By The Rev. Madison Shockley
1. “He Got 99 Problems but Mitt Ain’t One”—Yes, President Obama has won another term and that reality is immediately apparent in the looming fiscal cliff, continued storms and Sandy recovery in the Northeast, a European economic crisis weighing down American GDP, sluggish job growth, a painful wind down of an unpopular war and 99 other problems—but Mitt ain’t one. The president put an Electoral College thumpin’ on Mitt Romney. It was known that the president had several paths to 270 electoral votes but it seems that he decided to take them all! From Florida to Virginia to Pennsylvania to Ohio to Colorado to Nevada to Iowa, he blocked Romney with surgical precision. Yes, it was close, so very close in each of those states but, as they say, close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades. Similarly, he won the popular vote by 3 million out of 120 million, but he won. It was a political beat down that left Romney stuffed in the junior high school locker with no way out. In fact, I think I can still hear his muffled voice asking for someone to let him out. I’m afraid he’ll be waiting a long time.
2. “Can’t Buy Me Love”—Total spending on behalf of Mitt Romney was $1.2 billion, the first time an incumbent has been outspent. Karl Rove and Crossroads America spent $100 million. But in the end, it didn’t matter. They lost. Money can’t buy love and Romney was never really loved by his party, his constituency or his nation.
3. “My Achy Akin Heart”—Oh, Todd Akin broke the hearts of many Republicans who had been lickin’ their lips at the prospect of unseating Sen. Claire McCaskill in Missouri. But after his inane remarks about rape and women’s reproductive systems, Akin received the defeat that his stupidity had earned him. He suggested that in a “legitimate rape” a woman’s body would “shut that whole thing down” and prevent the pregnancy. Well, McCaskill shut his whole thing down and prevented the idiocy that was Akin.
4. “The Mourdock Mash”—I’m reaching way back for this one but that’s because Indiana GOP Senate candidate Richard Mourdock’s views on rape and women are straight out of the 1950s. Some of you remember the hit Halloween song and lyric, “He did the mash, he did the monster mash.” Well, Democrat Joe Donnelly did the Mourdock mash. Mourdock’s electoral chances spontaneously combusted within hours of his statement that a pregnancy resulting from rape was “a gift from God.”
5. “It’s Raining (Wo)Men! Hallelujah!”—Yes, the one-hit wonder Weather Girls sang about men, but the 2012 election was all about women. Or, as Ann Romney so excitedly put it at the GOP convention, “I love you, women!” In a bipartisan effort, 20 women have taken seats in the world’s most exclusive club, the U.S. Senate. Among the ranks of new arrivals will be Wisconsin Rep. Tammy Baldwin, who will be the first openly gay member of the Senate. The most ironic victory has to be feminist Elizabeth Warren’s trouncing of former Cosmopolitan magazine centerfold Scott Brown. Brown tried to win the uneducated vote by constantly referring to his opponent derisively as professor Warren. He thought he dealt her a body blow when he shot back after one of her answers with a tart, “We’re not in your classroom, professor.” Well, maybe he should have spent more time in somebody’s classroom before taking on a woman who will be one of the smartest people in the room the day she takes the oath of office.
6. “Going to the Chapel”—and they’re going to get married! In Maryland, Maine and Washington state, marriage equality has prevailed. In Minnesota the electorate refused to ban marriage equality in the state constitution. This is the first time that marriage equality has been approved by popular vote rather than state legislatures or the courts. The tilt of the nation toward marriage equality suddenly seems inevitable. These victories will set the tone for the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn California’s Proposition 8, which banned same-sex marriage. This decision would effectively make marriage equality a national reality and end the state-by-state strategy that has been the only option to date.
7. (Does That Make Me) “Crazy”? was Cee Lo Green’s musical question. Well, in the case of tea party stars Allen West, Joe Walsh and Mia Love the resounding answer is “Yes!” So crazy were these tea partyers that they were turned out of office after embarrassingly brief congressional careers of two, two and none!
8. “We Are the World”—Latinos, blacks, Asians and youth are the ascendant coalition that propelled Obama and Democrats to victory from coast to coast. These groups supported the president in the range of 60 percent of youth to 93 percent of blacks. If the Republicans ever hope to win another national election, they desperately need to diversify their demographic profile.
9. “Power to the People”—Mitt Romney offended at least 47 percent of the nation (they actually do have family and friends in the 53 percent) by suggesting that they took no “personal responsibility and care for their lives.” He discarded their votes while courting the contributions of the 1 percent at a fundraiser in Boca Raton, Fla. Sixty-three percent of those with incomes less than $30,000 voted in favor of Obama. I guess they finally decided to take care for their lives.
10. (I Get High With) “A Little Help from My Friends” in Colorado, Massachusetts and maybe Montana. This is certainly the biggest “hit” of the 2012 election. Recreational and medical marijuana is now available in more and more states. Everyone seems surprised that the youth vote was actually larger this time than in 2008. Apparently pot doesn’t make you lethargic after all.
White House/Pete Souza