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Wednesday, 07 November 2012

The Morning After – Open Victory Thread

category_bug_politics.gif Barack Obama did it. And he did it big nearly sweeping the battleground states and with the electoral vote (at last count) 303 to 206 (more to come as counting continues).

Congress retains its same divide – Democrats kept the Senate; Republicans still rule the House. Bummer, but within those confines there was a lot of good news.

Elders' good friend, Independent Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, was re-elected and a new independent, former Maine Governor Angus King, joins him now although it is unclear which party he will caucus with.

And let's hear it for the women: Tammy Duckworth beat back Joe Walsh. Claire McCaskell defeated Todd “legitimate rape” Akin. And Elizabeth Warren. Oh, man, Elizabeth Warren took it away from Scott Brown and then said (I'm paraphrasing but close) that she will

”...make sure seniors' Medicare and Social Security benefits are protected and millionaires and billionaires pay their fair share.”

Plus, Indiana Democrat Joe Donnelly triumphed over Richard “God intended rape” Mourdock for the Senate seat long held by Republicans.

It was an amazing night. For all the Citizens United money, dark money, billionaire PACs, and the disgusting, undemocratic Republican attempts to limit voting to – well, their sort of people, they lost the presidency and, I believe, their legitimacy.

The faces in the crowds at the Obama and Romney headquarters late last night went a long way to explaining the Republican defeat. In Boston, it was a sea of white. In Chicago, there was every possible shade of human skin color that exists.

The Republican Party is a goner if they don't adjust to the new America.

Two or three more items for now: History was made with the first ballot box victories, in Maryland and Maine, for marriage equality. We're still waiting to hear if similar a item in Washington state passed or failed.

What Washington state did do, along with Colorado, is legalize recreational use of marijuana. That should get interesting since federal statutes against the weed, even for medical use, have been vigorously prosecuted during the Obama administration.

One sad item for Time Goes By readers. This blog's Gay and Gray columnist, Jan Adams, who keeps her own blog at Can It Happen Here? has been working full speed and more than full time for the past year with the campaign in California for Proposition 34 to repeal the death penalty and replace it with life without possibility of parole.

I know Jan worked her fingers to the bone but the measure was defeated, at the last count I saw, by about six points. A terrible disappointment for Californians, for the rest of the U.S. that a win could have influenced and for Jan personally.

I'm writing this on only two or three hours of sleep so please forgive my clumsiness: for a short while I believed that the best part of the election for me was that I would never again have to look at or listen to Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan.

Then, oops. Ryan was running for two offices (should that be legal?) and was re-elected to the House of Representatives. Dear gawd, six more years of Ayn Rand budget blather.

Oh well. Otherwise, it was mostly a terrific night of election returns.

And now, I'm taking this old and creaky body back to bed for a couple of hours. Thank all of you who emailed encouraging messages during the TV extravaganza last night and do have at it here in the comments. It's open thread on anything about the election. I'm eager to hear from all of you and I'll check back when I've rested a bit.


At The Elder Storytelling Place today, Ian Bertram: The British Healthcare System


Posted by Ronni Bennett at 05:30 AM | Permalink | Email this post

Comments

Ronni:
Obama's re-election is comparable to the forces of light winning out over the forces of darkness. It has great symbolic merit. He has a tough road ahead, but the possibilities for progress are open. Let the games begin!

My VietNam serving husband has our bags packed for Colorado!
Another great day in the US.

Our future is colors of all shades but even though Republicans haven't noticed- it's our present, too! Thanks for all your good posts about the issues and the truth of where politicians stood on them. I'm happy and embracing diversity!

Congratulations to President Obama.

I am thrilled that both Akin and Mourdock lost even though I wasn't able to vote against either one.

This Republican voted for Obama. I'm pleased. Best for the country. I'm not sure that I'm really a Republican? I voted for "dream act" and gay marriage. They may kick me out.
This Time Goes By crowd must have corrupted me :)

I am relieved that Obama has won. Now the battle over the budget resumes with Congress. Oh joy. :(

Sometimes I want to take a full page ad in major newspapers to write an open letter to politicians: "You are grown-ups. Act like it. We elected you to do a job. Get on with it. Put the country first, not your own re-election." Geez.

I too am as pleased as punch about the Presidential election. Trying to keep peace in my extended, Republican family, I have not written much about the election. I still won't, but I'm just jazzed that Obama won.

