Thursday Open Thread

It’s Thursday, y’all, and I’m still basking in the glow of victory.

This was a long and brutal campaign, but one thing I enjoyed about this election was seeing DD’s budding curiosity about the political process. She watched convention speeches, asked policy questions, even wrote a letter to the President and made an $8 campaign donation. By Election Day, she was quite emotionally invested in Obama’s victory, and it was a truly joyous moment when we heard he won.

How did your kids react to the election? How are you feeling now that it’s all over? I am relieved, but also flabbergasted. Hearing so many asshats on the right ascribing Obama’s decisive victory to “lazy people wanting free stuff” shows me that they just don’t get it. Which is good news for our side, methinks; unless the GOP reboots somehow, they are headed for certain extinction.

What else is on your mind today? Chat away!

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113 thoughts on “Thursday Open Thread

  1. I am still boggled by how seniors overwhelmingly vote rep. Such as my grandma, who is 99% dependent on government entitlements and health care but still votes republican. I just don’t get it. She’s always voted republican but somehow recently she also discovered Fox News. Oy.

    • I wonder if it’s sort of like how seniors are easy prey for scam artists — shady siding salesmen, etc — maybe there is some change in their brains that makes them more susceptible to being persuaded by charlatans?

      • my grandma is of a generation that just trusts authority more, i think, and doesn’t question or fact check. if they say it on TV, it must be true. she has no clue that there are other sources of information besides Fox News.

      • I actually think in some cases it has to do moe with how hey see how the world has changed and it may scare them and the Republicans talk alot about how much better America USED to be.
        My mother and inlaws are all in their 70′s-80′s and they vote Dem but they also spend a good deal of their time lamenting how the world has changed and not for the better. In their case they worry about lack of economic opportunity/ education for their children/grandchildren. So they all remember FDR and Truman and that the Dems were more likely to support working class so they still vote that way. They are somewhat uncomfortable w/ gay marriage or other social changes but they see that as a personal issue and none of their business how other people live their lives.

        • I think this is true, nostalgia and fear of the future play a huge role in why people vote Republican. I can see it in my own family members who vote that way, as well as in the rhetoric wishing Reagan were still the president, and he himself was big into nostalgia. The increasing diversity of the country (ethnically but also in other ways) just makes a lot of older white people uncomfortable, I think.

    • I think it is because a lot of seniors think they deserve the stuff they get from the government, unlike all the lazy poor people out there who don’t. I think most Fox viewers think there is this huge pool of people out there who are living the high life off the government. Fox and crew are not very subtle about convincing people that there are BROWN PEOPLE taking your MONEY!!!!

      The perfect example of that was that Obamacare protester that actually had a sign which read, “Keep Government out of my Medicare.” I loved that.

      • yes, exactly! my mom and dad explained over and over to her that she is completely dependent on the government, but she says “well, i know, but i earned it. i deserve it.”

        she was a child of the depression. they were dirt poor. single mom (dad left) and 6 kids. the kids had to drop out of school and work to support the family. don’t you think she could look back and say, gee I wish there were some sort of government program available back then to help us out? isn’t it a good thing that there’s a safety net now? doesn’t cross her mind.

        • I do love my grandma very very dearly, of course. but the whole senior paradox just continues to boggle me.

          i suppose some would say the same of me, because I’m socially conservative in my own life and pro-life. HOWEVER, those are not the issues that i am voting on. I feel like the only issues most seniors vote on are the ones that directly impact them (their entitlements) but yet they vote in direct opposition to their own interests.

        • “I deserve it (but they don’t)” is the mindset that defines Republicans, IMO. They are always the exception, and everyone else is undeserving.

          I don’t understand it but it happens over and over again when Republicans are confronted with their own dependence on the government. Weird.

          Also weird? People complaining that (other) people are reliant on the government. What else would government be doing, if not collecting taxes and spending them on stuff that helps people?

    • I was shocked that my forever Republican 76 year old Father voted for Obama! He hated everything Mitt Romney stood for and also said he was worried for all of his kids futures if Romney was elected. My Dad shocked me! So progressive for him.

  2. I am so happy for Maya! The first election that I can remember was 1980. I was pretty little and I knew my parents and grandparents disliked him. Because the Iran hostage crisis was going on around then and the ayatollah’s picture was on the cover of many news magazines around that time, I remember thinking he was Reagan. I did not know what it was like to have someone I actually wanted to win become president until Bill Clinton was elected. That was even more special because it was the first year I could vote so my first time voting ended up being for the winner.

