I assumed there would be no mandate from this week’s election. Even as it became clear (to all except those in the Fox News Bubble) that Obama was going to win and the Democrats were going to hold control of the Senate, I was focused on Obama’s failures (being the political pessimist I am). Even on election night, I was celebrating the aversion on a great catastrophe, rather than achievement of a great victory. The tiny margin of Obama’s popular vote edge hardly spelled triumph to me.
Over the next couple of days, the significance of this election has become more apparent. The fact that the Democrats increased their margin in the Senate (55!) – beating every single wing-nut in competitive campaigns – and Obama’s near complete sweep of the swing states (except for North Carolina) meant something. And the Dems picked up seats in the House. Sure, the GOP held control there, but this says more about the power of incumbency and the gerrymandering out-of-existence of competitive elections. It has nothing to do with ideology.
Even the small popular-vote margin for Obama hides a more fundamental truth: it is only the huge run-ups of Romney votes in deep red states that kept that vote close. As I wrote a couple of days ago, it hardly matters what the red states and their Neanderthal voters think. They don’t matter!
The churning inevitability of demography (oh, those poor angry white men!) and the fact that a billion dollars of broadcast lies didn’t buy very many victories for the rabid right, prove the point: this week marked a profound victory. This victory was hardly about Obama or (unfortunately) an endorsement of progressivism, more broadly. But it was an enormous rejection of a return to medieval social values and the right-to-wealth and dominance of plutocrats.
None of this means Democrats can relax. Demographic change is unstoppable, but it is way too early to predict that lies and cash can’t win elections. Further, we cannot forget how spineless, inarticulate, and corrupt so many Democratic elected officials are. If any party can figure out how to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory, it is the incompetent Democrats.
But there is no doubt that a particular weltanschauung (view of the world) was defeated this past week. For that, we can be very thankful.
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Didja see where. . .
. . . Karl Rove is still advertising what a great job he did?
. . . Karl Rove is accusing the Democrats of vote suppression?
. . . Donald Trump called the election results illegitimate (and seems to hint at armed revolution as the solution)?
. . . Ann Coulter (who is apparently more in touch with reality than Rove and Trump) declared that there is no hope for the future?
. . . Nobody gives a shit about what Romney is thinking, feeling, or planning?
©2012 Keith Berner