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It's been a week, and it was an awesome night.  Truly awesome.  We've really beaten back the Tea Party for now.

But I still see too many diaries, even a week after it is all said and done, about how awful a person Romney is, how many lies he told, and on and on and on.

So yeah, I'm still happy.  But there's a real battle now brewing over real tax policy that we need to win, and America needs us to win.  And is anyone going to pay attention to us they see us as being gloaty and sore winners.  I know they've been heaping hate on us through Fox News for years and years and years.  I know this all feels rather cathartic.  But,

We have to be better people than those who we purport to be more competent to replace. Even if it kills us.   I'll end before it gets too preachy.  :-)


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Comment Preferences

  •  sorry. not ready just yet. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Delilah, cachola, raincrow

    okay, enough jocularity.

    "the good guys play to stun. the death eaters play to kill." --jlms qkw

    by bubbanomics on Tue Nov 13, 2012 at 12:27:25 PM PST

  •  Sorry but I am still (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bubbanomics, cachola, raincrow, IndyReader

    celebrating and plan on celebrating all the way through Jan 20.   It IS possible to celebrate and still attend to the serious challenges facing the country.  We can do more than one thing at the same time.  

    Also, I am an adult and I don't need my mommy or daddy to tell me to get back to stop playing and go back to class.

    I vote Democratic because I am a woman with self-respect , who rejects bigotry of all kinds, subscribes to science, believes in universal health care, embraces unions, and endorses smart internationalist foreign policy. Twitter: @HawaiiDelilah

    by Delilah on Tue Nov 13, 2012 at 12:30:53 PM PST

  •  okay but I still have (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    some celebrating to do.

    We understand about the tax battle all to well.

    "The real wealth of a nation consists of the contributions of its people and nature." -- Rianne Eisler

    by noofsh on Tue Nov 13, 2012 at 01:12:38 PM PST

  •  I agree. Here's my take on where we go now (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    First the good news.

    OK, Dems had a good election year.  Obama got re-elected fairly decisively, and we gained seats in the House and Senate.  We actually got a half a million more total votes for our congressional representatives than the Repubs did.  We hold the Senate and the Supreme Court is safe from getting any more crazy right wingers for another four years.

    Obama won even during very tough economic times, and the huge sums of money raised by the billionaire backed Republican Super-PACs did not seem to hurt us too badly.  Demographics seem to be going our way and it looks like the Democratic advantage in the popular vote will get incrementally larger for years to come.  We also seem to have a structural advantage in the Electoral College to where we can get more than half of the EC vote with slightly less than half of the popular vote.

    LGBTQ rights advanced in several states and it seems like we have reached a tipping point in the culture wars.  It seems likely that LGBTQ rights will continue, albeit slowly, to advance in one or two states each election, and eventually the courts will begin to realize that and more and more court decisions will add to that momentum.

    We have the youth vote and the minority vote and women and gays and secularists and scientists and Big Bird and our policies are based on reality rather than wishful thinking and delusion.


    You knew there was going to be a “but”, didn’t you.

    Here’s the bad news.

    Citizen’s United is here to stay.

    The corrupting influence of that much money is going to make it impossible to ever get rid of this decision as the law of the land.  Obama (as a sitting president) was in a good position to raise almost as much money as Republicans this year.  Also, spending that much money was new to the Republicans in this election so they spent a lot of it very badly.  In 2014 and 2016 Dems will be at a huge and growing disadvantage in the money game.  Unions are in decline, and Republican donors will continue to outspend Democratic donors by ever increasing amounts.  And folks like Rove will get better at spending such huge amounts.  They will diversify their expenditures.  They won’t pour it all into stupid attack ads next time.  They will use it to build a ground game machine where they need it, and spread into the internet and social media.  Expect this to be the last election for a while in which Dems will not be at a serious financial disadvantage.

    Obama probably won’t make progress with the Supreme Court.

