Celebrating Victory

Progressives and Democrats had a really great Election Day yesterday, re-electing President Obama, winning a larger and more progressive Senate majority, defeating a number of Tea Party Republican House members, and advancing the cause of marriage equality, among other victories.  And we did all of this in the face of hundreds of millions of dollars of spending by shadowy conservative groups aided by a media that ranges from mindless pox-on-both-houses coverage to conservative apologists. In short, we have much to celebrate.

Over the next two years, we will be faced with many critical issues and policies to debate, long difficult fights to advance the progressive cause, and setbacks and disappointments.  But part of being able to win those debates and fights, and to get through the inevitable disappointments is to celebrate our successes, which is something that we progressives tend not to do very well.  Instead, we progressives are often so focused on identifying problems and working to fix them that we do not take the time to savor our victories.  Winning Progressive urges us all to temporarily resist the urge to dive right back into the next fight and, instead, take a day or two to celebrate what we have achieved in this election.

Here are just some of the victories we should be celebrating:

President Obama Re-Elected – The biggest prize yesterday, of course, was President Obama’s re-election. As of this writing, President Obama had won at least 303 electoral votes, including every swing state except North Carolina.  If, as is looking likely, Florida is won by the President, he would end up with a 335 vote electoral victory.  And as of 3:30am eastern time, the New York Times was reporting an approximately 1.8 million popular vote advantage for President Obama, with the bulk of votes remaining to be counted in Democratic states such as California, Washington, and Oregon.  While Obama’s margins are smaller than they were in 2008, yesterday’s victory is still a strong endorsement of Obama’s first term and his sensible, moderately progressive governance.

A Larger, More Progressive Senate Majority – As WP explained in early October, this election presented an opportunity to gain a more progressive Senate with the election of Mazie Hirono (D-HI), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Chris Murphy (D-CT), and Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), along with the re-election of Sherrod Brown in Ohio.  All five of those candidates won!  And despite having 21 seats to defend, Democrats have so far lost only one Senate seat (in Nebraska), though seats in Montana and North Dakota are still to be decided.  If we win those two seats, we will end up with a 55 vote majority.  And another step towards full equality was taken with the election of the first openly lesbian U.S. Senator in our nation’s history – Tammy Baldwin.

First Electoral Victories for Marriage Equality – With our nation making steady progress towards full LGBT equality, one of the few arguments anti-equality activists had to fall back on is that marriage equality had never prevailed in a popular vote.  That claim can no longer be made, as marriage equality has now prevailed at the ballot box in Maine, Maryland, and Minnesota, and appears likely to win in Washington State.

Leading House Tea Partiers Defeated – One disappointing area yesterday was in House elections, where Democrats picked up little ground. But even there, we won some victories.  Most significantly, a number of Tea Party members – including Allen West (FL), Chip Cravaack (MN), Bobby Schilling (IL), Roscoe Bartlett (MD), Ann-Marie Buerkle (NY), Francisco Canseco (TX), and Joe Walsh (IL) – were defeated, while the race against Michelle Bachmann is still too close to call as of 3am Wednesday morning.  Illinois’ 10th Congressional District, which was held by now-US Senator Mark Kirk (R-IL) for many years, is finally back in Democratic hands with Brad Schneider’s victory. And with both House seats in New Hampshire being won by Democrats, there is not a single Republican member of the House in all six New England states.

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9 Responses to “Celebrating Victory”

  1. Morning Feature – More Progressive Election Victories to Celebrate | BPI Campus Says:

    [...] week, we discussed the victories for progressives in the 2012 Election: re-electing President Obama, growing the [...]

  2. More Progressive Election Victories to Celebrate | Winning Progressive Says:

    [...] week, we discussed some of the victories for progressives in the 2012 Election, from re-electing President Obama and [...]

  3. Morning Feature – Our Small but Inspiring Role in the Obama Campaign’s Ground Game | BPI Campus Says:

    [...] we’ve detailed, progressives won a long list of important victories at the federal, state, and local levels in last week’s elections. [...]

  4. WP’s Small But Inspiring Role in the Obama Campaign’s Stellar Ground Game | Winning Progressive Says:

    [...] we’ve detailed, progressives won a long list of important victories at the federal, state, and local levels in last week’s [...]

  5. Elizabeth Warren on the Banking Committee, and Other Potential Good Senate Committee News | Winning Progressive Says:

    [...] we’ve discussed previously, one of the big victories from the 2012 Elections is that Democrats will have a larger, more [...]

  6. Morning Feature – Elizabeth Warren for Senate Banking Committee, and Other Good Senate News | BPI Campus Says:

    [...] we’ve discussed previously, one of the big victories from the 2012 Elections is that Democrats will have a larger, more [...]

  7. The Truth Goat » Getting Elizabeth Warren on Senate Banking Committee and More Hopeful News Says:

    [...] we’ve discussed previously, one of the big victories from the 2012 Elections is that Democrats will have a larger, more [...]

  8. The GOP Crazy Train Keeps Chugging Along | Winning Progressive Says:

    [...] the many factors that contributed to the GOP’s substantial losses in the 2012 elections, perhaps the most significant are that today’s GOP is focused on obstructionism and denying [...]

  9. Morning Feature – The GOP Crazy Train Keeps Chugging Along | BPI Campus Says:

    [...] the many factors that contributed to the GOP’s substantial losses in the 2012 elections, perhaps the most significant are that today’s GOP is focused on obstructionism and denying [...]

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