Change has come to “R-merica”

Last night’s election was the culmination of a very bitter fight for survival. The GOP spent tons of capital… both political and monetary… in the hopes of destroying President Obama’s agenda, and decimating his long list of first-term accomplishments. After four long years of being a party defined by divisiveness and obstruction, they received their mandate from American voters.


Eventhough Republicans retained a comfortable majority in the House of Representatives, they were decisively clawed back in the Senate. And of course, President Obama roared back into the White House.

For Mitt Romney, the coming weeks will likely bring much criticism of how he ran his campaign and what all went wrong, but in reality, the GOP owes him a tremendous bit of gratitude. As the party has fractured so deeply between the idealogues and the Pro-Business wing, Romney stepped up to the plate and made the ultimate sacrifice for his party. He was the only man willing to steer the ship into what we all saw as an inevitable crash course in 2012… FAILURE.

But in doing this, he’s also helped to save Republicans from themselves too. Countless shifting political positions aside, Romney is a decent man, and he ran a good campaign. He conceded to the President with grace and helped to unite our country after a bitter fight. And most importantly, he sacrificed his time and energy so that future candidates (like Chris Christie, Paul Ryan or Marco Rubio) wouldn’t have to go down with the ship… at least not this year.

Finally now, the GOP has come face-to-face with the real change that President Obama helped to accomplish. They now have to wake up to the new realities of a more diverse nation than what they represent. This time, change is sure to happen, because the GOP no longer has a choice.

So today is a new day, and already we are seeing small signs of a new mood in Washington. Here are tweets from retiring Senator Olympia Snowe and House Speaker John Boehner.

Change indeed. Let’s just hope it lasts and that President Obama and Congress have a more productive relationship… starting with the Lame Duck session.

Election 2012: Winners and Losers

November 6th was a big night in so many ways, but maybe not in the ones you might think. Before the election, Barack Obama was President, so that remains unchanged. Before the election, the House was in Republican control, and the Senate was lead by the Democrats. That remains unchanged. So what exactly happened last night that was so important if the status quo reigend supreme?

Our country forged new paths toward equality, electing the largest number of women to the United States Senate in history (Still not equal representation though). The state of Wisconsin also made history with the election of our nation’s first openly gay Senator, Tammy Baldwin. The states of Washington, Maryland and Maine joing the ever-growing ranks of those who allow full marrige equality to GLBT couples. But now, for the first time, marriage equality was not approved by the courts, or by a legislature, but by statewide referenda. This means that without a doubt, large portions of our population now support marriage equality. With the re-election of President Obama, the chances of these newly-acquired rights being rolled back have decreased as well. Most expect that anyone he nominates to the Supreme Court would not endanger the GLBT civil rights movement.

So because of all of these things, I don’t actually think that President Obama “won” the night. The real winner of last night was the American People.

And the loser? The GOP’s “dark money” strategy.

After having to endure years of filthy political ads and shady campaign spending thanks to the wave from Citizens United, after people like Sheldon Adelson, the Koch Brothers and Karl Rove spending hundreds of millions to defeat Obama and Senate Democrats, it’s becoming clear that they did not meet their goal. The Democrats had FAR less to work with on the money end, and were still able to survive the election. They flushed more than one BILLION dollars down the drain, and they are not getting it back. Should anyone be surprised that Wall Street isn’t happy today?

The United States has proven that it cannot be bought, no matter what the price. And hopefully, that gives people of all political stripes something to be proud of. As the GOP begins a long search to find its soul, I hope they will realize just how corrosive dark money lies can be to the political system. Maybe next time, they’ll work to improve their message, instead of giving the messenger more tricks up his sleeve.