Obama Wins a Second Term

I’m not gonna lie. I am vastly relieved.

I will have more to say later, but for now, here’s a thread for your comments. Please be good to each other in it.

184 thoughts on “Obama Wins a Second Term

  1. I’m relieved too. I’d be *more* relieved when the Republican party starts embracing sanity, rationality, and a realistic set of goals. But for right now, “Not crashing into the nearest mountain” will do for four more years.

  2. I dislike both Obama and Romney. I ended up voting for Gary Johnson, and was quite amused to see that Johnson has cost Romney Florida (you won’t see this on the national news, since they pretend Johnson doesn’t exist) and quite possibly the election. He pulled between 1% and 2% in all the states that I’ve looked at.

  3. Thank you, Ohio, for inspiring the truly entertaining episode of Karl Rove demanding that Fox News statisticians recant their projection! Marvelous reality TV.

  4. Congratulations to all the Obama supporters of Whatever. Romney’s job was to present a compelling case to the American people that Obama did not deserve four more years. Mr. Romney did not make enough of a case to enough people. The loss is his to bear.

    So now we embark upon four more years of Obamanomics. I wish I could say this didn’t depress and frustrate and sadden me all at once, but it does. We are officially a nation that doesn’t care about sound fiscal policy. Not the Republicans under Bush, and certainly not the Democrats under Obama. There will be no entitlement reform. There will be no spending reform. We will tax ourselves into poverty while simultaneously spending ourselves into poverty on the other end.

    I am sure Genufett can produce plenty of reasonable link-filled arguments as to why this is not a correct picture of the situation. That Obamanomics is, in fact, rainbow-colored. With sprinkles.

    All I can say is I hope that Genufett is right, that Obamanomics actually works, that the country returns to thriving, and that middle-class folk like me have an easier life in 4 years, compared to now. Because right now, the middle class is hurting.

    I am a Romney fan, sure. But I am an America fan more than I am a fan of any singular politican. It’s why I joined the military. To be an America fan in more ways than just jabbering on a blog.

    I think Obama is the wrong choice, at a decidedly wrong time. I think Obama fans are seriously deluded. But I hope I am wrong. I really, really do.

    Meanwhile, pop the champagne and drink up, You have a party to throw. I will be over with the fiscal conservatives contemplating 20+ trillion debts and the devaluation of the dollar.

  5. Plus the same or more Dems in Senate, at least two marriage equality and pot legalization affirmations, and the distinct possibility that the two most shockingly bigoted and crazypants Congresscritters (Michelle Bachman and Allen West) might not have their jobs in January.

  6. Now that I can stop worrying about the presidential election, I can start being excited about the other votes today. Gay rights! And Puerto Rico! People, I am so excited about Puerto Rico’s vote, and sort of shocked that I hadn’t even heard about it being up for a vote today. I’ve long hoped that some of those US territories would get to either run off to independence or join in as real states during my lifetime.

  7. BillK:

    On Virginia’s election site, they’ve got Johnson pulling in .83% of the vote (29,510). But, the margin between Romney and Obama is ~1.77%. And, Florida’s election site has Johnson pulling .53% of the vote. Although, if all those votes for him in FL (42,711) went to Romney instead, it wouldn’t quite close the gap as currently reported. But, it’s damn close.

  8. I have been following Nate Silver’s analyses recently, so I wasn’t surprised by the outcome–but I am relieved that Romney-Ryan will not get a chance to do more damage to the economy (and various social programs). I’m an independent (similar to Sen. Bernie Sanders of VT), and I believe that America probably needs a third party to begin to function well again. With some exceptions, Repubs and Dems do not represent most Americans because they need so much funding from the financial and corporate sectors.

    Elizabeth Warren in the Senate should help a little bit though, so I’m happy about that.

  9. I don’t think anyone won tonight . . . the country is still split into to camps that have been made to hate each other. It will be even more so as the winners make the kind of comments I see above (and likely see below).

    I wish Obama luck, but I don’t think he has it in him to unite. Not that Romney had it in him. Basically we were screwed regardless, with only details to be worked out.

    But, glad that at least half the country has, apparently, a great weight of worry lifted from their shoulders. We’ll see if it was justified.

  10. As I look at the popular vote, I see a 49%/49% split. Yes, Obama won and that means things. But for everyone who is busy trashing the Republicans and cheering that they’ve been put down – there’s as many of them as there are of you.

    If we can’t find a way to work together, we’re dead. Period. I really hope Obama, while enjoying is victory, is looking at those numbers and saying “I’ve got to somehow reach everyone, those who voted for me and those who didn’t.”

  11. @David: Actually, from my point of view as a fairly anti-Republican voter, Romney seems to have given a rather decent one.

  12. Obama pulled off an impressive piece of healing by bringing his main competitor, Hillary Clinton, into his administration. Might he do the same with Romney?

  13. I feel safer now. The Republican agenda is scary as heck, the damage it’s already caused heart rending.

  14. It was a long, hard fought race. I’m just waiting for President Obama to blame Bush for the malaise of the economy throughout his eight years in office in his official memoirs. Because like Brad Torgersen said, you can’t pull the economy out of a tailspin when the federal government is racking up budget deficits that are record breaking while imposing more regulations and rules on businesses. I wish Obama luck, but i think the next 4 years are going to be mighty interesting ones.

  15. Brad –

    I voted Obama, for many reasons, but like our host I’m not blindly partisan. Your general argument about “Obamamonics” could actually have carried some weight with voters such as myself, if only there was any indication, any indication at all, that the hypothetical “Romneynomics” actually was a real thing, and not an illusion of a promise of a something.

    If simply being a successful businessman is enough to earn Mitt his wings as an economic savior, then there’s a certain former owner of a Texas baseball team that I’d like to introduce you to.

  16. “I really hope Obama, while enjoying is victory, is looking at those numbers and saying “I’ve got to somehow reach everyone, those who voted for me and those who didn’t.””

    Shouldn’t that be “I really hope the winners, while enjoying victory, are looking at those numbers and saying ‘I’ve got to somehow reach everyone.’”? I mean, based on those numbers and that sentiment.

  17. Romney was a gentleman with his exit speech. My hat is off to the man. I am sure he and Ann are disappointed, but also relieved. The bloodsport of the campaign season never suited them.

  18. Elizabeth Warren won her senate seat which makes me positively giddy – she is as close to the platonic ideal of a politician as I think I’ll ever see. Obama won the presidency which makes me relieved but still horrified that he is the best the country can do and that half the population is morally stunted and/or gullible enough to vote for republicans.

  19. Relieved isn’t the right word for me, since I was never seriously worried that Romney might win. What I AM relived about is that my state (Washington) is poised to go Democratic across the board in all statewide offices, including governor. Plus we’re legalizing both pot and (likely) marriage equality. My only disappointment is that the charter schools initiative is passing, too.

    Add in losses by the Akin/Mourdock crowd and it’s been a pretty good evening at my house.

    (On the other hand, tomorrow night’s Republican-heavy parent meeting for my students’ field trip to the Inauguration just got really awkward.)

  20. Is this the election that finally kills anti-gay marriage as an issue? That would be a pretty big watershed if it has, when finally batcrap, religious-crazy, hatred, is no longer is a guaranteed ticket to success and people just accept that some folks are gay, bi, trans, etc. It kinda looks like it is, this where a new social consensus appears to have emerged. At last. Is America ready to be pro-equality again?

  21. I’m similarly relieved, especially since I haven’t listened to any poltical news, read any polls, even read a newspaper (remember them?), or listened to NPR since the first debate (which I didn’t watch, Al Gore put me off on debates, forever). Not quite ready to forgive the President for not putting his foot on Romney’s throat in that debate and sparing the nation the last month…..

  22. Brad – I will not vote Republican as long as people like you refuse to concede that those of us who support Obama are worthy of respect. I’m done with tolerating the Coulter and Malkin claims that I’m unpatriotic and a traitor and your contention that we’re “seriously deluded” is arrogant and offensive. When your side is willing to talk to us with the understanding that we, too, love the country and want it to be as good a place as it can be, then your side will have my respect. As it is, comments like yours simple make me disregard the rest of what you say and that’s too bad… we NEED multiple viewpoints to be debated and discussed so we can come up with better solutions. But that starts with respect and your side has been refusing that to the rest of us for quite some time now.

  23. To understand a little about our real economic situation (and reject the kind of austerity policies that have driven up unemployment in Europe), Paul Krugman’s END THIS DEPRESSION NOW! is worth a serious look.

  24. I’m relieved that the results came in so early, and that Mr Obama has been re-elected.

    Romney’s speech was fine; now, I am waiting for Obama’s.

    Pleased with most of my local and state candidates and issues, as well. All in all, this looks to be a good election for me and mine. Maybe soon I can get married in my state. Next, the nation! Then, the WORLD, mwahahahaaaa! Ahem.

  25. Other Bill, yes, it does apply to all elective positions. But the President has a unique position to either bring people together or set a tone of “the other guys will sit down and shut up because we won”. He is the one who represents the nation. And Obama’s way with words and ability to reach people in their hearts can make a huge difference.

    Bill Clinton was good at it. He didn’t do it until he had to, when his party controlled Congress he had little interest in bipartisanship. But when he had to make deals, he could do it, and pull the country together.

  26. Like some other posters, I’m mostly relieved to not have to hear any more political ads. The ballot measures, though, that’s where this election really shines. Legalizing marijuana AND gay marriage. Bravo.

