Presidential race thoughts:
- So Obama won, and won big (at least in the electoral college). As I said on my election night mini-post, I predicted he would win all of the swing states except for North Carolina and Virginia. I was right with the exception of Virginia.
- That's my 2nd accurate prediction with the presidential race this year. Back in the winter I predicted Romney would be the GOP nominee before the South Carolina primary even occurred.
- I'm not too surprised with the outcome of the election. Romney was a terrible candidate for the GOP. Plenty of better options stayed on the sidelines, instead setting their sights on 2016. Instead they nominated a man who couldn't release his tax returns because they'd reveal something damaging, he couldn't run on his record as a governor because it was too liberal for his base, his flip-flops on positions wrecked the public's trust, and he got killed running on his business cred because of how Bain Capital destroyed a lot of companies. Not a smart choice by the GOP really.
- This election will really go down in history as a missed opportunity for the GOP. With 4 more years, Obama has a chance to cement his legacy, and by the time 2016 rolls around, Obamacare will be set in stone and extremely difficult for the GOP to repeal.
- Speaking of 2016, and the future, the GOP really needs to work on expanding their party. Obama killed Romney among Asians, Hispanics, and African-Americans, by wider margins than any other Democratic candidate in history. As America heads towards majority minority within a generation, if the GOP doesn't find a way to reach those groups, they will be demographically irrelevant within 30 years. They're also going to need to find a way to reach out to the youth demographic, but unfortunately as long as they continue to be hard line on gay marriage, they will probably struggle with the under 30 vote.
- The above is especially true among Hispanics. Less than 20 years ago, New Mexico, Nevada, and Colorado were red states. Now they tend to go blue, thanks in part to their growing Latino populations. If the GOP doesn't do a better job with Hispanics, they stand to eventually lose Arizona and Texas as well. And once they lose Texas, they can kiss their chances at the White House goodbye, thanks to the Electoral College math. Maybe they might change their minds about their opposition to the Electoral College after all?
- Man this was a fun week for schadenfreude. There was Donald Trump's Twitter meltdown/call for revolution (link below in the misc items section), Karl Rove denying reality on Fox News on election night, Ann Coulter all despondent on the radio, Dick Morris' downfall after his extremely inaccurate election prediction of a Romney landslide, and this Tumblr - probably the funniest thing I've seen in awhile.
- On the local radio here in Chicago, they were interviewing a man from Ohio about why he voted for Obama. He explained that he was a laid off manufacturing employee and he stated he lost his job because he and his company "got Bain'd" when his company was bought out and his job shipped to China. I fully support the term "got Bain'd" entering the lexicon. It was little things like that that helped lead to Romney's defeat.
Congress/Senate races thoughts:
- Considering how low the approval rating of Congress is, it is amazing to me that so many of the members got reelected.
- Not all of them did though - here in IL there were a few Democratic pickups of GOP seats. Most notably, Tea Party douchenozzle extraordinaire Joe Walsh got ousted by Iraq War vet Tammy Duckworth. Walsh wasn't helped out by comments in the week before the election saying that he'd ban abortion even in the case of the life of the mother, because modern medicine has advanced to the point that the mother's health doesn't get to that danger level. In response, the Democrats flew in a Congresswoman from California who had needed an abortion in a medical emergency to save her life, to campaign on Duckworth's behalf.
- Memo to Walsh, as well as the rest of the GOP - saying incredibly stupid, callous things about abortion and/or rape tend to doom your election chances. See also - Todd "legitimate rape" Akin in Missouri, Tom "rape is like having a baby out of wedlock" Smith in Pennsylvania, Richard "God intended rape" Mourdock of Indiana, as well as a few others. There is a reason why they all lost. I wholeheartedly support this position by former Bush adviser Karen Hughes about what she'll do to any GOPer that ever mentions rape in a stupid way again.
- Further on Walsh, he's supposedly considering running for the governorship of Illinois in 2014. I'll have to make sure to pull a GOP ballot in the primaries so I can vote against him there. Also, the day after the election, he said that we must turn back to our nation's founding principles. Which ones do you mean Joe? The one that says African-Americans are 3/5th a person? The one that says non white male landowners can't vote? Because without those two, you don't stand a snowball's chance in hell of winning the governorship in 2016.
- The other two Tea Party members I most wanted to see lose were Michelle Bachmann of MN and Allen West of Florida. Unfortunately, Bachmann and her crazy eyes managed to hang on to her seat, but West was tossed out of Congress (although he still refuses to concede even though the election has been called for his opponent. Classy.)
- Thanks to the aforementioned stupid rape comments, the GOP blew their chance to pick up control of the Senate. Now the question is, how will Mitch McConnell and the rest of the GOP react? Mitch said his #1 goal was to deny Obama a 2nd term, no matter the cost. Now that it hasn't come to pass, will we see the GOP actually willing to put our country first again and compromise on things? Or will they dig in their heels and protect the tax interests of the richest 1%? I'm curious to see what happens with the fiscal cliff situation coming. I think the GOP will blink before Obama does.
Referendums and other miscellaneous items:
- I did actually vote for several Republican candidates in this election. It wasn't my first choice, but in most of my local county races, the GOP candidate was running unopposed. I live in Kane County, IL, probably the reddest of the suburbs counties surrounding Chicago. Outside of the race for President and Congress, I was only able to vote for 1 more Democrat, and the ballot didn't even allow me to write in a funny name instead of voting for the GOP candidate. Oh well. Even where I live though, the demographics are shifting, and in a few more years this county is going to go purple instead of red.
- To anyone on the GOP side that was complaining about the Electoral College at the time the race was called for Obama (when he was still trailing in the popular vote), like Donald Trump on Twitter, I just have two things for you: 1) In 2000, when Bush won the EC but lost the popular vote, you told us to suck it up and deal with it, so I say the same to you. 2) Your party platform at the convention this year called for defending the EC from any and all attempts to overturn or repeal it. Don't go complaining about something that you love when the math works in your favor. The Democrats already want to do away with the EC, it is your own party that is opposed, so if you want change, it must come from within.
- I'm curious to see what happens with the laws passed in CO and WA about pot. I've long been in favor of the legalization, regulation, and taxation of pot (and I plan on doing a blog post on it in the future) so I am glad to see this step occur. Looking forward to seeing what happens as the country goes forward on this.
- Also I was glad to see the outcomes of the gay marriage votes in WA, MD, & ME, as well as the vote in MN that shot down an attempt to ban gay marriage via constitutional amendment. As I said in my post on gay marriage I want to see this stop being a political issue in this country. Hopefully these votes set us down the path, as it is the first time voters have approved same-sex marriage as opposed to state legislatures. I am in favor of any law that grants a person civil rights, so I was glad to see this outcome.
- Missed by many among all of the election outcomes: Puerto Rico had a non-binding referendum about whether or not they should pursue statehood, and it passed. We might be on our way to our 51st state. If they do join the country, I'd like to see one of two things happen: 1) North and South Dakota get merged into "Dakota," keeping the number of states at 50 so we don't need new flags for everything; or 2) a split of 2 of the three following states into 2 states: either the Upper Peninsula of Michigan becomes a state, or Texas or California get split into 2 states as well, bringing the total of states to 53, a prime number, so our nation is truly indivisible.
- Interesting election day tidbit 1: Here in IL, a woman who had gone into labor went to the polls on the way to the hospital. Her water had broken and her contractions were coming 5 minutes apart. Talk about dedication!
- Interesting election day tidbit 2: Up in Michigan, a guy died in the process of voting, but when he was revived via CPR at the polling place, the first thing he asked was whether or not he had completed his vote (he had).