Barack Obama was re-elected on Tuesday, following one of the most expensive, divisive, vicious, and dishonest elections in American history.
I think these results represent a symbolic (if not fully-functional) victory for at least two important ideas which I hope will have positive implications for the future of US politics.
One is driving a stake through the heart of the notion that elections can be easily bought, which had previously suffered insufficient blows with the failure of Meg Whitman’s campaign for Governor of California and Linda McMahon’s campaign for US Senator from Connecticut, both in 2010, but threatened to make a resurgence if Mitt Romney and Republican Super PACs were to parlay Citizens’ United into wins this election cycle.
While Obama surely spent as much (if not more) money on his campaign as his opponent – and, let’s not forget, he did fill his first cabinet with some of the same people who orchestrated and profited from the 2008 financial crisis – Romney still personified corporate money and influence so much more, thanks to his now-infamous professional background, the even-more-infamous 47% video, and comments like “Corporations are people, my friend.”
The other major victory represented by the election results could perhaps be summarized as “the truth will set you free.” Romney and Ryan ran on a platform of deception, distortion, and reality-denial that threatened to turn George Orwell’s body into a nuclear centrifuge, so success on their part could very well have meant taking the already persistently-vegetative truth off life-support, as far as our national political discourse was concerned!
A third, lesser (though greatly amusing) positive we’re seeing is the hilarious Right Wing reaction to Obama’s re-election, whether it’s Karl Rove stuttering like Porky Pig as Fox News called Ohio for the President, former Ron Paul aide Eric Dondero telling people to quit their jobs if their bosses happen to be a Democrats, or this crazy woman who sounds like a real-life version of Mimi from “The Drew Carey Show” freaking the hell out on Youtube.
Clearly, it was wrong of “Real Time” host Bill Maher to characterize America winning or comedy winning as mutually-exclusive scenarios!
The rest of us can finally put the ugliness of this election cycle behind us. I, personally, am looking forward to either the President more aggressively pursuing a Progressive/liberal agenda, now that he doesn’t have to worry about re-election, or me at least being able to return to putting more focus on criticizing him when he fails to do so, now that there isn’t a Greater of Two Evils diverting my attention.
In the spirit of moving “Forward,” what should my next cartoon address? The legalization of marijuana and/or gay marriage in several states? The resignation of David Petraeus as CIA Director? The defeat of Rob McKenna by Jay Inslee for Governor of Washington State, made official just as I was finishing this post? Weigh in with your thoughts in the comments section, please!