  27. @ David Karger:

    I really, *really* can’t picture Romney agreeing to work for Obama. I also can’t see Romney doing a regular rotation through the Sunday talking-head shows like McCain.

  28. It’s been interesting watching this from outside the bubble. I think the saner of the two has won, but I’m not sure how much better off the US will be. Neither party has a truly effective economic plan, and none of them would dare utter the words needed to formulate one given where their campaign funding comes from. On social policy Obama wins hands down, while Romney and the republican party in general seem to be getting scarier by the day.

    I do feel a little sorry for my poor brother who gets all of his political views from Michael Z Williamson. He’s going to be pretty unhappy about this.

  29. rickg17: administrative note, I am not a Republican. I voted Perot, Clinton, Gore, Bush, (write-in) and Romney. I have no clue who I’ll vote for now. I liked Romney for Romney, not for his party per se.

  30. I wish to congratulate my President on his reelection. and I wish to thank Gov. Romney for a humble and respectful concession.

  31. Donald Brown: I agree with the sentiment and the ability of the Presidency to reach out in that way. I just don’t think the last four years, tracking from Obama’s initial acceptance speech through to last week indicate that the stickler here is the President.

    Or, shorter, I expect Mitch McConnell to double down tonight on his promise that the next four years will, this time, be successfully about denying Obama a third term.

  32. I live in Massachusetts; I voted for both Obama and Warren. However, I definitely wish that I could have voted for Brown. I’m a huge fan of Warren’s work on the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, but sometimes I worry she’s a bit too liberal financially.

    If Brown were a conservative Democrat rather than a moderate Republican, I would have had a much tougher choice. However, he is a Republican, and he hasn’t deviated from his party’s Washington platform enough for my tastes. Brown used a poignant slogan in the last week or so of the campaign – “vote for the person, not the party”. I wish I could.

    I also remember some of Governor Romney’s work as governor here. He wasn’t perfect, but he did some good work. He gave a very poignant concession speech…and he seemed human. If that Romney had been in evidence throughout the campaign – and if he didn’t swing so far right to win the primaries – I think he would have won. And, in that case, I would have felt ambivalent about it.

  33. I’m glad the President was reelected. Now I hope we can actually get some more things fixed before the next round of crazy partisanship–from both sides–rears its ugly head.

  34. Someone needs to calm Trump down and put him to bed. He says the election was a sham and he’s calling for revolution.

  35. I am afraid. President Obama’s healthcare reforms have resulted in my healthcare costs more than quintupling. I am middle class, work 60 hr per week in two different hospitals doing xray/CAT scan/ultrasound. I have very little time to devote to studying up on politicians.. I’m too busy trying to provide for my family. I have an autistic seventeen year old son. I am the guy Obama is supposedly trying to protect from increasing healthcare costs. Before Obamacare I paid 400 per month with a 200 per person deductible and 80/20 thereafter. After Obamacare I pay 500 per month with a 1200 per person deductible, 80/20 or 90/10 thereafter depending on what service is needed. My family is hurting. We are barely able to make ends meet. Mind you, we have NO revolving debt. No credit card payments, and no car payments. I didn’t need the government’s help with my healthcare before Obamacare. I think I need the help now though. If my healthcare quintuples again, I am going to have to lose my home to pay for it. Something tells me this wasn’t Obama’s intention with all his reforms. Will some liberal type please reassure me here? I had no axe to grind with Obama before, but I feel like he needs to understand who is getting crushed by his good intentions.

  36. Mavwreck, most of the good things that happened in MA while Romney was gov happened because the legislature could usually override his veto. We were a political stepping stone for Romney.

  37. Congratulations America you voted for four more years of deficit and got four years closer to financial collapse. FYI your pockets do not and will not run as deep as you think. You owe it to other Western Societies to get your fiscal house in order the consequence otherwise does not bode well for anybody. Empires come and go and it seems that sadly America may be closer to the latter. Hopefully Obama can pull his head out of the sand.

  38. Other Bill: It’s been swinging back and forth through the night. If you’ll spot a few of Obama’s votes that Ron Paul broke for, it’s pretty clear that Romney lost the election by alienating the libertarian wing of the Republican part. Romney+Johnson (and spotting a very few votes from Obama) wins Ohio, Virginia, and Florida, and the election.

    I really hope this serves as a wake up call to the GOP.

  39. BillK: No question, the Republican failure here was in tent building. I think the Latino vote was probably more numerically significant than disaffected Libertarians. (Even if the Libertarian vote was more accessible given the current GOP platforms.) I would love for the GOP to take away from tonight that they need to focus on expanding both their base and their tent.

  40. I’m ecstatic.

    For years, the rhetoric from those who are opposed to gay marriage has been that gay marriage is foisted on voters against their will, by legislators and judges, and the voters had never chosen to accept it when asked directly.

    That argument died tonight.

    The voters of THREE STATES approved gay marriage laws at the ballot box. (MD and ME are done deals; WA is very likely but not certain).

    For gay rights — this changes *everything*.

  41. From England: pleased. And, judging from the result, it looks as though this was one election where every vote really did count (or more than usual did so, anyway). Well done, the electorate.

  42. It will be pretty difficult for the GOP to build bridges to the Latino community without alienating a significant portion of the current base. The two can’t don’t really coexist very well.

  43. My favorite part of this election is watching the odious Mourdock and other “rape-pregnancies are awesome!” candidates go down in flames. Perhaps we can move that particular debate to more middle ground?

  44. I’m very glad the President was re-elected. I’m happy for many of the other people who have gained Senate seats (first gay senator, first asian-american woman senator, whoop!) and the ballot measures that have passed, particularly the pro-gay ones. As for Romney himself, that was a very classy concession speech and I think– I’d even hope– that his voice, among many others, will be heard in the months and years to come when it comes to deciding economic and fiscal policies for the US.

    My feelings were that Republican or Democrat president, our nation is in for slow growth and ups an downs on the economic front for the next four years, and so it is the Democrats’ and Obama’s platforms on social issues that made me vote the way I did. I didn’t like how some Republicans I spoke to treated Romney’s potential presidency like a cure-all silver bullet to our economic woes; frankly, that’s just as silly and unlikely as thinking that Obama when he took the office four years back would fix all the racism in our country. But I guess that’s a moot point now.

    I hope the extreme right-wing of our nation take notice of these polling results and learn moderation and acceptance for those who do not share the same sexuality, religion, privileges, and cultures as them. I hope that people on both sides are willing to work together in constructive discussion to move forward from where we are now, and that we can take the best aspects of both partys’ fiscal perspectives and work them into our country. And maybe unicorns will go skippedy-doo-dah over the ring of Jupiter, but hey, I can hope!

  45. Bearpaw, I was mostly referring to Romneycare. I don’t think the governor has that much real power in Massachusetts anyway – the real political muscle is in the state legislature.

    Perhaps I should rephrase – if the Romney that had ran for the Massachusetts governorship was the one running for the presidency, he may well have won.

  46. Very true rochrist. I don’t think the Republican party has a path to victory over the next 12 years. Either they push the far-right crazies out of the tent to broaden their appeal by focusing on fiscal issues rather than social issues in which case the Tea Party is going to be a real third party rather than an insurgent faction, or they keep focusing on social issues and wither as demographic shifts push them into irrelevancy as they (literally) die out much faster than they recruit new members.

  47. @aphrael – I agree, and then some. Not only do states affirming gay marriage kill that argument, but it indicates to me more than anything that the shifting tide is finally, finally, finally shifting enough to permanently matter.

    Huzzah. Huzzah. Huzzah.

  48. I watched South Park’s “About Last Night” on Monday. In some ways I am happier today than I was in 2008 because instead of being completely giddy on the idea of Obama, maybe many of us will now soberly reflect on what we can realistically expect and how we will have to work to support any changes over the next four years, rather than thinking there will be a magical Obamularity to do it for us.

  49. Since Boehner has already said that he’s prepared to drive the economy into recession rather than raise taxes slightly on the top 0.5%, we’re in for a heck of a four year period.

    The Republicans are just insane, which is a good thing, as if they hadn’t put up a bunch of loony-tunes candidates, they would have taken the Senate (again, they did the same thing in 2010 and couldn’t even beat the useless Harry Reid).

    So four more years of Republican obstructionism is a given, tragically.

    Nice to see Obama win so the destruction of the US middle class is at least slowed for a bit, and we don’t have to emigrate to Australia.

  50. The down-ballot races and initiatives matter too. Personally, I’m pleased about some of my local propositions regarding funding road construction/maintenance and, of all things one could imagine in the city that is the U.S.’s oil center, bike paths and green space.

  51. I’m thrilled. Romney terrified me as a woman and a lesbian, so I’m glad Obama won for more than one reason. And tonight could hardly be better for me, although we’re waiting for the Washington results, and the lead on R74 is narrow enough that we can’t call it. I’m still pretty hopeful. And Maine is my home state, so that was like a gift. A gift we’ve worked so, so hard for. When Maryland came in, I posted “Maryland too? While we’re at it, can I have a million dollars and a pony? ;)” on Facebook. That about sums it up.

    My long-distance partner and one of my favorite ex-girlfriends were both here beside me when the results came in. We’re WINNING, and sharing it with them was perfect. My ex-husband sent me a celebratory text message, too. :)

    I know there are plenty of other important things going on right now, but for me so much of this has come down to whether or not I’m ever going to be a full citizen of this country. And it’s starting to look like yes. I’m so, so happy. As a teenager, I was assaulted and abused and no one was on my side. We have come so far. There’s work still to do but we’ve come so far!

