After Elections, Crises Abound

Barrington M. Salmon | 11/14/2012, 7:06 p.m.

For months before last week's election, Sandra Fleming's agitation grew about President Barack Obama's prospects for a second term.

"I was so worried because my impression was that they were going to get away with stealing this election," Fleming said of the Republican Party. "When I heard that Taggart [which makes voting machines] was bought by [Tagg] Romney, I was like 'Oh God, they're really going to steal it.'"

So she decided to be proactive and volunteered to work at an Obama campaign office in Maryland on a phone bank. It was only after several television stations called the race for Obama on the night of Nov. 6 that she finally exhaled.

As satisfied as Fleming and her husband James are about the outcome, Republicans are in a state of shock at the sound thrashing Obama inflicted on GOP challenger Mitt Romney. Obama swept the Electoral College, amassing a final total of 336 votes and he garnered 50.3 percent of the vote to Romney's 47 percent. It wasn't supposed to turn out this way and all that was left to make their joy complete was Romney's coronation.

Now, instead of Romney measuring the windows of the White House, Republicans are left to contemplate the reasons why they fared so poorly.

Political commentator Armstrong Williams said Republicans can't blame anyone but themselves for the stunning election loss.

"To put it mildly, many in the GOP were not pleased with the outcome of [Tuesday's] elections," said Williams. "This represents a national repudiation of reality: we have tossed out the doctor because we don't like his prognosis. The spending addict does not want an intervention; he wants more spending, no matter what."

"...The Democrats have a mandate to govern, and Republicans are now in an uncomfortable position everywhere. The policies of the last four years have been not only affirmed but, with these ballot initiatives, shown to now be mainstream," he explained. "Our nation's culture has shifted to the Left, validating that self-fulfilling epithet of 'Republican extremism.'"

Lee Saunders, president of the 1.6 million strong American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, was exultant.

"This is a good day for the working middle class, the Main Street movement and the American Dream," he said following Obama's victory. "The American people sent a clear message that we will stand with a president who stands with all Americans ... the voters have given a mandate to protect vital programs like Medicare, Social Security and Medicaid and strengthen the middle class."

Republicans on the whole are shell shocked, Newt Gingrich is dumbfounded by Obama's win, Karl Rove refuses to accept it; and the finger-pointing, accusations, and infighting is in full tilt.

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal [R], said some candidates had damaged the party's brand with their intemperate statements and he chastised the GOP for being too beholden to the rich and powerful.

"We've got to make sure that we are not the party of big business, big banks, big Wall Street bailouts, big corporate loopholes, big anything," he said. "We cannot be, we must not be, the party that simply protects the rich so they get to keep their toys."