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Author Topic: Election's over  (Read 1885 times)

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Offline StattickTopic starter

Election's over
« on: November 07, 2012, 03:03:41 AM »
I'm so, so happy that it's finally over. This election was exhausting (at least for me).

The Democrats pretty much won everything that we were expecting to win (at least by the sane polling aggregates, like 538). We kept the presidency. We made small, but very important gains in the Senate (ensuring that we can change the rules on the Filibuster for the following two years, assuming that the Democrats follow through with their promises to kill the ability for Senate Republicans to hold the Congress and nation hostage by using the Filibuster on nearly every damn thing). We may have even made some small gains in the House (hard to tell, even now not all the results are in), but the House still remains firmly in the hands of the GOP. It looks like, once all the counting has finished, that we'll have picked up an additional Democrat governor as well.

Now, it sounds like a really modest gain for the Dems. But it's actually a huge victory. First off, with an economy this bad, even though this economy wasn't created by the Dems, the Dems should have lost the presidency according to conventional wisdom. Secondly, over half of the Democrat Senators were up for reelection, which would normally cause at least a small loss in seats, and with an economy like this, would normally have resulted in massive losses. Instead, we made gains. And instead of massive losses in the House, it looks like we held our own.

Part of the reason for the gains were that the Democrats just plain were the better choices in most cases. But the other side of that is that the GOP has been taken over by radical partisans. I don't think this was lost on the public. Many of the most radical GOP candidates up for election lost, like Akin, Mourdock, Tommy Thompson, and so forth. We literally could not have had this victory if it hadn't been for the crazies on the other side of the isle. Of course, if the other side hadn't gone crazy, the stakes wouldn't have been as high, and it wouldn't have mattered as much if we won big.

In the states, there were a few initiatives or state constitutional amendments that were proposed. Most but not all of these were passed or defeated in a favorable way for the progressives. Maine, Maryland, and Washington have all passed gay marriage. Meanwhile, Republicans had put an amendment on the ballot in Minnesota to ban gay marriage, and the amendment was defeated; gay marriage isn't allowed in Minnesota, but it's constitution hasn't been amended to forbid it. Massachusetts has passed medical marijuana, while Colorado and Washington have legalized it entirely (it's still illegal federally, so that's a sticky situation there). Several other states failed to legalize medical marijuana or legalize it entirely. On the other hand, several states have passed ballot measures that try to prevent some or all of Obama care. They'll probably be stricken down by the Supreme Court, but with this court, it's hard to say.

But it's quite possible that before any new challenges come before the Supreme Court, that one or more judges will retire or die on the bench (Scalia, I'm looking at you), and that Obama will get the opportunity to appoint one or more liberal or centrist justices. It's commonly been thought that many of the conservative judges have been wanting to retire, but were waiting and hoping for a conservative president before they stepped down. But with some of these guys approaching their eighties, they're just one medical crisis away from vacating their seats. Most people tend to believe that Scalia, the most partisan and radical of the conservative justices won't step down under any circumstances, and that he'll die on the bench. Which is why whenever I talk about a justice dying on the bench, I always think of Scalia. I'm not saying that I wish he'd drop dead already... I'm just saying that I won't shed a tear for him when he does, because I just don't have it in me to mourn the passing of a loud mouthed bully that's a ball of hypocrisy and hate wrapped in the shriveled skin of the aged (like Emperor Palpatine from Return of the Jedi). Where was I...?

At any rate, I'm so, so glad that the massive victory (in other words, holding our own and making modest gains) that was predicted by Nate Silver over at 538, and others, held true. We couldn't have done it without the bile and hypocrisy from the other side, and we wouldn't have needed to if they hadn't lost their minds. Things can't and won't go on indefinitely like this, but for the foreseeable future, I'm afraid we're stuck with a Republican Party that's given itself to the dark side, along with a well funded and powerful propaganda machine. In the future, we all need to pay attention to what's going on, so we can bring the good fight for the next campaign. This isn't some fantasy book or sci-fi movie where victory is clean and permanent. We'll have to fight this fight again in 2 years, when the House of Representatives is up for reelection. It takes people like us, who are paying attention, to remind those that aren't or won't pay attention that they have to vote again, and to remind them of why they need to vote, and what the other side has done that needs to be addressed by the public in the voting booths.

I'm planning to keep that watchful eye myself, but I think that I'm going to make myself pretty scarce here in Politics and Religion for a while. I'm fatigued from all this, and need some time to recharge. Maybe, if we're all really lucky, the Republican Party will have already have regained its sanity by the time the next election comes up, but I don't think it's likely for them to make such an about face in just two years.

Adios Amigos.

Offline RubySlippers

Re: Election's over
« Reply #1 on: November 07, 2012, 08:25:29 AM »
I think the best thing was the turnout people waiting in some cases several hours to vote and people of all classes, income brackets, perspectives and ages among other factors executing the most honored duty as a citizen we have was amazing.

And it showed money doesn't buy elections making the people want to vote for you or your ballot measure does matter.

So I would say the big winner is the Democrastic process where one vote cast by you whether a pauper or prince matters.

Offline StattickTopic starter

Re: Election's over
« Reply #2 on: November 07, 2012, 09:34:12 AM »
There was a story about a pregnant woman who went into labor yesterday. On her way to the hospital, she made them stop at the polling place so she could vote first.



There was also a story about an old man who was early voting a few days back. He was being helped to vote by his wife because his palsy was too bad for him to do it himself. At any rate, he up and keeled over in the middle of filling out his ballot. There just happened to be a paramedic there early voting, and he rushed over to help them. The old man had flatlined... no pulse, no breathing. The paramedic resuscitated him while the poll workers called for an ambulance.

A minute or two after the old man was literally brought back from the brink of death, he wakes up. "Did I vote yet?"

His wife responds, "No, we didn't finish. We have more important things to do. Like get you to the hospital. You almost died."

"Hogwash! Nuthin's more important than voting! Where's that damn ballot at?"

He wouldn't leave the polling station until after he'd finished voting. Then the ambulance whisked him out of there.




* Stories are mostly true. But I'm writing from memory, so some details might be slightly off.

Offline Oniya

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Re: Election's over
« Reply #3 on: November 07, 2012, 09:49:32 AM »
Those are really inspiring!  I hope the paramedics involved got the warm fuzzies, too.

Offline Ironwolf85

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Re: Election's over
« Reply #4 on: November 07, 2012, 10:37:38 AM »
"Hogwash! Nuthin's more important than voting! Where's that damn ballot at?"

I love this line.

Offline Secretwriter

Re: Election's over
« Reply #5 on: November 07, 2012, 01:10:49 PM »
I am glad the election is over. I was sitting here on needles and pins, checking the races on dial up. It was hell. I couldn't write to any of my posts, couldn't focus on anything but reading NCIS synopsis pages from old episodes and refreshing that Huffington post link! [Thank you, Saffron, for that link, by the way!]

I did vote Obama, just like I did four years ago. The race was very close at moments and I have to admit squealing a few times and eventually woke my husband up cussing at the screen. >.<  I never cared about politics before I had a little imp to worry about protecting from it all. *sighs*  I look back on last night with fondness though. Kind of felt like I was at a football game >.>

Offline Oniya

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Re: Election's over
« Reply #6 on: November 07, 2012, 01:23:37 PM »
I look back on last night with fondness though. Kind of felt like I was at a football game >.>

As a friend of mine tweeted:

Cautiously going to get back to the book. Feel like I just watched a Super Bowl where my rights were at stake.

Offline Skynet

Re: Election's over
« Reply #7 on: November 07, 2012, 06:56:10 PM »
I too am glad about the election results overall, as mentioned in the OP.  It wasn't just Obama winning, marijuana and gay marriage got legalized in some states, while ideologues like Allen West and Todd Akin lost their seats.  Let's not let these liberal victories be in vain; we've got 4 more years to enact progress!

Offline Sabby

Re: Election's over
« Reply #8 on: November 07, 2012, 08:17:17 PM »
BROBAMA! =D

Eh, at least it aint Romney. Cut it a bit too close for my liking...

Offline Silver

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Re: Election's over
« Reply #9 on: November 07, 2012, 08:27:50 PM »
I'm am more than happy the Election is over. I'm very proud of myself from staying away from this certain board. I am happy I will never again have to watch another Todd Akin Commercial, Not have to hear the word 'Legitimate Rape' at least ten times a day.

I'm happy this mess is over and I can silently cure that my state was red last night. 

Offline Cyrano Johnson

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Re: Election's over
« Reply #10 on: November 07, 2012, 09:22:33 PM »
Yeah, quite the drama, and if one was hoping for Obama's reelection a satisfying ending. (Canada has a big stake in partnership with a sane and reality-based American government, so I was certainly one of these. If the vote had been happening in Canada, Obama would have taken it in an over 80% landslide.) I can't imagine how draining it must all have been for Americans.

