So now that election 2012 is history, it's time to take up what individuals and groups won, and which ones lost. Trust me on this, it's a little more difficult than simply saying President Barack Obama won and Mitt Romney lost. There are those who will celebrate longer than they should, and those who will lick their wounds and plot to take up the battle on another day. Here then, in no particular order, are my lists of winners and losers.
Former President Bill Clinton- The Man From Hope has still got it, and he put it all on the line for a man some thought he didn't care that much for. If I were President Obama, my first call after my victory speech would have been to President Clinton, and I would say, "whatever you want, Mr. President, including unequivocal support for your wife if she chooses to run for years from now".
Nate Silver- If you don't know who he is, you should. The Five Thirty Eight blogger for the New York Times predicted an Obama victory using a model based on mathematics and not the usual insider narrative that pundits make their living from. For this he was vilified, and things took a turn for the bizarre when he was called out by his own public editor at the Times for making a jocular bet on the outcome of the voting with MSNBC's Joe Scarborough. Silver is the future of predictive politics, and those who would dog him out had best watch their step. He's no joke.
Women- Tuesday's election ushered in a new wave of women in the Senate. Six were re-elected, while four will take their place ion the upper chamber for the first time. Add to that the fact that the Senate will be 20% female next term, and that an openly gay woman won in Wisconsin, and you get the picture. Has anyone noticed the entire New Hampshire congressional delegation will be women as well? So much for "legitimate rape".
The LGBT community- Four states considered same sex ballot referenda Tuesday. Three of them passed, with Washington state still not decided. This is the first time the issue has been settled in the affirmative before voters. There are now nine states that allow same sex couples to marry. There ought to be 50.
Weed- Again, four referenda, and only Oregon's didn't win. Colorado and Washington did, in a big way. Only trouble is, marijuana use, whether medical or recreational, runs afoul of the feds. Maybe somebody could talk to President Obama and Eric Holder about getting Uncle Sam to chill. And how about a reclassification away from weed as a Schedule 1 substance? Just asking…..
The Punditocracy- The gasbags and blowhards who either called the race for Romney three weeks ago or breathlessly mouthed the standard media line (too close to call) got their collective comeuppance from Nate Silver. The idea that talking inside the Beltway echo chamber to people you've known for years, then spouting pure conjecture as fact on a cable news show has been tired for awhile. Some of these people actually had the nerve to say if Silver got his prediction wrong, he'd be a one cycle wonder. How's that working out now, folks? Ready to give up all that tv time?
Todd Akin and Richard Mourdock- These clowns had no business seeking high office in the first place, but Tuesday showed there is some justice in the world. For two men, in the 21st. century, to talk of legitimate rape and rape being God's will is testament to their unfitness. Women in Indiana and Missouri weren't fooled. Despite both states going for Romney, both Akin and Mourdock will have to find other ways to spend their time. Please, please don't let them anywhere near a college classroom, either of them!
The Ryan Romney ticket- Yeah I know they lost, but there's something deeper here. For the first time since George McGovern and Sergeant Shriver back in 1972, a ticket lost both their home states, with both Massachusetts and Wisconsin going for Obama. Worse still, Romney lost the state of his birth, Michigan. Still want to let Detroit go bankrupt, Mittens?
The Tea Party- Some in the GOP are blaming the Tea Party, the darlings of just two years ago, for their failure to wrest the Senate from Democratic control. I the House, the true repository of Tea Party power, obnoxious Congressman Allen West lost his seat to Patrick Murphy. It's truly a case of addition by subtraction. Michele Bachmann managed to eke out a victory, but it's a long way from the presidential campaign trail she traveled earlier this year. Not an epic fail for the Tea Party, but precious little to show for their so-called revolution.
The Voting Process- When everyone is done analyzing the election of 1012, somebody ought to start a serious conversation about how to make America's voting process more inclusive and less chaotic. While confusion might have been expected in the NY Metropolitan Area due to Hurricane Sandy, how come there were people in Miami Dade still waiting to vote at 1:00 in the morning? The entire industrialized world is laughing at us.
There are other winners and losers, but I figure I might as well quit while I'm ahead. If you have some I left out,. please share them.