Liberal America?

I see that all the states have been called except Florida. And that’s fine; Florida can take the next few days to count chads to its heart’s content, and it won’t matter. That’s nice.

Later on I’ll probably write something about What It All Means, but I was struck by this column at Buzzfeed, of all places, by Ben Smith:

ObamaCare is now a firmly rooted component of the nation’s social compact. Americans appear to have accepted his campaign’s argument that he deserves more credit for a nascent economic recovery than blame for its slow pace.

And the vision of a conservative resurgence appears to have fallen short. The best the Republican Party could muster was a Massachusetts moderate masquerading as “severely conservative.” The Tea Party is a memory, an embarrassment to a party that didn’t even mention it at its national convention in Tampa. And the network that led the conservative resurgence, Fox suffered a sort of televised meltdown as the results came in, with Karl Rove berating host Megyn Kelly for calling the election, he said, prematurely.

Republicans have warned of a more liberal Obama over the coming term, an outcome Democrats hope for and consider likely. But the scale of the decisions facing the country will create an intense pressure for compromise, and now on Democratic terms.

But the 2012 election marked a cultural shift as much as a political one. Ballot measures that had failed for years — allowing the marriage of two men or two women in Maine and Maryland; legalizing marijuana in Washington state and Colorado — were voted into law. The nation’s leading champion of bank regulation, Elizabeth Warren, handily defeated moderate Sen. Scott Brown in Massachusetts, and the nation’s first lesbian senator, Tammy Baldwin, was elected in Wisconsin. Even climate change, which was absent for nearly the entire campaign, came roaring back with Hurricane Sandy and was the subject of endorsements for Obama and harsh attacks on Romney.

These measures were passed, and Obama re-elected, by an American electorate that Republicans had dismissed as a fluke of African-American pride and youth enthusiasm, and which a generation of pundits — Michael Barone, George Will — wrote off as a fantasy.

What I’m seeing, here and elsewhere, is a sad admission that the day when the angry white male voter ruled is over. Of course, in some states, especially the South, it will linger for a long time. But on a national level, the racial dog whistles don’t work. Putting down feminists, promising to repeal Roe v. Wade, doesn’t work. Hysteria over same-sex marriage doesn’t work. Nativism doesn’t work. The All Hate All the Time campaign doesn’t work.

Smith’s column is headlined “Welcome to Liberal America.” Heh.

11 thoughts on “Liberal America?

  1. HUZZAH!!!

    The KenyanSocialistFascistCommunistAtheistMuslimHeathenUsurper WON!!!
    And the D’s kept the Senate, and made a small inroad in the House – and Sean Patrick Maloney beat my, now, FORMER Congresswoman, Nan Hayworth(less)! YAY!!!

    And Elizabeth Warren won in MA. DOUBLE-YAY!!!

    The Republican Party needs to wake up and smell the demographic changes – they aren’t birthing enough angry straight white men – or women. If they decide to continue to double-down in the future on wedge issues, they may as well grab their own brooms and sweep themselves into the dustbin of history.
    62% of the white vote no longer guarantees victory. They need to reach out to Gays, Latino’s, and other minority groups.
    And women.

    We’ll see what the future brings.
    But I feel comfortable in saying that the Republican Party will have to learn how to edit their loons, so that they can return to being a rational national party.
    You can run all the nuts, bozo’s, and Teabagging loons, you want in Congressional races – but when they try to run state-wide, never mind nation-wide, campaigns, they lose. I give you Akins and Mourdoch and Allen and Romney and Ryan as evidence. Even Allen West lost in Florida.

    The freaks in the Tea Party need to be locked back up in the attics and basements they escaped from. I think that John Birch has finally breathed his last breath.

    And Republican politicians will have to expand their interviewing appearances beyond just FOX Noise, and their Radio Rushwanda radio base. If you only handle softball questions from sycophantic hosts, when you face the national media, every question seems like a “GOTCHA!” question.
    There’s a reason why Romney didn’t do any nation-wide interviews in the last month of the campaign – he was afraid of saying something either deeply stupid, or offensive.
    He needed to say some really stupid sh*t to win “The Base” in the Republican primaries, and defeat the other dwarves running for the candidacy. But he couldn’t Etch-a-sketch back fast enough, without losing that base. And so, in the end, Mitt was silent when he most needed to make his case, and close the sale.