  52. Romney would have had a better chance with me if he would have had the guts to be more centrist rather than catering to the right wing of his party. As a woman I couldn’t vote for him in good conscience.

    I also don’t think he proved his economic policies would be good for the country. I believe more regulation is necessary, smart regulation, to avoid another catastrophe like 2008. If a company or a sector is big enough to tank our economy it needs oversight to make sure that the country doesn’t go down with it.

    Our deficits are a result of many, many years of overspending and tax cuts. While I don’t relish the thought of paying more taxes, I’m willing to pay more taxes to bring it down. I’d personally rather pay more tax than cut programs like education, scientific research, and help for the poor. We’re paying fewer federal taxes than we have historically and people are still complaining about the tax rate. If taxes are to be reduced I’d rather see them reduced on necessities like food, shelter, and basic healthcare.

    Overall I’d say that Romney could have been a good candidate and could have earned my vote. It probably doesn’t matter because I live in a red state anyway. I’m more happy that one of my state representatives won than the Presidential election.

  53. Tom Zimmer: Do you qualify for any kind of support? The thing about social welfare is that the price for certain services might go up (in this case I don’t see how, unless health care providers and insurance companies use this as an excuse to increase their profits, but I’m not an expert on American health care finance) but the welfare is supposed to make up the difference for everyone below some threshold, as long as you’re not to proud to ask for it.

  54. What I would love to see is Obama troll the GOP for the next 4 years.
    All the crazy stuff that they have been panicking about. It would cause at least a few heads to explode.

  55. At least three people here are projecting fiscal doom in the next four years of “Obamanomics.” I ask them, would tax cuts for the rich have been a better way to avoid the impending depression four years ago?
    Or perhaps fiscal austerity programs along the lines of Ireland, Greece and Spain would better help us to avoid the economic sinkhole. I mean, it has worked for them so well.
    I hope you see the irony here; if not, I can point it out to you.
    Regardless, as frag says, the vague hints of promises of plans sure didn’t give us a *tangible* alternative.

  56. These last few weeks my main source of inner peace has been Nate Silver.

    I enjoy the rantings and ravings (and smug reasoning) of the MSNBC talking heads, but I don’t really trust them. I know they are selling something, just as their counterparts on Fox News are.

    “It’s going to be close.” “Anything can happen.” “Don’t touch that dial.”

    But Nate Silver’s numbers just seemed dispassionately reassuring. Looking at his track record helped me to trust those numbers. So I went in to the night with an expectation of what was going to happen, and it happened just the way the numbers predicted.

    How does he do it? Part of me likes to think he dons special gloves and tosses windows around a huge transparent display that is connected to a trio of mutants (“Five”, “Three”, and “Eight”) in a tank of goo.

  57. Tom Zimmer: I usually don’t comment because I’m not a US citizen and live in Europe. Therefore I don’t have direct knowledge of the USA. My sympathy goes to you, over here things aren’t any easier at all. I hope you and your family can pull through.
    Isn’t it so that Obamacare has been edited to something very different from the original proposal, and that Congress is the main culprit for that?

  58. Tom Zimmer:If you haven’t done this yet, you should go to insurekidsnow.gov, a site set up by the Department of Health and Human Services to aid parents in finding health resources for their kids. They also have dedicated phone lines by state so you wouldn’t need to rely on finding the best options on a website. They can probably direct you to the resources you need to see how you can navigate the Affordable Care Act for your specific needs.

  59. As a Brit worried only about wider cultural changes and foreign policy, I’m glad. This is one of the elections which has the most sway over the direction the west as a whole takes, and as a woman I’m happy that it has gone the way it has.

  60. Maybe the Republicans can get rid of their lunatic fringe which ate their party now. I fear they’re going to think WE DIDN’T GO RIGHT-WING ENOUGH!!! and double down on the crazy next time.

    It’s nice to see that “vote for me because of x,y, and z” can still beat out “vote for me and I’ll magically make it all better — details later!”

    I’m giddy over Elizabeth Warren, the defeat of the rape apologists, the fact that pre-existing conditions will be covered, and women can still control their own fertility. Oh, and congrats to all the gay couples in winning states; I will virtually dance at all your weddings. Mwah.

    Also, does Nate Silver have any ideas what I should eat tomorrow? Because I’d listen.

  61. @mike75, I’ll check that out.. I didnt know it existed! Thank you. :)
    @Joje, I make too much for social welfare, I am looking into getting disability for my son. I was fighting that as much as possible because I dont want him to feel as if he’s unable to work. His form of autism is called asperger’s syndrome and many people who have it are able to hold down a job and become productive. Honestly though, I am going to be looking at all options as of now. Thank you for your words of encouragement/feedback.
    @Louis Krijnen, I am just not all that politically active. I’ve been working a ton for the last 6 years or so. I wish I knew more about the political situation. I’m at work 60-70 hours a week and need to make more time to research what is and isn’t true. I’m a little jaded about american politics. I am mistrustful of politicians’ motives. I feel like they lie constantly. The more the middle class shrinks, the less important we become because there are less of us to vote.

  62. @mike75, Checked out that website. Sadly, I am in the middle.. make too much for public health care and too little to pay out of pocket. Thank you for the tip though, I appreciate it.

  63. I spent the last 4 years avoiding the news because of Mrs. Obama’s grating presence, hypocrisy, and significant lack of style. It’s difficult to go read stories where people are saying, “She’s so stylish and slim and fit,” when it’s clear that she’s got a large, ill-proportioned body. She stands next to Rihanna and Beyonce spreading legs onstage in panties as ridiculous people who lack intelligence. Why? How can you scarf down 1000 plus calories of breaded foods in public while barking on about “healthy body image.” Why eat fast food when you can afford the time and energy to have a home-cooked meal? Lack of sophistication, and being raised on double macs and Ken-tacky. How can Mrs. Obama believe she’s nice to look at? Look at those eyebrows! It’s embarrassing that a public figure like herself can’t look in the mirror before choosing extra small ill-fitting cardigans which clearly emphasise the largesse of her lower body, and the curvature of the leg bones. Thanks you all for motivating me to not watch television or read the news. How can these people be my role models?

  64. I am happy that Obama has won! Good job America! Now go hug a kitty, they are warm and fuzzy and cute. =^_^=

  65. I’ll admit that my focus was very narrow-minded for this election: who was the least damaging for women’s health? Anti-choice candidates will never get my vote. For that, and several other reasons, I am grateful that Obama will get a second term. Things are pretty tense here in the house, because my husband and I don’t see eye to eye on this issue…

  66. Obama turned the economy around in 2010. I’m relieved that the economy is not going back to the policies of 2001-2009. Anybody with an investment portfolio can see how things were under Clinton, Bush, and Obama. And Romney’s planned nuclear war against Iran wasn’t going to end well.

  67. I’ll cheerfully admit that as a federal employee I do not consider Paul Ryan my friend and I’m happy that he will not be running the executive branch, and he’d effectively be doing so had Romney won; I’ll worry about 2016 when that comes around.

    Bringing up the question of whether Romney should have won, well, not coming clean on his taxes and business activities was a problem going back to the primaries, not annunciating a convincing national security policy didn’t help, and neither did tacitly signing off on the “rape is God’s will” plank in the GOP platform. About all Romney’s appeal boiled down to is that people should trust him because he was a mature, white man and that wasn’t enough.

  68. Well, I’m in Germany, so I couldn’t vote, but Obama will be definitivly better for me and my country. And maybe even foreign politics in General. Bush turned the USA from a respected power to a laughingstock and bully. Obama repaired the reputation a little bit, mainly by accepting that allys are allys and not dogs to command to do as one pleases. Such a simple thing, such a huge difference; and Romney wanted to go back to Bush foreign politics. Um, yeah…

    In his politics Obama’s still right of Merkel, which is a bit troublesome. I wish the USA had a proper left, but you know, if wishes were ponies…

    Socially – If the USA goes right, the frindge here tends to come out of under the bed, so I am glad that’s stymied for now. Maybe they scurry back into the darkness now. Maybe.

  69. While I don’t believe for a minute that Romney only had a victory speech prepared, I agree that his speech was dignified and courteous, as such things should be.

    For me, on top of all the “same-sex marriage wins” and “hey, 51st state?” and people throwing panties/jockstraps onto the stage between Nate Silver’s sets, the best thing was that voter-suppression efforts not only failed, but backfired horribly. The African-American community kicked ass in GOTV and getting people to the polls in no small part because of things like cutting back early voting (cutting down from two Sundays to one for voting), threatening billboards in poor and minority neighborhoods, and of course the Ohio Secretary of State bending and twisting election rules to fit the Romney campaign’s needs while complaining that court orders forcing him to behave violated states’ rights.

    Hopefully newer, saner voices in the GOP will ground Karl Rove and get back to winning votes, instead of trying to prevent Certain People from voting in the first place.

    @Brad: I do not think “fiscal conservatives” means what you think it means.

  70. It looks like Obama won enough other states that Ohio and Florida didn’t matter in the overall results.

  71. I fear they’re going to think WE DIDN’T GO RIGHT-WING ENOUGH!!! and double down on the crazy next time.

    In case you didn’t notice, Romney was pretty moderate…. he’s a northeastern Republican from MA…, who introduced an Obamacare style system, who worked with democrats…. who the Obama campaign criticized for having no core beliefs! When you run against a moderate, that’s standard playbook attack. “Look at that guy, no principles.” it’s a boilerplate anti-moderate campaign.
    He’s the very definition of a centrist and pragmatist. All that b.s. about a war on women was just a last minute scare campaign because the race was narrowing.

