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HEY MITT, YOU DIDN’T BUILD THIS DEFEAT BY YOURSELF!

Hey Mitt,

I’m going to resist the temptation to gloat.  Well, maybe just a little bit ( NAH-NA-NA-NAH-NAH).  Okay, now I’ve got that out of my system.  Seriously though, I and a whole lot of American’s had real problems with you, from tax returns to policy shifts.  But, it seems that you had a whole lot help in bringing about this defeat.

Let’s start with you first.  Your refusal to reveal your tax documents was a problem, but not your most significant one.  The truth is [that] if you had revealed them it may have helped you.  It’s possible that had you done so it would have given the voters a look at just who the real Mitt Romney is.  America doesn’t have a problem with wealthy people.  We’ve had many leaders that have come from privilege.  Given the cost of getting elected today if you don’t have significant resources, or access to them, it is difficult to run for any office at any level.  That’s not your problem, that’s a problem for America.

But without the anchor of an identity, you seemed to most of us to be like a ship without a rudder, cast upon the sea of our democracy, with no discernible direction, no way for us, the voters, to know just where you would lead us.  So with no real understanding of the captain of the “great ship republican” at sea, we only had the republican ship to see.  What we saw, well, was downright scary.

Just take a look, from our perspective, and you can see what we saw.  We saw Todd Akin and Richard Murdock.  We saw Scott Walker and, your own choice for VP, Paul Ryan.  We saw John Kachich and John Husted.  We saw Rick Scott and Rick Detzner.  We saw Jeff Flake in Arizona telling people to go to the wrong polling place.

We heard John Sununu and Donald Trump.  We heard Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck,  Ann Coulter and Laura Ingraham,  Bill O’Reilly and Sean Hannity.  We heard Newt Gringrich and  Grover Norquist.

We read the Washington Times and The National Review.

We saw the attacks on President Obama, the our of context quotes, the distortions, the outright lies.

We saw the assault on women’s rights to reproductive choices and access to healthcare.

We saw the disdain your party had for Latinos, the contempt for the LGBT community.

We saw how the African-American community was discounted.

We watched your party’s attempts to suppress the vote.  We watched them attempt to game the system.  We even saw overt, blatant attempts to cheat.  The margin for the President was about 3 million votes, but we will never know how many voters were affected by your party’s efforts, how those efforts affected down ballot races and initiatives.

Now I know you will say that they are not you, but since you chose not to reveal who you were, and you chose not to rebuke them, we were left to conclude that they “are” you, or at least that you believe and feel as they do.

Even your opponents agreed that you are a good man.  A family man with strong values and principles.  But we never got to see that part of you.  By not taking a stand you became a part of a stance that America rejected.

So you see, it was a collective effort.  What just occurred was not a rejection of just you, but a rejection of what your party has become.  If only you had been you, someone with a recognizable identity, someone we could relate to and understand, then perhaps….

You know the last republican president was also a good man.  A man of values and principles.  But ideology led him, and the people around him, to take America to a place where the needs of the few outweighed the needs of the many.  We’ve been there and we’ve decided that’s not where we want to be.

So it wasn’t just your many you’s, that lost last Tuesday, it was your party and the way it operates.  There’s plenty of blame to go around and plenty of people to share the blame.

You did not build this by yourself.

OH(BAMA) WHAT A NIGHT!!!!!

OH WHAT A NIGHT.

Candidate Barack Obama made history in November 2008.  That’s true.  But what President Barack Obama has done in November  2012 is truly historic.  When all is considered, when the story is told, not through the simplistic lens of who won and who lost, America will shudder at revelations revealed by this electoral process, but in the end stand tall in revelry at her ability to stand up against the powerful whose will is, not to live up to the founder’s intent to “form a more perfect union,” but to create a union that “perfectly” suits their purposes.

The Republicans, over the last four years, have used virtually every underhanded tactic imaginable.  They’ve lied, they’ve deceived, they’ve cheated, they’ve attempted to make a mockery of the very process that makes this the greatest country in the world.  They vowed to obstruct the President, and turned around and attempted to blame him for the slow recovery of our economy.  They’ve challenged his birth origin, his citizenship, his legitimacy as President.  They’ve challenged his love of America.  They’ve call him a liar, a Muslim, they’ve refused to acknowledge any of his accomplishments.  Indeed many Republicans, including Romney, have tried to co-op the things he has been able to get done, while at the same time, retreating from their own policies simply because the President embraced them and tried to implement them.  They accused President of “palling around with terrorist,” said that “he has apologized for America around the world,” castigated him for attending a church with a radical preacher (is he Muslim or Baptist?)  They’ve attacked his wife, and family.  They even went after his dog.  They didn’t stop with the kitchen sink, they threw the whole damn kitchen at him and he didn’t flinch.  He didn’t back down.

