More election thoughts and observations:
It still sucks this morning...I was thinking of calling in Democratic!
Democrats should be proud of what they accomplished in the past two years. Those who are not proud were either defeated or should be. Stuff got done—big stuff. Americans don't hate Democrats. Americans don't love Republicans. They dislike them both equally, or dislike Democrats a tad less. But voters are fucking pissed off at the economy and at waiting around for their lives to improve. And they hate the idea of a deficit to the point that they blindly don't realize the stimulus helped stave off a second Great Depression. That's all hard to address (for both parties, actually), but it's easier to address than, say, being hated.
Obama's presser today will be historic. I hope in the good or at least not bad way. If I were him, I would sound a conciliatory note (no baseball bats—see below) yet I would draw some progressive lines in the sand. His only hope for re-election rides on re-engaging the left (the youth vote had better things to do last night and the black vote was somewhat depressed) because going even more centrist (he's already more in the middle than Malcolm) is not going to win him even one right-winger's vote. The Blue Dog Democrats were CRUSHED last night—so he shouldn't become one. His differences with Bill Clinton—the last Democratic prez in this position at this point in a presidency—may be skin-deep, but that's plenty deep enough for the teabaggers. Trust. Of course, this presumes Obama is his party's nominee in '12, a provision that had to be made regarding Reagan and Clinton before him at the same points in their presidencies, but one that nonetheless needs to be made here again.
While I'm glad Carl Paladino lost his bid to be governor of New York, his bat-wielding "concession" (sedition?) speech reminds me that this stark raving mad beast had the support of about 34% of the bluest of states. That's around the same % as the far less committable opponents of Democratic senators Schumer and Gillibrand. So happy again that Harold Ford Jr. was hounded out of running in our state—the douchebag was already spouting off yesterday about Democrats needing to kowtow.
Speaking of Kirsten Gillibrand, her victory speech was inspiring. She could be elevated to having a national presence in the future:
I was surprised how excited I was to see Harry Reid win. Granted, it helps that he defeated Sharron Angle, a racist nutjob who thinks the color black portends evil, but it's not like I think he's been a brazilliant Senate Majority Leader (even winning, he needs to be replaced!). Yet I was thrilled for him. I guess his victory was attributable to Chinese math. And I liked his victory speech—calling out the Republicans for being obstructionists, so he has the right idea. Si se puede, Sharron. Now, Harry...about that ring...
Paladino, Angle, Christine O'Donnell, Alvin Greene (he got almost 30% of the vote???)...there were far too many people who made it onto the ballot this year who were just plain incompetent and crazy. As happy as I am that many of the biggest whackadoodles couldn't pass muster on a state-wide level, the fact that they were in the running is cause for concern.
If larger states had more fitting representation, the Tea Party wouldn't exist. For example, Barbara Boxer—who crushed Carly Fiorina in California—received more votes than 10 prominent teabaggers did combined. But such is our system that Boxer's victory is taken for granted while Rand Paul's win in Kentucky is a big deal even though he only got 750,000 or so votes. The Tea Party as it is cost the Republicans control of the Senate, which would have been well within its grasp had primaries not belched up Angle, O'Donnell and (so far, so good) Joe Miller in Alaska.
I feel secure in the guess that Sarah Palin will be considered Queen of Planet America after last night, and yet she had many high-profile defeats. If Miller loses in Alaska—which he very well might, pending results of the expected lawsuit to throw out write-ins that misspell "Lisa Murkowski"—that would give Murkowski a right to crow, "It's not exactly Sarah Palin's Alaska, now is it?" Quite a few other Palin picks went down in flames, and her Election Day endorsement of Tom Tancredo seems to have done more harm than good. This woman is hated. And she's no kingmaker. Her continued presence on the scene will keep two Democrats energized for every Republican it keeps energized—at least on a national level, where it counts in terms of '12.
Colorado surprised me and shows that even with teabaggers running around, voters will choose good Democratic candidates. Sure, it took some batshit opponents to help Hickenlooper and Bennet over their finish lines, but who's to say the Republicans—at the rate they're going, and at the rate the teabaggers are pushing them—won't put a batshit opponent up against Obama? Batshit candidates do NOT automatically lose—Michele Bachmann won by 15 or so points and looks like she could become the third-ranking GOPer in the House!
Rhode Island elected openly gay David Cicilline to the House and elected pro-gay Independent Lincoln Chafee as governor (a stinging defeat to bitter, Obama-bashing Frank Caprio!) and Lexington, Kentucky, elected openly gay businessman Jim Gray as its mayor, but Iowa kicked out the Supreme Court Justices who had voted in favor of marriage equality and pro-gay Governor Chet Culver. Other progressive and gay-friendly losers of the night: Rep. Patrick Murphy went down in Pennsylvania, Russ Feingold went down in Wisconsin Minnesota (to a crook...and even John McCain had to say it was a shame he was a "casualty"—everything is still Vietnam to McCain, and Obama is Ho Chi Minh).
Illinois was quite the bloodbath, as was most of the Midwest. Surprisingly, Pat Quinn seems to have held on as governor, but Alexi Giannoulias went down to the craven Mark Kirk (who is now a prime candidate for outing, especially in light of his anti-gay stances). Still, how much of a "tsunami" hit Illinois, as Kirk raved, when he won by a stinkin' two points? A win's a win, but two points isn't a tsunami unless it's a tsunami of indifference.
Anyway, that's all I got for now. All I know is—the world didn't end (yet) and I'm going to keep fighting the good fight. I just hope the ones I'm fighting for will also continue fighting the good fight—if perhaps a bit more wisely.