Please tell Jan Adams she must not be discouraged. Great change often requires many long efforts.

I wish I could remember which wise person said something like: we should not judge our lives by the harvests we reap but by the seeds we plant.

Way to go Republicans! Keep choosing candidates who were selected by your Tea Party primaries. Be sure they insult immigrants and have no knowledge of reproductive biology. It is helpful if they prefer to let basic industries go bankrupt and think that half the nation is a bunch of whining victims. Don't forget to do away with the EPA and/or FEMA. Show how much you care about your fellow citizens by promising to get rid of any baby steps toward healthcare for all. Keep up the good work! Thanks, Another grateful Democrat

When I transferred to the University of Houston because of the creative writing program, I soon learned I couldn't park near the university when I drove in from the suburbs. The best tactic was to park in an outlying lot and ride the shuttle into campus. Those shuttle rides turned out to be the best part of each day, surrounded by all the languages and people of the world come to that university. I loved it. When will Republicans learn that this is our strength and not something to guard against?

Yes we can...we could...and we did it again! Women leading the way was very exciting--thank you Emily's List. Oh, it was exciting to hear Republicans, the more grounded ones, admit they will have to move beyond their whiteness zone if they want to continue as players in American electoral politics.

I love your web site, Ronni, but don't be so smug -- anyone. The US is in decline. It doesn't matter who won The Presidency, because the Pres (and Congress) doesn't control the country. I don't know if it's Big Pharma, Big Business, the 1% -- no one really knows, so we really don't know who/what to fight. (But if you want a real scare, look up ALEC. Bill Moyers did an hour-long special recently on ALEC's GREAT influence on politics.) Anyway,our police will continue to be militarized, drones will increasingly be in our skies, anyone who owns an Iphone -- the government knows where you are every second, The DHS and reeducation camps are not going away, our 'civil liberties' will continue to be taken away (they're almost all gone now) and death panels will be here shortly. Do not live in the illusions that this election wasn't a scam, that our vote mattered, that who was elected matters. And we 99% are going to be in far worse shape in four years than we are now. I'm not a nut. I'm a college-educated woman, and I never used to be a conspiracy theorist until 9/11 and Bush stole his second term. So stop 'celebrating', open your eyes and ears, start reading and wake up.

Great news for America of many colors. And we can breathe a sigh or relief regarding any upcoming Supreme Court nominations.

Ronni,Please give Jan Adams my condolences -- my oldest son, a cardiac anesthesiologist, is a leader in the fight against lethal injection. Raising the issue of the horrors of lethal injection also raises consciousness about the horrors of the death penalty... I applaud Jan's work and hope she will not give up the fight.

Such relief and joy this morning! I didn't realize until I read her thank you email that Elizabeth Warren is the first woman Senator ever from Massachusetts. Yeay!

The only fly in the ointment is that my home state of Minnesota (well, just a district) reelected Bachmann by a narrow margin. How embarrassing!

But yes, I'm generally celebrating and now living in Maryland, am extremely proud of my adopted state for voting for the basic right to marry for gays and lesbians.

Yes, I can breathe a little easier today...

The death penalty will be eventually outlawed; I am sure of it. Just the fact that life in prison is cheaper should trump any revenge issues...Fran, let us celebrate our victory for a little while. We are well aware of all the problems awaiting us; we all read and think. I have a doctorate,which doesn't mean that I am more well-informed than my brother who has a high school diploma. Further, I don't really care if the government knows where I am; being in a city that is 5th in the nation in violent crime, my hope is that they are looking at people who are deviant.

First, let me tell you how glad the campaigning is over. The world has enough negativism to last a lifetime! None of that stuff was constructive.
I'm with Joan; let's tell our congressmen/women to grow up! We have to tell them to act like adults!
And Florence, your list is a great starting place for conservatives to rethink their platform. There are Republicans who disagree with the present platform.
To all, don't forget: the popular vote was very close. Please be tolerant of those who are aware of President Obama's significant weaknesses and failures. There is a lot of education needed. Let's get started. The election was just a beginning, not an end.
We need four years of progress, not stalemate. Both parties' need to get past this present gridlock.
I know I am writing to a fairly liberal audience, but please consider there are some progressive conservatives. I only ask for respect.

My husband just said "Well, we don't have to move to Canada".

