Thoughts on the Reelection of President Obama

President Barack Obama visits the University of Iowa

President Barack Obama visits the University of Iowa in Sept, 2012.

This was a good night for Democrats. It was a good night for us moderates who voted for the President. It was a painful night for Republicans, who not only lost the Presidency in a bad economy, but actually LOST seats in the US Senate.

In fact, if the President wins Florida (where he is presently leading by approx 40K votes with 100% of the precincts reporting), the final electoral count will be 332-206. This means President Obama won every swing state: FL, OH, WI, VA, NV, IA, CO, & NH. He is also winning the popular vote by 2.6 million votes.

It was a great night for marriage equality, as Maine, Maryland, and Minnesota all passed voter-approved same-sex marriage laws that allow same sex marriage. Let us remember what has happened in just the past few years. First, Republicans tried to ban same-sex marriage, so the courts threw it out. Republicans then accused them of being “activist judges”, so legislatures began to pass it. Not liking that, Republicans tried to place it back on the ballots as initiatives. However, the tide has swung so much since 2008, states are now beginning to pass same-sex marriage in the voting booth. This is truly a testament to equality and perseverance on the part of those who seek to stamp out discrimination on the basis if sexual orientation.

Likewise, Americans witnessed the election of the first openly gay US Senator in Wisconsin.

The big losers of the night were Christian fundamentalist Republicans, who not only failed to stop President Obama from winning reelection, but who watched the self-inflicted wounds of Todd “Legitimate Rape” Akin lose in Missouri and Richard “Rape pregnancy is God’s Will” Mourdock lose in Indiana, costing the Republicans the Senate. Then again, if they follow their own logic, since this happened, it must be God’s will, right?

I am proud that an African-American has won yet another election to the Presidency of the United States of America!

I am proud to have cast my first vote as an Iowan for President Obama and for our Iowa District 2 US Congressman, Dave Loebsack. I got to see the President when he came to the University of Iowa this fall. It was fun to hear a campaign speech, since California has only been an ATM machine for both parties for some time now.

(UPDATE) Women are also winners, as a record number of women were elected to the US Senate. (/UPDATE)

This is total vindication for nerd/genius Nate Silver at the Five Thirty Eight blog, who called this BIG for President Obama. (Did I say BIG? I meant PERFECTLY.)

It was also painful (and somewhat embarrassing) to watch Karl Rove argue (and chastise) the FoxNews anchors when they called Ohio (and the election) for President Obama. As

I’m waiting for the GOP to turn on GOP National Chair Reince Priebus who, in an economy THIS bad, not only watched the President win reelection, but watched the GOP actually lose seats in the Senate.

I will also be curious to see how President Obama did among Evangelical Christians. I remember reading that Obama won ~25% of Evangelicals in 2008. I’m curious to see if that number is up from 2008 and why. As a professor of Religious Studies, I’m curious to see if Evangelicals really did turn out to vote for a Mormon, a faith tradition that, up until Mitt Romney visited him just before the election, Evangelical godfather Billy Graham had designated as a cult on his own website.

I also see that Rick Santorum used election day to make a fool of himself one last time with this unfortunate tweet. (He apparently hasn’t Googled his name in a while, or still doesn’t understand double entendre.)

My favorite comments (most via Twitter) of the night were:

  • “Binders full of electoral votes” (@Hipster_Christ)
  • “Todd Akin lost. I guess when you’re a “legitimate religious fundy”, women’s bodies have a way of “shutting that down”. (@xkv8r)
  • “Legitimate loss” for Todd Akin in Missouri. (@xkv8r)
  • CNN pundit just said Romney’s stance on Latinos cost him: “Romney self-deported from the White House”. (@xkv8r)
  • Before it starts, I’m calling @BarackObama’s acceptance speech a failure if it doesn’t end with a mic drop. (@Hipster_Christ)
  • Claire McCaskill has won the MO senate seat over Todd Akin, dealing a serious blow to “legitimate rape”. #GodsWill (@xkv8r)
  • For those of you who do not like the outcome of the election, four states have legalized marijuana. (@eJoelWatts)

One positive for Republicans is that right-wing Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann barely win reelection. However, I count this as a victory as well, because if she had lost, FoxNews would have hired or her, or worse yet, she’d have gotten a reality show on some channel. As a congresswoman, I’ll have to listen to her much less.