    With Romney and McCain, that’s two in a row the GOP lost with moderates. This has taught them the opposite lesson than you think it taught them.

  72. @David Karger: Romney has been running for President since 2007, and dreaming of it for a lot longer than that. He would need truly superhuman fortitude to immediately pick himself up and go to work for the guy who narrowly defeated him. (And I’m sure Obama knew this, it was a nice conciliatory gesture which would cost him nothing.)

    But give Romney a year or two to lick his wounds, and I wouldn’t rule it out. He might even achieve something useful, in some sort of uncontroversial troubleshooter role like the one he took on for the Olympics. Just so long as Obama doesn’t make him Treasury Secretary or something, that really would be putting the fox in charge of the henhouse.

  73. I am also immensely relieved. I don’t think either party has a great plan for fixing the economy, but the notion that voter suppression and civil and reproductive rights are trivial side issues just… I… how… it makes my head all ‘splodey. A sober, thoughtful conservative who signs on to the notion that only people of the LDS (that would be Lowest Difficulty Setting) are entitled to full political participation and bodily autonomy? Wouldn’t there be some cognitive dissonance there?

  74. Adam, Romney spent the past seven years running as a far-right conservative, and then a month before the election magically transformed himself into a moderate? I’m sorry, I don’t buy it. You have to dance with who brung you.

  75. The rest of the world was a bit worried here and there, but you came through when it counted.

    LOL You’re speaking for the “rest of the world?” That’s a little presumptuous, don’t you think?

    What’s incredible is that Benghazi and “Fast and Furious”, both of which are scandals of Watergate proportions, didn’t get enough media traction to substantially influence the race. On the other hand, Romney, who wanted to play nice, didn’t make enough of either of them, and got scared off by Crowley’s fact-free interjection in the second debate. If that’s all it took for him to retreat, then maybe he deserved to go down.

    And somehow people think that borrowing a trillion dollars a year from China is a fantastic way to make America rich. Oh well. They say you get the government you deserve….

  76. I saw a comment on the gay marriage win that I thought was funny:
    “If you can’t win in a place called ‘Mary-Land’ then where can you win?”

    For the record, I’m ecstatic about both the Obama win and the gay marriage win, and of course for the first openly gay Senator.

  77. From where I sit, the biggest reasons people gave for supporting Romney grew out of a belief that his (or Ryan’s) economic plan would provide more growth for the country. Unfortunately, the math never quite added up and the economic plan devolved to “lower taxes on the people who aren’t really paying taxes anyway,” combined with a heaping helping of “Father knows best.” That’s not a good combination.

    I personally believe that his administration would have done more to shift spending than reduce it, and average people would have been the biggest losers.

    Romney was not a good economic choice.

  78. Well, I fell asleep around 630 cdt, and woke up at about 11 to the news of Obama getting 290 electoral votes. Glad I missed all the tension in between those hours. I was hungry, so I made some dinner and listened while Obama garnered up to 303 electoral votes and then hear Romney give his gracious acceptance speech (surprised at that). I’m glad it was he that had to!

    I didn’t wait up for Obama’s acceptance speech, as I knew it would be a while.

    Dinner tasted very well last night.

  79. @BRT –

    I am sure Genufett can produce plenty of reasonable link-filled arguments as to why this is not a correct picture of the situation.

    Gosh, it’s almost like there’s a reason for that, innit?

  80. My only wish for the next four years is that those governing us have the integrity to stand behind the statements of their leaders, reach across the aisle, and try to actually serve the American people rather than simply serving the perpetuation of their respective parties. I want to have hope after hearing the most gracious concession and victory speeches since Reagan and Carter that the olive branches these two gentlemen appear to be extending are not just lip service. I want to believe that both the Democrats and Republicans realize that a country so deeply divided not only requires healing but is making a profound statement that both parties need to change their platforms and their messages in order to truly serve this country. To everyone who participated yesterday, no matter what your political leanings, congratulations on being part of what is still, despite its flaws, the greatest system of government ever created.

  81. Tom Zimmer nailed it on the head for me. I’m not super political either way. However, in the last four years, my health care cost has more than doubled (I will be losing it completely in the next couple of months due to being unable to pay it) and because of how much I make, I DO NOT qualify for any of the concessions that Obama has put in that other people love so dearly. Likewise, the taxes I pay have only gone up in the last four years, and as I am a single, childless person making more than 13k a year, I qualify for NOTHING when it comes to breaks. Frankly, I’m sick of being told how ‘for the poor’ and for the ‘minority’ and ‘middle class’ Obama is. Find me a list of men and women who are living singly and have no children (whom they are, or are not in contact with) and I will show you the genuine minority. And unless we are living in our car and utterly jobless, we qualify for none of the Obama-made breaks that everyone else is so excited about. Now, I’m not a huge Romney fan either, and I’m not saying he’s perfect. But when you create a situation in which the general populace has no choice but to join yours system instead of paying their own way, that’s communism. And if Obama keeps giving breaks to people without figuring out where the money to pay for those breaks is going to come from, (namely, people like me, who aren’t rich, but aren’t poor either, who pay their own insurance and keep getting letters saying due to the rise in health care costs, our rate is increasing again,, and whose taxes are continuously rising, without any qualifications for tax breaks) I will be without health insurance and eventually broke and then I will become part of his system against my will.

  82. A few things came to mind after feeling cautiously optimistic about the President’s re-election:

    1. Adelson, the Koch Bros., etc… must have woken up this morning wondering where all that money went. It’s heartening to know that you still (mostly) can’t buy a national election in the U.S. (for an example to the contrary, see Bachmann’s re-election, she outspent her opponent 12-1).

    2. It was demonstrated to the Tea Party & Christian Conservative types that holding most of your fellow citizens in contempt is not a winning strategy. Whether they will learn from this remains to be seen.

    3. I’ve already heard some leading Republican strategists talking about moving back towards a more moderate stance. It’s about damn time. Sensible fiscal conservatism isn’t a bad thing, but please leave the Culture Wars to the fringe elements (and cut them loose).

  83. @Jemima Hopkins,
    I am so sorry for you. I wish I could say something that would help you be less horrible because I think you’re ill or in some way deformed by your circumstances. Do you have any friends? Are any of them kind? Is there someone you trust who you can talk to about your hatefulness? It’s a sickness eating you up and turning you into a monster. Please get help if you can.

  84. Most of the folks I voted for won last night (the President included), so I woke up pretty happy. Then I made the mistake of turning my radio to the local Limbaugh-wanna-be talk show host who started out by saying, essentially, that it’s the “47% and a few more” that want more handouts from the government that elected Romney and how horrible it was (this is the same guy who, four years ago, all but predicted Obama would cause massive race riots and take away all the guns from “law-abiding folks”) that Romney was such a poor candidate. He proceeded to take telephone calls from his usual audience who all bemoaned the results and claimed that the US is headed to bankruptcy and that anyone with any sense will send their money overseas and watch the collapse from afar.

    Me? I think the democratic process won big time; we’ve yet to have a coup d’etat in our history, no matter how bad things have gotten and we’ve survived tougher times than this. The democratic process has worked and now both sides (and the fringes as well) have got to get past the election and move on to fix the problems we have, including the deficit and the national debt, but also bringing jobs back to this country.

    Like I said, I’m pretty happy this morning.

  85. Anyone want to start a dead pool on Jemima Hopkins’ post @4:54 am? I’m thinking the mallet will fall as soon as John wakes up. I’ll take 9:45 AM EST.

  86. But alas, here in Indiana, we elected a governor that single mindedly pushed social bills when he was in the house and the Indiana legislature secured super majorities in both houses. Looks like we’ll be talking about creationism, the evils of gay marriage, and prodding every woman’s uterus for the next two years.

  87. @Kilroy — I saw a Planned Parenthood while driving through Indiana once. I was shocked. I didn’t think you allowed such things there.

  88. @Artemis Grey: So you’re arguing that we don’t tax the wealthy enough and the ceiling for government aid should be raised.

  89. “…that elected Romney…” in my earlier post: Sheesh, way too early in the morning to start typing.

  90. Actually, I’m hoping/assuming that Jemina Hopkins was either a) making a terribly tasteless and non-funny joke, attempting to reflect what s/he thinks white folk think, or b) is trying for some kind of record in successful trolling at this site (“Hah! 5 hours before I got malleted. Score!”). Let’s see.

  91. @Jemima Hopkins You should seriously seek some therapy. With all that’s going on, obsessing over Mrs. Obama’s looks is not normal, especially your skewed view.

  92. So relieved Obama won.

    Brad: We will tax ourselves into poverty

    Dude. Seriously. Taxes are some of the lowest they’ve been in the last century. Bush’s tax cuts for millionaires are insane. Those millionaires aren’t heading anywhere near into poverty. Anyone portraying millionaires as a tax victim right now is operating in Koch Brother Fantasy Land.

    while simultaneously spending ourselves into poverty on the other end

    If you voted for Bush, then the cost of the invasion of Iraq and decade long occupation is on your side of the poverty tally. Don’t blame me for that one. That’s all on you.

    Adam: With Romney and McCain, that’s two in a row the GOP lost with moderates.

