By Peter Galuszka

President Barack Obama’s re-election and success with Virginia in Tuesday’s contest could provide  a fresh opportunity to solidify more economic recovery than what have otherwise may have happened. It could be a real chance for bipartisan progress.

Here’s my takeaway at 2:30 a.m.:

  • Virginia has again shown that it is morphing into a different kind of state. Losing some but not all power are the Old Republicans and their new iterations. Gaining power are Democrats, many of them newcomers with diverse backgrounds.
  • Bye, bye Tea Party. The anti-government, anti-spending curmudgeons of  two years ago are quickly fading in influence. Good thing. They had been a major and negative force trumping any bipartisan progress. Although Eric Cantor got re-elected, he’ll have a harder time playing obstructionist since he’ll no longer have a parade to try to race to get in front of and lead. And maybe we can give those God-awful Patrick Henry costumes to Goodwill.
  • Obamacare will not be repealed. GOP hasn’t the votes. Alleluia. Although flawed, Obamacare means that more people will be insured and health insurers won’t be able to get away with such practices as denying coverage for “pre-existing” conditions. No goofy vouchers for Medicare recipients. Not with Democrats controlling the Senate. Let’s get on with price transparency and breaking the stranglehold of Big Insurance and Big Pharma.
  • Hello manufacturing. Goodbye “Knowledge Economy.”  Obama can now solidify gains in the reviving American economy and help us once again make real things instead of just be providers of services that only help export jobs.
  • No more lying ads. We won’t have to listen to Romney  falsehoods about how Obama has a ‘War on Coal” and how he helped kill a crappy Bill’s Barbecue chain and send Jeep jobs to China.
  • Toodles, Ayn Rand. We won’t have to listen to the importance of selfishness by such faddish True Believers as Paul Ryan who was surprisingly irrelevant in the campaign. Now we can concentrate on helping Americans, not lecturing them on their irresponsible, spend thrift ways.
  • Energy. Inevitable changes will proceed, including towards cleaner natural gas, away from dirtier coal and towards renewables. Now we might start paying serious attention to greenhouse gases and make coal mines safer.
  • George Allen’s defeat means we won’t have to turn our clocks back two decades.
  • It will be harder to wage the War on Women with social conservatives trying to dictate unwanted oversight of their personal matters. Medieval advocates of “legal rape” can crawl back in their holes. It looks like Roe V. Wade is secure.
  • All in all a great night.

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15 responses to “President Barack Obama!”

  1. It’s not at all clear what is going to happen to the Republican Party as they simply refuse to deal with the realities that some of their “core” beliefs are at odds with much of America.

    But I do not think the Tea Party or the far right will go away.

    they may end up like Social and Conservative parties in Europe and split into two group – who will join forces on things they agree on and go their separate ways on things they don’t.

    what disturbs me most about the GOP is that they kicked out the RINOs and then abandoned their fiscal conservative roots under Bush and rather than take responsibility for the deficit created by them under Bush – they want to blame Obama and entitlements – even as they refuse to follow through with the sequester – that they demanded as a concession to extending the authorized debt.

    that’s just plain idiotic.

    It’s like George Allen ad saying that Kaine spent billions and cut education. Even a simpleton is going to say: “well if he did not spend those billions on education what DID he spend it on”.

    Ads like that presume the folks who vote GOP are so ignorant that obviously lying sound bite ads will convince them vote a particular way.

    I think the GOP has been hijacked by the Right Wing and the right wing has absolutely no desire to GOVERN.

    They are the opposite – they want to IMPOSE their beliefs rather than try to represent America’s diverse demographics.

    you cannot win like that.

    Think back to the GOP debates and where all the other contenders were – relative to where Romney was… they were all to the right of Romney – and Romney STILL lost because he failed to deal with the concerns of enough people even slightly to the left of the far right.

    The GOP is going to devolve as an effective political force – in many states – not all of them but states – like Virginia – if the don’t seek to represent more diverse demographics. It’s become a party of uneducated or outright racist angry white guys.

  2. DJRippert Avatar

    “They are the opposite – they want to IMPOSE their beliefs rather than try to represent America’s diverse demographics.”.

    Kind of like the Imperial Clown Show in Richmond – imposing their beliefs on a diverse state via Dillon’s Rule?

  3. DJ – in elected governance – it’s what those who vote think your intentions are how you represent the interests of those who elect you.

    We say that government is closes to the people is best.

    I would posit that elected State governance in Va is much closer to people than elected national leaders – i.e. Congress.

    The VA GA HD runs every two years and actually represent a fraction of voters than a Va Congressman does.

    I would say that those folks are in Richmond because the people they represent want them there.

    I DO AGREE that Va continues to have a ” “king rule” type mindset.

    1. DJRippert Avatar

      “I would posit that elected State governance in Va is much closer to people than elected national leaders – i.e. Congress.”.

      And local government is closer than state government, no?

  4. DJRippert Avatar

    Anyway – now that the silliness at the national level is over for a while … let’s get back to Virginia politics. In states with an off-year election there is often a backlash against the winning party at the national level. In 2009, McDonnell and Christie won after Obama routed McCain in 2008.

    What does this mean for Virginia in 2013?

    Should everybody get used to saying “Governor Cuccinelli”?

    Will Mark Warner run? If so, I assume there would be a special election for his senate seat (although I am not sure). If there is a special election I’d have to give Bob McDonnell the pole position. Will Warner buck the Democrats by abandoning what is a safe Senate seat?

    And, regarding Bob McDonnell … it’s clear that he’ll serve out his term rather than taking a position in the Romney Administration. So, no acting Governor Bolling. This further enhances Cuccinelli’s chances of getting the Republican nomination.

    Will McDonnell challenge Warner for the Senate seat in 2014? Mark Warner seems pretty popular. That might be a “bridge too far” for McDonnell.

    Lots of new questions based on last night’s election.

  5. DJRippert Avatar

    I’d also point out a number of important ballot referenda around the states.

    Colorado legalized marijuana. Not decriminalized, legalized. Should Virginia follow suit? I think a vote on that matter would be a lot closer than many think.

    After 32 losses in various states including Virginia, Maryland and Maine approved same sex marriage. Has the tide turned? Will same sex marriage be the law of the land (or, at least, most of the land) within 10 years? If so, when will Virginia make the change?

    Maryland approved vastly expanded gambling. By 2016 Northern Virginians will be streaming across the Wilson Bridge to gamble and pay taxes in Maryland. Meanwhile, in the last General Assembly session, Virginia continued to keep poker parties illegal. How much tax money is flowing over the border from Virginia to West Virginia or Virginia to Maryland? How would a casino in Cape Charles change the lives of people on Virginia’s Eastern Shore?

  6. honest question – would you still consider the election to be “silliness” if Romney had won? 🙂

    McDonnell is ambitious and not done and the most likely path for him is the Senate. I do not think he has enough substance to withstand a national focus .. his faux pax of the past will be dredged back up and he will not win any of the same constituencies that the “right” cannot win either.

    At the national level – Congress controls the purse strings – no small matter and gridlock will likely linger if the House cannot put together a budget that will pass the Senate and Obama.

    They might have had something to lose in an election to re-elect Obama but they have virtually no downside now to continuing the gridlock under a lame duck Prez.

    1. DJRippert Avatar

      Yes, in the context of a blog about Virginia, I consider all national elections to be silliness.

      The President and the Senate can now go back to battling the House forever about everything.

      Meanwhile, we have a governor’s race coming up in Virginia.

    2. re: has the tide turned?

      that’s an interesting question because it reveal something about DJ also.



      socially moderate, fiscally conservative?

      no..not quite… he likes taxes and spending also… depending
      on what it is for…


      1. DJRippert Avatar

        I am a social libertarian. I am glad that Colorado legalized pot. I am glad that Maryland expanded legal gambling. I am glad that Maine legalized gay marriage.

        As for taxes – I am happy to spend on infrastructure and education. I do not favor entitlement programs or direct wealth redistribution. The large, deep safety net of many European countries has been proven a failure.

        Of course, for government to spend on infrastructure, economic development and education – government needs to be competent. At the present time, most government entities are incompetent – either because of the poor quality of the organizations themselves or because of the excessive power of special interests. Endless (almost infinite) transparency would help a lot.

        LarryG – I do not fit into your binary, black and white world. I never have, I don’t and (God bless) I never will.

        Now, run along to your Progressive Party monthly lunch buffet. The chanting of the declaration of progressive faith is starting!

  7. re: how Obama won Virginia….

    ” Exit polls show Obama carried Virginia by increasing support from black voters from 18 to 20 pct.”

    true in my home precinct which still had Romney by 2/3 of the vote but that 1/3 turnout vote joined with other Blue Virginia turnout voting to push Obama ahead at the State level = Obama wins Va and coat-tails Kaine with him.

  8. DJRippert Avatar

    As for Obama’s “War on Coal” … The Dow Jones US Coal Index is down 9% today. Virginia – based Alpha Natural Resources is down over 12% today.

    Markets are far from foolproof. However, there seems to be an observable fear among investors that the re-election of Barack Obama is not good news for the US coal industry.

  9. Peter Galuszka Avatar
    Peter Galuszka

    Don the Ripper,
    Calm down! The market is down for any number of reasons — European economic weakness, worry about the fiscal cliff at yearend here, not sure what else. It was nothing to do with the coal industry — it is down like just about every other industry.

  10. It looks to me as if we are pretty much where we were before the election. Obama is in the White House. The Democrats control the Senate. The GOP controls the House. As a nation, we approved more of the same, including considerable gridlock.
    While I didn’t vote for Kaine, I’m sure glad he will be in the Senate instead of Webb. I will soon have two U.S. Senators.
    Webb did little more than warm a seat. He ranted against the War in Iraq, but only while Bush was in the White House. Nary a criticism from Webb against anything Obama did. And I did agree that Obama’s foreign policy was generally the same as Bush’s. So congrats to Kaine.

  11. re: the “war” on coal and “Romney lost, let’s move on”.

    Mr Romney, as a gov, was also opposed to Coal but you’d never know that from his political ads.

    the biggest threat to coal is not Obama or Romney – it’s natural gas.

    and where is Obama’s “war against natural gas”?

    The GOP clearly thinks most people are simpletons and configure their Ads that way. Only a simpleton or an ideologue would put any credence to the “war on coal” narrative.

    but this proves we are not “moving on”.

    Nope. We’re going to play the same games with the right continuing their attacks on the President – on a wide variety of issues from coal to the military to flying on Air Force One when there is a disaster anywhere in the US.

    The GOP has become a party of name-calling infantiles who promise to throw a fit and hold their breath if the country and the President fail to do what they want.

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