Some Idle Thoughts on the National Election

Filed in National by on November 7, 2012

1. Barack Hussein Obama, the ‘Community Organizer’.

Remember the ridicule from the Rethugs on this meme? Like he was some two-bit operator pocketing suspect government contracts? Well, Obama effectively organized by far the best grassroots organization ever, and he and his political team have effectively trained hundreds of brilliant community organizers who will be running insurgent campaigns for the foreseeable future. And doing great work outside of the field of politics. BTW, many of these brilliant and idealistic organizers will also populate ballots themselves for the next twenty years or so. Guess what? He is a great community organizer, only the community is the entire country. Or, at least, every tiny community in every swing battleground state in the country.

2. Obama Benefited from Rethug Racism.

I was shocked by how many of the R surrogates and talk show buffoons continued to perpetuate racial stereotypes, most notable John Sununu’s claim after the first debate that Obama was stupid and lazy. There can be little doubt that they really believed that Obama somehow is inferior based on their long-held racial beliefs. The delicious irony, of course, is that Obama turned it to his advantage, much like the protagonist in Ralph Ellison’s “Invisible Man”. I honestly believe that this unrelenting racism is one of the key reasons why RWNJ’s are so shocked today. I’ve got news for them: During his presidential campaigns, Obama was always the smartest guy in the room. As my daughters would say, “Deal with it”.

3. Rachel Is God(dess).

I’m usually a channel switcher on election nights. Gotta have the latest. Gotta, gotta, gotta. But Rachel Maddow was a force of nature last night, and I never switched. I am in awe. She so easily wove so many threads and instantaneously cut to the latest key new piece of information.  She was as animated and sharp at 1:30 in the morning as she was at 6 p.m. I loved the MSNBC panel, and was especially impressed with Lawrence O’Donnell. But Rachel Maddow established herself as by far the best TV journalist (and election night anchor) working today. I love her.

4. Karl Rove Crying All the Way to the Bank.

I didn’t come up with this idea. But suppose, just suppose, that Karl Rove’s intent with Citizens United was never to elect a whole host of Rovians (although I’m sure he wouldn’t have minded), but to line his pockets with tens of millions of dollars. He has accomplished that mission, and I congratulate him. Especially since the people being ‘ripped off’ were shadowy Rethug types trying to launder their campaign contributions.

More to come as I think of it…

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  1. bamboozer says:

    It’s a pivotal election, there is no doubt. The Republican tide has been turned and various turds flushed, although some like Bachmann and Ryan remain. Next up is the famed fiscal cliff, will the GOP continue it’s obstructionist ways? Bet on it, it’s all they’ve got. As for 2014 take the time, emphasis on time, to note that in two years more than a few angry old white people will have gone to that great far right in the sky. And I can’t wait.

  2. cassandra m says:

    On Item 2 — the deep roots of the famed Southern Strategy is designed to speak to a demographic that is (thankfully) getting smaller and smaller. I heard an R pollster on NPR this AM note that the fact that Obama lost some of his white male support was a problem for Democrats. The D pollster noted that since women were more reliable voters AND there were more of them, it looked to her that Ds had the better part of the deal. I’m hearing a few folks this morning note that Rs have to broaden their coalition. But I’ll bet money that they’ll work at the same BS the next time around too. It is DNA at this point.

    On Item 4 — Karl Rove *is* crying all the way to the bank. And he should be facing a bunch of calls from irate donors this morning wondering what they got for their money. Unfortunately, I don’t think that this election was a repudiation of Citizens United, but a valuable Master Class for the money people on what to do next time.

  3. puck says:

    The GOP can’t obstruct the fiscal cliff; the laws are already passed and they voted for them. Only Democrats can stop the fiscal cliff, but that would be a mistake.

    All Democrats have to do with the fiscal cliff is sit tight, link arms, and jump off. It will be a completely different legislative world in the next session. Every bill will be a tax cut bill, and Grover Norquist will be sidelined. Republicans will be begging for spending increases. Democrats will call the shots on who gets their taxes cut, and which spending gets restored or doesn’t.

    It really is an opportunity to put a truly Democratic stamp on economic policy, and wash out all the accumulated Republican bullshit since 2001 or before. The fiscal cliff will be like the river running through the stables.

