It was a huge win. More than just the re-election of Barack Obama, voters approved marriage equality in two states, and legalized marijuana for recreational use in two. Wisconsin also elected the first openly gay senator.
In races all across the country, hard-core right winger issues and candidates lost, replaced by moderate and progressive candidates. The Tea Party basically got their clocks cleaned, if not in body, then in spirit, and what happened in 2010 with the lurch to the right has been shown to be an outlier.
And it also showed that despite all the efforts of rich men who believed that America’s elections and electorate could be bought and paid for, money cannot buy you everything or win elections. Neither can fear-mongering, racism, and hatred based on ignorance and the mistaken idea that it’s easier to scare the voters than convince them of the rightness of their cause. The vote margin may be narrow, but the victory against small-minded and cynical manipulators is huge.
It’s important to be magnanimous and humble in victory, but it’s also important to make it clear to those who tried to destroy Barack Obama and his party rather than just win that their style of politics and division is rejected and that they need to find another line of work. Or, to be blunt, to Karl Rove, Grover Norquist, Ralph Reed, Sheldon Adelson, the Koch Brothers, and all the rest of you evil trolls who would rather pollute America’s politics with your bile than win an election fair and square; we say get the hell out. We don’t want your shit here.
There are times when the electorate can be maddening, short-sighted, fearful, and cruel. But yesterday they — we — proved that we can reject the politics of fear and division. It’s not going to be Happy Gumdrop Fairy-Tale Land, but it’s better than the country we could have awakened to this morning with money and demagoguery the victors and the rest of us wondering what happened to the country that was supposed to be for all of us.
President Obama’s victory speech last night:
And here’s Mitt Romney’s concession speech:
Here are a some other notes from the election:
Here in Florida, Rep. Allen West (R), best known for his outrageous comments and incendiary rhetoric, lost to Patrick Murphy, and Joe Garcia (D) beat Rep. David Rivera (R), who is under criminal investigation. Also, eight of the eleven amendments to the state constitution were rejected, including a massive property tax overhaul, abortion restrictions and a “religious freedom” proposal that would basically have violated the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. There was also good news for the schools of Miami-Dade County; voters approved the $1.2 billion bond issue to repair and improve the schools’ infrastructure. True to form, the final election results from Miami-Dade County won’t be known until later today, if then, and the state is still too close to call in the presidential race, but at least it doesn’t matter in the overall picture
In Ohio, Joe the Plumber is looking for work after losing badly to Marcy Kaptur (D).
There’s a lot more news out there, and I’ll be back later on today to wrap up more of it. In the meantime, savor the wins, deal with the losses, and keep on going.