    There are four justices on the Supreme Court that are now older than 73 years old.  It seems likely that Obama may get to replace Ruth Bader Ginsburg and maybe Steven Breyer in the next four years, but unless they die or suffer catastrophic health problems, most people think that Antonin Scalia and Anthony Kennedy will do everything possible to stay on the court till after the 2016 elections in the hope of a Republican President after Obama replacing them with an equally right wing justice.  So even though Obama might end up appointing a total of four justices to the court, he will probably not be able to make it less extremely right wing.  The possibility of finally accomplishing that goal will fall to the Democratic candidate for President in 2016.  So Obama and the Democrats in Congress and the Senate will have to govern well enough for the next four years to make electing another Democrat to the oval office in 2016 a real possibility.

    The Southern Strategy has not quite finished playing out yet.

    There is a big time lag from when a state electorate switches from one party to another, and when those changes get reflected throughout all the state and local level offices in a given state.  Sometimes very big time lags like 25 to 50 years.  Southern white racists have been fleeing the Democratic Party to the Republican Party since 1964.  This has completely played out in most of the deep south (Georgia, South Carolina, Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana), with those states now being completely and deeply in Republican control.  But it has taken longer for some states and the election and re-election of an African American President by the Democratic Party has accelerated it in the last states to go through the painful destruction of the Democratic Party due primarily to racists fleeing the Democratic Party for the Republicans.  West Virginia, Tennessee, Kentucky, North Carolina, Indiana, Arkansas, and Missouri are now in the midst of that transition.  All these states now have legislatures and senates controlled by Republicans, and Republicans extended the number of seats they hold in almost all of these state houses in the 2012 election.  Although four of these states now have Democratic Governors (WV, KY, AR, MO), expect it to be progressively more difficult for Democratic Governors to win these states in the next decade.  In the not-too-distant future, all seven of these states will probably become overwhelmingly controlled by Republicans much like the states of the deep south.  It will take 25 to 50 years for Dems to be competitive in these states again.

    The only exceptions might be North Carolina and Missouri.  Despite Republican gains made at the state and local levels in both states in this election, these states seem to be very competitive in Governor and Presidential elections.  It could be that the demographic forces favoring Democrats will be enough to counter the effects of the last of the racists leaving the Democratic Party in these two states.

    The other states where Dems have a glimmer of hope are Texas, Arizona and Montana.  All are deeply red right now, but Dems made positive progress in state level elections in all three of these states this year.  Arizona and Texas have large and growing Hispanic populations that will make them progressively less red each election for the next 12 years.  Republicans have until 2024 to make major gains in some other area of the country or grab a larger share of the youth or Hispanic vote.  The margin of Republican victory in Texas this year was 16%.  In a better economy it would have been 12%.  Expect that margin to shrink by about a point a year.  If the Republican Party has not made progress in other states or into core Democratic demographic groups by the time Texas becomes competitive, then they will be finished as a National Party.

    The redistricting from 2011 and 2012 will make it much harder for us to take the House.

    Don’t underestimate how badly the 2010 elections hurt us.  We lost a lot of statehouses and governorships just before the 2011-2012 census redistricting.  We had many Dem seats in many states gerrymandered out of existence.  We are now at a dramatic structural disadvantage in trying to win more seats in state level legislatures as well as US Congressional seats.  Even though Democratic congressional representatives won half a million more votes than the Republicans did, the Repubs won more seats, and they will keep that advantage until at least the 2022 elections.  In order to take the House before 2022, Dems would probably have to have at least a 3 or 4 point margin in the popular congressional vote.

    The 2014 Senate Races will be a very hard election for Democrats

    In the Senate elections in 2014 we will be defending 20 seats vs. just 13 for the Republicans.  It will be an off year election, and Citizens United will make it very likely that Republicans will have more money to spend on these election than we do.  An off year election with a financial disadvantage probably means that we will lose seats.  We might lose enough to lose control of the Senate.  Even if we don’t lose the Senate, expect the 2014 Senate and Congressional elections not to go our way like they did this year.  In the Senate we will be defending seats in Alaska, Arkansas, Louisiana, Montana, North Carolina, South Dakota, and West Virginia.  Unless we have an exceptionally good year (like we did this year), it’s hard to imagine not losing at least a few of those.

    Although their coalition of states is smaller than ours, it is also much more securely held.