      • I remember that *I* cried when poor Amy Carter had to move out of the White House. I was in 6th grade when Reagan was elected and was old enough to understand and be involved in the issues, as well, and I was super bummed that Carter lost. But when news cameras caught Amy Carter on film crying, she was just another kid and I totally empathized with her, especially since we had just moved across the country that year and I had a really hard time finding my niche in Minnesota.

    • the first electon I really remember was Nixon circa what 1972? Then watergate, then Ford taking over then Carter in 1976 and my dad taking me to see him in Monument square in Portland By 1984 I was a freshman in college canvassing for mondale/Ferraro… but it was the ’92 primary that I remember the most fondly.. my first in NH .. .I was 25 and I worked on the Harkin campaign.. thats when I met Clinton, Bob Kerry, and Paul Tsongas in one day… it was magical.. before social media…really even before email.. just pure grassroots good old NH campaigning.. God it was awesome

    • I remember (vaguely) the “Jimmy Who?” ads for Jimmy Carter in ’76
      I first voted for Dukakis in ’88. I was very excited to vote but the outcome was very blah. I remember telling my mother it felt like Reagan was still Pres, that nothing had changed. It was exciting when Clinton won in ’92 since my parents had pretty much voted for the loser all through my childhood.

  3. One of my early memories is my mom sticking a Mondale/Ferraro sticker on the windshield of our Datsun in 1984. In 1988 I was in third grade and our teacher had us all make posters for our preferred candidate, and I remember sitting on the monkey bars with a bunch other kids singing “We will we will Smush Bush” to the tune of “We Will Rock You.”

      • Yes. …sorry?

        But my mom was born in ’47. My parents were usually among the oldest in school except for the kids who had lots of older siblings.

        • no need to be sorry it was more b/c I always assume everyone i’m talking to is my age LOL…and i’m always surprised when they’re not

          my mom was born in 26 and my dad in 16.. so I lived the old parent route too!

          • People are always surprised to hear that my FIL survived the Nazis attacking Poland. When he was a teenager he had to dive into the farm fields to avoid being shot at by Nazi planes. He’s 87 now, 10 years older than my grandmother!

            • My FIL is 84 and was a displaced person for most of the war. He fled Lithuania with his brother, was separated from his parents for a chunk of time and made his way all over Europe during the war. I bet our FILs would have some stories to share.

  4. I woke up this morning and thought, “Mitt who?” It is amazing how quickly he is fading out of my mind. I did get a little chuckle out of the story about how all the billionaires are now really mad that the Romney campaign was assuring them even right before the election that they had it in the bag, and now they wonder why they wasted $350 million. Oh boo hoo.

    My kids watched some of the events on TV, but then they wandered off to do their homework or other stuff, particularly once it looked pretty clear what the outcome was going to be. I remember watching Carter / Reagan on TV in 1980 and we had a blank map of the states we were coloring in. I can’t remember if they were showing the same type of electoral map on TV at that time, but we were doing it at home.

    • I couldn’t help but wonder if the reason KR freaked out when Ohio was called was because he’d guaranteed a victory from that state by illegal means. Like these billionaires had paid him to set some fraud up, and someone he trusted didn’t come through, and now his kneecaps were gonna get broken!

    • Yeah, I was raised by Republicans and then went to a conservative college, so I voted for Reagan twice [sorry everyone!] before I wised up and went with Dukakis in 88.

    • My first election was ’88 too. I was so crushed when Dukakis lost. It is hard to remember that a few months before the election we actually thought Dukakis was going to win.

  5. Jessica was really glad that Obama won, but she didn’t “feel” it – I attribute that to the fact that we just don’t live in the US and it’s not in her face as much. Which is fine. She’s pretty consistently always liked Obama all the way – in 2008, when she was 3, she said she thought Obama should win because “he has a happy daddy smile.” She also pointed out that it appears to her that Obama and our Prime Minister Julia Gillard are friends, and Obama should stay president because “they already know each other and it’s easier to do work together when you’re friends.” Geopolitics in a nutshell?

