Four more years for Barack Obama

President Obama was re-elected last night with an impressive margin in the electoral college. The popular vote margin was much narrower, but it looks like he’ll be over 50% with roughly a 2 point margin.

I’ll have much more to say about this, but most of us will acknowledge that this was a very important election. The pundits liked to mock both campaigns for not discussing big issues, but that truly missed the point. Both sides offered very different paths for our future, and most voters understood the profound differences.

With an Obama victory, his signature accomplishment from his first term, health care reform, will now be fully implemented. Mitt Romney would have either repealed or gutted Obamacare, but now the notion of universal health care will be cemented as part of the social compact. We’ll all have to wait and see how Republicans react to Obama’s victory, but hopefully on health care we’ll see a shift away from a reflexive attempt to overturn Obamacare to constructive negotiations to improve it and cut medical costs in general. We’ve heard Republicans pontificate for years about malpractice reform. Perhaps now we’ll actually get some constructive proposals.

We may have a continuation of the political wars, but now we know that any deal will have to be more balanced than the GOP plan of just hacking away at spending on the elderly and the poor. We’ll see how that plays out.

It will also be interesting to see if some conservatives will break out of the right wing media bubble. Conservatives were told to ignore the poll numbers that pointed to an Obama victory, and that the “real” numbers would lead to a Romney landslide. These projections were pure fantasy, just like the Romney/GOP budget numbers that claimed you could miraculously balance the budget by slashing taxes. We live in a divided country and many on both sides are guilty of just listening to their own partisan news sources, but the dogma and partisanship on the right has become absurd. Even respectable pundits like George Will and Micheal Barone drank the Cool Aid and ended up looking just as clueless as partisan hacks like Dick Morris with their predictions of the Romney landslide.

Finally, conservatives and Republicans need to stand up to the lunatic fringe. You can’t encourage the crazies on your side, and then lament when idiot candidates like Richard Mourdock and Todd Akin say stupid things about rape and abortion. You can’t cater to the haters who demonize illegal immigrants and then complain that you got crushed by the Latino vote. We’ll see if there’s anyone in the GOP who has a spine. Chris Christie is an obvious candidate as he’s called out the crazies before, but now he’s on serious probation with the right for saying something nice about President Obama. Perhaps Marco Rubio can help on that front. We can expect serious fireworks within the GOP as they hash out these issues. If they don’t work it out, I’ll be happy to see them forfeit the Latino, African American, Asian and much of the female vote in future elections.

Dick Morris proves he’s still an idiot

This might be the dumbest paragraph ever written.

If Obama can’t stand up to the Clintons, after they have been defeated, how can he measure up to a resurgent Putin who has just achieved a military victory? When the Georgia invasion first began, Obama appealed for “restraint” on both sides. He treated the aggressive lion and the victimized lamb even-handedly. His performance was reminiscent of the worst of appeasement at Munich, where another dictator got away with seizing another breakaway province of another small neighboring country, leading to World War II.

Sorry, but the “battle” with the Clinton drama team has nothing to do with war, and Hillary will do fine at the convention. Putin’s rise has been accelerated by the incompetent Bush administration, yet Morris is worried about Obama. So lame.

Even more pathetic is the Munich reference. If there’s any reference that indicates the intellectual laziness of the auther, it’s the attempt to equate a modern event to Munich. By referring to Hitler you usually prove you’re an idiot.

No big deal

Dick Morris gets to the heart of the matter. Clinton didn’t change anything with last night’s 9-point win.

Hillary Clinton refuses to die. Having been given up for dead after losing Iowa, she rebounded in New Hampshire. Then a string of 11 straight consecutive losses – followed by a win in Ohio and a tie (in delegates) in Texas. Now, she’s won Pennsylvania.

Problem is, it doesn’t mean anything.

Because of the Democratic Party’s arcane proportional-representation rules, her win stands to give her a net gain of 10 to 15 delegates when all is counted. That means that Barack Obama will fall from a lead of 161 in elected delegates to about 145 or so. Big deal.

The primaries coming up in the next two weeks – Indiana and North Carolina – are likely to give Obama back a goodly portion of those delegates. By the time all the primaries have been held, after June 3, there is no doubt that Obama will lead by more than 100 elected delegates, and likely 150. From there, it will be an easy route to the nomination.

The Democratic superdelegates aren’t about to risk a massive and sanguinary civil war by taking the nomination away from the candidate who won more elected delegates. If they ever tried it, we’d see a repeat of the demonstrations that smashed the 1968 Chicago convention and ruined Hubert Humphrey’s chances of victory.

Clinton won Pennsylvania for two key reasons: Only Democrats could vote in the primary, and the Keystone State electorate is dominated by the elderly, who are staunchly for Clinton.

Despite her claims of electability, Hillary has never done well among independent voters. And Obama usually loses the Democrats. Pennsylvania’s closed-primary rules gave her a key advantage.

Barring a game changer, this will be over in June with Obama as the nominee.

Hillary at her worst

Dick Morris lets her have it.

We are watching a grim re-enactment of all of the character traits that led Hillary to decompose in the healthcare debate of her husband’s first term. The blind reliance on a guru-delivered strategy, the religious insistence on following the same rhetorical line even when it obviously isn’t working, the inflexibility in adapting to one’s opposition, and the inability to formulate new strategies or to improvise tactics when her pre-conceptions are found to be so obviously faulty — this is Hillary at her worst.

As citizens, we are entitled to watch Obama’s skill, leadership style, and savvy sophistication and contrast it with Hillary’s doctrinaire insistence on approaches that aren’t working and to conclude that Hillary would be a disaster as president and that Obama would be pretty good. We can, at least, conclude that the same tenacity that led Johnson into Vietnam and may be inducing Bush to risk his party, his reputation and the attitudes of a generation in Iraq may be abundantly present in Hillary.

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