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So Obama Wins the Election - What Does It All Mean?

Society & Culture  (tags: americans, children, culture, education, environment, ethics, family, freedoms, gayrights, government, health, law, media, politics, religion, rights, society, women )

- 2021 days ago -
Obama's win also represents a huge victory for the civil rights of women, LGBT individuals and immigrants, and likely cements into law the Obamacare health care reforms, which Romney had pledged to repeal.

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Kit B (276)
Wednesday November 7, 2012, 9:04 am
(Photo: Supporters listen to President Barack Obama's victory speech during his election night event at McCormick Place Lakeside Center in Chicago. (Photo: Doug Mills / The New York Times)

President Barack Obama made history Tuesday night, becoming the first African American to be re-elected President of the United States.

Obama defeated former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, who had argued that Obama was to blame for the pace of economic recovery after the 2008 financial meltdown. Obama’s win was a stamp of approval for the president, who has argued that his policies have been helping the economy recover from the worst financial downturn since the Great Depression.

Obama’s win also represents a huge victory for the civil rights of women, LGBT individuals and immigrants, and likely cements into law the Obamacare health care reforms, which Romney had pledged to repeal.

Moreover, Obama’s victory was a triumph over a policy of obstruction from the Republican Party, that began the night of his inauguration and continued throughout his first term.

Health Care Now Secure

Perhaps the most significant policy impact of Obama’s victory is the long-term health of the Affordable Care Act, which goes fully into effect in 2014. Republicans had promised to repeal the measure, but with Obama having won, they will be unable to do so before the law is enacted, and before many of its best features go into effect. Obama’s victory also ensures that mandates for coverage of contraceptives for women will continue, a mandate Romney had promised to overturn.

Obama’s victory also means that changes to Medicare that had been championed by Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., are unlikely to be enacted. Ryan, the vice presidential candidate for the Republicans, had argued that Medicare should become a voucher program, which risked ultimately raising the cost of health care for people who qualify for the program. Obama has been steadfastly opposed to any major changes in the Medicare program, and has instead pushed for cost control measures based on improving efficiency in the system.

Women, LGBT, Immigrant Rights Safe

Obama’s victory also keeps abortion rights secure for the next four years. The Supreme Court currently has a 5-4 majority in favor of choice, and there was fear that Romney could have appointed a justice to tip the balance against abortion rights. Obama’s victory also ensures that his executive order extending temporary amnesty to undocumented immigrants brought into the country as children will be allowed to stand.

Obama also will continue to be a strong advocate for LGBT rights. It was not a major issue during the campaign, but Obama campaigned as a supporter of same-sex marriage, and has won re-election with that as his policy. His administration is likely to continue to push for the extension of rights to LGBT individuals, something that a Romney administration certainly would have opposed.

“Fiscal Cliff” Looms

The first major test for the newly-elected president is the so-called “fiscal cliff” — the combination of expiring Bush tax cuts and mandated cuts in spending set to occur before the end of the year. Obama has been clear in arguing that he will not accept the extension of tax cuts for the most wealthy. Republicans have demanded extension of all cuts, but with Obama winning re-election, it is hard to see how they would be able to force him to accept that extension.

Nevertheless, the negotiations represent a danger for all sides. Economists have warned that if all spending and tax policy continues unchanged that it could have a catastrophic effect for the economy, potentially throwing the country back into recession. Both Obama and Republicans will have strong incentive to find a solution that works for all sides.

Overcame Obstruction

There is no guarantee that the fiscal cliff can be avoided, of course. Obama’s victory is made more impressive by the fact that Republicans had worked to defeat him since the very beginning of his presidency. At one point, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., even said that the most important goal of Republicans was to ensure that Obama lost re-election.

That has meant that Republicans have opposed Obama at all turns, from refusing to support a stimulus package in the depths of the Great Recession to forcing cloture votes on nearly every major piece of legislation to wind its way through the Senate.

Republicans bet on the idea that by throwing enough sand in the gears and making it hard for Obama to govern, they could ensure his defeat and the resurgence of the Republican Party. They lost that bet. Now comes the question: Will Republicans seek to double down on the same strategy? Or will they work with a president who has won re-election despite their best efforts — especially now that the president cannot seek re-election again?

The next two years, certainly, will be defined by the way Republicans choose to answer that question. One thing is certain: whichever way they choose to answer, they will still have to deal with the man they sought to sandbag.