    Romney was a right wing theocrat for years and then starting with the first debate tried to pretend he was a moderate centrist. McCain was a militant nut who was one of the first knuckleheads pushing to invade Iraq right after 9/11 and singing “bomb bomb iran” during his campaign.

    So, no, that wasn’t two “moderates” in a row.

  93. Count me as another person ecstatic about the gay marriage wins. Also relieved about Obama winning – basically, Modified Rapture.

  94. My only fear on the republicans talk of moving back to the center is that it will be like the UK’s move back to the center. All talk in public, with carefully stamping out of internal dissent, until they get into power and then it’ll be the full on scorched earth they advocated here, but couldn’t get passed the electorate. That is what the UK’s conservative party did. Talk of moving back to the center is just that, talk.

  95. Mavwreck, if Romney v2002 had been running for President, he never would have made it out of the Republican primaries. Just look at Jon Huntsman — he was the only actual moderate in the bunch, and he had to drop out in January.

  96. Artemis Grey:

    “Likewise, the taxes I pay have only gone up in the last four years, and as I am a single, childless person making more than 13k a year”

    What taxes went up for you?

    Break Break.

    I’m not particularly impressed with the line of reasoning that any of Romney’s platform for the presidential campaign was moderate. None of what he promised was moderate, unless dissolution of the entirety of the Federal government except that which runs the military is defined as your average right wing position.

    I realize things look bleak for Republicans right now. And today is a tough day. But, Romney was too moderate a platform? In what way does that logic translate to any of the Obama voters shifting their vote if Mitt Romney had run even *further* to the right? This hurts my brains.

  97. If Artemis and Tom Zimmer are sincere and I have no reason to doubt them, then I am sorry for their personal difficulties and hope they get some relief soon. Last night did not fix the world. The modest health care reform we got did not fix the system. I was relatively sure that some people would suffer more under the plan as it is and they would not be corporate fat cats. There are margins at the edge of even good policies where good people get squeezed. Hopefully we can do better and hopefully we will be allowed to do better. The only “political” thing I will say is that I doubt they would have been that much better (if at all) under a Romney (or a McCain) administration, even in this limited area and the net results of all policies might still make them better off with Obama. And there are ways to make a “system” for everybody that are not “communist.” If for instance, you think Social Security is communist for the same reasons, then I don’t think we will be able to go much further in dialog.

    But again. We’re all Americans. You are suffering and I don’t like that. I hope our government and our people can do better by you.

  98. So now we embark upon four more years of Obamanomics. I wish I could say this didn’t depress and frustrate and sadden me all at once, but it does. We are officially a nation that doesn’t care about sound fiscal policy. Not the Republicans under Bush, and certainly not the Democrats under Obama. There will be no entitlement reform. There will be no spending reform. We will tax ourselves into poverty while simultaneously spending ourselves into poverty on the other end.

    Bush’s fiscal policy was to lower taxes. Something like 75% of our deficit is because of his tax cuts

    I am sure Genufett can produce plenty of reasonable link-filled arguments as to why this is not a correct picture of the situation.

    As mentioned upthread, funny how that works, innit? I guess when one has the overwhelming majority of economic theory, over 80 years’ worth of history of fiscal policies, and basically math and science to back up their arguments, it’s worth more than throwing out the latest talking point from the Western world’s only propoganda channel.

    All I can say is I hope that Genufett is right, that Obamanomics actually works, that the country returns to thriving, and that middle-class folk like me have an easier life in 4 years, compared to now. Because right now, the middle class is hurting.

    Again, I’ve got history on my side. As always, if you’re interested in having an actual serious discussion rather than repeat the latest manufactured controversy of the day, you’re free to provide any evidence of what Obama’s proposed are (a) substantially different from people like Clinton that you claim had good ideas, and (b) how the ideas you prefer have worked well in the past.

    Romney was a gentleman with his exit speech. My hat is off to the man. I am sure he and Ann are disappointed, but also relieved.

    This, at least, we can agree on.

    In case you didn’t notice, Romney was pretty moderate…. he’s a northeastern Republican from MA…, who introduced an Obamacare style system

    Except for, y’know, the dozens of developed countries that similar ideas before him.

    who worked with democrats

    Which was a lie propogated by the Romney campaign, seeing as how he went against the MA legislature to the tune of hundreds of vetoes over just 4 years.

    who the Obama campaign criticized for having no core beliefs! When you run against a moderate, that’s standard playbook attack. “Look at that guy, no principles.” it’s a boilerplate anti-moderate campaign.

    The thing was, of course, that Obama didn’t need to do anything. There was hours of video and audio evidence of him changing his stances based on who he was talking to, of which the 47% video was only the most damning.

    He’s the very definition of a centrist and pragmatist. All that b.s. about a war on women was just a last minute scare campaign because the race was narrowing.

    Yes, because refusing to withdraw endorsement of a guy who claimed that children of rape were “gifts” is totally understanding and sympathetic to women.

    With Romney and McCain, that’s two in a row the GOP lost with moderates. This has taught them the opposite lesson than you think it taught them.

    Can’t say I disagree with you there. It’s now cost them between 70% and 95% of every single minority group, and ensured that they are in their 5th decade of being on the wrong side of justice.

  99. @Brad, Obama isn’t to the left of Clinton on economics, foreign policy, etc. I get that he wasn’t your guy, but I’m a little surprised a Clinton voter would argue that the sky is falling…

  100. @adam k:
    Re: “In case you didn’t notice, Romney was pretty moderate…. he’s a northeastern Republican from MA…, who introduced an Obamacare style system, who worked with democrats”

    No, “worked with democrats” is really really not true.

    From PoliticsUSA, two excerpts from a post titled Romney’s 800 Vetoes Shatter His Bipartisan Myth:

    Vetoes don’t scream bipartisanship, and Romney had so many of them that it’s obvious he was on bad terms with the legislators from both parties as Governor. All told, Romney issued 800 vetoes in his one term as Governor. 800. Nearly all of them were overridden – 707 to be exact.

    and

    A Republican state representative said that Romney had a tough time dealing with the legislature, especially in his first year, because he was used to giving orders as an executive, rather than working with people to reach a consensus. Republican George Peterson said, “He was used to being a top executive, ‘and this is where we’re going, and this is how we’re going to do it.’ And this animal [the state Legislature] doesn’t work that way. Not at all. Especially when it’s overwhelmingly ruled by one party.”

  101. why relieved? Seriously would like to know, without the sarcasm and snarky remarks. Just plain explanations would be nice for once.

  102. @Kilroy, yea that’s the kill joy to my reaction to the election. At least, we avoided a tea party senator. If you look at county results for many of the elections, Indiana has a few blue islands in a sea of red. At least Daniels was more focused on business than social issues.

  103. Not speaking for Mr Scalzi, but one reason I’m relieved is the prospect of Mr Obama’s Supreme Court nominations, rather than those proposed by Mr Romney via the far, far right of the Republican/Tea(bag) Partiers. One commonality of all of Mr Obama’s nominations so far has been extreme competence, which showed most recently in FEMA’s conduct of the Hurricane Sandy disaster, and with four of our justices well into their 70s, two and perhaps four Supreme Court vacancies are not impossible in the next four years.

  104. Today, I’m very proud to say that I come from the great state of Maryland.

    And of course, I’m glad Obama won. But Question 6 is a sweet victory indeed.

  105. Here in MN, we voted down the gay discrimination, and the voter id amendments so I am sooo proud. However, Michelle Bachman did get reelected….I am embarrassed. In our defense, she did spend millions more than her opponent so she was finally a job creator.
    P.S. To Tom Zimmer, I am a social worker and I know that based on what state you are in, there is a program that will help your family without going on welfare. Try contacting the local Autism support group to ask for possible options. They will have people who spend their entire career researching medical options so you don’t have too. Also, look up this program, the Children’s Health Insurance Program as it was created just for your type of situation. Good Luck!!!

    http://healthinsurance.about.com/od/medicaid/a/CHIP_overview.htm

  106. Annalee
    +1 on being proud to live in Maryland. Now one of my coworkers can be the legally recognized spouse of her partner, and the legally recognized mother of the twins her spouse is carrying, and another coworker is planning to marry his partner of 21 years in January. There are others too. It is a happy day at work.

  107. @InDaButt

    Did you see/read John’s post of 10/29, “The Scalzi Endorsement: Obama For President”? It explains his reasons (for wanting Obama to win) pretty clearly. Being relieved that it happened follows pretty readily from there . . .

  108. @PrivateIron – Thank you for your kind words. I feel like there’s a chance that Obama will notice he has all but financially destroyed a large slice of the middle class. If he does, maybe he will take steps to fix it. I am sure I don’t make enough money to wind up on Romney’s radar.

  109. I feel the same way about Romney that I did McCain: he’s a good guy who means well but in order to get nominated needed to follow the party line. And sadly the current Republican party line is appealing to their lunatic fringe. People like “Legitimate Rape” Akins and Paul Ryan are perfect examples of this.

    I’m hoping that last night convinces the GOP that pandering to rich old white men is no longer an option. I hope this helps them realize that the face of America is changing. I hope they can respond and stay relevant. And I hope the Democrats start thinking seriously about what they are going to do when they can no longer lock in the votes of those of us terrifed of a life under a Conservative Theocracy.

