Hopefully this will be my last column on the 2012 election. However, following last week’s missive I received a flurry of e-mails. (One through seven is a “handful,” eight to 15 is a “flurry” and more than 15 means it’s time to get a new e-mail address.)
Some suggested that I was being a “sore winner” gloating over Barack Obama’s decisive victory. Some even questioned that it was decisive at all, which is mind-boggling compared to George Bush’s victory in 2004.
A day after the 2004 election, Bush announced that he had a “mandate” and was going to inform Congress that he intended to “spend his political capital.” He then toured the country with his plan to allow people to convert their Social Security into stocks. (Had he prevailed, after the 2008 crash the country would have been one long bread line!)
But Bush won the electoral college by only 286-257 and the popular vote by 3,012,166, whereas Obama won 322-206 and by nearly 3,700,000 votes. In reminding you of these numbers, honestly, I’m not trying to be a sore winner. As Jack Webb of “Dragnet” used to say, “Just the facts, ma’am.”
The truth is, at least in my lifetime, no president has ever been so rudely disrespected as has Obama. For example, during his healthcare address to Congress in 2009 he had Rep. Joe Wilson (R-S.C.) shout out, “You lie!” During the 2010 State of the Union, Supreme Court Justice Alito dismissively shook his head as Obama commented on the infamous Citizens United Supreme Court decision that led to unprecedented campaign donations. (Romney spent over $1 billion while Karl Rove spent $400 million and is probably right now hiding from the Koch brothers.)
And the last example of boorish behavior occurred this past January. Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer, on an airport tarmac, defiantly stuck her finger right in President Obama’s face. She later said she had felt “threatened.” What did she think, Obama was going to “jack” her car?
Rooted in disrespect is the pathetic birther movement being trumpeted by Donald Trump. (No pun intended.) On the campaign trail, even Romney joked about it. “And nobody has ever asked to see my birth certificate.” (Poor Mitt, he was gracious on election night but now he’s claiming Obama won only because he “promised blacks, Hispanics and young voters gifts.”)
At Fox News, after predicting a Romney landslide, they’re apoplectic over the election results. (As evidenced by how desperate they are to turn Benghazi into Watergate.) On cue, Ann Coulter said the election only proved, “In the U.S. there are more takers than makers” and predicted our collective doom. (She’s such a cheerful sort.)
And in all 50 states secession petitions have begun to circulate. On the Internet is a great photo of angry Teabaggers holding a sign that is supposed to read “Secede,” but spells “Secdee.” (Another example of Teabonics?)
But perhaps suffering the worst case of sour grapes was evidenced by 28-year-old and pregnant Holly Soloman of Mesa, Ariz. According to police records, Solomon and her husband Daniel, both Romney supporters, argued loudly in a local parking lot over the fact that Daniel had carelessly not voted. Uh, oh.
Inexplicably furious, Holly got behind the wheel of her Jeep SUV and began chasing Daniel around the parking lot. (If only there was a video on YouTube!) Momentarily, Daniel hid behind a light pole, but as he was trying to run away Holly ran him over and pinned him underneath the vehicle. Yikes! Daniel was rushed to Scottsdale Medical Center where he remains in critical condition. Holly was booked on charges of domestic violence and aggravated assault. (And really aggravated sour grapes.)
It would appear that the overriding “message” the voters sent last week was directed at Congress instructing them to stop obstructionist bipartisan bickering and work together. In that vein, on election night, Obama phoned Speaker Boehner and Minority Leader McConnell but both were supposedly asleep. (Wouldn’t you get up if it’s the president of the United States calling? Apparently not.)
Even Sen. John McCain (R-Arizona), who’s a sad caricature of himself, is vowing to defeat Obama’s possible nomination of Susan Rice as secretary of state, claiming, “She’s not very bright.” That’s ironic considering that McCain brought us Sarah Palin, who wasn’t sure if Africa was a country or a continent, claimed Sputnik bankrupted the U.S.S.R., asserted that Paul Revere warned the British and told grade-schoolers that the vice president is in charge of the Senate.
On an encouraging note, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal lectured fellow Republicans to “stop being the stupid party.” In the same speech he added, “We’ve got to stop dividing the American voters.”
So, in Gov. Jindal’s bi-partisan spirit, I suppose I shouldn’t criticize how poorly Romney, Ryan, Trump, Grover Norquist and Fox News have taken the election results. After all, none ran over anybody with a car. At least as far as I know.
Unless there’s more than 15 of you, Jack can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.