Four more years.

Rachel Maddow:

We are not going to have a Supreme Court that will overturn Roe versus Wade. There will be no more Antonin Scalias and Samuel Alitos added to this court.

We’re not going to repeal health reform. Nobody is going to kill Medicare and make old people in this generation or any other generation fight it out on the open market to try to get themselves health insurance. We are not going to do that.

We are not going to give a 20 percent tax cut to millionaires and billionaires and expect programs like food stamps and kids’ health insurance to cover the cost of that tax cut.

We’re not make you clear it with your boss if you want to get birth control under the insurance plan that you’re on.

We are not going to redefine rape.

We are not going to amend the United States Constitution to stop gay people from getting married.

We are not going to double Guantanamo.

We are not eliminating the Department of Energy or the Department of Education or housing at the federal level.

We are not going to spend $2 trillion on the military that the military does not want. We are not scaling back on student loans because the country’s new plan is that you should borrow money from your parents.

We are not vetoing the DREAM Act. We are not self-deporting. We are not letting Detroit go bankrupt.

We are not starting a trade war with China on Inauguration Day in January. We are not going to have, as a president, a man who once led a mob of friends to run down a scared gay kid, to hold him down and forcibly cut his hair off with a pair of scissors while that kid cried and screamed for help and there was no apology, not ever.

We are not going to have a Secretary of State John Bolton. We are not bringing Dick Cheney back. We are not going to have a foreign policy shop stocked with architects of the Iraq war. We are not going to do it.

We had the choice to do that if we wanted to do that, as a country. And we said no, last night, loudly.

Emphasis mine.

The Reagan Era is over. The myth that this is a “center-right” country is dead. This is a center-left country. The growing majority in this country believe more in the social contract than in I-got-mine-buddy-get-yours selfishness and non-altruistic individualism. This country believes more in the liberal fashion of letting people live their lives for who they are, they way they want to, rather than the conservative fashion of “we’re going to make you live your lives the way we want you to live your lives.” It’s concern for your fellow humans and citizens over concern for nothing other than your wallet, and I don’t believe there’s any turning back.

If you happened to have FOX “News” turned on, you saw a spectacle for the ages, and some truly great television. It seemed as if not a single conservative saw this coming. Why? “They were operating at a self-imposed information disadvantage.” Conor Friersdorf:

It is easy to close oneself off inside a conservative echo chamber. And right-leaning outlets like Fox News and Rush Limbaugh’s show are far more intellectually closed than CNN or public radio. If you’re a rank-and-file conservative, you’re probably ready to acknowledge that ideologically friendly media didn’t accurately inform you about Election 2012. Some pundits engaged in wishful thinking; others feigned confidence in hopes that it would be a self-fulfilling prophecy; still others decided it was smart to keep telling right-leaning audiences what they wanted to hear. […]

Conservatives were at a disadvantage because Romney supporters like Jennifer Rubin and Hugh Hewitt saw it as their duty to spin constantly for their favored candidate rather than being frank about his strengths and weaknesses. What conservative Washington Post readers got, when they traded in Dave Weigel for Rubin, was a lot more hackery and a lot less informed about the presidential election.

Conservatives were at an information disadvantage because so many right-leaning outlets wasted time on stories the rest of America dismissed as nonsense. WorldNetDaily brought you birtherism. Forbes brought you Kenyan anti-colonialism. National Review obsessed about an imaginary rejection of American exceptionalism, misrepresenting an Obama quote in the process, and Andy McCarthy was interviewed widely about his theory that Obama, aka the Drone Warrior in Chief, allied himself with our Islamist enemies in a “Grand Jihad” against America. Seriously?

Conservatives were at a disadvantage because their information elites pandered in the most cynical, self-defeating ways, treating would-be candidates like Sarah Palin and Herman Cain as if they were plausible presidents rather than national jokes who’d lose worse than George McGovern.

How many months were wasted on them?

How many hours of Glenn Beck conspiracy theories did Fox News broadcast to its viewers? How many hours of transparently mindless Sean Hannity content is still broadcast daily? Why don’t Americans trust Republicans on foreign policy as they once did? In part because conservatism hasn’t grappled with the foreign-policy failures of George W. Bush. A conspiracy of silence surrounds the subject. Romney could neither run on the man’s record nor repudiate it. The most damaging Romney gaffe of the campaign, where he talked about how the 47 percent of Americans who pay no income taxes are a lost cause for Republicans? Either he was unaware that many of those people are Republican voters, or was pandering to GOP donors who are misinformed. Either way, bad information within the conservative movement was to blame.