    Last night came down to this: it wasn’t a Democratic victory. It was the GOP shooting themselves in the foot. In thinking that throwing money at the voters would win elections, they pandered to those who could get them that money. And they lost. If the GOP can hunker down and start seriously going back to their core values of fiscal conservatism and small government and not just claiming to do so while slipping their donors concessions under the table? Yeah we could have a real election in 2016.

    Interesting fact: if trends continue in California, the Republicans are on track to get outnumbered by Independents in the near future… whch would be good news for the Ds except that then you start to wonder what’ll happen when the Cali voters no longer feel like they need to give the state to the Democrats to protect their own rights on the state and local level…

  110. @Tom Zimmer: “I feel like there’s a chance that Obama will notice he has all but financially destroyed a large slice of the middle class. If he does, maybe he will take steps to fix it. I am sure I don’t make enough money to wind up on Romney’s radar.”

    I think you’ve hit the nail on the head.

  111. Tom, your situation doesn’t mirror that of a large slice of the middle class. Among other things, your health care cost increases are something like 10x the national average over the last two years, and the major cost controls of Obamacare don’t really kick in until 2014.

    I don’t know if it’s your employer or your HMO, but Obamacare certainly isn’t the reason your costs have gone up so much.

  112. I think many people are being far too nice, the reason the majority did not vote for Romney is because the republicans can’t and wont face reality. The posters here from that camp are a fine example of it. If you want the republicans to ever win a presidency again you need to stop trying to impose your own facts on reality.

    Brad your post basically says “I don’t care how much evidence there is that i’m wrong, I’m right and I know it because DERP”. See if Romney actually had a reasonable plan or if Obama really had done really horribly you might have a leg to stand on, but reality is not on your side. Anytime someone comes along claiming its because of the economy they don’t like Obama only two possibilities come to mind. The person is either really ignorant,which with google at our fingertips is inexcusable, or they want to get the white back in the whitehouse.

    Tom Zimmer which Obamacare provision, that has gone into effect, has caused your rate to quintuple?

  113. @Albert “Last night came down to this: it wasn’t a Democratic victory. It was the GOP shooting themselves in the foot. ”

    Dictinary.com vic·to·ry   [vik-tuh-ree, vik-tree] noun, plural vic·to·ries.
    1.a success or triumph over an enemy in battle or war.
    2.an engagement ending in such triumph: .
    3.the ultimate and decisive superiority in any battle or contest:
    4.a success or superior position achieved against any opponent, opposition, difficulty, etc.

    Sure looked like victory to me. Obama 303 Romney 206

    “Yeah we could have a real election in 2016.”

    As opposed to the “unreal” election last night? Just because you didn’t win, doesn’t make it a fake election.

  114. @kd

    But what about 232 -191 (present google election numbers for House)? Hmm that was also a national referendum, because they were all up and those GOP members got voted back in.
    And since those GOP House member were not voted back in by Dems, I suspect they consider their mandate to continue doing what they have been. And it’s not like those GOP members are looking to the Obama supporters to vote for them next time around when they didn’t this time so why would they compromise with the Tea Party staring daggers at their backs?

    So from my viewpiont, Obama just “Won” a stalemate at best.
    Looking forward to House investigations (plus at least one impeachment vote), endless failed legislative votes on any domestic issue and at least one failed assassination attempt (given the losers almost a certainty). Yep the American Tragedy will make for great theater.

    I will try to stay in the audience.

  115. @VultureTX:
    Neither Senate nor House races are a national referendum; ours is not a parliamentary system.

  116. @Genufett- I am thinking that threatening to take a chunk out of the profits of an insurance company will cause the company to raise its rates. My rates were reasonable until the onset of the first part of Obamacare. Yes I do think that Obamacare is responsible for the rates rising. I am familiar with ‘for profit’ healthcare. The threat of reduction in profits causes a knee jerk reaction that always hurts the consumer.
    @notsont- anything that causes reduction in profit causes the hit to run downhill ending in the consumer. The hospital I work for has a 30% profit margin. Since Obamacare, CAT scans have doubled in price. Even the threat of losing money causes the hospital to put the screws to the employee in every way possible, including changing the nurse to patient ratio in such a way that patient care is negatively impacted. Any healthcare worker will corroborate this fact.

    I’m not mad. I’m not arguing. I just want the government to notice what is happening and fix it. Please. My family is hurting, and we are not the only ones.

  117. I am in a not dissimilar position to Tom above, except we have less money and better health, for now. You all are smart and know about various programs, got any ideas? (No, I don’t blame the president for the situation, I blame my state legislature–they should’ve budgeted differently.)
    My husband recently got a job–but it’s through a staffing agency, so no benefits. The kids qualify for Medicaid/CHIP (same program here, according to the State employees, just the name changes if you pay a small amount or not), and that’s all right, except there’s only one dentist in our town of roughly 45,000 and the neighboring town of 15,000 combined who will take Medicaid/CHIP, and he’s not accepting new patients. We’ve already got to pay for private insurance for me and my husband. He’s been unemployed for ten months before finding this job, so the kids are really due for a dental check up, but I don’t have cash in hand–we ran out our accessible savings long ago. It doesn’t do one bit of good to have coverage if no one will takes it.

  118. So when insurance companies are raping consumers for huge profits we should never try to stop them from doing so, because then they will REALLY start driving in the screws? I’m sure that plan would work out well.

  119. I am thinking that threatening to take a chunk out of the profits of an insurance company will cause the company to raise its rates. My rates were reasonable until the onset of the first part of Obamacare. Yes I do think that Obamacare is responsible for the rates rising. I am familiar with ‘for profit’ healthcare. The threat of reduction in profits causes a knee jerk reaction that always hurts the consumer.

    The mind boggles as to why your insurance company’s rate changes, most likely already on top of significant profits, are not in fact the fault of your insurance company. The fact that they’re so strikingly inefficient yet profitable that merely being asked to be more efficient and stop fleecing you in two years means that they just gouge you further should be making you worried about the evil inherent in the health care industry.

  120. The biggest health insurance company in US is UnitedHealth Group.

    http://finance.yahoo.com/news/unitedhealth-group-reports-third-quarter-100000422.html

    Their latest quarterly report says:
    •Revenues of $27.3 Billion Grew 8% Year-Over-Year
    •UnitedHealthcare Grew to Serve More Than 2 Million More People Year-Over-Year
    •Optum Earnings from Operations Grew 28% Year-Over-Year
    •Year-To-Date Cash Flows from Operations Grew 9%1 Year-Over-Year to $5.5 Billion
    * continued strong and well-diversified revenue growth and net earnings of $1.50 per share.

    They don’t seem to be hurting too badly.

  121. Tessuraea, people such as Mr. Torgersen may believe that you are deluded in your support of a president who says you have the right to be a full citizen of this country, but I agree with you and I am delighted with you.

    Alala — I was going to say what you did, but you said it better than I would have.

    Genufett — Reading your comments is like taking an economics survey course. Thank you, a lot.

    Annalee — I am cheering right along with you, and all my friends who live in Maryland! I live in Massachusetts, so I can testify that legalizing same-sex marriage doesn’t wreck society (and that former Governor Romney is no bipartisan moderate).

  122. @KD: I actually voted for Obama. I am socially liberal, and the current GOP terrifies me. And if you had read my post you would have understood that.

    Also, you are completely misrepresenting my position. When I say that “it wasn’t a Democratic Victory, the GOP shot themselves in the foot,” I’m bemoaning the Republicans’ current strategy of whining, obstructionism, and pandering to the lunatic fringe. When I say that “we could have a real election in 2016,” I’m talking about one where both candidates fight passionately over real issues rather than fighting tooth and nail to hold onto power for nebulous reasons.

    I don’t like Obama, I think he’s a chump. I think he’s a lousy politician and I don’t think he can bring the GOP and the Democrats together. But like Romney, he means well. His intentions are good. I can appreciate the motivation behind Obamacare, even though I think it’s being horribly managed. I’m grateful for him for pulling us out of Iraq, and I hope he’ll get us the hell out of Afghanistan too. But. . . for Pete’s sake, how the hell did Benghazi happen on his watch? Not to mention the current economy. . .

    . . . still, given the choice between the well-meaning chump and the guy who panders to the lunatic fringe to get elected, I’ll take the well-meaning chump. Maybe if the Republicans can break away from the Tea Party, if they can start giving a crap about people other than the ones contributing to their SuperPACs, we can start listening to what they have to actually say: some of which I can agree with. In my dream world.

    Of course, in my dream world, I’d be congratulating Fred Rogers and Bill Nye on winning the election by a landslide, and the very first President elected under the “Nice Guys Who Are Smart” party, but that’s a dream that’ll never happen.

  123. for Pete’s sake, how the hell did Benghazi happen on his watch? Not to mention the current economy. . .

    What is it you think happened in Benghazi?

    Here’s what I think happened, there was a planned attack that was deliberately planned to coincide with a planned protest. All security experts agree that even if security was beefed up to ridiculous and unprecedented levels it would have made no difference. The CIA gave the president inconclusive reports (which is understandable since they don’t have magic powers) and the president in turn was vague about the nature of the attack.

    Now, what do YOU think happened that is some huge scandal?

  124. …you can’t pull the economy out of a tailspin when the federal government is racking up budget deficits that are record breaking…

    This is silly. Unless and until there’s reason to think the U.S. might default on its debts, economic recovery does not depend on balancing the budget — in fact, balancing the budget is more likely to slow or prevent recovery. Take a look at what’s been going on in the EU: a number of countries have been implementing “austerity” budgets, and it’s been making things worse for them.