By Jeff Fecke, Care2 | Op-Ed | Truthout |


Past Member (0)
Wednesday November 7, 2012, 9:39 am
To me, it means the 4th reich will be on hold but Karl Rove is still there...why?
It means Paul Ryan can't write and pass an Ayan Rand type budget that leaves millions at bread lines.

It means that fox hasn't gotten to every one.

Arielle S (313)
Wednesday November 7, 2012, 9:39 am
I'd like to think the Republicans would see the light and work for the good of the country now - don't think that's going to happen but then they didn't hear the huge sigh of relief last night as President Obama won...

Past Member (0)
Wednesday November 7, 2012, 10:12 am
Good article, noted. Americans reelected Obama, but they also maintained the status quo gridlock in the Congress by keeping the House of Representatives Republican and making the Senate Democrat. This may make for a difficult time for the next two years. Hopefully, in the next round of elections, Dems will take the House. It's hard to see just how much progress can actually be made in a system sustained by corporate dollars, but if there is going to be any progress at all, then the Dems have to take the House.

Angelika R (143)
Wednesday November 7, 2012, 2:42 pm
Thx Kit. If you read several articles today you will have noticed that there are in fact signs of insight on the Rep side. What I expect is that there might come a devide among the Reps, those who realise their mistakes, and those stubborn ones who don't and won't ever. If dealt with smart, and I am confident Obama can deal smart with this, he will be able to manage. He has not given up his willingness to reach out but certainly has also learned by now to put on more pressure.

Past Member (0)
Wednesday November 7, 2012, 4:03 pm
Noted. Thanks.

Robert B (60)
Wednesday November 7, 2012, 5:39 pm
One thing it means is this: The Republicans MUST learn that the PEOPLE HAVE SPOKEN and WILL NOT tolerate another 4 yrs of obstructionism and petty right wing squabbling. They must realize that moderates in their party are a VALUABLE asset not to be dismissed. Pragmatic moderates on both side will solve our problems. They Must work together. We, the voters, who defeated the power of Rove, Koch, Norquist and Citizens United now have the POWER and we MUST CONTINUE TO USE IT. We CANNOT BACK OFF NOW. The pressure for real change MUST CONTINUE. Now is not the time to let up. Any one of us can and should call, write, email our representatives and LET THEM KNOW what WE EXPECT OF THEM from now on. This is a chance to usher in a new age of positive change for the country and also the world. We can no longer afford to play games. If it means one term limits, so be it. The flood of money from lobbyists HAS GOT TO GO. Our elected officials have better things to do than to play "good ole boy" and chase after money for the next campaign. ENOUGH IS ENOUGH.

Richelle Rausch (43)
Wednesday November 7, 2012, 8:48 pm
The good thing is that Obama won becuase WE voted for him and used the power of our voices and ballots. The funny thing is that Romney lost despite the power of his money and rich friends. The scary thing is that those who want control still have a lot of money and power.

Veronica C (22)
Wednesday November 7, 2012, 9:47 pm
What the popular vote means to me is that this country is very close to a 50-50 split. We are so divided on issues.

Arielle S (313)
Thursday November 8, 2012, 8:59 am
I have written to McConnell and Boehner asking them to rise above the politics and get some things done this time around. The President does not have to worry about re-election now but the Republicans do - and should.

Kit B (276)
Thursday November 8, 2012, 9:15 am

In 2014 both McConnell and Boehner face a re-election, just might we very wise to try to work with democrats and not worry to much about stopping a third term for the president. Republicans and democrats actually need one another, it's a balancing act to find reasonable policies that can work.

Since we all know now that money does not buy elections, it just might be about time to consider that "Citizens United" thingy - begin working for real and lasting election reforms. And...a pet peeve of many - it is within the purview of the Federal Government to establish some better rules, guidelines and poll watchers for future elections. Voting is a right, duty and responsibility for each citizen - not an endurance test. Haven't we had enough of this?

Scarlett P (126)
Thursday November 8, 2012, 9:56 am
Sad, sad day for America! But this administration is not my provider... The Almight God is...So I am so very blessed each day even with this administration because I see beyond obama..

