Whew, what a day and night we had on election day. It was fascinating watching all three cable networks covering the unfolding of an unbelievable night. What did we learn?
Well, the lessons were clear. America repudiated conservatism completely after the smoke began to clear. I think the traditional media were scared the last few months by the fire-breathing right wingers who attacked every poll result that they didn't like and actually managed to make a star out of Nate Silver. So, after many polls showed Obama leading by three points at the end, we were treated with headlines that called the election a tossup because three was within the margin of error.
But besides that, President Obama withstood terrible odds of reelection after the rise of the Tea Party and their rout in the 2010 midterms. Conservatives were licking their chops in anticipation of 2012 and who they left with their tails between their legs. Most of the right and some in the media said that Obama didn't put out an agenda for reelection, but he did propose a program built on liberal ideology, even if he doesn't consider himself one.
Obama ran on regulations for Wall Street.
Obama ran on defending Social Security and Medicare.
Obama ran on immigration reform and the Dream Act.
Obama ran on raising taxes on the wealthy.
Obama ran on letting the Bush tax cuts expire.
Obama ran on income equality for the working class.
Obama ran on Women's rights.
Obama ran on Global Warming.
Equal rights for the LGBT community.
So did our Senate candidates. The Senate was thought to be a lost cause for the Democratic Party, with the possibility of losing up to twelve seats. In the end, remarkably, Democrats picked up seats instead.
President Obama won a mandate with this victory, and don't let anyone say otherwise. Republicans have been running on a Hate-Obama platform ever since he was first elected. The fact that he won a second term after getting through a financial and economic disaster is amazing.
Greg Sargent and Digby have some thoughts too:
The good news tonight is not that the president survived. It's that we had, as Greg Sargent points out, a liberal victory:
Obama has been reelected with a resounding victory in the electoral college (the popular vote is outstanding). Democrats have routed Republicans in the Senate races. A progressive champion has been sent to the Upper Chamber in the person of Elizabeth Warren. The first openly gay Senator — Tammy Baldwin, another solid liberal — joins her. The Dem majority will be more progressive and energetic. In Maryland, gay marriage has been ratified by popular vote for the first time.
The story of this election will be all about demographics. As Chuck Todd noted earlier today, the fact that it remained unexpectedly close in GOP-leaning southern states shows that the GOP is not keeping pace with the changing face of America. Meanwhile, Obama’s support proved unexpectedly strong among workers in the industrial midwest, thanks partly to his willingness to pursue aggressive government action to save a major American industry. Obama’s team made the right bet on the true nature of the American electorate. Rather than reverting to the older, whiter, more male version Republicans had hoped for, it continues to be defined by what Ron Brownstein has called the “coalition of the ascendant” — minorities, young voters, and college educated whites, particularly women.
If the Obama team learned anything from all this it should be that they cannot be all things to all people. We disagree in this country and that's ok. This election wasn't about post-partisanship, bipartisanship or "changing the tone." This was a strictly partisan victory made up of the Democratic Party coalition.
Liberals were validated this election, and it behooves the administration to strategize their next four years with that in mind.
He's run his last race and all he has left to worry about is properly governing the country and solidifying his legacy --- and that legacy will be made or broken on how well he fulfills the agenda of those who have voted for him in massive numbers. He has a right and an obligation to unapologetically work to enact the agenda those people elected him to enact.
Fox News was going ballistic last night trying to repudiate what their own eyes were witnessing. Bill O'Reilly was lamenting the end of the white man and Karl Rove was fighting with his own network after they called Ohio for Obama. Charles Krauthammer came out spewing flames of bile as soon as he was on air and after he finished he said that Obama did not have a mandate. What complete and utter bulls*&t.
It was the liberal agenda that broke out this election. We didn't win on bipartisanship -- hell no! Republicans said that only Romney had a chance to unite this insane Tea Party Congress, so President Obama needs to ride this week out then rally the entire Democratic Party around a strong hand. Demand that Republicans work with him and not the other way around.
Liberals should celebrate because our principles were embraced by America. My God, even Brit Hume admitted that America was more liberal than he thought. So rejoice. About the only person who failed miserably was the DCCC's Steve Israel. Howie Klein breaks it down.
We'll get more into this is the coming days but every single Blue Dog Israel recruited-- and wasted so much money on (money that could have gone to help progressives win)-- has either lost or is losing tonight, as did Blue Dog incumbents Ben Chandler (KY) and Larry Kissell (NC). It's like a redux of the Great Blue Dog Apocalypse of 2010. When will the corrupt Inside-the-Beltway Democratic Establishment learn that actual Democratic voters don't want Blue Dogs and that Republicans have their own reactionaries so they don't need them? These were the Blue Dogs Israel was trying to get over:
• Dave Crooks (IN)- LOST!
• Pete Gallego (TX)- undecided but losing narrowly
• Pam Gulleson (ND)- LOST!
• Nick Lampson (TX)- LOST!
• Gary McDowell (MI)- undecided but losing narrowly
• Brendan Mullen (IN)- LOST!
• Sal Pace (CO)- LOST!
• Hayden Rogers (NC)- LOST!
• Rob Wallace (OK)- LOST!
• Charlie Wilson (OH)- LOST!
When will Israel tender his resignation? With Obama, Senate Democrats and House progressives all doing so well, Steve Israel (and his allies Joe Crowley and Steny Hoyer) were the skunks at tonight's party.
< I added a few more to the list of liberal positions that won this election. Please add more in comments. No sleep is hard to overcome>