  4. ek says:

    I find the ‘nothing has changed’ meme being hashed out in the msm to be really annoying. ABC, in particular, started on this last night with George Will and is still beating that drum today. Idle thoughts as to why it’s a bogus meme:

    The president will likely get to pick a Supreme Court nominee or two.

    The Tea Party failures have to inspire a few Republicans to play ball on tax policy in the new year if they want to keep their jobs in the midterms. Puck is right about the fiscal cliff. The Democrats really do have the upper hand now.

    The president is the first to be re-elected with unemployment this high since Roosevelt. It’s because like Roosevelt, he rescued us from a great depression and the economy is demonstrably better than four years ago. It will continue to get better, with or without Republican obstruction. If that’s the extent of ‘nothing has changed’, I’ll take it.

  5. Linda says:

    My hat off to all of you on this site . . . I have learned more about politics that I could ever have hoped for . . . Thank you!!

  6. cassandra m says:

    5. The Media — for all of the breathless tea leaf reading, all we really needed was to watch Nate Silver’s site every day. Some of the horserace BS is amusing, no doubt. But if the numbers guys can do the horserace better than the media, it is time for the media to get to its real job. And that is telling us something about the future governing picture. Or picking apart voter suppression schemes. Horserace reporting reinforces the kind of partisanship that editorial pages keep wringing their hands over.

  7. Liberal Elite says:

    @bamboozer “Next up is the famed fiscal cliff, will the GOP continue it’s obstructionist ways? Bet on it, it’s all they’ve got.”

    No. I really don’t think so. The goal of the current GOP congress was to make Obama a one term president. They did all sorts of contortions and self sacrifice to try to achieve this goal.
    They voted against their own best interests again and again, just to hurt Obama.

    That goal failed, and now they need a new goal… New goal: Make Obama a two term president?
    Sorry… Their new goal will be to help their friends as much as possible. That requires compromise.

    Obama is a lame duck… so they will look to their own.

  8. cassandra m says:

    6. Fighting Democrats — today’s WSJ whines about how the Dems “won ugly”. This piece whines about the fairly broad coalition that President Obama put together, in more of an effort to delegitimize any coalition that doesn’t include majorities of white guys. The Obama campaign team was bold and effective in how they ran their campaign and did very little of the usual Democratic crouching once criticized. They gave as good as they got and were fantastic in taking the opportunity to define Mitt Romney before Romney could loose the shackles that his base voters. They are a great model for future D campaigns.

  9. Dorian Gray says:

    That’s an interesting point about Rove and the loot. Not that ends will have a problem meeting in the Koch or Adelson households, but perhaps those guys will be more hesitate to sign those big checks next time round. They are businessmen afterall. What benefit did they glean for the tens of millions of bucks spent?

  10. Liberal Elite says:

    @DG “What benefit did they glean for the tens of millions of bucks spent?”

    Economic stimulation.

  11. Liberal Elite says:

    @LE “Their new goal will be to help their friends as much as possible. That requires compromise.”

    Sometimes it doesn’t take very long to be proven right.

    “Boehner opens door to ‘new revenue,’ to halt debt”
    “Republicans are “willing to accept new revenue” to tame the soaring national debt and avert an ugly battle over the approaching “fiscal cliff,” House Speaker John A. Boehner said Wednesday in a speech that offered a potential path to compromise in year-end budget negotiations.

    With President Obama reelected and Republicans returned to a slightly smaller majority in the House, Boehner (R-Ohio) said Tuesday’s election amounted to a plea from voters for the parties to lay down their weapons of the past two years and “do what’s best for our country.”

    “That is the will of the people. And we answer to them,” Boehner said…”

  12. Obe1katobe says:

    My two cents:

    1. Who is the GOP standard bearer in 2016? Paul Ryan? (no-stays in the House) Sarah Palin? (No-intellectually a zero and just a shill opportunist) Rick Santorum (possibly because of his populist appeal but is too closely aligned with the women- and gay-basher wing of the GOP) Marco Rubio (possibly as a fresh face and an hispanic but he also has to run for reelection to his US Senate seat in 2016) Chris Christie (possibly but can he win the nomination from hard-core conservatives who will blame him for Romney’s loss by his praise for President Obama during hurricane Sandy?) Michelle Bachmann (not likely after almost losing her House seat yesterday). In short, the GOP right now has to figure out where it’s ‘soul’ is, its bench is short and doesn’t look like the rest of America to be a true majority party for at least the next 2-4 years. Losing parties always go through this metamorphosis; this year’s GOP will be no exception.

