Wednesday, November 07, 2012

Democracy Hangover

That's what people are feeling today after staying up late to watch the election results and speeches and/or celebrate Obama's victory or drown their sorrows over Romney.

My wife talked her (work) partner into voting last night and drove halfway across the city to do so. Then her partner voted for Romney "because I don't like [Chicago Mayor Rahm] Emanuel and he's Obama's buddy." That has got to be one of the stupidest reasons I've ever heard. What is this, high school? Plus she's a lesbian. Why would a lesbian vote Republican?* Heck, I can't even see why a woman would vote Republican regardless of orientation. But then I did say yesterday that I couldn't see any good reason to vote for Romney so I guess hers will do.

I tuned in to NBC's coverage because I like Brian Williams, but I fell in love with Savannah Guthrie. I'm not sure she's a great political analyst but I am sure I don't care. I'm almost smitten enough to start watching the Today show.

In the end, I think I was right (don't I always?). The media made this thing out to be much closer than it really was. Sure it was closer than last time, but it wasn't as close as 2004, much less 2000. At one point NBC showed six "battleground" states and then admitted that Obama needed to win only one or two while Romney would have to win all of them. Obama is over 300 electoral votes so far, and he'll probably take Florida once those sun-baked clowns finish counting, too.

I think it's interesting that Mitt couldn't win the state he governed nor the state his dad governed. But he won Utah, by golly. Let's all drink a cup of coffee to that.

Then Romney made us wait 100 minutes for his concession speech apparently because his campaign people were certain that a few Republicans in Ohio's Hamilton County were going to outweigh 200,000 uncounted, mostly Democratic Cuyahoga County residents. By the time he went onstage in Boston, enough results had come in from other states to make Ohio moot anyway.

Romney's speech was mercifully short. Obama spoke with more passion and intensity than I expected, almost like a preacher at times. I hope he can pull Congress together and get something done in the next four years. Whatever happens, the best news about his victory is that Obamacare will stand. It's not perfect, but it's a solid step toward the kind of health security other industrialized nations enjoy.

* Dan Savage can answer that one (and he used to be a Republican). A reader wondered, "Gay Republicans, Dan. Why? How?" He replied, "Self-loathing, that's why. Homophobia, that's how."

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