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Morning Feature – Celebrating Victory

November 7, 2012

Morning Feature

Morning Feature – Celebrating Victory

Let’s savor our progressive victories in Tuesday’s elections before we move onto the next political fight. (More)

Progressives and Democrats had a really great Election Day yesterday, re-electing President Obama, winning a larger and more progressive Senate majority, defeating a number of Tea Party Republican House members, and advancing the cause of marriage equality, among other victories. And we did all of this in the face of hundreds of millions of dollars of spending by shadowy conservative groups aided by a media that ranges from mindless pox-on-both-houses coverage to conservative apologists. In short, we have much to celebrate.

Over the next two years, we will be faced with many critical issues and policies to debate, long difficult fights to advance the progressive cause, and setbacks and disappointments. But part of being able to win those debates and fights, and to get through the inevitable disappointments is to celebrate our successes, which is something that we progressives tend not to do very well. Instead, we progressives are often so focused on identifying problems and working to fix them that we do not take the time to savor our victories. Winning Progressive urges us all to temporarily resist the urge to dive right back into the next fight and, instead, take a day or two to celebrate what we have achieved in this election.

Here are just some of the victories we should be celebrating:

President Obama Re-Elected – The biggest prize yesterday, of course, was President Obama’s re-election. As of this writing, President Obama had won at least 303 electoral votes, including every swing state except North Carolina. If he wins Florida, as looks likely, he would end up with a 332-vote electoral victory. And as of 3:30am eastern time, the New York Times was reporting an approximately 1.8 million popular vote advantage for President Obama, with the bulk of votes remaining to be counted in Democratic states such as California, Washington, and Oregon. While Obama’s margins are smaller than they were in 2008, yesterday’s victory is still a strong endorsement of Obama’s first term and his sensible, moderately progressive governance.

A Larger, More Progressive Senate Majority – As we explained in early October, this election presented an opportunity to gain a more progressive Senate with the election of Mazie Hirono (D-HI), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Chris Murphy (D-CT), and Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), along with the re-election of Sherrod Brown in Ohio. All five of those candidates won! And despite having 21 seats to defend, Democrats have so far lost only one Senate seat (in Nebraska), though seats in Montana and North Dakota are still to be decided. If we win those two seats, we will end up with a 55 vote majority. And another step towards full equality was taken with the election of the first openly lesbian U.S. Senator in our nation’s history – Tammy Baldwin.

First Electoral Victories for Marriage Equality – With our nation making steady progress towards full LGBT equality, one of the few arguments anti-equality activists had to fall back on is that marriage equality had never prevailed in a popular vote. That claim can no longer be made, as marriage equality has now prevailed at the ballot box in Maine, Maryland, and Minnesota, and appears likely to win in Washington State.

Leading House Tea Partiers Defeated – One disappointing area yesterday was in House elections, where Democrats picked up little ground. But even there, we won some victories. Most significantly, a number of Tea Party members – including Allen West (FL), Chip Cravaack (MN), Bobby Schilling (IL), Roscoe Bartlett (MD), Ann-Marie Buerkle (NY), Francisco Canseco (TX), and Joe Walsh (IL) – were defeated, while the race against Michelle Bachmann is still too close to call as of 3am ET Wednesday morning. Illinois’ 10th Congressional District, which was held by now-US Senator Mark Kirk (R-IL) for many years, is finally back in Democratic hands with Brad Schneider’s victory. And with both House seats in New Hampshire being won by Democrats, there is not a single Republican member of the House in all six New England states.

  • NCrissieB

    Thank you for this rundown of last night’s wonderful news, Winning Progressive. I’ll add news from Florida and our constitutional amendments. Although Democrats didn’t get the clean sweep we wanted, only three of the eleven proposed amendments passed and those three were the least-bad proposals: targeted property tax breaks for veterans (Amendment 2), spouses of service members killed in action (Amendment 9), and poor senior citizens (Amendment 11). All of the others failed by large margins. And all three of our Florida Supreme Court judges were retained, denying Gov. Scott the chance to pack our court.

    Good morning! ::hugggggs::

  • winterbanyan

    We had a lot of good news last night. I celebrated then, and will feel good all day! But I’m not planning to dive right back into the fray. I figure January will be a good time to get rolling again.

    We’re going to have some local party rebuilding to do, I’m sure, since we suffered a resounding defeat in our county. The registered voters numbers wouldn’t have led us to expect that, and we worked our butts off. So we’re going to need some time for evaluation, reflection and new strategies.

    But then we pick up the lance again. In the meantime, I toasted last night’s outcome with a bottle of root beer and dang, it felt good!

    And FL went Obama. That is a marvelous, wonderful sign of our changing demographics. It’s only going to get better. As one pundit pointed out last night, new Latino voters are registering at the rate of 50,000 per month.

    Our nation’s face is changing, and we need to serve that change!

  • NCrissieB

    Another note about last night. Republicans, if they hope to be anything more than an obstructionist minority party, will have to soften their ideology and broaden their base. There simply aren’t enough angry white men left in the U.S. for Republicans to win national elections on that appeal alone. In fact, there aren’t enough angry white men left in most states for Republicans to win Senate campaigns … especially after they make a point of insulting women.

    Good morning! ::hugggggs::

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