How long has it been since America’s long-suffering liberals had an Election Night like Tuesday? The answer is 1964, folks. So enjoy your schadenfreude and revel in the spectacle of the right wing dealing with the combination of dismay and cluelessness that has regularly, like clockwork, beset liberals after elections for decades now. Only if Michele Bachmann had lost her seat in Congress—which damn near happened—could last night have been sweeter. Because this was no mere Democratic victory, and no mere Obama victory. It was the triumph, as I wrote this morning, of America’s emerging liberal majority—the most diverse political coalition ever assembled in this country. It wouldn’t have been possible without labor organizing a savvy and relentless ground game, without African Americans and Latinos refusing to let their vote be taken away, without women insisting on their economic and reproductive rights, or without young people and highly educated white folks being hell-bent on putting the long and destructive reign of white conservatives to an end.
This new coalition is, both economically and socially, more progressive than any Democratic coalition in American history. The proof is in the down-ballot pudding: The Senate not only got more Democratic, but with Elizabeth Warren leading the way, moved considerably to the left. (Take the Washington Free Beacon’s word for it. Headline: “House stays red … Senate turns pink.”) In the states, ballot measures—most notably on marriage and marijuana—broke in a broadly progressive direction. Democrats dominated governors’ races. And the new left will only grow in numbers while the white right slouches toward political irrelevance.
How will Republicans react? First, appropriately enough, with great weeping and gnashing of teeth (see Daily Meme, below). Speculation is rife that the GOP, once it recovers from the psychological trauma enacted last night on Fox News, will begin the painful process of discovering ways to reach out beyond the realm of benighted white conservatives. Eventually, the party will have to do so or die. But the bet here is that it will take several election cycles, several more debacles, for Republicans to make anything more than cosmetic changes. Sure, they’ll say broader-minded things about the women folk, drop the anti-immigrant rhetoric, let the black people vote if they must. But the party has not adopted its Ayn Rand philosophy for strategic reasons that can be tossed aside in the wake of one setback. The foundations of 21st-century Republicanism—the ideas that government must be demolished and the super-wealthy are ordained by God to rule America—have become deep articles of faith. They will not be cast aside as easily as Mitt Romney. Meanwhile, the emerging liberal majority will continue to, well, emerge.
So They Say
“At the moment, I am convinced America is doomed beyond all hope of redemption, and any talk of the future fills me with dread and horror.”
—Robert Stacey McCain, writing at the American Spectator
Daily Meme: GOPocalypse
- The GOP chattering class, still confident early Tuesday morning that their predicted landslide victory was approaching, was shellshocked when Ohio turned blue and Romney ceded the prize. Just look at Karl Rove's face.
- The doomsday wailing continued as the night went on. Bryan Fischer's take? "Today was Pearl Harbor. Tomorrow we begin planning for Normandy."
- At National Review's The Corner, Mary Matalin wrote, "What happened? A political narcissistic sociopath leveraged fear and ignorance with a campaign marked by mendacity and malice rather than a mandate for resurgence and reform." And, to clarify, she was talking about Obama.
- Saturday Night Live alum Victoria Jackson tweeted, "I can't stop crying. America died."
- The Washington Times' Charles Hurt stuck to calling the election process mean names. "It was about dancing freaking horses, for crying out loud!"
- Michael Savage said last night's results were confirmation that "our society is being turned into a sort of prison camp."
- Some Republicans cut the whining with some real talk, like Mike Huckabee surprisingly enough, who said "I think Republicans have done a pathetic job of reaching out to people of color, something we've gotta work on."
- At The Weekly Standard, Fred Barnes grumbled, "Republicans never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity."
- And what of the future? After such a beating, is it time to rethink whom to invite to the party? Of course not!
- But leave them to their grieving. While Osama bin Laden is dead and General Motors is alive, Laura Ingraham notes, "Axelrod's mustache lives. America's economy dies."
What We're Writing
- Jamelle Bouie's take on 2012: "Come at the King, you best not miss."
- Tom Carson sings a solemn hymn for the Shakespearean tragedy that was Fox News last night.
What We're Reading
- Twenty-three reporters chronicle Election Day from abroad.
- Amy Davidson credits young voters for the changing electoral tide: "Sasha and Malia are part of a generation for whom respect for gay marriage is not an act of rebellion, but a homily—a change reflected in four different ballot initiatives."
- David Freedlander witnesses the sad scene which is the Mitt Romney afterparty.
- The Washington Post talks to the Obama team about the behind-the-scenes view of how they got past 270.
- The only people sad to see the political ads end? The voice actors who make out like gangbusters for narrating them.
- Conor Friedersdorf gives the right-wing media a well-deserved paddling.
- Nate Silver is a witch.
- Benjamin Netanyahu bet big on the wrong horse.
- The Onion: “After Obama, Shrieking White-Hot Sphere of Pure Rage Early Front-Runner for 2016.”
Poll of the Day
The polling madness is through, and Nate Silver has been declared champion, but the real winner of election forecasting are the pollsters who accurately gauged the state of the race. Public Policy Polling hewed closest to the final tally while YouGov, a British polling firm that relies on Internet responses, came in second. National Journal and AP/GfK came in at the bottom of the pack.