Victory Dance

The problem with historic moments such as this is that they are so awe-inspiring, so humbling, that it’s easy to be confused by the jubilation that should come with such events. Any outburst of elation or feelings of personal satisfaction that the contest went your side’s way feel almost out of place. Showboating in the end zone or hanging on the rim after a gorilla slam dunk is fine for pro sports, but choosing our leaders, whose decisions will touch all of our lives, should be a more solemn process. Shouldn’t it? In his concession speech last night, John McCain was gracious in defeat, finally displaying a sense of honor and unity that would have served his campaign well. In Chicago’s Grant Park, a sober-faced President-elect Obama was magnanimous in victory and sought to downplay the divisions between Democrats and Republicans. He acknowledged that we need each other and called for all Americans to abandon the petty partisanship that keeps us from unifying behind a common purpose.

He’s right, of course. Now is not the time to gloat over exit polls and popular vote numbers. Focusing on Republican losses in down-ticket contests would be unseemly. Pointing out how badly some people got this election wrong and itotally bet on the wrong horse? Right out. It would be immature to let out a Ric Flair “WOOOOOOOOO!!!!” while moonwalking over a room-sized electoral map.

And yet………

……oh, #@&% it, who am I kidding?

Barack Obama smoked John McCain like a Marlboro Red. Speaking of which; Virginia, Ohio, Indiana, Iowa, Colorado, New Mexico and Nevada all went from red to blue, and we may see North Carolina go as well. As good as Obama ran his campaign, McCain ran his into the ground. Sarah Palin, while far from the only thing that cost McCain the election, was the clincher for many people. Independents and moderates, for example, favored Obama over McCain. Obama won among men, women, and people under 65. He won Hispanic voters, Asian voters, African-American voters (in record numbers) and did better with white voters than any Democrat in 30 years. More people voted for Obama than any candidate in history, beating out George W. Bush’s 2004 performance by a million or so. Was there voter suppression? Probably, but here’s the thing about getting record turnout in an election – if it’s not close, they can’t steal it. And it wasn’t close. Democrats increased their margins in both houses of congress. Kicking Liddy Dole out of the Senate and making Joe Lieberman completely irrelevant was just icing on the cake.

Hey Karl, how’s that “permanent Republican majority” workin’ out for ya’? Maybe not so good? Maybe you got that one wrong? Maybe you and W and Cheney and McCain and Palin and the rest of your self-marginalized party should’ve thought about the long term effects of not just your election tactics, but your governing policies too. Maybe 50%+1 isn’t such a good idea after all. Welcome to irrelevancy, population: You.

There. I feel better now that I’ve gotten that out of my system. Now we can move on towards unifying this country and…..

….hang on, one more…

……bring an end to this partisan bickering. For the good of America.

– Michael Turner