I think that liberals are being a bit optimistic about the future. It is still very likely that the Republicans will kick our asses in 2014. They will keep the House and take over the Senate. To me, the most important thing for us to do is work on increasing voter registration and getting all registered voters to the polls. If all registered voters voted, we would have a permanent Democratic majority. But regardless of this, we tend to do all right on presidential election years because Democrats show up and then lose big during off-year elections because Democrats do not show up. And the last time this happened was on a census year so that the Republicans basically have us fucked regarding the House and state legislatures for the next 8 years.
And note: if 1.5 million Obama votes had gone to Romney, he would have won the popular vote. If they were the right votes, he would be the next president. And if that happened, all the commentators would now be talking about the death of liberalism. They’d be talking about how Democrats really need to rethink their communist ways and turn even more to the right.
So remember this, because I do not feel that this election was at all reassuring. It was a surprisingly close election. The economic fundamentals were in favor of the Democrats—not against them. Don’t go thinking that we prevailed against tough odds. The election was Obama’s to win. And then, the Republicans ran an anemic candidate with a load of heavy party baggage. I’m glad we did fairly well, but it is not enough. And we need to do so much more, both inside and outside the party.
We should not be celebrating; we should be organizing.