Schadenfreude from the German, means literally “pain joy, ” or joy at someone else’s pain. There is indeed great joy to be found after a brutal election campaign against the Forces of Evil. While I am indeed celebrating the positive outcome for marriage equality (in four states) and the Dream Act (in Maryland) today, my feelings about Obama leave me celebrating the other side’s loss more than his win.
Here are some of my schadenfreude targets:
- Mitt Romney, who ran one of the most disgusting campaigns in history. The NY Times and WaPo endorse Democrats for high office, so their endorsements of Obama were hardly surprising. What is remarkable is that the editorial boards of both papers wrote separately about Romney’s incessant lies and his lack of belief in anything other than his own right to be president. He is a truly despicable man and we can only hope he is crying today over the hundreds of millions of dollars put into his despicable campaign.
- The Koch Brothers.
- All billionaires.
- Homophobic preachers.
- All men who love rape. Especially all male politicians who do.
- Grover Norquist.
- Karl Rove, who even by mid-evening last night was still trying to peddle his view that Romney was winning and that the networks had gotten it wrong by calling Ohio too early.
- All the right-wing pundits and politicos who have been carrying on for weeks about supposed bias in polls that showed their boy losing. Of course, this is part and parcel of the GOPs war on science and truth. If you are a Republican and the evidence doesn’t support your theology or plutocracy, what do you do? Declare it invalid, of course!
- Newt Gingrich.
Locally, I am getting special schadenfreude from Fred Evans’s loss in the school board race. To be fair, I have heard even from folks who recommended support for Rebecca Smondrowski (the winner) that Evans is a decent guy. My beef is not with him (he is not evil), but with his staff who created an email spam campaign, second to none. When their first non-opt-in email arrived tying Evans to Prince of Darkness Doug Duncan, I rolled my eyes and decided not to vote for Evans. Then another email arrived to a different email address of mine. Then another. Then another. (I maintain a number of email addresses that I use for various purposes. I rarely use more than one in any given context, meaning that it is not easy to find my other email addresses by knowing one of them.) Before it was over, Evans’s machine operatives had uncovered seven of my email addresses and spammed me at each and every one. I wrote to the campaign manager separately and told him to wipe all remnants of my existence from his little black book. Nice.
Another note: I have been as paranoid as anyone that the GOP regularly engages in vote theft through ownership of voting machines. Certainly, there is nothing to stop them from doing this in a world with proprietary “black-box” voting machines with no paper trails. But it is clear to me now that they did not engage in vote theft in Ohio yesterday. Of course, voter suppression efforts from the fascist-friendly GOP will continue unabated unless we all fight back hard for years to come. (Suppression will be their only hope, given the huge demographic changes that bode ill for a rump white-man’s party.)
We dodged a horrendously scary bullet with Obama’s narrow win yesterday and with Democratic gains in the Senate. Now it is time to turn back to pressuring the president not to give away the store when he tries to “negotiate” with the Tea Party House in coming weeks. We cannot forget that Obama is the same guy who took 2-1/2 years to realize that the other side is not interested in negotiating.
©2012 Keith Berner