Wednesday, November 7, 2012

That Damn Batman....Returns.

This is a political post.

Excuse me, I have an engagement that...just came up.
I read online somewhere a suggestion that we just scrap the electoral college and go to a straight popular vote...if only so we never have to hear about Ohio and Florida at election time again. That the fate of the nation comes down to eight to ten states every time is telling as to the makeup of this country. But as I watched the analysts crunch the data, explaining to the talking heads how they could confidently call races with so much of the vote still outstanding, the astounding work the Obama campaign became clearly evident. The creation of the idea of Romney as a blank slate who would hold firm no position only appeared to have been their opening salvo, but the real plan was a precision targeted effort in those crucial demographics in the key states, some four years in the making that was, dare I say it...a plan straight out of the Batcave. Batman Obama. 

The goddamn Batman.

But in the end, we have the same President, facing the same congress. Are we not in the same position we were just a few months ago? Are we not still in a gridlocked struggle for the future of a country?

Yes and no.

One can only hope the early cracks in the conservative assessment that showed last night as I flipped through the coverages (MSNBC, Fox, CNN, CSPAN, TV1, Comedy Central) grow into great fault lines of blame. Some are arguing that the GOP went too far to the right and turned off the moderates. Others are suggesting they didn't go far enough, and should become even more conservative. That a president who supports gay marriage and women's rights was reelected should be the first clue in, discussion. And as someone who thinks the ideologues and extremists have hijacked the party, a internal civil war might initially shrink the party, but could get the Republicans back into a position to appeal to those moderates who always struggle to decide. It may even result in a legitimate three party system.  

But it is the fiscal cliff, as it's being called, that will force some hands quickly. With the sequester looming, and the President relatively immune to the political fallout for the foreseeable future, a lot of cards are about to fall onto the table that weren't supposed to. This, and the effect the machine may have had on the Republican reality bubble may be the first step to change in this country. 

Now as the Tea Party reshuffles (one only hopes it becomes a footnote in history) and the conservative leadership comes to grips with the idea that they've starting buying into their own bullshit - Romney didn't even have a concession speech prepared! - the realization that change has to come if they wish to remain relevant becomes painfully obvious. The Obama campaign machine wrecked nearly every conservative pundit concept put forward through the past few weeks. And it promises more in the future. The map was NOT the territory. This is a reality. The problem is that they have demonized their enemies and turn viciously on even the slightest deviations. This fracture with dogma and reality may be enough to get a conversation started between the outliers and Democrats, which could start a trend. Or so we hope.

Most importantly, this victory also means that the Supreme Court may come to better reflect the mores of the world today than those of thirty years ago and Ronald Regan. No doubt some of the more staunchly conservative justices who had recently flirted with retirement are now about to rethink their positions. But as they enter their late 70s it is only a matter of time before age and fatigue catch up to them. And a shift of these nine unelected "tribal fathers" might border on tectonic for the future of the country.  

The last question - as my brother put it - is if the machine is truly a "Democratic Machine", or just an Obama Machine. The Republicans are already looking ahead to 2014 and 2016. And although Obamas are now out of the game - they like the Clintons, are going to cast a long shadow...for a long time. The search or "grooming" of the next candidate begins now.

Because that's how Batman does things. 

I just like this pic. I do.

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