So at the end of the day,

  • Obama wins re-election with over 300 electoral votes (My prediction was 290; I gave FL and VA to Romney.) Only 6.9% of respondents to my blog poll called this (although 65% had President Obama winning.)
  • Right wing Evangelical “legitimate rape” is “God’s will” fundys lost (and lost the senate for the GOP).
  • Same-sex marriage is beginning to be approved on ballots, and openly gay politicians are beginning to be elected, signalling a decline in discrimination against homosexuals.
  • FoxNews looked like idiots throughout yet another election cycle (especially Karl Rove on election night).
  • And Big Bird is safe.

To quote the venerable poet Ice Cube, “Damn it was a good day!” ;-)

14 Responses

  1. Mourdock is – I mean was – ours in Indiana. I know it is hard to keep this rape-mentioning Republicans straight, but still…

  2. You’re right. I got them flipped. Fixing now.

  3. Good piece. Good work everyone. Just a quick clarification on the Minnesota vote re: same sex marriage. It did not actually legalize same-sex marriage. It simply stopped a constitutional amendment banning it.

  4. And also, I heard a commentator on one of the stations that his exit polling sources on the ground were telling him that there was a huge drop in the number of evangelicals voting this time around.

  5. This I expect, but I want to see the numbers. I have feared that many Evangelicals were torn (and silent) about their choices this year.

  6. Also, 19 women were elected.

  7. Which is wonderful!

  8. Doc, you are in Iowa City now. It’s safe for you to drop the “moderate” pretense and proudly call yourself a liberal…or progressive…or whatever the currently used identifier is.

  9. BTW, Doc, you need to update your profile to reflect that you now teach at one of the finest institutions of higher learning in the world. :)

  10. done. thanx.

  11. Just for clarification: Minnesota voted down a constitutional ammendment to define marriage as between 1 man and 1 woman. Marriage is still illegal for same-sex couples in Minnesota.

  12. I am bothered by the constructs used by both the Left and the Right in defining each other. For one thing, there is little if ever any dialogue between the two. Secondly, the Left likes to paint itself as so much more enlightened although it is has been clear to me for some time that it definitely is not. The constant demagoguery and vicious tone that the Obama campaign employed was both disgraceful and intellectually deceitful – a constant theme that the Left is ALWAYS trying to paint the Right with.

    Gov. Romney was not a murdered or a liar. I believe he is a sincerely decent man who did hid level best to represent the American Right while faced with the daunting task of overcoming the extreme and obvious mass media bias against him. He had to contend with Christian Evangelicals in the same way Pres. Obama has to contend with the far Left of his own party. Nothing shocking here. The Right is no more monolithic than is the Left.

    This election was not about abortion or reproductive issues in any way that I can see. It was about anemic economic growth and the role of govt in the lives of individuals. I personally lean Libertarian and stand where many Americans do, hence the apparently schizo outcomes to election matters. Some states voted conservative on some issues and totally opposite on the same ballot for others. Americans believe in individual rights AND individual responsibility for one’s own actions.

    Thirty states now have Republicans governors yet voted for Obama in the majority. The is NO inconsistency here. People want BOTH individual rights AND limited govt involvement and taxation. Business wants a positive growth environment without the crushing tax burden of having the highest personal and corporate marginal tax rate on the planet. The point here is that NEITHER the Left nor the Right got it completely correct, AND the Left is NOT intellectually and morally superior because they say they are.

    I saw very little honest dialogue during this election other than the Prez debates and even that was somewhat stunted in the Left’s over-willingness to accept our continued blood lust/war stance in the world. Strangely enough, only Romney openly questioned Obama’s about the mounting worldwide body count from droning every identified enemy from 30k feet with our Big Brother death bombs when he said we cannot kill our way out of this. Where was the Left on that? Apparently the Left has blithely accepted the need to appease the Right by showing O as tough as they are because he can kill at will when deemed necessary. That is so much better of a construct HOW?

    Not EVERYONE on the Right is a navel-gazing, Biblical-literalist dingbat as some on the Left would have us all believe. I am a devout Christian BUT I do NOT stay up at night thinking. ” I sure am glad God hates them queers.” I have changed my opinion on marriage equality over the last few years-NOT because of the Left but because some on the Right have cogently explained how it makes sense. I have been part of corporate America for more than 20 years in the financial industry. I want a more pro-business environment and I do NOT believe Obama can nor will provide that therefore I voted for Romney. I am NOT a gay-bashing Bible-thumper nor do I automatically seek to repress someone else’s right to marry whom the/she sees fit so to do.
    Don’t paint me into a corner and I will not do that to you. Peace. Out.

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