    2. The 2012 was 2004 all over again, except with the Dems winning this time. A Massachusetts patrician who was going up against a not-so-popular incumbent who then set out to define his challenger early where the challenger never recovered (John Kerry being ‘swift-boated’ vs. Romney and Bain Capital). Same tactic, different year, same result.

    3. Thank goodness for the presence of Bill Clinton and the absence of George W. Bush. Clinton gave much cover for President Obama and reminded us of the good economic times of the 1990s. Essentially, Bill Clinton campaigned like it was his third term and not just Barack Obama’s second. Without Bill, Obama may have lost this election. Romney could not use W like Obama used Bill because that would have reminded voters on who put us in the economic tank in the first place. George H.W. Bush effectively ran for Reagan’s 3rd term and beat another Massachusetts governor, Michael Dukakis in 1988 so Obama’s use of Bill Clinton this year just used, again, the same tactic, different year.

    4. Notice this Massachusetts trend? No matter what the party, the Harvard/Bostonian crowd gets beat every time by us slogs who went to state schools. Sorry, Elizabeth Warren, I love you but don’t get presidential fever. Your fellow Bay staters and Harvard chums have a lousy track record out in the sticks.

    5. The GOP’s demographic problems (see Chuck Todd’s analysis on msnbc) is spot on. The GOP has now painted itself in a southern corner with white paint and no easy way out except to diversify. Reminds me of our own party in 1984 with our loss to Reagan in his 2nd term bid except in reverse. The day after that election, I registered as a 22-year-old Democrat, believing this party had to actually become more white, more Southern and less anti-business to become a majority party again. Eight years later, Bill Clinton (a New Democrat from the South) won on that theme. I was a Clinton delegate to the Democratic National Convention in 1992 from another state (Missouri) and campaigned with him In the Show-Me state. Interestingly, those were the last years Missouri went blue in presidential elections. It was risky and not very popular with my more left-leaning friends at the time but that’s what we had to do to become a majority party again: move to the center, become ‘whiter’ but still remain Democrats committed to civil and equal rights for all. Like it or not, as I said above, Barack Obama may not have won reelection yesterday without Bill Clinton (IMHO). The philosophy and strategy worked. I expect the GOP in the next few years to try the same move to the center and try to diversify as we defeated Democrats did (by becoming whiter) after getting our ass kicked by Reagan in the 1980s.

    Final word on a night with bad weather: you may agree or disagree with what I’ve written above (that is the beauty of blogging and free speech) but one thing is probably true for most if not all of us: last night was a good night for Democrats but especially for civil rights. Let’s make the best of it!

  13. Sussex Transplant says:

    On question 1, I suppose it might be Chris Christie now over Ryan; perhaps Jeb Bush. Christie and Bush have gone out on a limb to denounce the crazy faction of their party. But big brother George may have ruined Jeb’s chances for good. Christie pissed a lot of people off saying nice things about Obama, but his response to that criticism was strongly and effectively delivered. I suspect that bit of blunt honesty won him a few more fans outside of N.J. I don’t think the crazies are going to go away. Entertaining as they are to cover, the GOP primary process was an embarrassing circus and exposed the tea party vulnerability. Nationally though, they’re losing stock. Sussex remains afflicted with the Delaware 912’ers and low information voters who adore those Fox News parrots who lament the loss of the Leave it to Beaver days and pledge to take their country back. I see a glimmer of hope in some recent victories of the reasonable Republicans and losses among the tea-infused variety.

  14. puck says:

    I don’t know who the 2016 GOP standard bearer will be, but let’s hope a dozen or so of them fight it out in an interminable series of debates.

  15. Interesting that you should mention that. Big Rethug honcho Haley Barbour says that Romney was hurt by this year’s interminable series of debates among GOP contenders and pretenders.

  16. cassandra_m says:

    And interesting that Romney had to submit to the interminable series of debates because of Citizens United money that kept candidates alive that otherwise would have washed out. Basically, it was the rich guys of the GOP who dragged out the GOP primary that Barbour thinks damaged Romney.

  17. pandora says:

    Good point, Cassandra.