Even though Republican controlled Legislatures around the country successfully gerrymandered their way to control of the House, Democrats still control the Senate. Obama swept 7 of 8 "battleground states". The Romney/Ryan plan to eviscerate Medicare and Social Security and open the door to "self-deportation" did not play well in Florida. Transvaginal Mesh patches and "children of rape as God's will" did not play well with women. De-regulation and the privatization of Social Security, Medicare and every major revenue stream played well to billionaires and the lions of industry. But, sadly, there aren't enough of them; and their threats to employees about "Obama victory lay-offs" didn't work.
So, in my opinion, here we are, with at least two important tasks facing us, if we are to fully enjoy the fruits of our victory.
We must get to work finding and supporting the congressional candidates who can successfully complete the sweep and bring us a Democratic House in 2014. The lesson of 2010 is that if we rest on our laurels, we get to watch Obama try to fight for us while handcuffed by Republicans in Congress. We have proven, even to the most skeptical Republican pollsters, that we can be a force at the polls. Now we must target potentially vulnerable Congresspersons of both parties. Support one and attack the other. All the pride that Obama's election brought us in '08 evaporated with what appeared to be a signal of the electorate's change of mind in '10. Off year elections often swing back. Previous winners get complacent and smug while losers are stung into redoubling their efforts.
We must also clamor, in the loudest possible way, for a resumption of the Clinton level tax rates for all those earning more than $250k annually. Obama ran on it and we voted our agreement. I'd actually argue that there ought to be an additional 5% tax hike for folk making over 2 million a year. Think of all the money they gleefully spent trying to influence this campaign. Heck, if half of that is paid in taxes, they'll have a better year than they just did and we'll be that much closer to paying down the deficit. So, let's all write our elected officials. Give them the mail muscle to stand firm in their negotiations. They're always talking about what "The American People want". Let's tell them, in the clearest terms possible, that taxes need to go BACK up. We're not raising taxes on the rich. We are letting a tax BREAK expire that THEY got some years ago, when GEORGE W had Clinton's surplus to play with.
Another thing: If the war in Afghanistan were to end tomorrow, we'd have increased resources to devote to the deficit, education, infrastructure and alternative sources of energy. Truth is, the American people are not now, nor have they ever been clamoring for any particular result in Afghanistan other than bringing our sons and daughters home safe and sound. And, if we'd been asked, we'd have said that no result there, or in Iraq, was worth trillions of dollars and the broken bodies and wasted lives of thousands of our brave young people. Let's build our own nation. We have the right leadership with which to undertake that task.