So President Obama wins Iowa, and a second term.
His supporters are jubilant. I’m actually just relieved.
Relieved that the outcome is certain. Relieved that news crews won’t be camping outside some obscure Miami-Dade election office until Christmas. Relieved that our radios and TVs have been freed from all those folks who are so wrong for America. Relieved that my inbox will have less ALL CAPS and !!!!
And I’m relieved that the remarkable, cynical political calculations that called for obstructing, attacking and demonizing this president virtually since the moment he took his hand off the Bible (twice), and in the face of an economic crisis that pleaded for good-faith bipartisan cooperation, wasn’t rewarded. Allowing it to succeed in its ultimate objective, to make Barack Obama a one-term president, would have, in my view, set a lousy, damaging precedent for the nation and its politics.
But a majority of voters in the states that mattered most Tuesday, including Iowa, thankfully, turned away from it. There are all sorts of reasons for the president’s win and Romney’s loss. But for those of us interested most in having a government that works out its differences, solves big problems and gets things done, it was a welcome rebuke of four years of astounding and futile warfare.
The message to the president is stay put and get the job done. Fulfill the great promise we saw in you four years ago. You received many fewer votes this time, so skepticism has grown and the pressure’s on. It’s no massive mandate. But it’s a second chance. Don’t make us regret it.
The message to Republicans who still hold the U.S. House is work with the guy. Compromise is not a sin. Yeah, it was an ugly election campaign on both sides, but now you’re all stuck with each other for two years. Dump the tea, banish the birthers, scrap the socialism scares, stop playing a perpetual game of chicken and get important things done.
We elected the same president, but we really, really don’t want the same four years we just endured. We don’t want the art of political persuasion permanently replaced by the all-caps hyperbole of ceaseless outraged opposition.
“At times like this, we can’t risk partisan bickering and political posturing,” Romney said in his very classy concession speech. Wise words.
The election’s over. It was long, expensive, close and nasty. Now, come out of the trenches.