    • it’s like 8 year old Liza explaining that Hilary should win because “she’s already lived in the White House and knows where everything is” and because “moms are good at fixing problems”

      • I suspect she’ll have the opportunity to put that experience to work in a few more years. She knows where everything is, moms are good at fixing problems, and – oh yeah – she’s spent the last four years running the world, which is a decent bit of resume padding. She says she’s tired and maybe she is, but we just watched the Big Dog spend the last 6 months collecting chips to cash in and I suspect he now has that market cornered. So I expect her to step down for a year or two of R&R (&fundraising), and come back relaxed and refreshed.

        • Let me tell you guys if you thought i was a passive observer of this election get ready for “man the torpedos full speed ahead” Katie if Hillary runs again… I just wouldn’t be able to contain myself…

          • Same here. As much as I *can* *not* stand elective politics, even I would get my a$$ out there for Hillary.

            Who was joking about a Clinton/Warren ticket? I would go out for Warren as well.

            And Michelle Obama now that we are dreaming. But I’ve never heard word one that she would ever ever ever be interested in running for office.

            • Nooooo! We just got Warren elected, she needs to stay in the Senate. We need good people in the Senate, staying in the senate. Forget all this running for pres stuff.

              • ooooohhhh… Well… Now. I really, really like Cory Booker. Am I wrong for feeling like he shouldn’t skip some steps along the way, going from mayor to Veep? I don’t know how he’d go as a senator, in a non-executive position, but I would like to see him as governor of NJ.

                • I bet he would hate being in Washington. Part of the reason he’s so great is that he is hands-on in Newark. He can really do things there and in Washington he’d be bogged down with dealing with politicians instead of every day people.

            • I could get behind Clinton/Warren. It would be a nicely balanced ticket, too, now that Hillary has the gravitas and foreign policy chops to pull it off. Warren is still green from the political standpoint but has exactly the economic focus we need. Republicans would freak out, though.

              Booker’s not only a mayor, he’s mayor of a city nobody is entirely sure about. So not even AAA minor league. I’m sure he’s a great guy but if he has higher political ambitions he’s got to start climbing.

            • There’s that, but really, I mainly just have Clinton fatigue. She has done a commendable job as Sec of State. But I just can’t stand a lot of the people they have a tendency to surround themselves with – the Terry McAuliffes and Dick Morrises. I don’t really mind them so much but their hangers-on just make me cringe.

                    • I had the same feeling in ’08. Love her, but felt it was time to move on from the Clintons. I also felt like she wouldn’t have beat McCain, but who knows. I admire her so so much still, and a presidential run would be supported by me in ’16. One reason she’s even more amazing in my eyes is because of the flak she (still) gets about her hair. I even had liberal female friends saying “she needs to get rid of the scrunchies!” But I think it’s kick-ass — I think she’s even said that she keeps her hair long because she is BU-SY, people. She doesn’t want to fret over a helmet of short hair when she’s flying all over the world every day. She can land, put her hair up in a banana clip and go WORK. Love it!

                    • RE the hair…it’s funny..that’s exactly the reason I have short hair. Sprinkle some water, shake my head, and I’m done. Long hair takes too much fussing. But that in between political cut that so many poli women sport…that is for sure hard work! Who has time for that???

              • I don’t know. One of my main reasons for choosing Obama over Hillary was that I was afraid she’d bring in Rahm Emmanuel. Yeah, look how that turned out.

                So then I went back to thinking I’d have been equally happy with Hillary or Obama. But this summer when there was speculation about replacing Biden, I read that she probably wouldn’t want the veep job because she’d rather distance herself from Obama’s “left wing policies” before running herself. To which I respectfully say, “Eeeep?” I don’t see myself getting excited about anyone to the right of Obama.

          • Look, in 2007, I was with you. I have always respected and admired Hillary, but I didn’t want her as the candidate in ’08. I stand by that decision. But the way she’s conducted herself as Secretary of State has been so outstanding, I would be proud to have her as the candidate in 2016.

            • I’m of the same mind. I feel like being Secretary of State and also 8 more years passage of time makes my Clinton fatigue much less than it was back in 2007.

              But I also agree with PoB about some of their “hangers on.”

            • If I had a nickel for every Obama ’08 er who told me they’d be totally down with Hillary in ’16 I’d be rich…. ;-)

              I still think of her as my candidate…

              • Hey, I hope I was clear in ’07 and ’08 that my support for Obama (and, yes, I will own it, Edwards at first) was not a negative vote for Hillary, but rather a positive choice for Obama. I still think we were so damn lucky in ’08 to have a full bench of qualified, thoughtful candidates.