In conservative fantasy-land, Richard Nixon was a champion of ideological conservatism, tax cuts are the only way to raise revenue, adding neoconservatives to a foreign-policy team reassures American voters, Benghazi was a winning campaign issue, Clint Eastwood’s convention speech was a brilliant triumph, and Obama’s America is a place where black kids can beat up white kids with impunity. Most conservative pundits know better than this nonsense — not that they speak up against it. They see criticizing their own side as a sign of disloyalty. I see a coalition that has lost all perspective, partly because there’s no cost to broadcasting or publishing inane bullshit. In fact, it’s often very profitable. A lot of cynical people have gotten rich broadcasting and publishing red meat for movement conservative consumption.

This is a come-to-Jesus moment, conservatives. Can we please just blow up Bullshit Mountain? If you have feasible, workable ideas for the future of this country, we want to hear them. But the voters have demonstrated that this country is tired of all the bullshit, hysteria, negativity and outright lies. Back to Rachel:

Ohio really did go to President Obama last night. And he really did win. And he really was born in Hawaii. And he really is legitimately president of the United States, again.

And the Bureau of Labor Statistics did not make up a fake unemployment rate last month. And the Congressional Research Service really can find no evidence that cutting taxes on rich people grows the economy. And the polls were not skewed to oversample Democrats. And Nate Silver was not making up fake projections about the election to make conservatives feel bad. Nate Silver was doing math.

And climate change is real. And rape really does cause pregnancy sometimes. And evolution is a thing.

And Benghazi was an attack on us, it was not a scandal by us. And nobody is taking away anyone`s guns. And taxes have not gone up. And the deficit is dropping, actually.

And Saddam Hussein did not have weapons of mass destruction. And the moon landing was real. And FEMA is not building concentration camps. And U.N. election observers are not taking over Texas. And moderate reforms of the regulations on the insurance industry and the financial services industry in this country are not the same thing as communism. […]

Last night the Republicans got shellacked, and they had no idea it was coming. And we saw them in real time, in real humiliating time, not believe it, even as it was happening to them.

And unless they are going to is secede, they are going to have to pop the factual bubble they have been so happy living inside if they do not want to get shellacked again. And that will be a painful process for them, but it will be good for the whole country, left, right, and center. You guys, we’re counting on you. Wake up.

There are real problems in the world. There are real, knowable facts in the world. Let’s accept those and talk about how we might approach our problems differently. Let’s move on from there.

If the Republican Party and the conservative movement and conservative media are forced to do that by the humiliation they were dealt last night, we will all be better off as a nation.


We’re also tired of the obstructionism (and we’re keenly aware of the fact that the ONLY reason the Republicans held on to the House was the Republican-skewed gerrymandering that happened during the redistricting of 2012). It’s time to start cooperating and working together instead of being the Party of No. Conservatives, if you refuse it truly is the death of your party. From now on, the words “tea party” should only refer to a gathering of people who consume a hot brewed beverage.

Is Obama a perfect leader? By no means. He’s achieved amazing things (despite the Republicans’ destructive goal of attempting to block everything he wanted to do), achieved actual health care reform for the first time (as flawed as it is) but kept and even escalated some egregious elements of the Bush administration. There are four more years to correct that path now.

And what did the American people achieve last night?

There are now more women serving in Congress than any time in history.

We have the first openly gay senator, and the first Asian-American female senator (who’s also Buddhist; as someone amusingly put it, “There go your religious rights, conservatives!” … not).

Marriage equality passed by initiative in three states and a fourth refused to constitutionally ban it. That barn door can never be closed now.

It’s time for America to move forward. Live long and prosper.


6 Responses to “Four more years.”

  1. Chuck said:

    Nov 08, 12 at 12:29 pm

    Further evidence of what happens when the life-in-the-echo-chamber audience of FOX “News” is confronted with actual news and facts:

    As further evidence of the tunnel-vision conservatism of Fox News, the Nielsen ratings for election night show just how intolerant their audience is of any information that is undesirable or contrary to their worldview.

    As the broader television audience peaked into the evening, those watching CNN and MSNBC remained attentive to breaking news and analysis throughout the night. However, those watching Fox News switched off their media feeding tube shortly after the network declared that President Obama had been reelected.