    I don’t expect some sort of “Kumbaya” movement in DC.
    But I am happy beyond words that, with the country changing, this last grasp of the ancient white men, fell short.
    They needed to win the Presidency, AND both houses of Congress, to make the kind of
    institutional changes that would keep them in power long after they were in the minority.
    They fell short.
    Their time is gone.

    A new America is rising.
    One that is browner, gayer, younger, and more female.
    We need to embrace it.
    I know I do.


  2. Living in an echo chamber has its consequences, doesn’t it? With the Southern Strategy, the Teabaggers and FOX in mind, I wrote this morning:

    Joseph Goebbels infamously said, ‘If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it.’

    There is one potential drawback from such a strategy to gain people’s support however: Those who told that original lie may end up deluding themselves into thinking what they say is true as well. One may begin with cynical manipulation but consequently end up being just as far removed from reality as those one has been manipulating.

    Arguing with straw men will only get you so far. In the meantime, the flesh-and-blood opponent is aiming at real targets, not invented ones.


    Oh, and to indulge in just a little schadenfreude:

  3. “The All Hate All the Time campaign doesn’t work”

    Neither apparently does dumping billions of dollars of dark money. I wonder will the very organizations that benefit from the orgy of spending ever report on its ineffectiveness? Holding my breath!

  4. Agree that this is a bigger deal than him initially being voted into office because they can’t write it off as the nation being anti-incumbent or excited about the black guy, the American people have chosen to continue with the policies he stands for. What he accomplished will not be thrown away and there’s hope that from now on the president has to be pro-gay marriage, that maybe they can no longer use abortion as a scare tactic to win votes, etc. We have to be getting more progressive as a nation. It’s in our best interest to always take steps forward.

  5. For years, the Right has been posing as Preservers of all that is Good, Right and True. Romney did a bang up job of ‘exposing’ the Right as, in reality, Cheapskates and Chauvinists.

    uncledad – Here in CA Meg Whitman dumped $160,000,000 of her own money into her campaign against Jerry Brown for governor. She lost. Did the fatcat oligarchs take any notice of this? Apparently not – an indication that they didn’t get rich by reason of their brilliant minds.

    And, got to wonder what the Court is thinking about its Citizen’s United decision.

  6. Fla is annoying me. Seriously this is BS. If they can’t vote and count them in a timely fashion the way the rest of the nation manages too then perhaps they should not be allowed to participate until they can get their act together. Now I know , fla does not matter in this election. Obama didn’t need em and they can’t save mitt( unless , of course, Ohio decides “Obama didn’t win” after they count the rest of the votes in 10 days), but there is no reason fla should ALWAYS be a problem. They are a real turd in the punch bowl. Does anyone have any idea of when this not ready for prime time state intends to grace us with some election results from the presidential contest? What I read last night lead me to believe that 99% had reported.. are we really waiting on 1%? WTF FLA?????

  7. justme,
    Maybe Charlie Crist will run again and beat that Plutocratic crook, Scott. Getting a competent Governor in there, will go a long way.
    Jeb was able to influence the ’00 election. Scott wasn’t as competent at gross, purposeful, incompetence, and wasn’t able to.

  8. Fla is annoying me.

    Yeah, it’s weird how Huffington Post shows FL as “100% reporting” but has to flag the results as not final, with “Obama leading.” I haven’t heard a timeline on when FL might consider its count finished. I’d say perhaps they’re too busy picking nits from each other’s scalps, but we’ve all seen Rick Scott’s head.

  9. Pingback: Post-election links and open thread : Reclusive Leftist

  10. Don’t forget–Florida has an automatic recount provision if the split is less than .5%. TPM’s currently showing it at .6%, which I imagine means people are making sure they’re right before they declare anything at all lest they have to enter recount territory, especially should some wingnut decide to dispute it. But nothing’s riding on what they do at all, so…ehh.

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