Wednesday Morning in America

I've made four or five tries so far at writing how I feel about last night's election. I keep getting about three paragraphs in before I look at what's coming out of me, delete it and start over. The first, I was afraid would read like gloating, at least to those licking their wounds at the moment. But I'm not gloating. If anything, I feel sorry for some friends who to my view, got too carried away in this nonsense about Obama being a Gay Socialist Muslim Commie whose reelection could only mean the end of the United States of America. There's an industry — quite lucrative for some — that thrives on that kind of thing so we hear it and some believe it but it's never been remotely true.

As William Saletan notes today, the guy who just won another four years in the Oval Office is darn near a moderate Republican by any reasonable standard. My most-G.O.P. friend Roger hates and fears for a long list of things Obama will do. Half of them are things Obama never said he'd do and never spent two seconds of his first term trying to do. The other half are things that Roger thought were great ideas when they were promoted by Caucasian Republicans.

So that's why I tossed the first thing I started writing. Roger would think I'm doing a Happy Dance and going "nyah nyah nyah" and he's having a rough time of it today. He's spent months telling me how America would be destroyed by an Obama victory and now he's got to face the chilling prospect that it won't be. As Matt Taibbi noted in a piece written before the polls closed, it has become way too common in American politics to predict total annihilation if The Wrong Guy wins. Elections matter but they don't matter that much.

I threw out two more things I started writing because I was trying to explain why I thought Romney lost. All I was doing was parroting what Jacob Weisberg wrote more eloquently and efficiently. Then I tossed out another one in which I started to argue that folks like Dick Morris, who forecast a Romney landslide, only did that kind of thing because when your income flows from feeding the Fox News crowd, it's kind of within your job description. I don't believe Newt Gingrich actually thought Romney would "carry over 300 electoral votes" but I think he knew that a key part of his constituency would have hurled rocks at him if he'd made an accurate prediction.  Look at how mad some of them were at Nate Silver, who just crunched numbers, showed his work in the margins, and was attacked for telling them pretty much what actually occurred.

So I don't know what to write, which is why I'm resorting to the old I-Don't-Know-What-To-Write trick. I'm pleased. I'm unsurprised. I'm optimistic. I'm not dumb enough to think we won't have the Mitch McConnells of the world now doubling-down on obstructionism and still insisting they speak for the "real" America. And hey, how about whole states voting to accept the idea of Marriage Equality? There was a sea change that went largely unnoticed last night while folks were fretting about slow vote counting in Florida. Not much attention paid to Marijuana Legalization or a lot of women candidates defeating men who seemed to be waging that War on Women.

I think it's going to take a long time before anyone really understands what happened last night because so much happened. But something sure did…and maybe that's really all I wanted to write here.