(By American Zen
's Mike Flannigan, on loan from Ari Goldstein.)
If Citizens United
taught us one thing, it's that it doesn't always buy elections for
Republicans. But we should also not lose sight of the fact that it and
the Super PACs it makes possible with no transparency or oversight can
also be used to buy elections for Democrats.
however, progressives across the country, and many people in other
countries, can take heart in the fact that the Supreme Court's horrible
ruling on the role of corporate cash in elections is nothing compared to
a peoples' resolve to push back against the obvious evil and painful
incompetence that Mitt Romney and others handily represented.
Let's take stock:
my home state of Massachusetts, Liz Warren beat Centerfold Scott to
grab Ted Kennedy's old seat, making her rear end the fourth one to sit
in old Ted's seat in less than four years. Warren, with virtually all MA
precincts having reported in, won by 8 points, or 2-3 points more than
I'd predicted. In the House races, Massachusetts, as usual, made a clean
sweep and did its part for the sputtering progressive agenda in
Maine elected Angus King, an Independent who
can be trusted to caucus with the Democrats. Maine also ratified same
sex marriage, although it remains to be seen how long it'll take the
homophobe element to overturn it this time.
Illinois, the president's adopted home state, Obama's coattails proved
to be very wide indeed, giving Democrats a strong majority in its House
Delegation. The most notable win was war hero Tammy Duckworth, without
legs, kicking Deadbeat Dad Joe Walsh out of his seat by a 10 point
Psychopath Alan West had a shot fired across
his bow by getting thrown out of Congress by Patrick Murphy in FL-18.
Just as joyous was that Alan Grayson easily got back in the House in
FL-9 by winning by almost 25%.
Unfortunately, not all
the psychos got voted out. Eric Cantor got re-elected in VA-7, Michelle
Bachmann, against all rhyme or reason, somehow clung to her seat in
MN-6, meaning we'll have to endure the remains of the Tea Bagger Caucus
she'd started for at least another two years. Paul Ryan, while he'd
obviously lost his vice presidential bid, nonetheless easily kept his
seat in WI-1 by beating Rob Zerban 55-43%. Leavening that depressing
news is Tammy Baldwin fending off a strong challenge from Bush HHS
Secretary Tommy Thompson to become the first openly gay Senator in
United States history.
Iowa, a state the president won 52-46, nonetheless re-elected Steve King and Alaska, as usual, re-elected cock-clutching
psychopath Don Young to his 77th consecutive term.
a clean sweep, but it's a start. Democrats, as I'd predicted, widened
their lead in the Senate, garnering at last count 54 seats in the upper
chamber. Not one Democratic incumbent up for reelection out of the 33
seats up for grabs got voted out. Democrats also eroded the Republicans'
241 seat majority in 2010. According to CBS's latest data
, the Republicans, with 5 races still undecided, were only holding on to 226 seats. In the gubernatorial races, Democrats picked up three seats for a total of 20.
All in all, not a bad night. No wonder Donald Trump was calling for revolution and Karl Rove was arguing with Chris Wallace over Ohio.
But let's look ahead to the next general election cycle:
at the last minute pulled ahead of Romney when the west coast precincts
began reporting and the President won the popular vote by 59,720,798 to Romney's 57,095,065.
As I'd suspected, Obama would lose a significant amount of support,
garnering a full 10,000,000 fewer votes than he'd gotten in 2008.
Romney, however, with a typically anemic voter turnout, picked up
2,000,000 more votes than the 55,000,000 McCain had gotten in 2008.
growing trend is very significant and could be warning us of a sea
change in the 2016 election. I've been asking myself since the election
season began early last year who's going to replace Obama. Now is the
time to start grooming a successor either within the administration or
in Congress. Biden will be 73. Hillary will be close to 70. Obama's less
than 60,000,000 votes shows that his support among progressives and
liberals had seriously eroded even against a completely unelectable
psychopath like Mitt Romney. The electoral college that actually decides
presidential elections makes Mr. Obama's win look like a landslide
(303-206) that makes a mockery of the usual neck-and-neck horse race
projections by networks desperate to keep the viewers tuning in so they
can sell air space.
in terms of presidential politics, the Democrats under a weakened Obama
are less enthusiastic about the party than Republicans are about
chances of a Democrat getting in the White House in 2016 are looking
dimmer by the week and Obama's performance over the next four years,
unrestrained by worries about re-election, will largely determine that.
Meanwhile, like the Russians retreating from Napoleon's army, look for the outgoing Republicans to torch the place between now and early January.