I went to bed leaving my computer set to Politico.com and checked it upon awakening at 6:30. Instant ecstasy and profound relief !! The first person we encountered this morning was our Cable Guy here in So. Texas, who's latino like 85% of the population here. He noted that the people at Romney's HQ were all in suits and ties while those at Obama's looked like working people. It was his opinion that the huge spread between Romney's and Obama's money raised got working people's attention and tipped the balance.

In our home state, Iowa, there was good news and bad news. Bad: Steven King, a thoroughly nasty, hateful man, was re-elected to the house over Kristie Vilsak. Good: Voters retained a S.C. Justice who'd supported the Iowa Constitution and approved same sex marriage. Three of his colleagues were tossed out in previous elections.

So Congratulations to Barak Obama, his fantastic army of volunteers, his supporters and to the discerning American voter who, once again, came through for progress.

I live in AZ which goes red most every time but I do seem to find there are more and more liberal thinkers here. I was hoping those liberals plus the Latino vote would have brought different results in the state but at least Obama won anyway!

Maybe now that our President
has been reelected, he will be
honored as President by being
addressed appropriately as,
..."Mr. President Obama" ...

NO MORE just the reference to obama.....
Hooray for women! Especially Elizabeth Warren!!!!!!

I will add my voice to those celebrating the re-election of President Obama, but I also share the concerns of those who note the disparity between the popular and electoral votes and the continued polarized composition of Congress, especially the House. The president has a monumental task ahead, and that's just considering the things that he may actually be able to influence. The more global events that he cannot do much about will still continue to provide challenges, too. Already this morning the stock market has had a significant downturn due to "fiscal cliff" concerns. I think I have to invoke the Bette Davis quote, "fasten your seat belts. It's going to be a bumpy ride." Still, hooray for President Obama!

Looking across the board, I am relieved to see the results. Too tired and bruised to celebrate. Just glad it's finally over.

As a Coloradan, I'm disappointed that the marijuana measure passed. How is it even legal for us to pass a law that directly contravenes federal law? Nor do I like the image it gives the state.

As an ex-Okie, I am particularly pleased over Liz Warren's victory. She's a fantastic lady (and a fellow ex-Okie to boot).

Somehow America has survived this nastiest of elections. Now let's put the venom behind us, if possible, roll up our sleeves, and get to work!

There are three times when it's not fun to live alone. 1) When you're sick. 2) When you need consoling. 3) When you have something to celebrate.

Last night was the latter and I called my friend for a hug over the phone. My daughter was so excited when Elizabeth Warren was declared the winner she called me. When Obama was declared the winner I was so excited that I lost all track of time and didn't realize how late it was and called my friend. Fortunately, she had not retired yet.

I think this should be a wake-up call for the Republican party that they have veered too far to the right and extremism will not win elections. I hope it is also a wake-up call for those billionaires who just saw millions go down the drain and will think twice before trying to buy another election.

But, according to a friend (I didn't hear it), John Boehner made the statement that he will not cooperate with the president. I do hope this is a myth as I would hate to think that the Republicans in the House will continue to be obstructionists in spite of the massive problems the country faces. It would mean they have lost the message along with their sanity.

Jan, do not be discouraged. I know how much you must have put into your mission, but you just lost the battle and not the war. Please do not give up and we will have your back.

We as a people chose:
Hope over fear.
Looking forward instead of backwards.
The bottom 47% over the top 1%.
Reason over self-righteousness.
Loving our neighbors as we do ourselves.
Separation of church and state.
Political fairness over political privilege.

In the end, we as a people chose to believe in truth, justice and the American way. We voted not against each other but for each other and that, my fellow Americans, is the true American way.

I'd like to respond to "Fran" above. It seems to me that your view of the future is dark indeed. Like you, I'm a college-educated woman (if that matters) and I haven't bought any bridges lately. Our nation has some very serious problems, and I'm often not sure how we're going to fix them. I'm not in denial, but I'm not ready to toss us onto the dust heap of history either.

The fact that President Obama won sends a clear message that the Far Right's blatant attempt to buy the Presidency didn't wash. We ordinary citizens were able to turn back Karl Rove, the Koch brothers, Donald Trump (what a bad joke!) and their fellow travelers. Yes, I realize that there's plenty of Big Money on both sides, and where there's Big Money there probably will be some corruption. Still, a lot of us out there who contributed small amounts were heard. We fought back, and we won. Given political reality, perhaps it was a vistory of the lesser of two evils, but certainly that's better than standing by and allowing the greater of two evils to prevail...at least that's my view.

