I woke up this morning, as I always do, to the 6:00 am news squib from NPR News that is played on the classical music station here in Washington, DC. I normally have a hard time focusing on the first news (I'm not much of a morning person, and even less so after staying up past 1:00 am last night), but one of the first things said by the newscaster caught my attention, and not in a good way.
The NPR commentator said (and I paraphrase):
"The result of the election is that Nothing's changed.
Are you flippin' kidding me?
Everything has changed.
Nothing's changed when this President, demagoged beyond all repair as some sort of hateful "Other," managed to prevail?
Nothing's changed when we re-elect our first African-American president in a country still deeply charged with more-overt-than-ever racism?
Nothing's changed when the corrosive effects of millions and millions of dollars of dark money couldn't buy this election?
Nothing's changed when the palpable demographic shift in this country demonstrates that pandering exclusively to a white majority (of which at least some measure of the Republican half is xenophobic) will not get you elected on a national basis?
Nothing's changed when the Democratic Party, against all odds, not only held their Senate Majority, but most likely increased it (and definitely traded up in terms of better, more Progressive, Senators)?
Nothing's changed when the Tea Party cost the Republicans at least two Senate seats, and perhaps the Presidency iteself?
Nothing's changed when the country started to say "enough is enough" in the war on women?
Nothing's changed when the Republican message of marital hate and exclusivity was repudiated by state electorates?
"Nothing's changed" has to be the most facile, flacid excuse for political commentary out there this morning. Sure, I'm well aware that President Obama will still have to deal with a Republican House of Representatives who will do everything in its power to deny him any legislative victories. I'm also aware that there is still an obstructionist minority in the US Senate, who will abuse the filibuster more in the President's second term than in the first.
But, "nothing's changed?" Like this election didn't even matter? Like no message was sent by the American people, that they don't accept the snake oil that the Republicans are selling? Like the historic reelection of Barack Obama was just a big nothing?
Please. Everything has changed.