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07 November 2012 @ 06:25 pm
The Barackness Monster  
From my various news sources, I hear that something pretty important and, in some cases, historic happened last night. I guess I should have stopped marathoning my Alias dvds and paid attention to the news. But before we get to that, I apologize (yet again) for not keeping this LJ mine a bit more up-to-date, but this time I have a good excuse. Not only did the worst natural disaster to ever hit New York City interfere with normal life around my neighborhood for a nice chunk of time, but I also had an unfortunate accident that resulted in a trip to the hospital and a barely function leg. Don't believe what they tell you, folks, jogging is indeed a contact sport. Now that I am somewhat healed and my mind can focus on something other than hurricanes and learning to walk again, let's move to that small, unimportant thing that happened last night...

BARACK OBAMA WINS A SECOND TERM AS A PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES


And with this act, America avoids becoming the punchline of an international joke for the next four years. As a Obama supporter, and as those of you who watched the coverage all last night can attest, those few early hours of election returns drove me to drink, caused some mild heart palpitations and resulted in a few ulcers. Even though the President's so-called "path to 270 electoral college votes" was assured by polling and math in the days leading up to the election, no one can predict if those "likely voters" polled will actually, you know, show UP to the polls, but show up they did, in numbers so great in certain states that polling places had to stay open three hours past official closing time. They showed up despite some devious and cynical challenges from mostly Republican operatives who tried to suppress the vote with unfair laws, cutting down on early voting and general misinformation. And in this respect, I have never been prouder of my nation. But back to my night of worrying and drinking ... when it was 10 o'clock and it was still anyone's game, I was having a minor freakout and thinking about my escape to Canadian, New Zealand or any other place that would have me. In the end, the President's victory was, by no means, a decisive one, but it still a strong one. Behold the beauty of the electoral college map, virtually unchanged since last election.

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The Democrat base came out for President Obama and this is the true story within the story of the 2012 election. Put simply the Democratic base - minorities, young voters, women and college educated whites - is Obama's bread and butter and it is a bread basket that is only growing. Despite the country shifting even more conservative this election cycle - 2 states that went for Obama last time went back to red this time - it STILL was no help to Romney. Why? Because the Republican base is growing older, growing more white and, quite literally, shrinking (err...dying). The demographic shift of this nation - becoming more ethnic, less religious, more educated, and younger - is KILLING the Republican party. The post-mortem happening right now at GOP head quarters, as they cry into their dry white wine wondering how it went so horrible wrong, should focus on one thing ... why the HELL didn't they realize this was going to happen after the last election? I mean when someone like me realizes the Republican party wasn't terribly viable anymore because it had become too regional and not broad enough and the Republican turn around and double-down on policies that drive away women and minorities then they only have themselves to blame. More on this later.

But beyond the relief of escaping a Romney presidency by what feels like the narrowest of margins (BULLET DODGED), there are other important and truly historic things that happened last night that I feel the need to blah-blah about. You know me, blah-blah is what I do best.

Women! Women! Women!
What is that I hear? Is that the sound of another large and epic crack in the glass ceiling? This election cycle will be sending a record number of women to the United States Senate. In January, twenty women will be serving in the Senate an increase from 17 members currently. Five women won first terms in the Senate -- in Wisconsin, Massachusetts, Hawaii, Nebraska and North Dakota and even better, all of the women senators-elect won seats held by men. In another first, the state of New Hampshire will be the first state to send an all-female Congressional delegation to Congress and, oh, they also elected an female governor. Yep, the top officials of that state are all now women. In a political year that saw male legislators try to restrict a woman's access to contraceptives, trying to redefine "rape" legally and further narrowing a woman's right to choice in several states in the country, this feels a bit like "shut the fuck up and sit your two dollar, male ass down before I make change" rebuke of all the bullshit. It is important to also note that out of all the newly elected female Senators set to take office in January only one is a Republican.

Beyond Congressional results, the turn out by women for the President was staggering, particularly unmarried women and college educated women. The President increased his numbers with this group which helped off-set the slight drop in the men who voted for Obama. See, Romney, this is what happens when you put a guy on your ticket who tried to create categories of rape and put them into federal law. This is what happens when you want to ban abortion in all cases including rape and life of the mother.

Latinos! Latinos! Latinos!
Surprise! Latinos went for President Obama by the largest margin since Bill Clinton and let me tell you something, LATINOS LOVE THEM SOME CLINTON. Obama captured this vote by a percentage of over 70%. And SURPRISE, this meant that states like Nevada, Colorado, New Mexico and Virginia - all states with growing Latino populations - all went for Obama this time. Now, generally, the Republican party needs to do better with all minorities - African Americans & Asians - but Latinos are the fasting growing voting block in the country and our numbers continue to increase which is why there is so much talk tonight about this particularly voting block. As more Latinos move to "swing" states, their tendency to vote "Democrat" will mean these "swing" states may not be swing states for much longer.