    Conservatives, including the FOXNews audience: We invite you to join the reality-based community with open arms. C’mon. You’ll like it here. We’re nice, and we have whiskey and cookies.

  2. Brian Clary said:

    Nov 08, 12 at 2:18 pm

    “As further evidence of the tunnel-vision conservatism of Fox News, the Nielsen ratings for election night show just how intolerant their audience is of any information that is undesirable or contrary to their worldview.”

    I wouldn’t say that’s evidence of tunnel-vision; more likely the viewers didn’t want to watch anymore of their candidate loss. And I think that’s reasonable – has Romney won, I probably would have turned the TV off shortly after, regardless of what channel it was.

    “Is Obama a perfect leader? By no means. He’s […] kept and even escalated some egregious elements of the Bush administration.”

    I’m glad you pointed this out, because this is by far my biggest problem with Obama, and also why I think Rachel was incorrect in saying “We are not going to double Guantanamo.”

    But the main point of your post stands: listening to only the viewpoints you agree with is not productive.

  3. David said:

    Nov 09, 12 at 6:28 am

    So all it needs is an election to unleash the creative juices and bring back the Chuck we’ve been missing! Seriously the rest of the world breathed a collective sigh of relief on Tuesday night. Obama may be flawed, human, whatever but there are more pluses than minuses and a chance that the America we all felt we knew might arise with opportunity, fairness and community. And we can forget staring into the abyss for four more years

  4. Ryan said:

    Nov 10, 12 at 6:35 am

    I long for the day when actual alternative viewpoints with cred can become part of the political process (libertarians, Greens, reds, what have you). As diverse as we are in so many respects, why is it that it is STILL just, basically, Republicans vs. Democrats? Because BOTH of those parties operate much like multi-national corporations: let’s just throw as much money at our talking heads and see which one sticks…and the mule of law continues (yes, I’m talking about BOTH the Democrats and Republicans).

    It’s disgusting. BILLIONS have been spent on this election – lowering the bar even farther, in my opinion. I would like to see those same wealthy donors and superPACs put the money where it’s most needed: expanding hospitals, providing career prep to homeless adults, funding stronger grants/scholarships for at-risk students, how about a building nice new wing in your local museum? Surely, can’t $6-$8 billion be spent more humanely and wisely?

    OK, I think I need one of Chuck’s cocktails…

  5. Chuck said:

    Nov 10, 12 at 10:18 am

    I’ll make you one.

    I”d like to see a major realignment of the political parties, although I’m not sure that’ll happen in my lifetime. I remember reading a sf novel by Robert Silverberg set in the early-to-mid 21st Century in which he refers to the “collapse of the old two-party system,” and a new political structure in which the two main parties were the National Liberal party and the American Conservative party. Seemed like a good idea when I was an idealistic college student. Still a two-party system that doesn’t seem leave much room for other viewpoints.

    I’m not happy with any of the third parties. I utterly reject a Libertarian Party vision for society (despite my being generally in line with them on social issues), the Green Party has never really had its shit together (and although said that of the candidates my views aligned most with those of Jill Stein, that doesn’t mean I trust her or think she’d make a good president), and the rest of them are basically disposable.

    I think that overall the Democrats mean well but they’re way too in-bed with the corporatocracy, and as far as I’m concerned the Republicans have destroyed themselves by listening to their own bullshit and letting their party be taken over by extreme-right crazies. I agree 100% about how SuperPAC money could have been spent. SIX BILLION DOLLARS. I believe elections should be publicly financed, and that the presidential election process takes entirely too long.

    I don’t believe that partisan politicians should have anything to do with running elections. This massive asshole who’s the Secretary of State in Ohio, for example, should be thrown in jail for the shit he’s trying to pull. Elections on this scale should be run by neutral elections agencies with no paritisan affiliation as they’re done in many civilized democracies around the world. People shouldn’t have to wait in line six hours to vote.

    We’ve got a long way to go. Yes, Will McAvoy, America is not the greatest country in the world.

  6. Shari said:

    Nov 13, 12 at 3:42 pm

    AMEN. The older I get the more I believe that we completely need to redo campaign finance and more transparency on where the electionering $$ is coming from. I can’t recommend the documentary “Hot Coffee” enough about how HUGE CORPORATE interest are even more fully infiltrating our government.