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!” ;-)

The “Will of God” and the Fallen Idol

What do you get when you mix magic, idolatry, and religious fundamentalism? The irony that the same crucifix that you believe “cured your wife of cancer” has now crushed and caused the loss of your leg.

I feel bad for poor David Jimenez, who first had to endure the ordeals of his wife’s ovarian cancer, and has now lost his leg. I really do. And this is a pretty standard liability/injury lawsuit involving an accident and an insurance company.

But it is interesting how many people who attribute healing to prayer to crucifixes and the “will of God”, so quickly abandon this theological position when bad things happen. When good things happen, many devoted religious fundamentalists attribute the good they experience to the “power of God” and “God’s will” brought about through the power of prayer. BUT, when something bad happens, it is no longer the “will of God” (unless you’re a Republican running for senate), but is a civil liability claim against the church because of shoddy construction.

So when you need a miracle, you pray to God, but if God doesn’t deliver a blessing, you sue him.

Such is the state of religious fundamentalism in America today.

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