Latinos are an interesting group (said as a Latino) because they are usually fiscally & socially conservative. They are religious, usually against same-sex marriage and abortion and you would think that the Republicans would have a better shot at shaving off some of Democrat votes just by this alone (and some Latinos do vote that way). Just a few short years ago in 2004, George W. Bush was able to capture a healthy chunk of this vote by supporting immigration reform and generally NOT being a dick to us (I know he was a dick to everyone else). But then the Republicans went crazy town between then and now, starting blocking legislation like the DREAM Act, supporting blatantly racist laws like Arizona's "if you look Mexican, you need carry proof that you are a citizen or I'll assume you're here illegal" law and saying shit like "well, if we make life for illegals so miserable in this country they'll just leave and never come back" ... and YES, Romney said that ... is it a shock that ... oh, snap, the perception among most Latinos is the the Republican party is just for rich white folks who think that anyone with brown skin doesn't speak English, is probably here illegally and is just here to mow my lawn. In this regard, the fact that the Latino vote basically gifted Obama two, arguably three swing states is just the greatest "you mad" moment for me of this election.

Gayest Night Ever!
HOLY SHIT, GUYS! I mean GAYS! Last night was like something out of a fever dream and this morning I had to double check the results to make sure I wasn't imagining things. Last night three states - Maine, Maryland and Washington - had initiatives on the ballot on whether to legalize same-sex marriage and in all three States those measures passed by popular vote meaning that for the first time in history gay marriage was made legal NOT by a court decision but by the public will of the people. It kind of blows my mind that yesterday I could only get married in a few states and today I can get married in 20% more states. And in Minnesota, a referendum to add language to the state constitution making marriage ONLY between a man and a woman was solidly rejected. Gay marriage is one of those issues where public opinion is changing fast and furious. Just a few short years ago, public polling showed support for gay marriage was well under 50% but that number has increased exponential lately. Monday, if you would have told me that gay marriage might be coming to the U.S. as a federal law - which would make gay marriage legal in all 50 States - I would have told you I could see it happening in my lifetime, but closer to the end of my life. Now, however, with THREE states turning towards it in just one night, I think it isn't foolish to hope it might happen sooner. One can hope.

Gay marriage passing would have been enough to get me high, but last night wasn't done being good to my gay. Last night also saw the election of the first openly gay member to the Senate, Wisconsin's Tammy Baldwin. But that is not all ... last night, Arizona elected the first openly bisexual member of Congress, Kyrsten Sinema. Also, New York State elected Sean Patrick Maloney to Congress and he becomes the first gay representative from New York. In other words, it was a good night!

But wait there is more...
-- Tammy Duckworth becomes the first female disabled war veteran to serve in Congress. She was injured in Iraq when the UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter she was co-piloting was hit by a rocket propelled grenade fired by insurgents. She was later promoted to Major. Just amazing and bad-ass woman.

-- Mazie Hirono becomes the first female Asian-American Senator representing Hawaii. Hirono was born in Japan and moved to Hawaii when she was two.

-- Colorado legalizes marijuana for recreational use, but the federal ban on the drug remains. Not sure how this will work exactly but tell all your pot-head friends to move to Colorado.

-- A measure in California passed that requires any pornography filmed witin LA County to use condoms. Furthermore, any porn filmed in LA county will require porn producers to apply for a permit from the LA County Department of Public Health.

It was a great night, an historic night. Great if you are gay. Great if you like pot. Great if are a woman. Just great. Look at our leaders.

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And, finally, the Empire State Building turns blue to announce to New York City that Barack Obama was elected for another term.

 
 
How I'm Feelin': happyhappy
 
 
 
viomisehuntviomisehunt on November 7th, 2012 11:28 pm (UTC)
He won the popular vote also--50 percent of the nation voted for him. I was very relieved. I wasn't ready to leave the country, but I was ready to send my money to the Caymans.
Miriam: Sanctuary: Smirky Helenmiri_d on November 8th, 2012 01:32 am (UTC)
For what it's worth, I read that whole post (happily), because I am too lazy/busy to bother to aggregate my own news and information for myself. So you helped at least one person out by making that post today.
A: tennis | delpovulcanicity on November 8th, 2012 09:00 am (UTC)
This post makes me HAPPY :333
spanishtvjunkie: pretty kahlan-lrbcnspanishtvjunkie on November 8th, 2012 05:06 pm (UTC)
*still basking in the glow of YESSSS!*
You know you love me....kookymorgan on November 8th, 2012 05:18 pm (UTC)
Watching from another country has been really interesting, seeing the reactions all over the media building up to and after the vote.

I think its appaulling what the spend on campaigns, wonder if this will ever change to the capped system we have in the UK?

Also living in the world we live in there is nothing weirder than seeing the republican quotes. I mean to hear these top people speak about women and rape was frankly unbelieveable.

Someone over here said isnt it ashame that people dont pay as much interest in UK politics as people seem to have with this election.

I would say because our guys are not as inspiring as Obama, not one little bit.

hysteria74: chilebriticonhysteria74 on November 8th, 2012 05:24 pm (UTC)
Well don't worry I read it all. I found the election simply facinating and nail biting. At the beginging I thought "oh no he's gonna lose" or that it would come down to re-counts and legal moves. Thank god that didn't happen and instead American's decided to re-elect Obama. However, with the Republicans still controlling the House of Representatives, I can only hope that Obama can get his changes through and it not be another 4 years of stalemate.
Its great to hear that more states agreed to allow same-sex marriages - which almost went unreported - its a huge step forward.
Horay! for Obama and here's to four more years!