Hit, victims of Bain Capital -- you are avenged.

Zoe Lihn, Big Bird, you are saved.

If I might briefly blow my own horn a bit, my election prediction was very close.  Every Senate race I called, I called correctly, though Wisconsin was looking iffy for a while.  The Electoral College came out as predicted except for North Carolina.  Obama's popular-vote margin was a little over 2%, not the 4% or 5% I was expecting, but well beyond the margin of dispute.

But the important thing is that the country voted for the future over the past, for progress over those who would have dragged us backward.

Not only was Obama re-elected, but we won an enlarged Senate majority including Elizabeth Warren, a voice the country desperately needs.

Tammy Baldwin has become the first openly-gay Senator.  Gay marriage won referenda in Maine, Maryland, and Washington, while an amendment against it in Minnesota was defeated -- the first time that cause has won at the ballot box, a dramatic affirmation of the sweeping shift in public attitudes toward gays over the last few years.

Marijuana-legalization initiatives passed in Colorado, Washington, and (for medical purposes) Massachusetts, although (drat it) not here in Oregon.  As usual, the public is out ahead of the politicians on that issue.

Todd Akin suffered a legitimate defeat -- I guess Missouri voters found a way to shut that whole thing down.  And it turned out Senator Mourdock was not what God intended to happen.

I feel no sense of chivalry or magnanimity whatsoever toward the defeated opposition.  They are horrible, twisted, vicious, nasty people.  They rallied round a ticket consisting of a sociopathic parasite who spent his career piling up obscene wealth by ruining the lives of others (which the Moloch he created is still doing), and a Randroid who planned to "privatize" -- that is, destroy -- Medicare and throw tens of millions of bewildered old people, clutching useless vouchers, onto the mercy of a private insurance market that doesn't want them.  Their fundamentalist base views anyone who isn't a heterosexual Christian as less than fully American, and their party platform would reduce American women to involuntary breeding stock for violent criminals.  The last time they were in power, their obstructionism cost us precious years of progress in stem-cell technology, a delay which will end up costing far more lives than the Iraq war they blundered into.  They fully deserved the stomping they just got, and far more.

But the "more" will come.  This was their last shot, the last election in which the Republican party as presently constituted will be a viable contender.  Year by year the black / Hispanic / racially-mixed percentage of the population inches upward, while the non-religious and gay-tolerant percentage surges.  A theocratic, homophobic party which refuses to confront the barely-disguised racist element in its midst, doesn't have a future.  They already lost almost every swing state and almost every seriously-contested Senate race yesterday, and by 2016 Arizona will be a swing state, and maybe not just Arizona.  Texas is 30% Hispanic and 12% black.  Add in Austin's liberal enclave, Dallas's vibrant gay community, and millions of blue-collar white people who are definitely reachable on the basis of economic self-interest, and a determined effort over the next four years could turn the state bluish-purple -- and that's the end of the Republicans as a viable national party, unless they drastically change.

Such change would need to start with the teabaggers, who have now cost the party at least five Senate seats it could otherwise have won -- Delaware, Nevada, and Colorado in 2010, Missouri and Indiana yesterday.  Then there's the Christian Right, whose anti-gay and anti-abortion fanaticism makes it anathema to the emerging consensus culture.  But can moderates overcome those two aggressive blocs, the latter of which now actually dominates the party?  The first sign is not good:  In the inevitable right-wing finger-pointing following yesterday's defeat, I'm seeing a lot of blame directed, bizarrely, against Chris Christie, for his simple acknowledgement of Obama's help and cooperation in aiding New Jersey after the devastation of hurricane Sandy -- as if he had somehow thereby stabbed Romney in the back.  If this new Dolchsto├člegende takes root and Christie, one of the most rational and moderate Republicans left in a position of prominence, is made a pariah or drummed out of the party, it will signal that the Nutties are purging the Sanes rather than the other way around.

Remember that many Republicans believe -- or at least will vote for politicians who believe -- that the Earth is 6,000 years old, that anthropogenic global warming is a myth, that corporations are people, that rape is a form of birth control, that the reason the economy crashed in 2008 was that Clinton forced the banks to make housing loans to black people, and that the only reason anyone votes for left-wing parties is that they're on government benefits and want to keep the goodies coming.  Many of them have been saying for months that Romney was doomed because he was too moderate, and are now claiming vindication.  Don't be surprised if the Nutties win the coming Republican civil war and nominate a Palin / Santorum ticket, or something like it, in 2016.

Oh, well, that isn't my problem.

We didn't win everything.  The House is still Republican, and sweet as it would have been to see Bachmann go down, she just barely hung on.  Democrats will still have to struggle with a sluggish economic recovery in the face of bitter obstructionism (job one for the new Senate: filibuster reform).  But the Supreme Court is safe.  Roe v. Wade is safe.  Obamacare is safe, and can be built on and improved.  We dodged four years (at least) of catastrophic regression in technology and social progress.  We've got a fighting chance to actually do something about global warming.  And we know now that we can win, and win big, in spite of vote-suppression laws and Citizens United.  We can allow ourselves to celebrate.


Blogger Ranch Chimp said...

I'm actually so happy for the President, that he can get a break from this election campaigning show that he had to bust ass over. If it was up to me, I'd give him a two week vacation immediately just for having to go through this : )

07 November, 2012 06:00  
Blogger Ranch Chimp said...

BTW Infidel ... I love that t- shirt you posted a pic of in the last post about "I Voted Republican" : )

07 November, 2012 06:02  
Blogger Shaw Kenawe said...

"A theocratic, homophobic party which refuses to confront the barely-disguised racist element in its midst, doesn't have a future."