                For me, as I say, the way Hillary has owned the role of SoS has further burnished her formidable resume, which is why I would be delighted to support her in ’16.

                I’m not walking back on who I supported in ’08 by any means and I sure as shooting don’t have any regrets; I’m simply saying that I think Hillary would be a great choice in ’16.

            • Gotta say, it might give me pause. Especially to think about reelection 4 years after that. Given that my mom went round the bend with dementia before she died at 78.

            • I assumed it was a serious question because it was the first thing I thought the first time I saw “Clinton 2016″ the day after the election. That’s why I knew her age–I looked it up yesterday. Most people retire at 65. My dad worked and loved it until the day he died unexpectedly at age 75. Literally, the day he died–he was working at his desk when it happened. I think Clinton’s age will be an issue if she runs. I love her, and I think she would be a fantastic president, but I also think that her age will be an issue.

              • I don’t have a problem with her age, to be honest with you. My mom’s 68 and still working. My dad would be working if he could find a job.

                We all have our issues and things we weigh when we support a candidate; for me, this isn’t one of them. YMMV.

  6. I remember being 4 and going to our elementary school with my mom to vote in some local election. She pointed to a poster of one of the candidates (probably the Republican, but i can’t recall), and said “oh, he lies all the time.” I was SHOCKED and i remember telling my mom “but grown ups aren’t allowed to lie!” it totally rocked my world. my intro to politics.

  7. I still haven’t called my brother. He knows how I feel about his runs for office, though we don’t actually talk about this. He and I used to debate politics all the time until he announced his first run for state office, at which point I went dead silent. And I never donated to his campaign, since to me that would be like buying a beer for an alcoholic. (He has some views on race and immigration that are a serious problem for me, though I don’t think he connects the dots to his latino nephews.) My family is very tight so that told him how strongly I disapprove.

    But seeing him in that news clip really kind of broke me up. I didn’t want him to win but he’s my brother. So I want to call him, but I also want to give him some space – I may well be the strongest liberal inside his personal bubble, so I don’t want him to feel I’m rubbing his nose in it, even though he knows I wouldn’t do that deliberately. I wish now I’d been more supportive during the campaign.

  8. My daughter was incensed that Romney won Louisiana, after all the mess of Hurricane Katrina, and with all the help they still need. I thought that was a very interesting reaction… it’s not something I had ever discussed with her, and was surprised at how viscerally she felt it.

    She was watching the totals come in with me, and was concerned that Romney had an early lead in electoral votes, but then I explained why that was OK and expected.

    When Obama won, she decided it was okay that Louisiana had voted for Romney because she knew Obama would help them anyway and they’d get what they needed. :-)

    It’s the first time I’ve felt her invested in politics, and I think it was genuine, and not just “hey, you can stay up late on a school night and eat all the pizza and ice cream you want while I deal with election stuff.” :-)

  9. Lucy was really disappointed and confused when the TV flashed up that Romney won Nebraska. Explaining the electoral college (sorta) to a 6 year old isn’t for the faint of heart. She eventually understood that Obama could still win, and if he did, he was going to be the president for Nebraska, too. I think this was the first time she understood that most people who live in our state are not “on Obama’s team,” as she put it. That can be a bit hard to grasp living in the part of town where we live. There were Romney signs here and there, but mostly Obama supporters where we live, on our way to school, and around her school. And then add in the professions that DH and I are in and our gay lovin’ liberal church…we just don’t personally encounter all that many republicans.

  10. My oldest was a first time voter this year. She was very glad have been on the winning side; she took it quite personally when the anti gay marriage amendment passed in May in spite of her voting against it. My younger one tried to stay out of politics at school, since she’s in the minority there.

    My first election was ’84. I of course started a long streak of backing losers then. ’84 or ’88 was the infamous Jesse Helms race here; it’s amazing that I ever paid attention to politics again after surviving that one.

        • White hands crumpling up a rejection letter while the voice over said “you didn’t get the job because of affirmative action.” Blatant, blatant. No dog whistles there; everyone could see that for what it was.

          • That election had some of the highest voter turnout they ever had. It was close too IIRC but poor Harvey Gantt did not pull it out.

            His daughter was in college with me. She said they were having a lot of trouble in the western part of the state. I had thought it would be the east where the KKK were rumored to be HQed but it was Appalachia.