    Moreover, right now bond yields in the U.S. are so low that the government can basically borrow money for free. So while it’s not desirable to maintain deficits for an extended time, it doesn’t really hurt us to be borrowing money in the current economic climate — so long as we can get back on track and start paying down our debts before the cost of borrowing money increases.

  125. @Gustafson
    Oh I am pretty sure that most of those GOP house members were elected for one reason , to “defy Obama”, because house seats like electoral votes actually do have national consequences. Since last I checked Obama was not elected by a national popular vote tally (even though he won both)

    /even Scalzi expects those GOP House members to continue that stated action (“obstruction”) for the next (I say 4 he implies 2) years.

  126. @notsont: No scandal. Just another example of what I feel is a foreign policy based more around wishful thinking than the realities of the situation.

    I can understand why. I’d love to believe that George Dubya Bush’s wrong-headed and illegal invasion into Iraq, destabilizing the entire region and pissing off the entirety of the middle east, has at least had some good results. We looked to the Arab Spring and tried to paint that as the flowering of democracy in the Middle East, instead of what it really is: a political destabilization of the region, and a changing of various governments in a “new boss, same as the old boss” fashion.

    The tragedy of Benghazi isn’t that Ambassador Stevens was killed. Nothing could have prevented that: you can’t really do much against a coordinated attack, including mortar shelling, of the type that took down the embassy. The tragedy of Benghazi is that his please for help, his requests for more security, all the indications that Something Bad was about to happen, were ignored.

    The tragedy of Benghazi, in my opinion, is that it was a bunch of Libyans sifting through the rubble, and not U.S. Marines assigned to protect him, that carried Ambassador Stevens out. It’s a sickening abdication of American responsibility to protect our own, and in my opinion, it’s emblematic of the current administration’s shortcomings in terms of foreign policy.

    But you know, I can’t really blame them in the end. Bush got us into this mess, and we’ve been trying to get the hell out of it for. . . coming on twelve years now. I can’t blame them for not wanting to send in troops into yet another middle-eastern country that hates us. I don’t think Obama’s evil. I think he’s just naive.

  127. @Vulture TX. It’s still not a referendum, even if one person out of 300 million *thinks* that he knows what was in the minds of 50 million voters.

  128. The tragedy of Benghazi is that his please for help, his requests for more security, all the indications that Something Bad was about to happen, were ignored

    Yeah, that is actually a lie and a right wing talking point. Security was upgraded after it was asked for and the security professionals determined there was enough security.

    We do no have the ability to make our ambassadors safe in any country they are in, I hate to be the one to break this to you but anyone who suggests we can have security in any country except our own to stop an attack of that nature is an idiot. The security of our embassies is enough to stop a small handful of attackers with small arms and that’s it, they aren’t military bases.

  129. @Sunbee
    I am totally in the same boat. My husband is self employed and I only work PT(30hrs) so we have to pay for our own insurance. Please, can we speed up Obamacare!!! There is very little help out there for dental care for kids. If you have a dentist that you have a relationship with, you can ask for a payment plan instead. Also, in MN the Dental Association puts on a once a year a free dental clinic called “Give Kids a Smile”. Individual dentists offer free exams for one day. Granted it fills up months before the day but we had a great experience the one year that we had to use it. Try your state Dental Association for any ideas. Or set up appointments out of town and plan to be driving for some hours.

    Also, social work gripe here. Do people realize that those “expensive free health programs” only pay 50% of the rate for most services so it costs money for clinics and dentists to take them plus a lot more paperwork headaches? It actually isn’t racism or anti-poor people attitudes that limit access, it is finances. I want a single payer system with the same passion that my daughter wants her Halloween candy.

  130. Here’s what I think happened, there was a planned attack that was deliberately planned to coincide with a planned protest.

    There was no protest. The White House now admits this, and apparently they knew it all along. (so yes, they lied). There never was a protest against a youtube video in Benghazi.

    Bush got us into this mess, and we’ve been trying to get the hell out of it for. . . coming on twelve years now.

    No he didn’t. The mess is called history. At any rate the Iraq war was largely won in the end, despite the insurgency.

    Yes, because refusing to withdraw endorsement of a guy who claimed that children of rape were “gifts”

    Every child is a gift. Aren’t they?

  131. There was no protest. The White House now admits this, and apparently they knew it all along. (so yes, they lied). There never was a protest against a youtube video in Benghazi.

    Thats actually misleading, there were protests all over the middle east every single news agency reported benghazi as a protest gone amok, was that the case? I’m not sure, but from what I gather there were more people there than just the organized attackers. It seems likely they used the ongoing protests as cover.

  132. Thats actually misleading, there were protests all over the middle east every single news agency reported benghazi as a protest gone amok, was that the case?

    The news agencies merely reported what the White House told them.

  133. Every child is a gift. Aren’t they?

    Maybe. But not every pregnancy is. And, as someone who’s experienced a lost pregnancy, a to-term pregnancy, and six years (and counting, knock wood, pray to all the beneficent powers that may be) of parenthood, let me assure you that a pregnancy is not a child.

    My child is the greatest gift in my life, but her emergence into the world was preceded by months of nausea, out-of-control emotions, constantly increasing bra and shoe sizes (no, seriously — shoe size) at a time when I could least afford to invest in a new office-ready wardrobe (thanks for nothing, husband’s supervisor who looked him in the eye and lied to him about his job security four days before laying him off after he’d cornered her to plead, “My wife is four months pregnant; please tell me the truth;” I still hate your guts, you fuckweasel), a placental abruption, a month of total bedrest, insatiable hunger, shortness of breath, chest and back and leg pains, weekly blood draws, three weeks of blind terror while waiting for the results of the second-round cystic fibrosis genetic testing (negative, thank God), and a precipitous breaking of waters four weeks early followed by a day and a half of back labor and a C-section. And, yep, I’m now one of those women who have to clench when they sneeze so they don’t leak on the couch.

    I love her beyond all reason and she is a tremendous gift, but the pregnancy wasn’t. And she is not that pregnancy, that pregnancy was not her, and part of what made the whole emotionally and physically harrowing rollercoaster bearable was the knowledge that this was a wanted, planned and eagerly welcomed pregnancy. If it had instead been the result of a violent criminal assault upon the most intimate parts of my body, if every ache and kick and twinge of nausea and blood draw for all those months had been another reminder of that violent assault?

    I don’t know. With all the love in the universe for my daughter (we cuddle each night and play the “I love you to the moon and back, to the sun and back, to the Milky Way and back” game), I honestly don’t know.

    Every child is a gift, but not every gift goes to someone prepared to receive it without doing horrific damage to itself or to herself; and, again, a pregnancy is not a child.

  134. Every child is a gift. Aren’t they?

    Short answer, No.

    Long answer.

    Children are not “gifts”, a box of chocolates is a gift, a bottle of wine is a gift, children are an obligation that a person accepts if they choose to, or a burden if its forced on them, sometimes they are both. They may also be many wonderful things but that is not the issue. Forcing someone to have children they do not want is not doing them or the child any favors, and pretending Odin wants you to have that child of rape does not do anyone any favors. Murdochs belief in Vishnu has no place in making policy, if he wanted to quote ethical reasons why he doesn’t think abortion is justified he would have been criticized for it but not vilified, Instead he suggests its a gift from Baal.

  135. The news agencies merely reported what the White House told them.

    No, the news agencies had ongoing reports while it was happening (i’m not talking about american sources since most sane people agree we don’t have any actual news agencies anymore) The whitehouse didn’t respond till hours later.

    I know we would all like our intelligence agencies to have people everywhere and nowhere at the same time but it would surprise most people how much of our intelligence is actually gathered by news agencies. The news agencies knew things long before Obama did.

  136. a pregnancy is not a child.

    A pregnancy is the process of making a child. That’s what it is. At some point, the process is complete and the child is built. Biologically, that occurs at some time before the birth…

  137. @ anyone actually interested in the whole health care thing:

    I highly recommend the book “Understanding Health Policy” by LANGE Clinical Medicine.

    I was lucky enough to take a very excellent class on the history of health care in America taught by a very knowledgable professor, and the class had the 5th edition of this book on the syllabus. I used it very frequently throughout the term as a great all-around look-up resource. The class itself went far more in-depth into many of the sources this book used, and as far as I can recall, it decently represented all of the ones I had to read. For those who have time, it’s a great place to start, because each chapter will provide a list of good resources; for those who do not, it’s a great place to skim, because each chapter will provide a good summary of what the resources say, readable in a few hours. I have no experience with the 6th edition, but will soon.

    For those who don’t have a lot of money, the 5th edition will cover well everything pre-Obamacare, and because it is the 5th edition, it’s now about $6 on amazon. There’s also, always, libraries.

    On amazon: 5th edition and 6th edition

    Anyway, I, too, am relieved.

  138. A pregnancy is the process of making a child. That’s what it is. At some point, the process is complete and the child is built. Biologically, that occurs at some time before the birth…

    By that logic all sperm and eggs are children too and your a mass murderer every time you masturbate.

  139. A pregnancy is the process of making a child. That’s what it is. At some point, the process is complete and the child is built. Biologically, that occurs at some time before the birth…

    Did you actually read any of the words that came after that one sentence you quoted? As a writer, I’m mildly wounded, because I worked hard on them; as a woman, I’m fairly pissed (but wearily so), because your inability to thoughtfully read and respond is exactly what makes so many women feel invisible and unheard by so many other participants in this particular debate. And is by now so infuriatingly expected and unsurprising.