    The decline and collapse of the Republican Party in the North East, Mid-Atlantic and Great Lake states is going a bit slower than the collapse of the Democratic Party in the Southern and Appalachian states.  Democrats generally have to count New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Iowa in the coalition of states they need to win to elect a president, yet Democrats do not fully control the statehouses in any of those states (except possibly New Hampshire – depending on ongoing recounts).  Republicans control both chambers of the statehouse in every state that voted for Romney plus Florida, Ohio, Virginia, Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Wisconsin.  They also hold the governorships in all six of those states plus six others that went for Obama.  Statehouses control redistricting and can create voter suppression laws and form the “bench” of candidates for higher offices; Governorships often control filling mid-term vacancies.  As long as we fail to control the statehouses and Governorships in states like PA, MI, WI, OH, VA, and FL, we will be at a significant disadvantage in winning those states in presidential elections, and in taking Congressional and Senate Seats there.  To really make progress in rolling back Republican power we need to take the statehouses and Governors seat in PA, MI, WI, IA and NH (and OH, VA and FL if possible) before the 2021 redistricting.  We also need to decrease the Republican advantage in Governorships by taking the Governors seat in otherwise Democratic leaning states like Maine, New Jersey, Nevada, and New Mexico.

    Women, Hispanics and young people vote for Dems now, but can we hold them?

    Not every single Republican is stupid.  Somewhere, one of the brighter ones will start thinking up real coherent strategies to try to peel off some of our support among young voters, Hispanics and women.  They might finally be able to find a black, Hispanic or woman Republican that is not as dumb as toast to run as a presidential or vice-presidential candidate.  They might be able to outflank us on Immigration policy and manage to get most of the credit for one or more new policies that are important to Hispanic voters.  They may finally shut up about rape and contraception and abortion, and magical lady parts…  They might come up with some sort of tax policy that is not crushingly bad for young people while also not throwing retirees to the wolves.

    We have to avoid the temptation to assume those demographic groups are in the bag and always will be.

    What must we do?

    We must remain diligent in fighting for what is right for everyone, all the time.  We have to govern competently and make progress on issues important to the American people and always work to make the lives of all Americans better.  We have to continue to support women’s health and right of choice.  We need to force through a comprehensive Immigration policy that does not harm American blue collar workers, and strengthens unions.  We have to redouble our efforts to support unions in all other ways we can.

    We have to advance marriage equality (In Delaware and Pennsylvania – I’m talking to you Joe Biden, and in Illinois and Hawaii – I’m talking to you Barack Obama), make tax policy that helps to create American jobs, lower the deficit, and make a sensible plan to protect the social safety net while getting our fiscal house in order.  We have to cut 1.6% in spending and raise revenues by 1.6% to keep the deficit declining.  We must make sure that both the deficit and unemployment rate are a lot lower in four years than they are now.

    We have to end the war in Afghanistan, bring our troops home and make some sensible cuts to the bloated military budget.

    We need to at least try to take some basic steps toward addressing global climate change.

    We need to work 200% harder to take the statehouses in Iowa, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin before 2021.  We need to take the Governor’s office in six more states before 2021.

    We need to keep fighting like hell for every seat possible in Florida, Virginia and Ohio, and keep our eyes on North Carolina, Missouri, Montana, Arizona and Texas.

    We need to look ahead and run the best possible candidate in 2016, because that president will be the one to reshape the Supreme Court for a generation.

    We need to be good progressive Democrats and Americans.

    Recommended by:

    at the top of my lungs to the tune of Handel's Hallelujah Chorus. My cats are ready to KILL me. Prolly my neighbors are, too, but I don't don't don't don't don't GIVEASHIT!




    by raincrow on Tue Nov 13, 2012 at 02:58:32 PM PST

    •  SCHADENFREUDE + champagne (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      My favorite meal.

      I vote Democratic because I am a woman with self-respect , who rejects bigotry of all kinds, subscribes to science, believes in universal health care, embraces unions, and endorses smart internationalist foreign policy. Twitter: @HawaiiDelilah

      by Delilah on Tue Nov 13, 2012 at 03:38:31 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

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