Thursday, November 8, 2012

The Hangover


For Obama the biggest hangover is a split Congress.  Once again, the Democrats invested all the energy in key Senate races, seeing their control as vulnerable with 23 Democratic seats up for election.  They not only retained all these seats, but picked up two Republican seats, notable Ted Kennedy's old seat in Massachusetts, with Elizabeth Warren exacting her revenge on the Republicans for refusing to consider her nomination for head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau back in 2011.  Now, she will be able to oversea finances directly in the Senate.  Unfortunately, the Democrats didn't do such a good job in the House, losing seats.  At least Allen West lost his seat in Florida, with teabaggers in general fairing badly in this election cycle.  It doesn't seem that the Tea Party caucus will be so strong this time around, although Michelle Bachmann will return as its fearless leader.  John Boehner actually sounded contrite in his comments after Obama's historic victory Tuesday night, but it remains to be seen whether there will be any movement in current lame duck Congress.


Still, you get the sense Republicans aren't accepting the results.  Karl Rove kicked up quite a tantrum on Fox News when his news station called the election before midnight.  Rove refused to accept the results streaming in from Ohio, considering Hamilton county still in play.  This led to leggy Megyn Kelly giving us a tour of the "decision room" at Fox.  Maybe the folks at Fox can pitch in and buy Karl Rove a touch screen like the one John King uses on CNN.  King's descriptions were quite effective as he showed that all those swathes of red in Ohio were accounted for.  The only outstanding votes were in blue counties along Lake Erie.  Hamilton county, in the south of the state, seemed split right down the middle like the rest of the country.


Donald Trump and Ted Nugent also had a hard time coming to terms with the results, venting their puerile thoughts on Twitter.  As the idea of "four more years" starts to sink in, you see some Republicans actually contemplating moving abroad.  I saw one friend on facebook considering a move to Belize, which makes more sense than Canada and Australia.  These countries are far more "socialized" than the United States and would only increase their angst.  But, I take these as idle threats.  I'm sure the Republicans will retrench in the months ahead and come up with new lines of attack on the President they refuse to recognize.




25 comments:

  1. You must be happy in Montana, av!

    http://www.cnn.com/election/2012/results/state/MT

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  2. Very happy indeed, particularly getting rid of that awful, awful Rehberg and electing Bullock for Governor, whom I really admire. He's the one who fought Citizens United in the state. Would have liked to see even more Democrats, but the polls showed a Republican sweep here so it was worth making all those calls! Turns out the "ground game" can really make a difference.

    I didn't have as much free time this year to put in as I did with Obama, but I think I made about 150 calls, and did an afternoon of canvassing, which I really "get" now. All those contacts add up.

    Plus I get a lot more satisfaction doing that rather than going to the political meetings. I was an Obama delegate to the state convention in 2008 where I learned that I don't care that much for the behind the scenes part of politics.

    I should add that I am still furious with Tester that he voted against the jobs act, but glad he got reelected. For the most part, I think he's the real thing.

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  3. I was thrilled to hear that Alan West is out. Even better, Alan Grayson is in! The House needs someone like him to keep it at least self-aware if not honest.

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  4. A friend just sent me that Trump photo with the caption, "Hurricane damage to New York City landmark" .....

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  5. Could this be end of Karl Rove?

    In a $6 billion campaign, Rove's ability to part wealthy Republicans from their money made the political operative - who co-founded the American Crossroads "Super PAC" - a force in the party's effort to take down Obama.

    As it turned out, Obama held the White House and in nine of the 10 Senate races where Rove's groups spent the most money, the Democratic candidate won.

    http://news.yahoo.com/republican-strategist-karl-roves-very-bad-night-002109469.html

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  6. I guess the election is finally over, Romney concedes Florida,

    http://www.miamiherald.com/2012/11/08/3087995/romney-campaign-we-lost-florida.html

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  7. This is something, Romney really thought he would win this election, despite all the polls going against him in the final week,

    http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/ticket/romney-transition-192214963--election.html

    His concession speech was nothing more than his "victory speech" with acknowledgements to Obama at the beginning and end.

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    1. Magical thinking. Still, things did appear to be turning his way -- I certainly believed it.

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  8. And now -- surprise, surprise -- the right is coming out for immigration reform. Next up, women's rights (although I won't hold my breath). This could make for an interesting two to four years.