The conservative blogs I've visited this AM have doubled down on their predictions of a complete Communist/immoral/moocher/stupid- voters takeover of America.

They haven't a drop of self-awareness that might clue them in on why they have been so soundly rejected.

Perhaps we should start up a collection to send them all mirrors?

Molly Ivins said it's not polite to gloat in the presence of Republicans after a Democratic win, but it's certainly okay to do so among our fellow Democrats.


gloat gloat gloat gloat gloat gloat

07 November, 2012 06:29  
Blogger Ahab said...

:: does the happy dance ::


I'm relieved at last night's election results -- the idea of a Romney/Ryan White House had me very nervous. Your post-election analysis was articulate, as always.

07 November, 2012 07:00  
Blogger Infidel753 said...

RC: Unfortunately his job is going to be as tough as ever. But at least he's free from the threat of a lay-off:-)

SK: I'm probably naïve to hope they'll have enough introspection to get it. But maybe a few will, and they'll have to educate the others. Not an enviable task.

I wouldn't gloat at conservatives on their own turf, but as far as I know, only liberals read this blog.

Ahab: Thanks. I'm really only just now realizing how worried and afraid I really was, at the possibility that they might win.

07 November, 2012 08:03  
Blogger Infidel753 said...

Oh, and don't think that they would have hesitated for an instant to come and gloat in our faces if their side had won. Right up to the election I saw plenty of posts by right-wingers who were salivating at the prospect of doing that very thing.

07 November, 2012 08:07  
Blogger Shaw Kenawe said...

"Oh, and don't think that they would have hesitated for an instant to come and gloat in our faces if their side had won. Right up to the election I saw plenty of posts by right-wingers who were salivating at the prospect of doing that very thing."

Oh you are absolutely correct on that.

But. We aren't them, are we.

And that's why someone like Elizabeth Warren won over a pseudo-centrist Republican Scott Brown.

07 November, 2012 08:48  
Anonymous Blurber said...

I followed the election using your map. Excellent job of prediction!

07 November, 2012 08:52  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

They lost because America rejected their hate and lies. They still have House majority and should be called out even harsher for their continued hate and lies. Some people don't learn without continued lessons.

07 November, 2012 09:28  
Blogger Infidel753 said...

SK: Well, I suppose not.....But I can't resist a little GLOAT GLOAT GLOAT GLOAT after all these months of worry about what might happen. It's not like I'm doing it in their faces or anything.

Blurber: Thanks! Maybe I should apply for George Will's job.

Anon: Yes, it's a continuing job. We were so close to getting Bachmann out! Maybe in 2014.

07 November, 2012 16:00  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"I feel no sense of chivalry or magnanimity whatsoever toward the defeated opposition. They are horrible, twisted, vicious, nasty people."

I feel the same way. They should be relegated to the margins. I have contempt for every officeholder with an R after their names. I'm looking at GOP supporters pretty funny as well. They are seeing the same things I'm seeing and still stand with the repubs. That tells me they took pleasure in Obama's difficulties. The "moderates" that didn't have the damn sense to leave the party are filth to me.

07 November, 2012 19:14  
Blogger Robert the Skeptic said...

Ok, it's time for the gloves to come off in dealing Congress now... and he can start with giving that mealy-mouth Boehner even more of lisp.

And, I would give anything to be in the room when the President makes eye contact with Mitch McConnell standing there with his tail between his legs.

Hey I know I've well established my reputation as the "worry wart" among the commenters here recently, but hey... gloat gloat gloat gloat gloat gloat!!

07 November, 2012 19:16  
Blogger naomi dagen bloom said...

Yes, it was a wonderful relief and satisfying to have all that racism beat back. And now there are 20 women in Congress. Remember the women, please. I do not agree that the fight to keep Roe v. Wade is over--far from it.

Night before the election OPB tipped its hat to the centennial of suffrage for women in Oregon...100 years ago; eight years before the 19th amendment. We have not made enough progress among women, let alone men.

And we still need some sort (you figure it out) of a reformulated Republican Party to move Dems to show more courage on many issues. Climate change comes to mind.

08 November, 2012 07:43  
Blogger Infidel753 said...

Anon: Some of them are misguided but reachable, but there are plenty of bigots and Randroids there -- and it takes a lot of self-delusion to avoid seeing Romney and Ryan and the platform for what they are.

RtS: I hope Obama will play more hardball now -- he's got a renewed mandate and no re-election to worry about.

NDB: Remember the women, please.

A solid point. Women showed political power like never before; they won the election for the Democrats. They showed, too, that the vileness displayed by Akin and Mourdoch is ballot-box poison.

I think Obama knows what he owes women, and will be very careful that his Supreme Court appointees firmly favor Roe v. Wade.

08 November, 2012 18:28  
Blogger Tommykey said...

Chuck Norris said that we're going to have a thousand years of darkness. Truth be told, I did have eight days without power from Hurricane Sandy, but I don't think that's what Chucky had in mind.

And now we'll see if Ted Nugent ends up dead or in jail by mid-April of 2013.

08 November, 2012 18:44  
Blogger Infidel753 said...

Nugent is among those who have been sounding pretty bonkers.....

09 November, 2012 01:02  
Blogger Tommykey said...

It would be funny if it weren't so potentially dangerous seeing how these poor deluded individuals think that this presidential election was part of some cosmic struggle between the forces of good and evil. Of course, for us it was a struggle to hold back the forces of a more terrestrial evil, the reactionary Religious Right.

09 November, 2012 04:34  

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