  140. @Artemis Grey I feel for your situation. Personally, I think the health care situation here in the US sucks AND it’s one of the factors hurting our employment recovery (offering benefits to a FT employee adds too much to the cost of employing them, so employers either keep people PT or hire them as contractors). If it was up to me, I’d love to see us enact a single-payer system, a la the UK or Canada. However,

    “But when you create a situation in which the general populace has no choice but to join yours system instead of paying their own way, that’s communism. And if Obama keeps giving breaks to people without figuring out where the money to pay for those breaks is going to come from, (namely, people like me, who aren’t rich, but aren’t poor either, who pay their own insurance and keep getting letters saying due to the rise in health care costs, our rate is increasing again, and whose taxes are continuously rising, without any qualifications for tax breaks)…”

    Unless you’re saying that Obamacare is the thing driving up health care costs (the convenient claim your health insurer is using to justify raising your rates), I don’t see how the rise in health care costs can be laid at his feet. As I see it–and I may be wrong; I don’t claim to be a health care pundit–there isn’t a hell of a lot The President can do to reduce health care costs, short of enacting the very communist (or at least, seriously socialist) system you’re accusing him of.

    Would your insurer have raised your rate if Obamacare wasn’t enacted? I honestly don’t know the answer to that question. I do know the plan was to get insurance costs DOWN for people like you, who pay their own insurance, by letting you pool together with others in the same boat. Again, I don’t know enough about the legislation and what was eventually passed; maybe that element was removed or watered down.

  141. @VultureTX

    But what about 232 -191 (present google election numbers for House)? Hmm that was also a national referendum, because they were all up and those GOP members got voted back in.

    That’s a good point. My $0.02: some of those are the result of gerrymandering (here in NC a few years back the GOP gained the majority in both state houses for the first time in decades; guess what happened to the Congressional districts? And guessing by your handle, you’re in Texas; haven’t there been a couple of lawsuits about redistricting there?). Some of it is this really strange phenomenon where citizens hate Congress but think their Congressman is OK. And I’m sure there are lots of other reasons the House stayed almost the same.

    One thing I haven’t heard anyone here talk about is the President’s mandate. Considering that he barely won the popular vote AND that the electorate did keep Congress almost the same (for whatever reasons), I don’t think he can exactly claim there’s strong support for anything, except maybe more gridlock. As a referendum on his policies and administration, the results last night are pretty much a resounding, “Meh.”

    As a moderate on fiscal issues and a left-leaning moderate on social issues (gee, which candidate does that sound like?), I fear 4 more years of the same opposition is what we’re going to get and that’s a damn shame. Of course, the folks who voted for Romney are probably saying, “Well, at least we’ve got Congress to block Obama for the next 2 years.”

  142. MNmom, I only wish it would make a difference, but Obamacare won’t, not for my situation. My problem is that no one will take the government coverage my kids have. More government coverage isn’t going to change that: it’s pay cash or private coverage plus cash. In fact, Obamacare will probably make it harder for us, because right now, my husband and I can choose not to spend $500 a month on insurance (roughly) privately, and sock that money away for medical expenses, and at least be able to pay for routine checkups and that sort of thing. Or we can pay for insurance, skip the checkups (hello, copays) and have some emergency care paid for, our choice. With Obamacare, we won’t have the option of using those dollars for checkups–they either go to private insurance or fines for not having private insurance. We’re in that rough in-the-middle spot where we have too much gross income but not enough. (Though we’d be okay if we had an employer plan where they paid just half the premiums.)
    Thanks for the suggestion, I will look into the State Dental Association.

  143. I really hope Obama, while enjoying his victory, is looking at those numbers and saying “I’ve got to somehow reach everyone, those who voted for me and those who didn’t.”

    Obama’s said almost exactly that, in very similar words even, more than once.

  144. My problem is that no one will take the government coverage my kids have.

    Where do you live that that is the case? I have a child with autism, I have a choice of multiple plans and can pick and choose. I did have some issues finding the right kinds of doctors but that would have been the case no matter what insurance I had. Finding a general practitioner was fairly easy. Finding good doctors I will admit is hard when you live far from large urban areas but again it has little to do with insurance.

  145. The health insurance companies are bastards who are making record profits. If it weren’t for the ACA, they’d have raised rates even more by now and in the next two years. They WANT you to blame that on Obama so they can cry crocodile tears for you as they roll around in their vaults of money. When they’re blaming it on the President, they’re lying to you.

    Single-payer would be so nice — can you imagine how cool it would be to be able to quit a lousy job that you’re only keeping for the benefits? To not have to choose between food and doctors while you’re unemployed? To start your own small business rather than toil away for some corporation b/c you can’t let your coverage lapse? To be able to work part time and spend the rest with your kids?

  146. @Artemis Grey: “But when you create a situation in which the general populace has no choice but to join yours system instead of paying their own way, that’s communism. And if Obama keeps giving breaks to people without figuring out where the money to pay for those breaks is going to come from, (namely, people like me, who aren’t rich, but aren’t poor either, who pay their own insurance and keep getting letters saying due to the rise in health care costs, our rate is increasing again, and whose taxes are continuously rising, without any qualifications for tax breaks)”

    Well, in my pinko-commie state, we sued insurers who did this, created legislation which controlled right hikes against costs, and expanded our state-run health care pool which filled in those gaps in the ACA, for which Federal dollars and tax breaks were provided, for just that reason. It’s unfortunate that we were not able to enact a comprehensive federal program, but states who worked with the Fed, and took advantage of provisions for states, have provided solutions to the problems you describe. So, I feel for you, and I’m sorry that you apparently live in a state that hasn’t done its part to protect its citizens against price-gouging. I mean that sincerely. If you are inclined to be politically active, perhaps you can help by supporting similar measures in your state, or candidates who do so.

  147. @TomZimmer – Tom, you may’ve mentioned this in one of your posts, but I hope you’re writing your congresspeople/representatives/etc. with your story. TELL the people who can make changes about what you need from them. Otherwise, it’s like shouting in an empty room – doesn’t do you a bit of good.

    As for my feelings about the election, I’m glad Obama won. As a woman and a non-rich person, Romney made me nervous. I’m pleased my state of Minnesota defeated the marriage amendment. I’m pissed off that my district re-elected that worthless lunatic Bachmann.

    I guess you win some, you lose some.

  148. We are on vacation in Australia right now, and have had an interesting observation here. A lot of the natives here have asked us what we thought of the elections. I am an Independent, I vote for person, not party, so to me, Obama was the obvious choice, like John says, no one is perfect, but there are certain considerations which influenced my choice. There seemed to be a consensus here in Sydney, of the people who asked, Obama is the better choice, including one young man who has friends in the united states with dual citizenship who made it clear if Obama didn’t win, they were moving back to Australia. It’s interesting talking to people outside of the USA, such different viewpoints and what’s important and not are so different than what we consider important as US citizens.

  149. But what about 232 -191 (present google election numbers for House)? Hmm that was also a national referendum, because they were all up and those GOP members got voted back in.

    Based on the current House vote tallies, Democratic House candidates actually received more votes than Republican ones did. The actual outcomes are purely a product of gerrymandering.

  150. Modified rapture, and much relief indeed! Obama has been a terrible president, and was my fourth-ranked choice (here in California, the Libertarian, Green, and Peace&Freedom candidates were all on the ballot, along with Obama, Romney, and the leftover-George-Wallace party slogan, which is usually occupied by a right-wing theocratic party who may be more or less crazy than the Republicans, depending on the year.) But he’s far better than electing an actual Republican, and while the third-parties did respectably well, I don’t think any of us expected to win :-)

    As usual for a Tuesday night, I was at the local Irish pub jam session. It was more crowded than for the World Series! (Ok, less crowded than the basketball championships, but it was still really cool.) The crowd thinned out a bit after ~8:30 Pacific, when CBS had called the win in Ohio and was calling the whole election, there was a big cheer when Colorado legalized marijuana and when Todd Akin got trounced, a lot of the crowd stayed around for Romney’s concession speech, and most of us stayed around for Obama’s victory speech. Our Minnesota-born fiddler apologizes for Michelle Bachmann, but hey, we need somebody for comic relief.

  151. I can only say I am relieved. SCOTUS might now be safe, though I suspect whether it is two appointments or more they process will be a miserable slog.

    Our President is going to have hell to pay with the House, the GOP is already saying ‘no mandate’ and they are not going to compromise their ‘ideals’. That fiscal cliff is looming and they expect the President and the Democrats to meet them in the middle, the unfortunate thing is it isn’t the center of the aisle, it is the middle of the Right.

    I think we will see more of the ideological backlash that has prevented real progress. I am saddened by this. But with luck, the President will have learned some hard lessons and he will reach out to the people this time, engage us more and ask for our help to push.

  152. Notsont, I’m not interested in giving my hometown. Suffice to say I’m on the outskirts of a urban area of about 60,000 people, and the dentists here are the problem. The biggest pediatric practice in town does accept the state coverage, and has room for more patients, so getting medical care is not an issue at this time. I figure that either there is too much hassle for too little money for the dentists, or there are too few dentists for the population, or both.

  153. I read Hope’s message above to @Jemima Hopkins as coming not from some woman named Hope, but the concept itself. I’d expect personifications of abstract concepts might have come here from Neil Gaiman’s blog.

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