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We Should Probably All Calm Down a Bit

  • I can't take credit for this but it sums up almost perfectly my feeling on politics and the state of our country after this election. Link to original author below...

    Liberals:
    you should rein in the triumphalism. Obama won a narrow 51-49 percent victory and the composition of Congress changed only slightly. This was not a historic vindication of liberalism, and it doesn't mean that we can suddenly decide that demography will sweep us to victory for the next couple of decades. The plain truth is that although an increasing number of voters are turned off by what Republicans represent, that doesn't mean they've become lefty converts. A lot of them are still pretty nervous about a big part of our agenda, and we have a lot of work ahead to get them more solidly on our side. Also: No matter how much you hate to hear it, long-term deficit reduction and entitlement reform really are pretty important. Just because conservatives abuse the point doesn't mean there isn't something to it.

    Conservatives:
    you should rein in the apocalytpic despair. Increasing top marginal rates to 39.6 percent is not a harbinger of torches and pitchforks in the streets, it's a limited corrective to decades of skyrocketing incomes at the high end. Obamacare is not a sign of incipient tyranny, it's a modest attempt to provide broad access to healthcare that's based on a Republican plan and operates largely through the private sector. Universal access to contraceptives doesn't represent the end of religious liberty, it represents a fairly narrow disagreement over the responsibilities of organizations that occupy a gray area between secular and religious. Fifty million people on food stamps doesn't mean the final triumph of takers over makers, it means that we're still recovering from the biggest economic downturn since the Great Depression. (Outside of healthcare, spending on low-income programs is actually pretty low.) America is still America, and it's still the best place in the world to be if you're an entrepreneur. More generally: You really do need to update your attitudes on a raft of social issues, but honestly, if you can manage to do something about your crackpot wing and your blood oath to Grover Norquist, you'd be in reasonably good shape.

    Oh, and smart people on both sides of the aisle should start thinking seriously about how to handle a future in which smart machines do more and more work and humans do less and less. I'm dead serious about this.

  • Liberals are triumphant? About what? What are they triumphant about?

    Did Kucinich or Jill Stein find their way onto Obama's staff or something?

  • I disagree on the taxes. I do agree that it is not that big of a deal. Incumbents are hard to unseat, and the battleground states had razor thin margins. Obama got reelected but is the first sitting president to get reelected on a smaller margin than his initial reelection. Lots of factors for that. The point is that this "doom and gloom, the GOP is dead" talk is idiotic.

  • They are triumphant in that after 4 years of disastrous policies they were able to beat a fairly competent challenger. Most of the time (see 1980 and 1992) when we've seen economic turmoil in a president's first term there is no way in heck they get reelected. They also gain some seats in each house which is a minor victory.

    In reality both sides held serve. There were no big changes on Tuesday night. Monday we had a democratic president and Senate. And Republican house. On Wednesday we had the same thing. Election night changed nothing, which is a triumph for the party in power especially considering the economy under their watch.