        • Yeah, it’s on youtube. Nice.

          On the CA side, I’m mostly pleased. Surprised about the labeling and sad about the death penalty one. But glad 30 passed.

          I was a bit shocked that the death penalty one lost so incredibly badly, but then I wondered why I was shocked, kwim? I thought that after all these years and hard data on the terrible flaws of the death penalty, it would go down.

    • DH’s Republican brother defriended him on facebook on Election Night. DH texted him to say WTF? And Bro was all, “You voted against my family’s way of life! So unless you want to pay my taxes I’m done with you!”

      Seriously.

      He texted him an apology the next morning, but still no refriending on facebook.

      I can’t even with these people.

      • Seriously? SERIOUSLY?? What’s his “way of life” that you voted against? Are they uber wealthy? I had an asshat Republican cousin unfriend me sometime in the past week, which is pretty odd given that I mostly talk about my kids and had only few and far political status updates until election night itself. I was a little hurt at that, but could dismiss it because we only see each other every few years anyway. But your DH’s brother? That’s cold.

        • Apparently they are much wealthier than I realized, LOL.

          And you know, we put our money where our mouth is. We are happy to pay our share of taxes. I think when you get down to it, that’s the basic difference between Democrats and Republicans. Dems believe we’re all in this together. Republicans are all “Me me me me me me me. Did I mention me?” I’d rather do without a few extra bucks than be a selfish asshole.

        • It’s not the money, it’s the values.

          Living here in what is apparently a bizarro Dem bubble, I know many uber wealthy people (like Romney wealthy) and just plain very high income level people who had no problem voting for Obama and Prop 30 here in California. A couple of peeps did express not exactly wanting to pay more taxes (bc really who does?), but that they would never consider not voting Dem.

            • I only have one relative who has what I consider to be a lot of money. He’s built up a very successful business, employs a lot of people, lives in & raised in OC. He’s conservative in terms of economics. He’s really uninterested in any of the issues the right has become known for, or in the social justice stuff the left fights for. On election day just commented on FB that he doesn’t “care who you vote for, just vote.” I can respect that. Even if he voted for Romney (he may not have, I don’t know), he’s not threatening to lay off his employees, he’s not crying about America dying.

              Unlike my Rush-spewing grandfather who kept emailing me impassioned forwards about my God-given right to vote. First of all, I am Christian, and even I know that God didn’t give me the right to vote. Women (and some men) had to fight like hell to get it. My grandfather ignores me most of the time, and when he does email me it’s this crap. Even when I asked him to stop and let him know I would love to hear from him personally, and that if his forwards continued I would have to put his email in the spam category. Doesn’t matter to him apparently, the forwards continue.

              No one’s political views have ever been changed by a multi-colored email set in 80pt type.

      • that is soooooo cold. Not the one that lives in CT, but the other one, right? That’s just awful.

        I am really proud to say that my uber-conservative friends haven’t defriended me and we’re all carrying on. What’s funny is that my kind of whack-a-doodle cousin posted a photo of Ron Paul with the caption of “enjoy your economic downfall and wars”. My American cousin who lives here in Australia. I keep wanting to ask him how the hell he can love living in Australia and, you know, worship Ron Paul. Mind you, he does live in Queensland and they’re all crazy rednecks up there anyway.

          • You know I’m not one to lightly throw any label-words around, so when I say redneck, I mean it. Honestly, if I hear someone say “I’m not racist/sexist/against the gays but“… it’s likely to be a Queenslander.

        • He has four brothers. Thankfully only one of them takes politics WAY too seriously.

          This guy defriended me during the 2008 election, because I posted something on MY wall making fun of Palin. Didn’t speak to us for months because he was so worked up over the election. He eventually simmered down, apologized and friend requested me again. I never accepted it because FUCK THAT NOISE. I don’t do facebook to get grief from anyone.

          My poor DH.

    • Ya know. I’ve had it. Fortunately I have very few friends who are whinging over the election but I could give them three dates 10/15/02, 6/5/12 and 6/9/12. Those are the days that I lost my first pregnancy and the use of one of my tubes and was told that I may not have children without assistance (boy were they wrong on that count), the day I found out my husband has cancer, and the day I found out that the operation to remove his cancer was not successful and that his tumor was inoperable at that point. Actually I could pretty much give them my whole month of June as I almost lost him two more times following that. It’s called perspective.

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