As a post mortem to the 2012 election (RIP, I say), I offer my personal list of winners and losers. Feel free to suggest additions in your comments—a great opportunity to vent.
The big winner? The 99%. Yeah, I know some of you voted for Romney (otherwise the popular vote would be 99% Obama, 1% Romney), but you will still benefit. Count your blessings. The oligarchy lost—sort of. They’ll have to be more clever about how they exploit the middle class now, but they’ll probably manage just fine. The House is still in their pockets, for example, Mr. Boehner leading the charge.
The next big winner? Mr. Obama, of course. He just escaped the thundering herds of ultra-conservative sycophants to the oligarchy, thanks to a few well-placed gaffes from Mr. Romney (the 47% comment contributed to his demise, as well as the “self-deportation” nonsense). The GOP bigwigs helped out by pushing Mr. Ryan as his running mate (too bad Paul didn’t lose in Wisconsin!). An economy in recovery didn’t hurt, of course.
Women were the next biggest winners. Gone are creeps like Indiana’s Mr. Mourdock and Missouri’s Mr. Atkins, a dynamic duo that tried to redefine rape for the nation’s women. Mr. Obama’s win also encourages more equal-pay-for-equal-work legislation, an important issue for all women, but especially for those who are single heads-of-household. And don’t forget that Mr. Obama now has a chance of protecting Roe v. Wade by naming more progressive SC judges.
Other minorities were also big winners. Blacks put aside their questionable stand against same-sex marriage. They didn’t vote for Mr. Obama because he’s black. They voted for him because they were smart enough to realize that the country is better off than it was four years ago and, if Mr. Boehner and his GOP majority in the House bend a little, it can even become better. LGBT voters saw a president risk the ire of bigots and come out for same-sex marriage as an inalienable right. In the election, there was even some legislative progress along these lines. Hispanics became a force in American politics too; they will continue to do so. They recognized the GOP as anti-immigrant and applauded Mr. Obama for the Dream Act passed via executive order.
The biggest loser? The GOP, not Romney. The oligarchy and the GOP just couldn’t get behind Mr. Romney, for whatever reason, until it was too late. Sure, Mittens wasn’t the ideal candidate, but the fractal nature of the GOP permitted a number of ultra-conservative idiots to drive the primary debate and Mr. Romney so far to the right that people had no idea what he stood for. He was probably the first presidential candidate where you were always hoping he was lying. I was saying too often, “Jeez, Mr. Romney, you can’t really mean that!”
The next biggest losers? White, old men, the majority voting for Romney and against Obama, for whatever reason. They will benefit from Obama’s progressive agenda in spite of themselves. (I always find it interesting when people vote against their own interests—and the country’s, especially if you consider defense policy.) The GOP will have to revise their strategies in the future. The 2012 election was the last chance for old white men to win an election. The demographics of the U.S. have changed. It’s no longer a country of old white men, with single women and Hispanics the up-and-coming political forces of the future. Jump on the train, boys, or you’ll be left behind! (Dylan’s song is echoing around my head: “The times are a’changin’….”)
The worst, most evil, old, white man is Karl Rove, of course, and he lost big time! I heard that CNN and Fox News first called the election for Obama, and almost at the same time, but old Karl couldn’t believe it. He rightly stated that there were states still in play (Florida just fell to Obama—I wonder if it took so long because of those long lines to vote in Miami Dade county?). But when little Colorado and little Iowa rolled for Obama, even he had to eat crow. Sorry, Karl—all that money from your SuperPACs (same for the Koch brothers, Tweedle Dum and Tweedle Dee) couldn’t buy this election. Enjoy the crow feathers, fellows! Please choke on them as you swallow. You should have learned from Dubya. You and your neo-con friends are irrelevant now. Karl, why don’t you just ride off into the sunset and leave us alone?
Boehner is in line right behind Rove. “I am the most reasonable man in Washington,” he says. Liar, liar, pants on fire! You, sir, are personally responsible for the low popularity rating of Congress. You, sir, are an old white guy, who should retire to pasture like that other old bull, Rove. Uberfuhrer McConnell, Madame Pelosi, and Monsieur Reid should also retire. We need new leadership in Congress, leading the House and Senate to move America forward, not drive her back to the Dark Ages—Congress must learn the art of compromise, among themselves and with the President.
While the 99% are big winners, they’re also big losers. There is a chance that gridlock during the next four years won’t be any better in DC than during the last two. The House, controlled by the GOP and with districts gerrymandered to guarantee re-election, is now more retrograde, incompetent, and conservative than the Senate. After all, the first openly gay female member was just elected to the Senate. The only way to get around this gridlock might be to impose term limits and age limits, something I’ve proposed for both Congress and the Supreme Court. That probably won’t happen, at least not in the House, controlled by old white men highly motivated to stay in power at all cost.
And so it goes…
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