thedailybeast.com — If I weren't married to this infernal line of work, boy, do I have good ideas from time to time for badly needed nonprofit outfits. Here's one of my better ones, which just struck me yesterday. Some rich liberals need to fund a public-education group that will work full-time to make sure the liberal blocs and constituencies come out and vote in off-year elections. Think about this. Turnout was sky high in 2008. It wasn't as high this time, but by the time they count all the provisionals and absentees, and accounting for the somewhat lower turnout in the storm-ravages areas, it won't really be off by that much. In general, presidential-year turnout is now near 60 percent. And off-year turnout is down around 40 percent. The 20 percent who leave the system are almost entirely Democrats. As long as this is true, the country's progressive coalition will spend forever taking one step forward in presidential years, and one step back in off years.
huffingtonpost.com — The day after the 2012 election brought a great feeling of relief. Most of us, whether our candidates won or lost, were so weary of what elections have become that we were just glad the process was over. Many were disappointed that dysfunctional and bitterly partisan politics in Washington, D.C., had undermined their deep desires for "hope" and "change." Politics has severely constrained those possibilities by focusing on blame instead of solutions, and winning instead of governing. And, as the most expensive election in American history just showed, the checks have replaced all the balances. But the election results produced neither the salvation nor the damnation of the country, as some of the pundits on both sides seemed to suggest. The results of the presidential election showed how dramatically a very diverse America is changing; people are longing for a vision of the common good that includes everyone.
nextnewdeal.net — How do Americans really feel about taxes? Anti-tax groups and limited-government activists are quick to invoke a long American tradition of tax revolt and resistance in making the case that aversion to taxes is as American as apple pie. But this simple narrative gets the story wrong. The most recent such indication came on Election Day, when voters rejected tax limitation measures and supermajority requirements in Florida and Michigan and Californians strongly endorsed increases in the sales tax and income taxes for high earners in order to fund public education. Though notable in a political environment dominated by anti-tax rhetoric, such support is actually not as exceptional as it seems. It’s worth remembering, now that the election is over and we turn to the looming fiscal problems that confront state and federal governments, that Americans also have a long history of embracing and defending higher taxes.
truthdig.com — What Barack Obama tried to tell America in the hour of his remarkable victory is that the nation’s future won on Election Day. Seeking to inspire and to heal, the reelected president offered an open hand to partisan opponents in the style that has always defined him. “Tonight,” he said, “despite all the hardship we’ve been through, despite all the frustrations of Washington, I’ve never been more hopeful about our future.” In the days ahead, there will be time to absorb the magnitude of this moment—achieved under the cloud of persistent unemployment and a multibillion-dollar campaign of calumny—but the president clearly knows that he returns to the White House with a renewed mandate. Against great odds, he won nearly all the same states that elected him in 2008 and won the popular vote despite an enormous, angry backlash in the old Confederacy.
huffingtonpost.com — Tuesday's election was important for many reasons. Its outcome will certainly benefit millions and millions of people -- both in the United States and around the world. And President Obama's campaign will be remembered as one of the best-run political efforts in the history of American politics. But beyond the many important short and mid-term consequences, I believe it will likely be remembered as an inflection point in American political history. Here are six reasons why.
huffingtonpost.com — I have to admit, I did not write a concession column, just in case I needed it. Seriously, a man running for the most powerful office in the country didn't bother to plan for one of the two contingencies that were guaranteed to happen last night? And he wanted us to let him make crucial decisions for all of us? Willard Mitt Romney's shocking lack of preparedness last night, when it came to speech time, was truly the icing on the sweet, sweet cake of Barack Hussein Obama's second victorious election, at least for me.
Then I looked around at the rest of the election, and saw that America hadn't just re-elected a black man to the White House, but the entire country lurched leftwards last night in a significant fashion. Which is what my title refers to (conceived in homage to the greatest subtitle on a book, ever.
truthdig.com — The election is over, and President Barack Obama will continue as the 44th president of the United States. There will be much attention paid by the pundit class to the mechanics of the campaigns, to the techniques of microtargeting potential voters, the effectiveness of get-out-the-vote efforts. The media analysts will fill the hours on the cable news networks, proffering post-election chestnuts about the accuracy of polls, or about either candidate’s success with one demographic or another. Missed by the mainstream media, but churning at the heart of our democracy, are social movements, movements without which President Obama would not have been re-elected.
nytimes.com — MUCH of the coverage of Tuesday’s results has focused on the strength of Barack Obama’s coalition — minorities, women and young voters. But that analysis misses the real point. The contours of the 2012 presidential race were shaped less by the country’s changing demographics than by the underlying attitudes and values of American voters, who are always far more complex than they appear to pollsters. The president’s victory was a triumph of vision, not of demographics. He won because he articulated a set of values that define an America that the majority of us wish to live in: A nation that makes the investments we need to strengthen and grow the middle class. A nation with a fair tax system, and affordable and excellent education for all its citizens. A nation that believes that we’re most prosperous when we recognize that we are all in it together.
truthdig.com — Abroad, the widely noted aspect of Barack Obama’s reelection victory was its social and class character. The president was reelected by a majority of American minorities. He won 93 percent of the African-American vote, which is hardly surprising, but also 71 percent of the Hispanic electorate, while his part of the white active electorate diminished about 10 percent from the share he carried four years ago. This is an inevitable result of the steady ethnic diversification of the American population and the increasing incidence of inter-ethnic or interracial marriage, with a consequent diminishing of the originally dominant Caucasian component in the make-up of the population of the United States, and of the historical culture that the founders possessed.