Happy happy joy joy!!
OK, I am obviously very happy at how the election turned out, and that it was able to be called so early in the evening, though I stayed up until 3:30 central time, mostly waiting to see what would finally happen with Florida, and hoping to get more information about House seats. Most prominently, Eric Cantor’s seat. Never got that information, and I gave up and went to bed.
Today I see Florida is still not decided for anyone. Well, I imagine Governor Scott is still trying to find a way to finagle it for Romney, which won’t make any difference. Or as some pundit said, maybe Florida just wants to be back in the spotlight after Ohio took it away from them. Sour grapes.
I do have a few comments to make about specific things I did not like before I gloat over the ones I did, including a bit of hypocrisy against myself. First of all, why does NBC think it has a right to project winners of each state the minute the polls close in that state, or even when only 2% of the vote is in? Is it because that state has traditionally been red or blue, and so they feel safe in calling it? Does that mean they don’t think the voters themselves might possibly be thinking differently than in the past? I think it is something they need to look at, especially as younger, and non-white, voters are growing up. We old fogies do not rule any longer. Youth will bring it’s own, mostly non-conservative, views to the table as they become eligible to vote, and leave their homes for either college or work.
I was especially angered/upset when NBC called Georgia for Romney when the percentages were tied at 49% each, and Obama actually had more popular vote at the time. Georgia did go red, and I did expect it to, but I did not call states on my own strategy electoral map until at least 50% of the vote was in, and in several cases, waited until it was at about 70-75%.
CNN and Fox News both called Nevada and Virginia before NBC did.
My own problem is that for years I have thought we should get rid of the electoral college. It was established in a day when there was no electronic media, when men had to travel by horseback or carriage, through inclement weather and on muddy roads, and the college was established so each state could choose someone to carry the results of their individual votes back to the US capital during elections. Today, we don’t need that. I have long thought we should just elect our presidents by popular vote. I particularly felt that way when Al Gore got the popular vote, but GWB got the electoral vote (after some manipulation by Florida). And last night I came perilously close to becoming a real hypocrite over that particular thing. Because for a short while, it appeared that while Barack Obama had the electoral college vote (as I predicted on my own map at real politics), Mitt Romney did for a while have a lead in the popular vote. So my dilemma was finally solved when Barack won the popular vote by over two million votes. But that does not make my own personal dilemma any better. Because I know I would have taken the electoral vote for Obama over any popular vote won by Mitt Romney because that is the way I wanted the election to end.
I am not sure I am ever going to resolve this conflict within myself, but if the electoral college were demolished, I would not have to make that decision – it would be made for me. Sometimes, no matter how braggardly we all get at some point or another, we run into our own human infallibility.
It appears that the voter suppression laws many states tried to make backfired on them. I heard by more than one political pundit that a lot of people got out and voted just because they knew they were being discriminated against, and it made them mad. That is why so many waited in long lines for hours and hours and would not go away. I think voting laws for each state should become standard, by the constitution, and that each state’s ballot should be exactly as every other state’s ballots in the way it is set up – obviously not in same names or propositions – but when it is a federal/national election, everyone should be able to read the ballot the same way. I also think voting machines should be standardized, and owned by one company overall, with its subsidiaries in each state, so that charges of manipulation of the machines doesn’t work. If the machines in Ohio were being manipulated, it did not help the Republicans. I also think something should be done about the long lines. Especially, back to my first complaint, since so many races are “called” before people even stop voting. The pundits urge everyone to stay in line and cast your vote, but when it is cold, or rainy, or someone is tired, it is probably hard to continue to stand in line when you start wondering if your vote even counts, especially if you are voting for the person who has not been called the winner.
I believe in my choice of candidates, and I obviously want him/her to win, but I believe even more in the right to vote for every citizen of this country when they reach the age of eligibility, and if it turned out that my candidate lost because more people wanted the one I didn’t, then I might be unhappy, but I respect the right of everyone to have their say. Too many of them worked too hard, and even lost their lives, for the right to vote for every single person in this country.
Finally, I wonder what the likes of Karl Rove, Grover Norquist, Sheldon Adelson, and the Koch Brothers are doing today. These men put so much money into races that lost – I was amused when Ed or Lawrence, don’t remember which, said they pictured “Mitch McConnell throwing his bourbon glass at the wall when Mourcock was defeated by Sherrod Brown”. Those super-PACS put so much money into Mourcock’s race with the express intention of defeating Sherrod. I think these rich suckers learned that the American people, in general, really cannot be bought when it comes to their vote. So some people spent a very large amount of money for a lost cause, and one wonders if they will do it again. Especially I wonder about those who were strong-armed into putting money into those super-PACS by the likes of Karl Rove and Grover Norquist. And whence those Republican Congressional members who were forced to sign the pacts with Norquist to never vote for anything Obama put forward. Does that go out the window? I think a few of those Republicans are going to be looking toward their own Congressional races in 2014.
Anyway, maybe the super-PACS will just turn tail and go away on their own now. Four years is a long time to the next election (at least I hope it will be a long time, and won’t start today or tomorrow – I’m ready to drop politics for a while), and it appears to me to be a wide-open field for both parties. At least the tea-partiers seem to have been defeated badly, even if my own stupid Texas did elect Ted Cruz. He and Jim DeMint are going to be in the minority in a big way.
So, I still need to find out how some of the other races I was interested in went, and what happened to the likes of Michelle Bachman and Eric Cantor – I know Paul Ryan won his Wisconsin seat, even while losing the VP seat with Romney. I’m sure one of my readers might know, but I imagine I will have found that out before I get back to this.
Mitt Romney gave a very classy defeat speech – I thought it was quite admirable, and quite different from what I might have expected of him. But then I have felt like he knew how to be a gentleman – he just didn’t give that impression, and I still detest a liar above all creatures.
And Barack Obama gave a classy acceptance speech, never forgetting that he did not do it by himself. As Lawrence O’Donnell said, Mitt Romney owned his defeat, and Barack Obama owned his win.
As well, Obama said he would reach out to Mitt Romney as president to ask him advice on the occasional matter. And my thought was: he asked Hillary Clinton to be his Secy State after he defeated her in the primaries; if Obama really does establish a Department of Business, do you think he might ask Romney to head it? Nah, neither do I, since Romney really is a vulture capitalist, but it would be a very popular move if Obama offered Mitt Romney some sort of sop.
A couple of Obama’s comments in his acceptance speech: “We can seize our future together”. “Red states, blue states, united states”, very similar to his famous 2004 speech for John Kerry. “America is not something to be done for us, but what we can do for it” – JFK’s inauguration speech.
Chris Matthews as usual made an idiot of himself when he complained that Barack Obama did not mention Bill Clinton’s name, nor the names of all of the rest of the Democrats that won in various states. He said he was the only one who wasn’t satisfied with the speech. I have long thought Chris Matthews was not much of an Obama fan, and I just got that feeling last night. I think when I watch MSNBC in future, I will give the Matthews hour to CNN or CNBC or even Fox. I think he finally went just a little too far for me last night. He definitely has an ego problem, and he is rude and overbearing and bombastic, and I’ve been saying this for a while, but stuck to watching him, but I think he has finally gone just a bit too far for me.
Congrats to Alan Grayson, Tammy Baldwin, the other Tammy, the wounded warrior who defeated Joe Walsh, Sherrod Brown, Claire McCaskill, Elizabeth Warren, Chris Murphy, Donnelly in Indiana (who would not have won had Richard Lugar been his opponent instead of Mourcock), and to the State of New Hampshire who now has women in all their top spots – Governor and US Senate and House. A real win for women in this year of the War on Women. I know Heidi Heitkamp is in a recount, so it may be a day or two before we know the result of that election, and whether we will get one more gain in the Senate.
The House retains its Republican majority, but it is a smaller majority than it was yesterday.
Anyway, here is what may be my final blog on the elections. I have done my part in trying to get word out to everyone, and I take some satisfaction in my ability and willingness to continue the fight. I will be 72 in December, so the next election in 2016 will depend on what shape I am in health-wise. As a political junkie now for 61 years, I cannot see myself getting completely out of politics – I just hope if I decide to stay in, I can have the same passion for the next candidate has I have had for Barack Obama, and I am satisfied at this time that we will go forward into the future.
Carol Stepp, Austin, TX