Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Obama's 2012 Win Bigger than 2008

I am so relieved this morning that Barack Obama has won re-election. From my perspective this is a bigger win for Obama and the liberals of this country than 2008. In that year the country was suffering from Bush fatigue, with a terrifying collapse of the economy added for good measure. And the Republican nominee for vice-president revealed herself to be absurdly unqualified (If you've forgotten, watch Game Change--it was actually worse than I knew at the time).

This time Obama had plenty of obstacles: high unemployment, a large part of his base were disappointed and ambivalent about voting (myself included), the Republicans were pushing voting rules all across the country that would suppress the liberal vote, and a torrent of dark money unleashed by Citizens United was aimed against him. No president since FDR has won re-election with unemployment so high. 2010 was a rout for the Democrats because disaffected liberals stayed home. 80% of the dark money in this election went to Republicans. And Obama won anyway, and not just in the electoral college. After all the votes are counted he should have a lead of a couple of percentage points in the popular vote. In addition, Democrats picked up seats in the Senate and even one in the House.

I voted because I thought the Republican Party needed to be punished for their obstructionism in the last four years and their attempts to prevent people from voting. Early reports seem to indicate that voting turnout was higher this year than in 2008, and I think this is because there were plenty of liberals like me who felt the right-wing could not be rewarded for their unpatriotic actions. I don't think the Republicans and FOX News were prepared for this liberal voter surge--they thought their base was more fired up.

I wrote an optimistic blog post in September saying that the American people were rejecting conservative ideology. After Obama's first debate performance and Romney's October surge I was afraid I had been wrong in my assessment. This morning I feel like I was vindicated in my optimism.

This country has changed. One look at the two campaign headquarters last night reflected another reason why the Democrats are winning. It was just like the conventions: the Chicago crowd was multicultural and young, while the Boston crowd was white and old. Dana Milbank at the Washington Post writes about the 1% crowd allowed in to Romney headquarters.

This isn't just a win for Obama. This is a huge win for our country.

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