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  9. Even Hannity seems to have a change of tune,

    http://news.yahoo.com/amazingly-sean-hannity-evolve-055109928.html

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  10. Not sure where I read this, but apparently Obama also won a large number of Cuban American votes, which would be a major and unexpected switch of parties.

    It could be that the Republicans have made themselves irrelevant to the future of the country. There just aren't enough rich people in this country.

    If they took on a more libertarian approach (get out of people's bedrooms, women's bodies, wars, drugs, etc.) they might have a real future, but otherwise I just don't see it. And funny, those social issues are how they have cobbled together their coalitions in the past.

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  11. The interesting part is that they begin each election cycle staking out Libertarian positions, but then all too quickly slide into all that religious bullcrap. I guess when 50% (or more) of your party is composed of religious conservatives you don't have too many options.

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  12. They may want to reconsider that since more than 50% of the electorate are women. And Republicans went after women with a vengeance in 2010/11.

    While women don't all vote the same, even Republican-leaning women know that they can't trust a bunch of old white guys to be making legal decisions for them. You can't lock up all pregnant women for nine months who want/need an abortion for example.

    And this isn't just access to safe abortions. Most of the women I know, myself and my daughter included, have used Planned Parenthood for general health care, exams, and contraception at least once in their lifetime because they use a sliding scale for billing. In many states, it's the only affordable healthcare option around, particularly for young women.

    But there are other issues, too, such as borrow money for your education from your parents if you want to go to college. This is not the way to grow party affiliation/loyalty. You can't count on just Fox News to deliver your votes.

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    1. On the other hand, not all women think like that (she scares me):

      http://www.theroot.com/blogs/elongated-thoughts/post-election-meltdown-mary-matalin-vs-van-jones

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    2. Mary Matalin is an ass. How can she honestly say those things.

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  13. I think the best thing to come out of this election is the total repudiation of Fox News. I think they will lose a lot of viewers because most of their audience thought this election was in the bag given all the audacious claims made on that network. Of course, the right wing pundocracy will do a lot of kvetching and name-calling in the weeks ahead as if to say it was beyond their powers of intuition that so many Democrats would make their way to the polls. After all, there was supposed to be all this disillusionment among the ranks.

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  14. And the Democrats suppressed the vote .... (I love that one)

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  15. The interesting thing is that Romney got fewer votes than McCain (58,3 mil v. 59,9 mil) Obama got 8 million less than in 08. Seems the Northeast vote was very light, particularly in New York and Massachusetts, which would have beefed up his numbers considerably. Here are the 2008 results,

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_presidential_election,_2008

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  16. I liked Krugman's op-ed piece, in which he was telling Obama to hold his ground,

    http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/11/08/deficit-hawks-down-please/

    The House Republicans are already offering a certain amount of contrition. Obama needs to squeeze more out of them. The budget issue is something he very definitely needs to take to the public and press hard the next two years, to make the GOP representatives squirm in their seats. This is a chance for Obama to turn over the chamber and restore Democratic leadership, because whatever "bipartisanship" that will come from the Republicans will be purely face saving. I doubt they will budge on taxes.

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  17. "Breaking" news: 332 to 206 electoral votes. Amazing!

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  18. I love how they call 75,000 votes "razor thin,"

    http://news.yahoo.com/president-barack-obama-wins-florida-topping-romney-final-183012342.html

    at least they got the metaphor right this time. They were calling it "razor tight" before. Given that Bush only "won" Florida by 500 votes in 2000, I would call this a landslide.

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  19. Looking back over the elections since 1980, the Republican highwater mark was 2004 when Bush collected 62 million votes. McCain was just shy of 60 million in 08, and Romney sits at 59 million this time around. Bush only got 50,5 million in 2000 to Gore's 51 million. So, where are these 8 million votes Rove is crying about?

    As I noted in another post, Obama came up with 8 million less votes than he did in 2008, the Democratic highwater mark when the party garnered a whopping 70 million votes. I guess these are the votes Rove is looking for, but I doubt these folks were all white, or even mostly white, so he better scrounge around some place else, as I doubt any of them would have voted for Romney.

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  20. Chris Matthews certainly has a way with words,

    "McConnell is a tree stump on the lawn you want to cut—you really just want to haul it out of there."

    http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/ticket/matthews-mcconnell-tree-stump-152428518--election.html

    I would agree.

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  21. I love Chris Matthews. He wears his heart on his sleeve, so you always know exactly what he thinks. Including McConnell as tree stump.

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  22. That's also the annoying part of Chris Matthews. He often shouts first and thinks later.

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