Thursday, November 8, 2012

Dear Republicans, Keep Calm!


Like much of America, my Facebook newsfeed is divided over the outcome of Tuesday's election results. Depending on who you are listening to, we have either been saved from the clutches of impending doom or we're all on the express train there now. 

I tend to side with my friend, Rob, a reformed Republican, who posted a tough love diatribe on his wall today. The punchline was: "A country that defeated Hitler, Mussolini, and bin Laden won't crumble because the guy you wanted to be President got beat."

Ah perspective. How sweet thou art.

Look, for all of those people who were disappointed in the election results, I understand. I've been there too. I remember waking up the day after the 2004 election convinced America would become a giant, burning, lifeless crater once President Bush was through with it (I was a bit dramatic in my 20s).  To make a long story short: That didn't happen. The world survived President Bush and the world will keep on spinning with President Obama in office too. Promise.

So everyone, please, calm the eff down.

Obviously it was a big night for Democrats -- a President re-elected, a sea of blue for Senate candidates, and a few important pick-ups in the House -- but there are a lot of things all of us, as Americans, can be proud of coming out of Tuesday. My top three:

(1) Women -- The ladies kicked some major booty this election season. When the new Congress is sworn in January, a record 20 women will hold the title of U.S. Senator. Girl Power Happy Dance! Extra credit goes to the state of New Hampshire, who became the first and only state in the nation to be represented by 2 female Senators, a female Governor, and a female-only House delegation.

(2) Reason -- Americans should rejoice that conservative states like Missouri and Indiana chose reasonable voices over overtly partisan and, let's be honest here, completely crazy ones. In Indiana, Hoosiers picked figurative workhorse and all-around nice guy Joe Donnelly. You may remember his opponent, Richard Murdock, as the guy who called pregnancies that result from rape "something God intended to happen" and who ran on the idea that making the Senate more partisan was good for the country. 

Because gridlock makes the world go round and stuff. 

And of course, moderate Senator Claire McCaskill defeated Todd "Women have a way of shutting down pregnancy during legitimate rape" Akin in Missouri.

(3) Democracy -- Thanks to the wretched Citizens United decision -- which allows unlimited, anonymous political spending by shady SuperPACs -- voters were pummeled by negative ads this election season. In Ohio alone, these groups spent nearly $40 million trying to buy a Senate seat for their favored candidate, Josh Mandel. On Election Day, voters in Ohio made clear they get to decide these things (thank you very much), and re-elected Senator Sherrod Brown.* 

This was not an anomaly either. In 7 states where SuperPAC American Crossroads dumped significant sums of money to influence the election, 6 of the states voted for the other guy. 

For those of you keeping score at home, that's Democracy:1, Shady SuperPACs: 0.

So there you have it, America. Still upset? One more thing: Political reporters I follow on Twitter are already booking their first trips to Iowa. The reason? Previewing the 2016 Presidential race, of course. So there's that...

*Disclosure: Senator Brown is a former employer.