There were two big takeaways for me, in terms of learning:

Renewed Respect for Obama
The research needed to sort out the various claims and counter-claims about Obama's presidency gave me new appreciation for how much the man had really accomplished in four years -- and against balls-to-the-wall obstructionism by an openly crazy opposition to boot. This made reelection night actually much sweeter than the original 2008 election (I was moved to see a brother finally take the Presidency, something I never thought I'd live to see, but aghast at the scale of the mess he was inheriting and troubled by the air of messianic expectation and fake self-congratulatory "post-racism" surrounding the event). Obama's political skill, pragmatic and gracious governing style and oratorical power continue to impress me, much as I disagree with him about some things.

Clarity About the GOP
In the course of the campaign, one of the most illuminating pieces I came across was this one by Rick Perlstein. It really puts the conservative movement in the right perspective and allows one to figure out what, for a political party, often seems inexplicable behaviour. The movement is no longer properly speaking a movement at all (to whatever extent it ever was). Instead, it's basically a shakedown operation which uses fear and tribalism to keep the marks hooked and then sells them an endless stream of useless junk: including junk medicine, junk get-rich-quick schemes, junk science, junk religion and junk politics -- like political "committees" that spend 1% of their revenue on actual activism and the rest on fundraising, salaries and perks.

This really explains a great deal:

- It explains the hermetical echo-chamber nature of conservative media and why the "movement" will never, ever abandon it as long as this model persists, no matter what election-day disasters it brings: it's necessary to protect the "brand" from contact with actual facts, and thus shore up the ability to bilk the marks.
- It explains the "movement's" monomaniacal fixation on trickle-down economics and unwillingness to come up with new ideas: trickle-down is a key part of the con, the part where the "movement" protects its revenue from being wasted on those who've played no part in stealing it fair and square.
- It explains the over-the-top culture of dishonesty and ratfucking: there is no honour among thieves, nor among those who aspire to become thieves (and one of the central fictions sold to the marks is that they too could one day join the ranks of the rich and unscrupulous if they play their cards right -- none of Mitt Romney's detractors in the GOP complained about his lies).
- It explains the phantasmagorical morphing of scapegoats and obsessions in right-wing media, and why they rarely ever make any contact with real-life targets: there always need to be fresh outrages to keep the marks on the hook, but the "movement" can't be on the hook for actually fighting everyone it claims it's fighting, as this would cut into profits.
- And it explains why fears about Republican "fascism" are groundless: not because the "movement" cares all that much about civil liberties (except when it's pretending to for the sake of the marks), but real totalitarianism and militarism would simply be too much work, and would distract from the basic business of making money.

It's a far clearer understanding of movement conservatism and its real difference from Democrat-style centrism than I've ever had, so thank you Rick Perlstein and thank you Mitt Romney. It also makes it a lot clearer what the movement's real strengths and weaknesses going forward: it's a genuine challenge, as Obama discovered in Denver, to debate someone when almost everything they say is an out-and-out lie, and the movement will continue in this sense to be able to unpleasantly surprise even the most cynical of people and surpass their lowest expectations. On the other hand it will continue to be very bad indeed at judging what really plays outside its own echo chamber (cf. the various Republicans who thought they were ever going to take Obama down by yelling and screaming about Benghazi).

All in all it's always good to have both a great election result and to learn a lot from it. So I'm happy on both counts.

(Also I'm enjoying this.)
« Last Edit: November 07, 2012, 09:34:05 PM by Cyrano Johnson »

Offline Callie Del Noire

Re: Election's over
« Reply #11 on: November 07, 2012, 10:17:58 PM »

Offline Oniya

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Re: Election's over
« Reply #12 on: November 07, 2012, 10:26:03 PM »
Sadly...

Quote
The Daily Currant - The Global Satirical Newspaper of Record
The Daily Currant is the global satirical newspaper of record. All the latest political, business, tech, and entertainment news satire at dailycurrant.com.

Offline Callie Del Noire

Re: Election's over
« Reply #13 on: November 07, 2012, 10:27:21 PM »
Sadly...
Ah.. thought it was too humorous to be true.

Offline Skynet

Re: Election's over
« Reply #14 on: November 08, 2012, 12:39:17 AM »
Obama re-election protest at Mississippi campus takes an ugly turn.

