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Current Events, Politics

The thing about mandates (and why Obama has one)

Okay, let’s get one thing straight: last week’s election was not that close.

The election results were in before 11:30, much sooner than anyone expected. In fact, it was over quicker than Obama’s landslide win in ’08, by a minute.

I think political analyst Charlie Cook said it best:

“It’s certainly true that 51 percent (rounding up from 50.5) to 48 percent is close, but since the end of World War II, five elections have been closer. Mitt Romney won only two more states (Indiana and North Carolina) than John McCain did, and even if he had won Florida, the GOP nominee would still have needed to win Ohio, Virginia, and either Colorado or Iowa, based on the sequence of the election margins.”

Not only did the Democrats augment their Senate majority by two seats, they also obtained eight more seats in the House of Representatives (they won the House popular vote too), although the Republicans still maintain the majority of House seats.

Despite the high unemployment rate, Obama was able to pick up most of the key states (not to mention, Romney and Ryan’s home states, ouch!) and bring in that final electoral count of 332 to 206. He won the popular vote, he won the women’s vote by 10 points; he won 71% of the Hispanic vote, 74% of the Asian vote, and 93% of the black vote.

Yet somehow, the GOP is still unable to understand how and why the election results played out exactly the way they did. Republican Rep. Tim Huelskamp of Kansas said, “I don’t think we lost by being too conservative and articulating our principles too clearly. What we need to do is actually do a better job in articulating conservative principles to all kinds of folks.” …. (this is the part when every single American engages in a simultaneous face palm)

Poor things, they still don’t get it.. But I’m not getting into that again.

The current issue seems to be the does he/doesn’t he dilemma concerning whether the President has a mandate. According to Paul Ryan and many other Republicans, he does not. Let’s take a look at the facts:

  • He won every battleground state except for North Carolina
  • He won the the popular vote
  • He got 126 more electoral votes than his GOP rival (332 total)
  • His Electoral College margin was more substantial than Bush’s in 2000 and 2004, and even he declared a mandate
  • 6.8 million more people voted for Obama than voted for House Republicans
  • Exit pollsters indicate 67% of voters agree with Obama’s tax policy

Conclusion: he has a fricken’ mandate.

As David Frum, former speech writer for President George W. Bush, stated on Anderson Cooper 360, “Whether the President has a mandate is a matter of opinion, whether he has power, is a matter of fact. And this President now has enormous power because of the expiry of all of these various tax measures […]”.

That being said, the fact that the U.S. is a democracy, meaning the will of the majority is reflected in the election, confirms that whoever is elected as president, has a mandate. That being said, the President does have a mandate because he was elected in a democratic election, and his voters were aware of his agenda and voted accordingly. It’s simple logic, people.

So I think it’s safe to say, Obama’s reelection gives rise to his mandate on raising taxes for any household with an annual income exceeding $250k, due to the fact that 67% of voters agree that economic resolution can begin by increasing taxes on the wealthy. And just so we’re clear, it’s not socialism, it’s a necessary step in cleaning up the shit storm created by the Bush administration.

William Kristol, a Republican commentator, raised a fair point when he asked Fox News, “Really? The Republican Party is gonna fall on its sword to defend a bunch of millionaires, half of whom voted Democratic, and half of whom live in Hollywood and are hostile to Republicans?” This is an interesting point because I think people tend to forget that those outside of the middle class bracket can support tax cuts for the middle class. I mean, you don’t have to be gay to support gay rights. Look at all of Obama’s A-list celebrity endorsers, the list is definitely much longer than Romney’s, and they’re certainly not middle class.

                    

          

But alas, life goes on. The leaves will fall, the seasons will change, the GOP will continue to alienate potential voters. And unless the Republican Party stops stubbornly grasping on to the archaic ideology of “what America was”, and instead embrace a future of change, acceptance, and diversity, they will grudgingly be subject to many more democrat mandates (even if it’s in their better interest anyway).

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