Sunday, November 11, 2012

Forward.

Election Day has come and gone. President Obama has been reelected.

In the end, the election wasn't even close in terms of the Electoral College tally. Voters in every swing state (except North Carolina, for those who consider that one) broke for the President. In an election that any GOP pundit told us was about jobs and the economy, America spoke: they decided that they just trusted President Obama more than they did Governor Romney.

It would be nice if we, as a country, could go forward from here. Obama will face no more presidential elections; there are no political points to be scored through obstructionism and attempting to make him look bad. The hope is that the two sides can come together and compromise, though it already seems that that may not be realistic.

For example, anyone may look up Donald Trump's Twitter rant (I refuse to link to such nonsense here) on election night. The same night, a Republican CNN contributor remarked that Obama should give in to 80% of the House's demands. Now, I don't think Obama should be handed the world on a silver platter, but considering that the American people did just reelect him, it seems to me that basically putting the Republicans in charge is not only unwarranted, but is ignorant of the will of the people.

Speaker Boehner of course still opposes raising taxes on those making over $250,000. Honestly, "raising taxes" doesn't seem to be the correct phrase; all indications are that the Bush tax cuts were to be temporary, considering that that's how they were written. President Bush cut taxes to an extremely low level, and when the expiration date of his legislation comes, suddenly "Democrats want to raise your taxes". Very clever indeed. The arguments for keeping the break for the wealthy are dwindling: they don't seem to need the tax cuts at this point (did they ever?), and the CBO released a report stating that a tax hike for the wealthy won't kill growth. At this point, the fight to keep the cuts for everyone seems to be more of an ideological struggle from the GOP than it is a practical point. 

The fact that the GOP still refuses to come to the bargaining table over something which would seem to have minimal practical impact is disturbing. The hope was that the days of "we don't care if we don't have a valid reason, we're gonna oppose you just for the hell of it" were over with the election, but reality may be setting in. The GOP still seems unwilling to compromise, and it would be ignorant for the President to not fight for his positions, considering that he has the will of the majority of the American people behind him.

We may be in for a bumpy four years.

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