Fortunately things didn't get violent, but the racist behavior of many of the protesters is despicable.  Hopefully you'd expect younger, college-educated people to be more progressive in this day and age... :-(
« Last Edit: November 08, 2012, 12:41:10 AM by Skynet »

Offline StattickTopic starter

Re: Election's over
« Reply #15 on: November 08, 2012, 12:48:28 AM »
I've lived in a lot of places in this country, and visited many, many others. And by far, Mississippi was the most racist place I've ever been. Protests there over Obama's reelection don't surprise me at all.

Offline Cyrano Johnson

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Re: Election's over
« Reply #16 on: November 08, 2012, 02:04:26 AM »
I'm surprised and gratified that incident was as small as it was, frankly. If you take a look at the tumblr in my last link, the racist and crypto-racist animus soaking it would almost make for a good drinking game... except that if you took a drink for every none-too-subtly-coded reference to race (or a couple for every outright condemnation of the "nigger" or "nigger-lovers") you'd be having your stomach pumped inside of five minutes. The GOP were very plainly relying on the half of the American populace that still openly admits to or implicitly cherishes racist sentiments to win the election for them. Always heartwarming to see hate, smallness and cowardice thwarted.

Offline Skynet

Re: Election's over
« Reply #17 on: November 08, 2012, 02:14:15 PM »
I wouldn't say that half of the American populace cherishes the kind of racism seen in that video; such hatred and contempt for African-Americans ( and non-Caucasians in general) is most prominent among far-right groups who pine for the days of segregation.  A large amount of Americans are rightly disgusted with Limbaugh and his ilk (and no he doesn't have 20 million listeners, his employer made that figure up).

Online Valerian

Re: Election's over
« Reply #18 on: November 08, 2012, 02:41:50 PM »
I like these numbers:

Quote
Karl Rove’s American Crossroads [Super PAC]:

Total spent campaign 2012: $104,710,427

1.29% of $103,559,672 spent in the general election and ending in the desired result.

Supported 0 winning candidates ; 0.00% of money went to supporting winning candidates.

Opposed 2 losing candidates; 1.29% of money went to opposing losing candidates.


Just think.  Karl Rove now has to face all those billionaire backers that he collected all that money from, and explain to them why they couldn't buy the election results they wanted.  Poor guy.   ::)


http://dailyagenda.org/2012/11/08/karl-rove-super-pac-spent-99-of-its-money-on-losing-candidates/

Offline Skynet

Re: Election's over
« Reply #19 on: November 08, 2012, 02:50:39 PM »
I like these numbers:

Just think.  Karl Rove now has to face all those billionaire backers that he collected all that money from, and explain to them why they couldn't buy the election results they wanted.  Poor guy.   ::)


http://dailyagenda.org/2012/11/08/karl-rove-super-pac-spent-99-of-its-money-on-losing-candidates/

While the rich will always have a disproportionate amount of power in the US political process, stories like this give me hope.

Offline Avis habilis

Re: Election's over
« Reply #20 on: November 08, 2012, 02:54:02 PM »
Just think.  Karl Rove now has to face all those billionaire backers that he collected all that money from, and explain to them why they couldn't buy the election results they wanted.  Poor guy.   ::)

Greuh - flashback to the end of that Julianne Moore movie where mysterious forces are editing her out of the past. Chief bad guy's evil plan has failed. He manages to say "I just need some more ti..." Then foop! Something sucks him up into the sky & he vanishes.

I'm picturing Karl chaining himself to a concrete bollard outside his nearest parking garage.

Offline Oniya

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Re: Election's over
« Reply #21 on: November 08, 2012, 03:03:59 PM »
Greuh - flashback to the end of that Julianne Moore movie where mysterious forces are editing her out of the past. Chief bad guy's evil plan has failed. He manages to say "I just need some more ti..." Then foop! Something sucks him up into the sky & he vanishes.

I'm picturing Karl chaining himself to a concrete bollard outside his nearest parking garage.

For the curious - The Forgotten (2004).

Offline Callie Del Noire

Re: Election's over
« Reply #22 on: November 08, 2012, 03:23:30 PM »
Admittedly this is only Karl's first REAL cash failure in electioneering.. granted it is his LARGEST.

Offline Callie Del Noire

Re: Election's over
« Reply #23 on: November 09, 2012, 09:32:25 AM »
You know the BEST thing about the election being over?  I have had NO mystery callers from EITHER party. 

Damn robocallers. I had around 20 or so the last two days.

Offline Oniya

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Re: Election's over
« Reply #24 on: November 09, 2012, 09:45:44 AM »
Robocallers aren't supposed to call cell phones.  We've had blissful silence!  ;D  (No landline.)