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!” ;-)

Mitt Romney Loses His Cool Discussing His Mormon Apocalyptic Worldview in Iowa…in 2007!

A video is trending and recirculating this week that shows Republican Mitt Romney sparring with WHO NewsRadio 1040 talk show host Jan Mikelson about Gov. Romney’s Mormon faith’s view on abortion…in 2007!

The conversation briefly takes a detour into Romney’s apocalyptic worldview (as articulated by his Mormon faith), during which he clearly articulates that the second coming of Jesus will come on the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem, a process that will split the Mount of Olives to such an extent that Jesus will reign during a coming millennium from the two resulting venerable holy sites of Jerusalem and Missouri.

The video is here:

In the above video, Gov. Romney appears to lose his cool when discussing his stance on abortion with Mikelson after the on-air interview is over.

One newsworthy item that is being omitted by many reposting the video is that while the video is genuine, it records an off-air discussion that took place in 2007!

So this is not new. Still, it reveals the underlying apprehension many Evangelical Christians feel about voting for someone that who shares a belief in the existence of God (and a political ideology), but with whom they disagree on the fundamental tenets of the Christian faith, like the second coming of Jesus, the creation of the universe, the role of Missouri in a post-apocalyptic state, etc.

Mikelson asks the (by now well worn) question of why Gov. Romney appeared to be for a women’s right to choose an abortion while the governor of the heavily Democratic state of Massachusetts, and then opposed to it when running for president as a Republican.

Gov. Romney attempts to argue that while he (and his church) are fundamentally opposed to abortion, that there are some Mormon Democrats in Nevada and Utah (like Nevada Democrat and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid), who are part of a party that allows others to make personal decisions about abortion, but who may be personally opposed to the practice. However, Romney reasserts that the Mormon faith does not allow a Mormon, to “participate it, encourage, or in any way support abortion.” So, Romney claims that while those other Mormon politicians may align themselves with the Democrats, they are staunchly pro-life and anti-abortion (a position on which Harry Reid has been quite consistent).

This is the point at which the conversation sidetracks into a discussion of the Mormon view of the second coming of Christ. Romney begins by repeating the refrain, “I know my faith better than you do. You don’t understand my faith like I do.”

Romney then goes on to correct Mikelson about how:

“Throughout the Bible, Christ appears in Jerusalem, splits the Mount of Olives, to stop the war that’s coming in to kill all the Jews – our church believes that – that’s when the coming in glory of Christ occurs. We also believe that over the thousand years that follows, the millennium, he will reign from two places – that the law will come forth from one place, from Missouri, and the other will be in Jerusalem.”

Romney then abruptly brings the discussion back to the issue of abortion, articulates his position by stating that while he is personally opposed to abortion, he offered others the choice to decide for themselves (rather than call for an outright ban on abortion) while he was running for Governor of Massachusetts. He then changed his position when it actually came down to signing legislation permitting abortion.

To be fair to Mitt Romney, this was an off-air conversation, after the interview was over, that was recorded on the in-studio camera, and then released to YouTube (a standard procedure with guest interviews. For instance, here is the YouTube video of me when I appeared on KMJ 580’s Ray Appleton Show in Fresno back in 2010.) Romney’s camp stated that they did not know that Romney’s in-studio, post-interview conversation would be recorded (a fact that I haven’t decided helps or hurts the candidate’s perception as one who will say whatever an audience wants to hear in order to get elected).

To see the interview in context (and to see why Romney thought this wasn’t being recorded), view The Week‘s article here.

To see the entire 2007 interview in context, watch below:

So, while the question still remains whether a person behaves differently on camera versus off camera (I’d guess that we all do to some extent), Mikelson does expose (albeit it 5 years ago) the lingering rift between Evangelicals and Mormons when it comes to specific issues of faith.

The video ends with Gov. Romney walking out of the studio.

Keep in mind that he is being interviewed by very conservative WHO Iowa radio talk host, Jan Mikelson, who sparked outrage of his own when he appeared to agree with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s stance on gays.

So this is conservative vs. conservative, which if we look back to the Republican primaries, is precisely where the questions about Romney all began: conservatives questioning whether Romney was conservative enough to represent the Republican party.

Lest We Forget, Mitt Romney Mocked Rising Ocean Levels and Climate Change

Lest we forget, Mitt Romney openly mocked rising ocean levels and climate change only a few months ago.

And anti-intellectual and anti-science conservative Republicans cheered him at their national convention.

(HT: Joe. My. God.)

Mitt Romney Endorses Richard Mourdock

First there was Rick Santorum saying that women made pregnant by forcible rape should “make the best of a bad situation” and be forced to give birth to their “horribly created” baby.

Then there was Todd Akin‘s “Legitimate Rape” comment.

And now there is Indiana Republican senate candidate Richard Mourdock, who offered this gem:

“Even when life begins in that horrible situation of rape, that it is something that God intended to happen.”

The Mitt Romney’s campaign has already released a statement saying that he ‘disagrees‘ with Mourdock. And yet, just this past Monday, Mitt Romney released an ad endorsing him.

You be the judge. Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice? Three times??? They’re not fooling anyone.

If you follow the “life begins at conception” logic through to its logical end, you get moronic statements like what we see and hear above. GOD INTENDED FOR IT TO HAPPEN!

Unbelievable!

Mitt Romney on the Israel-Palestine Peace Process (and my response)

There’s really not much to say. This election is over.

Here are two videos. The first is Republican Candidate Mitt Romney attempting to “delve into” the Israel-Palestine situation. He can’t even articulate the right-wing Israeli argument properly. But he is attempting to regurgitate what he’s been fed.

The second is my response.

It’s over Mr. Romney. Stop talking.

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