As the 2012 elections start to slide into the rear view mirror, here are a few more post-election thoughts as we close out the week...
Healthcare Reform Affirmed. OK, the healthcare reform law - "Obamacare" - has now stood two MAJOR tests and been affirmed. First, the law was reviewed and upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court - a court with a conservative majority mind you. Second, the American public had a chance to reverse course on the law by not re-electing Obama...choosing Romney instead. After all, one of Romney's big boasts was that on "day one" of his administration he'd start the process for nullifying the Obama healthcare law. But, the American public chose differently.
So there you go. While I am under no illusion that conservatives will attempt to undo the law going forward - and by that I mean for as long as it takes - for now it would appear that the law is here to stay.
Guns. I read today that stock prices for gun companies are going up in the wake of the election. Apparently this is because gun sales are expected (or perhaps are now) on the rise due to the re-election of Obama to the presidency....you know, gun nuts thinking that they better get their guns now before Obama eliminates guns altogether. By the way, this happened in 2008 after Obama was elected the first time. Guess how much gun control the Obama administration doled out over the last four year? None. Gun nuts don't need much to get them all agitated that the "gov-mint" is going to "take their guns," and Obama's re-election is just a big flashy reason many react to. Prediction: no gun control in a second Obama term.
"The Right Wing Bubble." If you were to believe what the Romney campaign, Fox News and the conservative "super PACs" and pundits (I'm thinking of you Karl Rove) were saying right up to and into election day, Romney would have won this week by several points in the popular vote and by a nice margin in the electoral college. Sure, the race was pretty close, but how could they have been so wrong? Based on some of the commentary I've been hearing since Tuesday, one big reason is that the right really is inside their own "bubble" of beliefs.
Normally, the Republicans create, propagate and reinforce their own reality of things in hopes of swaying the public to vote for them or against their opponents. Facts are not an issue. That in and of itself is, well, kind of expected. Where I think they went wrong this time is that the candidates, campaign leaders, commentators, pollsters and agitators on the right actually started believing their own stuff as reality...and tuned out any other opinions or info that would contradict. So, they had a closed loop of sketchy info masquerading as the truth. They accepted their version of the truth as the only version of the truth. For example, polls showing Romney ahead in Michigan and Pennsylvania. Polls showing that Latinos would vote in decent numbers for Romney. Speculation that rage over the economy and what happened in Benghazi, Libya would drive conservative and moderate voter turnout sky high and in their favor...and stuff like that. Put together, it created a reality in which conservatives believed they would win.
But their bubble was popped Tuesday night as their reality collided with actual reality.