Although I'm absolutely not a religious person, I have faith that the U.S. will survive and find a way to move forward, just as we have for the past 200+ years. You and I--and all the other ordinary people who defeated the Far Right--can't give up now. (I will look up ALEC, and I rspect Bill Moyers tremendously, but I won't give up.)

I used to hope Barack Obama's strategy was to squeak by into a second term untethered by his sad lack of experience, or re-election considerations -- in addition to the House recalcitrance.

So now let's see if that has come pass. It's time for him to take the gloves off.

One other thing:
"... never again have to look at or listen to Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan....
(who then) was re-elected to the House of Representatives.

I wonder if my disteemed (stet) senior Oregon Senator Ron Wyden is going buddy up with Ryan again.

After my having voted for him, what an embarrassment he has been!

Hello folks - thanks for the condolences on our failure to end the death penalty in California. We gave it a good try and have deeply planted the novel idea that killing killers is not justice but a broken, costly and uncertain policy. We won't keep the death penalty forever, I feel confident.

Mostly, I think I'm not devastated because I have the benefit of growing older. The first election in which I had staff responsibility was fighting a referendum to overturn the -- then wildly novel -- domestic partnership law in San Francisco on 1989. We lost. Even in San Francisco, a truncated recognition of gay partnerships was just too much for the electorate.

And now at least two states voted for marriage equality and another elected a Senator whose lesbian identity is a non-issue.

The world changes. What we do can set the world in motion. Getting older means I've lived it.

I was hoping to read your opinion on Massachusetts voting down allowing a terminally-ill patient to request a physician to prescribe medication to end their life. Perhaps more to come?

All the way in Australia many of us breathed a big sigh of relief that Obama got back in. I couldn't have imagined how bad it would be if it swung the other way.

Great post Ronni - as usual....*kol hakavod to our Senator Warren...and the same to President Obama....its all good - I hope.
*Congratulations and much honor

This picture was on my Facebook this morning. It concerns Republicans who might wish to migrate to Australia rather than live under Obama. To see the photo please go to http://goo.gl/6p0FQ

"Then, oops. Ryan was running for two offices (should that be legal?) and was re-elected to the House of Representatives. Dear gawd, six more years of Ayn Rand budget blather."
Ronni, I don't mean to nit-pick, but I have always been under the impression that people elected to the House of Representatives are re-elected every two years.

Hopefulyl we can really buckle down now and clean the right-wing nut cases out of the House come 2014!

Miki...
You're correct that House term of office is two years. I was just wondering how it's fair to run for vice president and have a backup in your pocket in case you lose.

Of course, I'm being silly. It is legal to do.

It's just such a huge relief. All around the world, I'd guess. PHEW!!!

It's early evening now on the east coast, eighteen or so hours since so many wonderful election results were announced. Guess what? It still feels terrific! Yippee!

I noticed the color difference too Ronnie. Hugh difference in who gets represented at the federal level. Obama gets it. He's progressive where Mitt is from the good ol' boys club of the 50's and 60's. Both marriage and voter id amendments got a resounding no here in MN. and to boot both house and senate went back to the Dems. Also the first openly gay senator from Wisc, was elected, Tammy Baldwin. It was truly a good night. I've been smiling all day.

We should thank Ohio's Kay at "Kay's Thinking Cap" for all her volunteer efforts aiding the Obama/Biden ticket. Votes from that section of Ohio would be highly important, from what I know based on years living in the state. Her work could, and likely did, make a difference in Ohio's election outcome -- more vital than volunteering here in California where Obama was expected to win.

I was disappointed Calif. voters rejected the death penalty proposition. I encounter the same "eye for an eye" attitude year after year with some people I know here. They are personally familiar with murdered victims families who also want their pound of flesh. Even the cost savings factor doesn't sway them, any more than concern for the possibility an innocent person's life could be ended in error. These death advocates are some of the same people resistant to all gun control -- also they're staunch Repubs.

Another Calif. proposition that didn't make it had to do with labeling genetically altered food products. Wording needed to be improved on that prop., but then big chemical companies threw lots of money against it. Hopefully, this issue will surface again and needs more promotion as there are genuine concerns around the world.

Am hoping this new East Coast storm does little or no new damage there. VA family spared any damage or power outage with Sandy. NYC family okay now that they have electricity, but had to relocate for a time due to flooding in Tribeca, so hope this new storm doesn't cause more flooding, power outages.

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