I’m tired, because I was so wired last night that I was up until 4 am. I did next to nothing today, other than reading through the analyses and various takes on what happened, the demographics, and so forth. I kept the TV off all day, I didn’t feel like talking to anyone, and I just enjoyed the moment as I read my fill. I didn’t even spend a whole lot of time on Facebook, reading various reactions. I needed the time to regroup, take it all in, and let out the mental breath I’d been holding for about two freakin’ years! Whew!
I gave myself 24 hours to gloat, and I’ve posted a few items today that were definitely of that ilk. I’m not a mean-spirited person, for the most part, but I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t ecstatic that President Obama not only won four more years, but did so by beating one of the most cynical, mendacious candidates I’ve seen in some time. There have been times when I felt rather sorry for a losing candidate; I even had a twinge of that in 2008, because despite my anger at McCain for foisting the Grifter Palin upon us, he gave a decent and honorable concession speech.
Not so Romney. For some reason, he refused to make the phone call to President Obama for about an hour and a half after the race had already been called by the networks (if not Karl Rove, haha). When Romney finally did give his speech, I found it to be perfunctory and stiff, and it reeked of the attitude that he truly felt that he was entitled to win, and in fact, believed up until the end that he would. Most accounts say that he had not written a concession speech, only a victory speech. I believe this might be a classic case of hubris and nemesis. I can cut him some slack on the tone of it, I suppose; it’s not easy to lose. However, McCain (as well as Hillary Clinton, when she conceded the Democratic nomination to Obama) showed that concession speeches can be gracious and that the person who didn’t win can do so with decency and strength. Romney’s concession speech showed little of that.
It’s all a moot point, of course. Mittens is toast. I would be very surprised if he runs for office again. The endless parsing of the votes and the breakdown of the demographics have already begun. (Note to Republicans: your white guy base is dwindling.) It’s been fascinating to watch not only the demographics, but the hilarious freak-outs of various right wing pundits and “celebrities.” Donald “The Dorito” [thanks for the nickname, Holly!] Trump called for a revolution (at least until someone apparently told him that that might be considered treason, and he removed that tweet), batshit crazy bobblehead Victoria Jackson cried that America had died, and pants-shitting draft dodger Ted Nugent called Obama supporters pimps, whores, welfare brats, and “subhuman varmints.” I would like to give the Republican party a word of advice: until you start condemning these wingnuts, calling them out for their hyperbole and hatred, and start signalling that you do not find such rhetoric acceptable, you are going to continue to hemorrhage supporters. As long as you continue to build your coalition on white, conservative, religious-motivated voters, you will continue to hemorrhage supporters. And unless you let go of your death grip on your bibles and your religious-based social attitudes, you will continue to hemorrhage supporters. Don’t believe me? Fine. Just keep going the way you’re going. In about a decade or so, we’ll see how that is going for you, okay?
Another interesting takeaway from this was the rise of the statistics gurus. My own “personal” guru (at least the one I’ve been reading since the last election) is Nate Silver of FiveThirtyEight blog. For the past three months or so, it has been a daily check for me. It’s even become a joke among liberals who were wigging out about Obama’s chances for re-election: Keep calm and check Nate Silver. Nate took a lot of flak from the right wing pundits (and even a few on the left) who felt that gut instinct would triumph over statistics and math. Peggy Noonan (insert Seinfeldian ‘Noooonan’ here) based her declaration that it was going to be an overwhelming victory for Romney on seeing lots of Romney yard signs in a particular neighborhood. Mm-hm. Maybe they feel that their jobs are threatened? No worries...the world will always need talking heads. But the complete refusal of so many to accept the polls and/or the math—and even the reality—was rather mind-boggling to me. Nate, who bases his statistical model on all the polls that are taken, both nationally and statewide, was fully and completely vindicated when he successfully predicted the outcome of every single state. (Florida still hasn’t been called, but it seems that Obama is going to win it.) In the last two elections, that makes him 99/100 when it comes to calling the states. I think a whole lot of people owe Nate Silver a big fucking apology today!
As for predictions, I made mine back in early September, with a political email group I am involved with. Here was mine:
Obama wins OH, PA, WI, CO, NV, VA, FL, NH
Romney wins NC, IA, MO
The only one I got wrong was Iowa. If I had made my prediction more recently, I would have put Iowa in the Obama camp, as well, but that’s the problem with making your prediction so early on! Again, they haven’t called Florida yet, but it looks likely Obama. When that happens, it will be Obama 332, Romney 206. I’m more than a little pleased with myself! But I owe it all to Nate Silver. So for those who kicked sand in Nate’s face, just stop it, you guys! Leave Nate alone!
So that’s that. This concludes my period of gloating, and now I’m ready to move on and help to make shit happen. I don’t wish Mitt Romney or his family any ill, but I can honestly say that I’m very glad he lost. I did not find him a likable candidate, nor an honorable one. (Please note that I specifically used the word ‘candidate,’ not ‘person.’ I don’t know him as a person, so I don’t feel that I can make that inference.) There is plenty of work to be done, and I hope that our legislative branch will get off their asses and start doing it. I foresee many letters and emails in my future, as I try to keep their feet to the fire.
After all, we all want what is best for the country, right? I think we can all agree on that. We might disagree on how to go about it, but as Joe Biden said in his debate with Paul Ryan, “Facts matter, Martha.” Just ask Nate Silver.