President Obama Wins Re-Election

I am pleased that President Obama has been projected to win re-election tonight.

For the record, I do not agree with everything that the President has tried to do (most of it, though). There are other things that I wish he would do (get rid of the so-called PATRIOT Act, for one). There are other things I wish he had been able to accomplish, but couldn’t (single-payer national health insurance, closing the American Gulag in Cuba).

I’m sort of surprised that the election isn’t all *that* close, electorally speaking. As I write, he has 284 Electoral College votes, with several large states like Florida still being counted. That surprise is due to the following things that hampered his re-election campaign.

  • The crappy economy that Obama inherited was directly caused about 75% by Republican economic policies, and 25% by the 9/11 attack. OK, so Bush and company can’t be blamed for the attack. But they are directly responsible for the rest. And the Republican strategy of blaming the economy they trashed on the incoming President is perhaps not unexpected, but it is disappointing that so many “fiscal conservatives” don’t hold their own party accountable for the huge spending they racked up with wars and tax cuts. Instead, I grew so tired of people I know blaming Obama for their parties excesses, then complaining about the “blame game”.
  • Related to the economy as a whole is employment. The crappy Bush Republican economy trashed jobs horribly. Now the job losses are pretty much regained, but there are more that need to be created to ensure employment for people that have entered the work force in the past four to six years, and to get those “discouraged” or under-employed people back to work.
  • Voter suppression this time around had to have some impact. We need a national standard for elections. First of all (see the related blog posts), consistent voting processes in terms of the methods used to count votes. The way we do it in Oklahoma are an excellent model for the rest of the country. Second, we need consistent voting periods. I think that starting voting the Tuesday before Election Day, even if it is only at one or two places in a county, is a good way to go. If people insist on voter ID, then the state MUST provide the ID free, and based on reasonable documentation (a person who has been living at the same place for five years is not a likely illegal voter). Last, the top person responsible for voting in a state (typically the Secretary of State) must be nonpartisan. SecStates in Ohio and Pennsylvania, and the Governor in Florida, were acting in blatantly partisan manners. Toss ’em from office to start. They messed with our basic right to vote. They do not deserve to be in office.
  • The influence of outside huge money to carpet-bomb candidates has proven to be ineffective. The Karl Rove organization and the like has reportedly spent upwards of $500M! I am glad that the infusion of cash, much of which is scurrilous, and little of which can be attributed to a person, didn’t work. I have written before about seeing these ads in Colorado and Virginia, and on national TV. Most of them are attack ads, and they are untruthful or mis-directing. I saw those ads as late as this morning.
  • The Romney campaign, and the Republican machine, has been largely lying. As I have said before, I don’t consider a mis-statement to be a lie, or a policy statement. For example, one of Romney’s consistent statements is that the Obama Administration has been a failure. It’s not true, actually or logically. But the Romney campaign repeatedly lied about positions that the Obama campaign took, things that Obama did, and even Romney’s own positions on things. To make it worse, Romney made secrecy a primary part of his campaign, refusing to release traditionally released information such as his tax returns and business holdings, and his campaign bundlers. Romney also made extravagant promises that were backed up with zero implementation details, such as how he would make his plan revenue neutral, when he promised a 20% across the board tax cut, but had no details about what loopholes would be closed, alternative revenue raised, or programs or services cut.
  • There seems to be a basic problem in that Republicans do not think that Democrats are a legitimate governing authority. There was a constant drumbeat against Obama from Day 1, all baseless. And Republican leadership never really came out and condemned the bullcrap; my guess is that they figured that any way that Obama could be possibly hurt politically was OK with them (and they are spineless, un-American cowards for acting that way). The “birther” idiocy comes to mind here, as does the consistent stream of “he’s not an American”, “he doesn’t understand America/business/democracy/WTFE”, the hysterical claims that he was going to take away guns.
  • So the Obama campaign succeeded. But after the re-inauguration, there are still the problems with the Republican-controlled House not playing at all, and the Senate Republicans with the constant filibuster. We still might have effective gridlock for the next couple years. But eventually, the Republicans are going to have to work with the Democrats, not matter what they think of Obama and the Democrats.

    There were other votes tonight that are significant. I’ve seen it reported that marriage equality won in four states. Also that recreational marijuana use was legalized in Colorado. There were several Senate races that went Democrat. The House makeup won’t change much. One interesting thing, the Republican-backed “overseer” law in Michigan looks to be headed to defeat, good news for voting rights and liberty there.


    Leave a Reply

    Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

    You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

    Twitter picture

    You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

    Facebook photo

    You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

    Google+ photo

    You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

    Connecting to %s

    %d bloggers like this: