Like many of you, my jubilation last night was soon dulled to disappointment when it became clear that Proposition 8 was, and still is, headed for a victory.
And there were other small disappointments. That harpy Bachmann was re-elected. The AK senate race wasn't the blowout we thought it would be, and there is still a reasonable chance that Stevens, now a convicted felon, will keep his seat.
In spite of all of this, I think it's important to focus on the victories we've had. And there have been a LOT. Listed below the fold, in no particular order, are just some of them.
1. BARACK OBAMA WON. Okay, no one really forgot about this victory. But it's important to emphasize how important of a victory this was. They said we couldn't. Republicans, PUMAs, pundits...heck, even the same people who handed Obama his victory. I can say with confidence that every day, hour, minute, and second spent on Obama's campaign was not wasted. Your state didn't go blue? How does it feel to have got out the most votes for any presidential candidate in history? How does it feel to know that you've contributed towards a bluer future by educating voters?
2. The former capital of the Confederacy elected our first Black President. This was, by far, the sexiest bit of history of the entire night.
3. Healthcare for all is on its way. In many ways, it's incalculable how much we've gained by electing Obama, and the benefits of this alone contribute to a very large part of that. Even if we still don't achieve universal healthcare, we’re going to make a hell of a lot of desperately-needed progress. If your heart was wrenched by those people on the Obama commercial, fear not! Help is on the way.
4. A real Democratic majority will be in the Senate. Even if we lose all three of the still-contested races, and I’m certain we won’t, and even thought we probably won’t get the 60-seat filibuster-proof majority (a long shot no matter what the circumstances), we now have a real majority in the senate. And by the way, don’t forget we will have a president that won’t insta-veto any bill that has a modicum of progress in it.
5. Regulation is back! Can you believe it? Soon, after Obama’s done mopping up Bush’s last-minute dick-move deregulation, the government will actually start caring about its citizens instead of irresponsible industry. I don’t know about you, but I can’t wait to drink tomato juice from a plastic bottle without worrying about keeling over.
6. The EPA will do its job. It’s tough to imagine an EPA that has been more antithetical to its own existence than Bush’s EPA. Under Obama, we’ll see an EPA that begins to really buckle down to confront the increasingly critical issue of global warming. Hey, maybe we can even start calling it global warming again.
7. We can take back the Supreme Court. Apparently one or more of our beloved SCOTUS justices are expected to leave this world in the next four years, and it was absolutely essential that we have a liberal president to make the selection(s) for his/her/their replacement(s). Now we have that president.
8. No more Iraq War. Staggered withdrawal, timetables, cut-and-run, surrender, whatever we do and whatever you call it, we are outta there! Not only will this give us the manpower we need to win the war in Afghanistan against the real terrorists, but this means that thousands of families across America will finally have their sons, daughters, husbands, wives, brothers, sisters, mothers, and fathers back. Did I mention the billions of dollars that we can now finally spend on change at home?
9. California rejected TRAP laws. This hasn’t been called yet, but it looks to me like California, in the same breath that they said gays shouldn’t marry, also said that abortions are hard enough to get. Victory for progress.
10. Colorado OVERWHELMINGLY rejected defining life at the moment of conception. I don’t think I need to tell anyone here how damaging this proposition would have been to not only Colorado but to the country. But this thing crashed and burned in a state that, while it did break for Obama, has never sang much of the Blues. The enormous margin in this race shows just how much of a minority this belief really is, and how much our dialog about abortion has been skewed.
11. Michigan will allow medicinal marijuana and stem cell research. Obviously, stem cell research is vital science, and this is only the first step to re-establishing our Country’s strong scientific history. It’s also a victory for common sense: why not use embryos to help people instead of destroying them? Also, I believe that marijuana should be legalized for recreational use for a plethora of reasons, but you have to crawl before you can walk. Now Michigan has started crawling (probably towards the pantry).
12. South Dakota rejected TRAP laws. Again, not only is this fantastic news for the women of South Dakota and America, but it very clearly shows where the nation really stands on Choice.
13. Goodbye recession, hello jobs. Of course we can’t uncork the champagne on this one yet; it will undoubtedly take at LEAST a year or so for our economy to finally get back on track, but I have every confidence that it will. And, your taxes WILL go down (unless you make $250k+). No more corporate loopholes. No more Wall St. vs. Main St. And soon, a glut of new jobs that Obama’s green initiatives will bring. And speaking of which...
14. Green is the new black. Great job, America! You successfully picked the right door—the candidate that will actually do something to end our dependency on foreign oil, and oil in general. A new, green future is dawning, and it’s going to be cheap and clean.
15. John McCain did NOT win. There are nearly an infinite number of reasons by now that we’ve built up of why McCain should not have been elected. I have about a hundred diaries with such reasons bookmarked, and I will greatly relish deleting them. I hope you enjoy reading those reasons as you do the same.
16. We elected the first Democrat with more than 50% of the vote since Jimmy Carter. Finally we can stop hearing Republicans wheeze on about this. Hey, your dentures are looking kind of yellow.
17. The Country is Bluer. Did America just have a raspberry slurpee? Look at that map. I advise you to look at it in terms of President, Senate, and House races. Look at the map that was posted on the front page today. Indiana? Really? And, guess what? It’s only going to get better. People will see how good liberal policies really are for them, and they’ll stop listening to Republicans forever. By the way, I think I’ll get a Howard Dean tattoo.
18. Here comes accountability. It’s too soon to say whether Obama’s newly non-partisan justice department and Congress will go after the crimes of the Bush administration and finally hold Rove and his cohorts accountable. I can say with certainty that there will once again be accountability and transparency in our government, if in fact there ever was.
19. Election Reform! Is there any doubt that this will be at the top of the list? Our country badly needs clear, logical national election standards. And I won’t cry if the Electoral College takes a hike, either.
20. No more fear. Did you hear Stephen Colbert? The real referendum issued on November 4 is that people aren’t going to put up with Republicans’ smears and fears any more. The Republicans now look all the more horrible because of them (thanks, Liddy Dole! I enjoyed voting for Hagan).
21. SARAH PALIN DID NOT WIN. Of course, the diaries on the rec list say it all. She was even worse than we thought. And if you’ve been reading this site, you know we see her as Dick Cheney meets Robo-Billy Graham meets the Gremlins if you feed them after midnight. And people want her to be the future of the Republican party? If only God spoiled us like my grandmother spoiled me.
Comments contest! I said my list is in no particular order. So, put it in one. Which do you think were the biggest accomplishments? Feel free to add in your own. The winner will receive a strong sense of satisfaction and gratitude.