The amazing thing about this race, is that it was so close.  How, in the face of all the lies, in the face of all the stupid challenges, in the face of all the obstructive tactics by the Republicans, with their attacks on minorities, with their assault on women’s rights, their shifting positions on issues, with their disdain for the LGBT community, their overt attempts to suppress the vote, could anyone have voted for Romney or any of the republicans running for office.  It’s amazing to me.

But, in the end, “Oh what a night.”

I was at the Michigan Democratic Headquarters, in the Grand Ballroom at the MGM Grand Hotel, on election night, and there was, remarkable as it may seem, an air of confidence in the room as I arrived, about 8:30.  Everyone that I spoke with was upbeat, even as the early returns showed the electoral count favoring candidate Romney.  When the polls in the east began to close, the early projections showed the challenger with a 33 to 3 lead, with Romney winning the early vote in the south plus Indiana and the President winning Vermont.  Still I didn’t sense any panic among his supporters.  There was an energy in the calm, though.  There was much on the table with the US Congress elections and several other important down ballot contests and initiatives, that had the attention of the attendee’s.

By 9:00, with more polls beginning to close, more projections had been made.   The President had been projected to win all of New England (except New Hampshire, which soon came on board), Michigan, Illinois, Maryland, Delaware, and the District of Columbia.  But with Romney winning Arkansas and Tennessee, CBS News projected that Romney was leading the President in electoral votes 88 to 78.  With each state projection there were cheers or boos depending on who won or lost, but there was no panic, just an expectation that everything was going to be just fine.

An hour and a half into the evening  you could feel the excitement building inside the room.  A little past 9:30 newly re-elected Congressman John Conyers approached the podium to address the crowd and a raucous cheer erupted in the room.  Conyers, who had faced a primary challenge after being the victim of redistricting by a republican state legislature that moved him from the 14th district to the newly aligned 13th district handily, defeated Republican challenger Harry Sawacki.  (This is another example (alignment of voting districts),  a perfect example, of why elections matter.  Even down ballot.

After a few words the congressman introduced newly re-elected Senator Debbie Stabenow to the crowd.  The crowd went berserk  as the Senator took to the podium.

The Senator, armed with the endorsement of the republican-leaning Michigan Farm bureau, easily defeated republican Pete Hoekstra to return to Washington for a third term.  Hoekstra, if you’ll remember was widely criticized for running a controversial ad that featured an Asian woman talking in broken english about China taking our American jobs.  An ad that even some republicans rebuked as racially tinged and insensitive.  He attempted to brand Sen. Stabenow as the “follower-in-chief” because of her relationship with President Obama, and ran numerous negative ads on TV and the internet as he tried to bring her down, but the Senator stayed strong and positive.  “I am proud that we stuck with our positive message about what we’ve gotten done for Michigan,” said Stabenow.

As we approached 10:00 we had more projections.  Pennsylvania for Obama.  Moments later New Hampshire, Wisconsin (so much for the VP home-state bump), and Minnesota.  The vote was so close at this point that CNN was projecting Romney ahead by 152 -143, NBC projected Obama ahead 158-153, and Fox News Channel had it as a tie 153 electoral votes a piece.

Between 10 and 11:00 Romney picked up Missouri, North Carolina, Nebraska, Utah and Montana and there was a slight nervousness in the crowd, but that all went away at 11:00 when the west coast polls closed.  Pandemonium broke out in the ballroom when it was announced that California, Washington State, Hawaii, followed by New Mexico and Iowa were going to The President.

The exuberance began to ebb, somewhat, as we became aware that Ohio was pending.  At 11:13 NBC announced that President Obama was going to win Ohio and moments later announced Barack Obama would be re-elected President of the United States.  As you can imagine the excitement, the energy, the anticipation all came together and the ballroom could not contain it all.  It spilled out of the room, down the hallways, throughout the hotel.  It was Christmas and New Years eve all wrapped up in one.

I don’t know about you guys, but I was ready for a cigarette.  What a night!  I wasn’t surprised by the outcome (I had predicted that President Obama would win with 331 electoral votes.  He finished with 332).  As much as I believed in the President, I also believed in the American People.  Yes, the republican party did everything possible to steal this election.  Yes, their candidate flip-flopped all over the place and outright lied about himself and the President.  But America saw through it all and did the right thing.  I wrote in a previous post a thank you to the voters, and I really mean it.  There is much yet do and I believe our President is going to get it done, from completing his healthcare initiative to Wall Street reform.  We are going to have tax and immigration reform.  Hopefully we’ll get campaign finance reform, a change in the way we conduct national elections and a change in the filibuster.  President Obama, not burdened by re-election, can use his executive powers to enact programs if the congress does not.  America is moving forward and the Republicans can’t stop us.  It’s time to get to work.

First though, I’m gonna have that smoke.

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Here’s some more pictures from election night at the MGM Grand Hotel:

Senator Debbie Stabenow greets her supporters
Supreme Court Candidates, (left to right)Connie Kelley, Sheila Johnson and Bridget McCormack.
McCormack was the only winner.

EVENT ATTENDEES: