Four years ago, Barack Obama defied conventional wisdom by being elected President of the United States. Millions of people realized that, unlike the 2 buffoons on the "McPain" Republican ticket, this guy had some intelligence to fuel his lofty rhetoric.
Before he was elected in 2008, I half-jokingly compared him to the rogue Egyptian pharaoh Akhenaten- who eliminated the various cults of the time & instituted a religion only worshiping the Sun deity, Aten.
Though he's not as radical as the ancient sun-worshiping king, Barack Obama has earned a similarly lasting place in human history.
Although I've been quick to point out the President's flaws over the past few years, I also realized that America's interests are much better served by keeping Obama in office instead of Mitt Romney. I don't think Romney is a fundamentally bad guy... but he's a capitalist ideologue, a religious zealot, and a smug billionaire who would have governed with big business in mind, & not the business of the people.
As I watched the election returns last night, I was tuned in to CNN most of the time. John King did an excellent job analyzing the numbers and reporting on the dynamics of the election. Some of the talking heads on the CNN panel are horrible, but thankfully, there was more reporting than punditry. (Why are Alex Castellanos & Ari Fleisher on TV, but I'm not?!?!)
I was also using the CNN interactive electoral map to follow along throughout the night. Having tools like that makes the process much more accessible & easy to understand.
As I mentioned in my post from Election Eve, I had been following Nate Silver's 538 Forecast (which turned out to be 100% accurate!) & also the Intrade prediction markets. The polling & statistical analysis pointed toward a strong likelihood of Obama winning the Electoral College. It's even being reported now that the Obama campaign was using sophisticated statistical computer models to figure out where their resources would be best allocated.
The right-wing pundits, on the other hand, proudly exhibited their foolishness for the world to see before the election. These knuckleheads not only denounced Nate Silver's scientific computer models, but many also made ridiculous predictions for a BIG Romney win, which had no basis in reality. Fox News and talk radio have created an ignorance bubble in people's minds that's hard to penetrate.
The fact that Romney himself bought into the hype & didn't even write a concession speech shows the arrogance & cluelessness that the country would have been subject to if he had won.
One of the great media moments of the night was the on-air hackery of the right-wing's political guru from the Bush years- Karl Rove, aka 'Turd Blossom'. Rove raised millions for Romney SuperPACs & actually tried to influence their live reporting, in order to benefit his millionaire donors with a Romney election. The rest of the country & facts be damned. The fact that Fox News lets a scumbag like Rove have any kind of presence shows how little credibility they have.
Last night President Obama was re-elected, despite the personal animosity so many people feel toward him. Enough reasonable people were able to see through the right-wing media's distortion of his record to know that his term has been generally positive for the country. If it weren't for the relentless obstructionism of the opposition party, the country would be progressing at a much better rate. People who don't actually understand the workings of government find it easier to blame problems on The President, even if they aren't of his doing.
Unfortunately, the federal government is likely going to be facing more gridlock, thanks to continued Republican control of the House of Representatives. Despite having already wasted precious time & legislative initiative in their failed, petty attempt "to deny President Obama a second term"- the childish, obstructionist mentality of the GOP in Congress is unlikely to change.
I'm an Independent voter, but it's clear the Republican Party has further proven itself to be a political dinosaur, an anachronistic relic featuring the country's most ignorant & regressive ideas. The national party is unable to shake its most foolish members or its ideological chains, stubbornly refusing to recognize the rapidly changing pace of the country & the entire world. You know a political party has problems when you can say that their "Rape Guy" didn't win... & it can refer to more than one person!
*Why wasn't Pres. George W. Bush out campaigning for Romney?.... because the petulant man-child & his Republican administration almost destroyed the economy during his 8 long years. Trotting out Dubya the Smirking Chimp would quickly remind voters just how little of the country's dire straits were actually created by Obama.
The major problem exposed in this election for the GOP & the right-wing is their collective refusal to deal with reality. They cling to antiquated, unworkable ideals and warped perceptions that make them look completely unreasonable to the rest of society. They are a factory of absurd ideas • you can balance the budget simply by cutting government programs • banks and multinational corporations should be free of government regulation • union members are paid too much, but CEOs deserve their obscene compensation; etc. On social issues, the conservatives have completely alienated independent voters, who see nothing but bigotry & irrational fear coming from the Right.
There were alot of important races last night. It was nice to see jackasses such as Allen West & Joe Walsh get kicked out of office. Unfortunately, thanks to the brain-dead voters in her district, it looks like Congress has not yet gotten rid of "The Queen of the Loons", Michele Bachmann.
On the bright side, alot of good people got elected to Congress, like consumer advocate Elizabeth Warren. There were a bunch of progressive women senators elected, which is a good thing for the Senate.
Though anyone in that position is assimilated into the machinations of "The System", Obama is as good a person as anybody to be in the executive office. Until we evolve as a society to the point where we don't need a singular personality to equate with leadership, all we can do is elect someone who is smart & insightful, yet strong enough, to deal with the unimaginable problems facing any President. Despite the many obstacles to his agenda for the last term, Barack Obama has proven over & over again that he is up to the task.
He is handling a job (that would overwhelm most people) with extraordinary tenacity & the will to do what's right for all the citizens of the country. He has been an inclusive President who has repeatedly reached out to his political opposition to create meaningful policy, only to be rebuffed and opposed by the myopic Republicans every step of the way.
The Republican party suffered major defeats as a result of their intransigence last night, but it's doubtful Boehner & McConnell will now magically decide to act in good faith with The President.
Of course, we can always Hope...