Kit B (276)
Thursday November 8, 2012, 10:38 am

Ummm...Don't all good republicans believe they should provide for themselves? That Scarlett, that mixing of religion and politics is exactly why the republicans lost. Keep your religion in your heart, your mind, your church and your home - just not in public, not in politics, not in education and most certainly not in the justice system.

Past Member (0)
Thursday November 8, 2012, 11:51 am
Can you get past the hate, Scarlett?

Linda h (86)
Thursday November 8, 2012, 1:06 pm
Scarlett,that avatar is horrible and I say that as a church going Christian. This country does not need what you are selling and I look forward to 2014 when we have a better chance to get rid of some more extremists and solve some real problems. You all had one idea and that was to make Obama a one term president and you lost. Now you have zero ideas.

Mary Donnelly (47)
Thursday November 8, 2012, 1:32 pm
Thanks Kit. Interesting post and comments.

It seems to me that if voters send a Republican House of Representatives, a Democratic Senate, and a Democratic President to govern the country, some things might take a long time to get done.

Rose B (141)
Thursday November 8, 2012, 2:42 pm

Elisabeth R (10)
Thursday November 8, 2012, 4:17 pm
Green Star finally wending your way....

Did you all hear the very loud CHEER reaching you from Across The Pond!!??
Did you hear the HUGE sigh of relief from Over Here?!
I hope you all did because we were all there, standing right by you, holding our breaths too.

P L E A S E, try and ''crack some heads together, so that these last few years filibustering ends and that the Republicans & Democrats start talking to each other again and start solving the problems. Negotiate & compromise for goodness sake!
So Pleased!

Sheryl G (363)
Thursday November 8, 2012, 5:58 pm
Scarlett if you love America so much you should understand that there is a reason we have separation of church and state. I'm surprised you haven't teamed up with that other woman on another thread I just got off of that claims dinosaurs and human beings were running around at the same time and the earth is only 7,000 years old. And you and her all want to elect people that think just like you to run a Country?

Kit B (276)
Thursday November 8, 2012, 7:09 pm

Does it require a ladder to get up on a dinosaurs so you can ride him? I heard the republicans are thinking about bringing in some science and math people...just not too much of that sciencey stuff.

Whut? Dandelion are you saying the earth is older than 7,000 years? I dunno about that!!! But I don't have a Sinclair Lewis avatar.

***Sinclair Lewis: “When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying the cross.”

Jae A (316)
Friday November 9, 2012, 11:21 am
Kind of means many of the obvious like...Mitt Lost..the GOP in Congress best get their act together and begin working for the people again instead of focusing their time to end on mans job..who still has that job and has zero to lose unlike the GOP who have evetything to lose between now and 2014 and then again in 2016.

Deborah W (6)
Friday November 9, 2012, 12:43 pm
Yesterday is over ... and tomorrow's far away ... just who will stay committed to the needs we have today? Wait and see, time will tell.

Lois Jordan (63)
Friday November 9, 2012, 2:01 pm
Well, I'm relieved. But, as long as Grover Norquist still has power with GOP members of Congress, who've signed his pledge not to raise taxes, I don't see how there can be any "compromise." Obama has a mandate to stand his ground and let Bush tax cuts for the wealthiest lapse. Both parties are panicking about the Sequestration that was passed, as they FEAR Pentagon cuts...(however, reports from the Pentagon say the cuts are necessary & fine). Of course Corporatist members of Congress, (both parties), are going to fight implementation of many Dodd-Frank rules imposed on Wall St. & the Banks. Seems like there's still going to be a big mess, unless Pres. Obama puts his foot down firmly and doesn't move it this time.

Sen. Harry Reid has the power the opening day of the new session of Congress to change the filibuster rules and allow for a majority rule....rather than the 60 votes previously required by the GOP filibuster. Of course, he's had this option every previous year, and hasn't used it yet.

In my state, there are still 300,000 or so early ballots and provisional ballots to count. Although some have already conceded defeat, I'm hoping the final count will boost Dems. That's the odd thing about "early voting"---the votes aren't counted until after the election, and only if there's enough votes to make a difference.

Sheryl G (363)
Friday November 9, 2012, 3:18 pm
Well Lois, AZ usually has Florida beat in the "oh my goodness" category. But we, in Florida, are still the only one to not go on all the newscasters maps as either red or blue....we are still missing or yellow on some of their maps.

Melania P (122)
Monday November 12, 2012, 1:52 pm
Great that Obama won!!
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