Some observations, in no particular coherent order, kindly submitted for your approbation. :)
No doubt election fatigue has set in (and indeed, may have gripped you many months ago) and the presence of one more post-mortem and/or “Why Obama Won” item rolling up is already tuned out (including these thoughts). Here, at the AZspot ranch, I envision segueing into more cultural and sociological content, but not for too long, as there are major battles lined up on the political horizon — hysteria over the “fiscal cliff”, legislative banter of impending rescinding of the Bush tax cuts, continued assaults on social safety net programs, etc. with Iran and other middle east/Asia foreign policy concerns lurking, waiting to erupt in some crisis du jour. For those of you who supported the reelection of Obama, I implore you to stay vigilant and not clasp your hands over a completed task. Progressives, liberals, and sensible libertarians must continue to apply political pressure points.
But back to the election and conservative hand wringing over the failure of Romney to unseat the incumbent they view as a “failed” (as opposed to those on the left dismayed over a “lackluster” term) presidency. It seems in the wake of every election result arises this clarion call for the losing party to conduct soul searching, or a retrenching or regrouping. That the voters have sent them a message. I am positive that quite a few posts scrolling across this space have expressed this sentiment. But the national election result scoreboard obscures the critical truth that the GOP faithful maintain political strongholds, especially in the atavistic Confederacy regions. They control, by large margins, most state legislatures and the governorships. Do you really believe reform is going to trickle up from these domains? I suspect, on the contrary, a doubling down on the shibboleth that the problem is not enough tea party true conservatism. Even as moderate Republicans continue to be blotted out from the national political landscape in the midwest and northeast.
Already, the meme is floating about in conservative circles that Obama won because of that 47% who just want “free stuff” now represent a majority of voters, much to the chagrin of a traditional America. Galling, as these commentators spew, with a straight face, this malarkey, whilst in denial about the woeful fiscal record exhibited by their party rule (which party created this so called “fiscal cliff”?) and the demographics of the actual audience (for some reason, it is not “free stuff” when it is white old folk that are receiving the government largess) that laps these missives up. And it would not shock me one iota to see a Republican congress grow even more recalcitrant, though without Senate support, some acts, like hyperbolic impeachment initiatives, will be suppressed (but check back after 2014 congressional elections).
This stated, the GOP will have to come to terms with the public acceptance of marriage equality and backlash over immigrant bashing and/or xenophobia. This will be tricky because the core constituency for Republicans at present is comprised in large part by conservative evangelicals who feel strongly about “biblical marriage”. But I suspect, just like Democrats and gun control, the issue, for most Republican politicos, the issue will fade into the background, without a peep uttered by most, other those secure in their heartland red state perches. Immigration, however, will prove a thornier issue reboot — especially if the slow economic recovery arc sputters. It will be difficult for Republicans to posture themselves as immigrant champions.
Finally, a confession. It has been hard to resist the temptation to engage in schadenfreude. I was so delighted, not to have to log a post like this again. But every “I [Obama voter] am deceived” Facebook post uncorks an itch to dial up posts expressing any “wailing and gnashing of teeth” sentiment or tuning in to bullshit mountain or right wing talk radio.