Hurrrah for Obama and rationality

Last political post of this season, I promise. Of course I’m super pleased with last night’s results. I dearly wish Obama was more of the radical liberal the right tries to paint him as, but I’ll take him over any avatar of the racist, faux-faith based, intellectually bankrupt ideology the right is peddling any day. Here’s hoping that set free from the need to run again, Obama turns out to be less of a centrist and more of the lefty the right is terrified he secretly is.

I’m also super pleased to see how quickly and dramatically we’re making progress on the civil rights issue of our time. After going 0-fer something like 25, 3 out of the 4 state gay marriage initiatives passed last night. A decade ago if you had suggested that this would be possible I would have laughed at you. Today I’m proud of how quickly we’re turning the corner on this. If you’re a Republican, pay the fuck attention. Keep running on these ‘family values’ issue, and see where it gets you.

Why then is it taking us so long to turn the corner on pot? My guess is the 60’s still haunt us, but at least 2 of the legalize it ballot initiatives passed last night, so I’ll call it progress. On the way to work I told Susan I look forward to retiring to my small pot farm in my dotage 😉

My observation about Romney that’s not drawing much attention this morning – he ran, and was widely perceived as, a successful businessman who knew how to organize and manage things. He held up his ‘saving’ of the Olympics he managed as an exemplar of this talent. He was up against an incumbent President who had presided over a very difficult economic situation, high unemployment, and no clear resolution in sight. Despite this, when it came to running a campaign and managing a national organization designed to put him into office, with at least $400 million at his disposal and a staggering sum from his ‘friends’ in the superpacs, he still got his ass handed to him badly by Obama’s ground organization. Not only did they lose, by most accounts they truly felt they had won. Florida is still undecided (and OH could possibly still flip to him), but it looks like he also lost in every one of the key battleground states he needed to win to take the election.

Put simply, not only did they manage it badly compared to the badly handicapped competition, they didn’t realize they had managed it badly. I think this says lots about what we could have expected from him as President.

Folks on both sides of the aisle are saying Romney was running into demographics more than anything else, and from my understanding there’s more than a little truth there, but even so, this should have meant Romney’s camp seeing the writing on the wall, not walking into the evening still thinking they were very likely going to win. Maybe they spent too much time watching Fox news and believed their faux-press clippings. I’d actually like to believe this is true, there’s wonderful poetic justice to that notion 😉

Within a year we’ll probably know enough about how the Romney campaign was talking amongst themselves about this, and maybe they knew precisely where they were and my criticism is off base. It sure doesn’t feel like it to me based on the last month or so. In fact much of what you need to form that impression can be seen in the ridiculous exchanges on Fox News last night as the writing was etched on to the wall and they incredulously fumbled their way through their acceptance of the facts. (google it, it’s worth a laugh).

A couple of random other points – first, hurrah for Elizabeth Warren winning. I voted for her. She *is* the liberal lefty the right is terrified of, and she ran a great campaign in MA, with a competent ground game I had multiple interactions with. Here’s hoping *she* heads down to WA and makes waves.

Next, Nate Silver for the win. Google him if you’re unfamiliar. Third election in a row I followed him, and third time in a row he’s more or less been right, emphasis on the more side of that.

Obama and bipartisanship. Fuck that says I. He tried that first term, and the republicans completely stonewalled him, riding on a ‘if we fuck this guy over and say no to everything, he loses the next election and we get to say we told you so’ strategy. That didn’t happen, they almost drove our economy over a cliff, and they have shown time and time again that they have no actual interest in negotiation, it’s ‘do what we want, or fuck off.’ Maybe that will change now, but it seems unlikely. I wish Obama would start publicly calling them out for this bullshit instead of trying to maintain a veneer of civility and repeated attempts at negotiation that just end up looking absurd.

With that, I think I’m done, maybe not to take up this political baton again for ~3 years 😉

3 thoughts on “Hurrrah for Obama and rationality

  1. dadleehamilton says:

    Very well said, and said succinctly. Let me wrestle with a couple thoughts and a couple links as amendments. randomly:

    1. think beyond the combustibility of the dried leaves when you get to the pot farm. hemp can/will replace cotton as a fabric, and other uses predate the chicken little ordinances that prevent its farming in the u.s. (the phobia beginning much earlier than the 60s).
    2. nate silver was one electoral vote off in his ’08 prediction; if FL holds blue, he’ll be three off this time. i’d sure like to be that good at something.
    3. rather than carl rove on fox news, the chubby boy with his hand up in the front row of the classroom because he thinks he knows everything, i like john sununu, who dismissed colin powell’s endorsement of obama as “just because he’s black,” as the illustration of gross GOP misunderstanding. the party is so in love with its vision that it cannot see, literally, how wrong those views are. it is the myth of ownership — White Men own everything — and the story of it is “The Emperor’s New Clothes.”

    this essay underscores it:

    4. i think obama must practice bipartisonship to move forward, but what he has to figure out is how to avoid the GOP authoring the story line of negotiation, as it did in 2010-2011, when he kind of disappeared while Boehner and associates (some crackpots) lobbed accusations that fed a narrative that he somehow was responsible for the jam-up in congress and they were just some cutesy little lambs who were trying to avoid raising your taxes. He needs to know how to throw a punch while we’re looking at him, the way Lyndon Johnson did (after he’d twisted the other guy’s arm off in the back room).

    otherwise, it’s a repeat of this:

    i have some thoughts about why obama hasn’t done so up to now, and also some deeper and broader thoughts about why the GOP got so far off the path, but it would take more than a note to summarize them.

    thanks for provoking me to think this much out loud.


  2. dlh says:


    I was wrong about one thing. It’s not going to take a year to figure out what was going on inside the Romney camp. There are articles all over the place about this already – they really thought they had won. Here’s a not great example link I had handy but there is stuff in the NYT, Bloomberg, the BBC, and elsewhere all talking this up. They really were as incompetent and out of touch as they seemed. There are also some ‘from inside the staff/inside the volunteer’ point of view pieces talking about how poorly managed those were.

    Sorry Dad, I have a hard time buying compromise with the Republicans getting anywhere besides where he has already been for four years. I guess we’ll find out right quick if he can succeed at it though, and the posturing and dialog has already begun.

    Sununu is an asshole. That’s I think the only thing I will say about him. I like saying it so much I’ll say it again. That guy is an asshole. If you want to feel good, google the NPR interview he did where he hung up on them after shouting that ‘they’ were going to lose in November. How you like them apples, Sununu?

    Yep, I look forward to wearing my hemp hat whilst weeding my weed patch someday not too long from now 😉

    Glad you enjoyed the ruminations,


  3. drew says:

    I tend to agree on pt 4. Without some form of bipartisanship we could well wind up with a repeat of the last two years. Total gridlock with virtually nothing accomplished. That said, just because one side proposes something does not mean the other side sounds off with an absolute no and digs in. These two groups are going to have to find middle ground on a lot of issues. Somehow they better figure out a way to work towards some common goals or they are going to royally screw us.
    I wish people were as interested in congressional races as they get over the presidential race. Congress is where all policy is supposed to take shape. If we are ever going to have a viable third party it will be there.
    All that said my political apathy remains strong. I don’t have much faith in DC to get anything done, too much ego not enough statesmanship down there. Too many party hacks and not enough people who want to do right by the country. We need a way (other than the occasional election) to “punish” our politicians when they so obviously fail to perform. Maybe the guillotine should be rolled out on the national mall for a while to see if they get the message.


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