Here’s What Happened On Tuesday Night

If you didn’t see Wednesday night’s episode of The Rachel Maddow Show, I suggest you go here and watch it. From start to finish, it was simply the best show she has done.

All of us who sympathize, to one degree or another, with what the Democratic Party stands for, need to sit back and take in all of what happened on Tuesday night. It really was remarkable.

And here is a rather remarkable accounting of it by Saint Rachel, an account we should savor all the way to the end:

We are not going to have a Supreme Court that will overturn Roe versus Wade.

There will be no more Antonin Scalias and Samuel Alitos added to this court.

We’re not going to repeal health reform.

Nobody is going to kill Medicare and make old people in this generation or any other generation fight it out on the open market to try to get themselves health insurance. We’re not going to do that.

We’re not going to give a 20% tax cut to millionaires and billionaires and expect programs like food stamps and kid’s insurance to cover the cost of that tax cut.

We’ll not make you clear it with your boss if you want to get birth control under the insurance plan that you’re on.

We are not going to redefine rape.

We are not going to amend the United States Constitution to stop gay people from getting married.

We are not going to double Guantanamo.

We are not eliminating the Department of Energy or the Department of Education or Housing at the federal level.

We are not going to spend $2 trillion on the military that the military does not want.

We are not scaling back on student loans, because the country’s new plan is that you should borrow money from your parents.

We are not vetoing the Dream Act.

We are not self-deporting.

We are not letting Detroit go bankrupt.

We are not starting a trade war with China on Inauguration Day in January.

We are not going to have, as a president, a man who once led a mob of friends to run down a scared, gay kid, to hold him down and forcibly cut his hair off with a pair of scissors, while that kid cried and screamed for help, and there was no apology, not ever.

We are not going to have a Secretary of State John Bolton.

We are not bringing Dick Cheney back.

We are not going to have a foreign policy shop stocked with architects of the Iraq War. We are not going to do it. We had the chance to do that if we wanted to do that, as a country, and we said no, last night, loudly…

The Democratic senator who was supposed to be the most endangered incumbent in the country not only won, she won by 16 points.

Republican Senator Scott Brown of Massachusetts, who was so stuffed with hedge funds money that he burped credit default swaps, Scott Brown lost by a lot to the nation’s foremost authority on the economic rights of the middle class.

After marriage rights for same-sex couples were voted down in state after state after state for years, more than 30 times in a row, this year, all change. In Maine, they voted on marriage equality and they voted for it. In Maryland, they voted on marriage equality and they voted for it. In Minnesota, they were asked to vote against marriage equality, and Minnesota refused to ban it. In Washington state, the vote is not called yet. They are still counting the vote and we will be watching closely, but if you are on the pro-gay rights side in Washington state, it should be noted that it is looking pretty good.

In Iowa, anti-gay activists were sure that they were going to turf out a judge for ruling in favor of marriage equality. They had done it before, to a bunch of other judges. They had been successful every time they had tried before. But not this one, not this time. Judge Wiggins in Iowa keeps his seat.

Nevada elects its first African-American congressman this year.

America gets our first openly gay United States Senator.

America gets our first-ever Asian-American woman senator from Hawaii. Her seat in the House, I should note, gets filled by…a Democratic Iraq War veteran. I’m going to tell you right now that her name is Tulsi Gabbard, because she is on the fast track to being very famous some day. Tulsi Gabbard.

Speaking of Iraq War veterans, Tammy Duckworth, veteran helicopter pilot who lost both her legs in Iraq, she is going to Congress, and she is sending home the opponent who mocked her for her war record, Joe Walsh.

California relaxed its three-strikes-you’re-out law and rejected a law to cripple the political power of unions.

Decriminalization of marijuana was approved in Washington and in Colorado.

The astonishing tide of dark money spent against Democratic Senators Jon Tester in Montana and Sherrod Brown in Ohio turned out to be pointless. Both those Democratic senators won. They held on to their seats.

Democrats won a Senate seat in North Dakota, of all places, a seat that nobody thought they could win.

All of these states that had this hugely aggressive, total Republican takeover from the 2010 elections—Ohio and Wisconsin and Michigan and Pennsylvania and Virginia and Florida—all of those states that went so red in state government in these past couple of years and that then had these big fights inside their states over how Republicans were governing there, in Ohio, Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Virginia— and we will see about Florida— last night not only did Republicans lose the presidential election in every single one of those states, Republicans lost the Senate race in every single one of those states too: Sherwood Brown, Tammy Baldwin, Debbie Stabenow, Bob Casey, Tim Kaine, Bill Nelson. Depending on Florida, a Democratic sweep of the presidency, and definitely a Democratic sweep of the Senate races in those states that the GOP was so excited to have supposedly turned red in a way that was going to stick.

Last night, Democratic women swept every major office in New Hampshire.

Last night, California Democrats won a Democratic super-majority in the state house and in the state senate. Not just majorities in California, but super majorities. Wherein, if the Republicans don’t turn up, any of them, any day, at work, nothing will be different in California  They’re completely legislatively irrelevant.

Allen West lost his seat.

More women got elected to the U.S. Senate than at any time in U.S. history.

The Republican presidential nominee and vice presidential nominee both lost their home states.

Missouri and Montana and West Virginia chose democratic governors.

West Virginia chose its first gay state legislator. So did North Dakota. West Virginia and North Dakota? Yes, seriously.

Joe Lieberman’s old seat went to a real Democrat in Connecticut.

The proportion of young people voting compared to 2008, it went up. Same with African-Americans, up from 2008. Same with Latinos, up from 2008. Not down, up.

If you are a liberal or if you are rooting for the Democrats, last night was a very, very, very big night.

And, oh, yeah, this happened: President Barack Obama, yes, will go down in history as our nation’s first African-American president. But he will also go down in history as the most successful Democratic presidential candidate since FDR. President Bill Clinton got re-elected too, I know, but only Barack Obama got re-elected with not just big electoral college margins, but also with majority wins in the popular vote, twice.




  1. Yellow Dog

     /  November 8, 2012

    I am speechless. And proud. Wow, I will tuck this somewhere safe to re-read when times get bad. Thanks Duane.


  2. Jane Reaction

     /  November 8, 2012

    Thanks for posting this. Love St. Rachel.


  3. Donna

     /  November 8, 2012

    I agree it was Rachel’s finest show yet.


  4. King Beauregard

     /  November 8, 2012

    Wanna get your Rachel on some more?


    • Thanks for posting that part of her excellent segment. I was going to write a separate blog about it because it needs to be heard. I didn’t know it was on YouTube. Fantastic. Everyone should see this.



  5. King Beauregard

     /  November 8, 2012

    And what the hell, here’s more Rachel fun:

    Her 2010 commencement address at Smith College.


    • “Some dreams are bad dreams!” That address was so Rachel. She is real.

      And her very Aristotelian speech is perfect advice for young people: happiness is looking back on a well-lived life. Period.

      Thanks for calling my attention to it, King Beau.


  6. Outstanding, Duane. Add one more to the list: We will not have a President, at least for four more years, who in his thinking and actions thinks that corporations are people. 🙂


  7. Heh I’m laughing at the Republicans right along with you liberal douchebags but as far as the Supreme Court goes, that thing needs balance. I hope the conservative justices survive long enough to see a Republican president who will appoint proper replacements, though I fear we may be witnessing the death of the GOP in the coming years.


    • King Beauregard

       /  November 8, 2012

      It doesn’t need “balance” so much as justices who are either unbiased or are capable of reining in their biases. Scalia, Thomas, and Alito seem to be incapable of that. Roberts has shown that he can, if he absolutely must. Kennedy and Breyer take matters on a case-by-case basis, and while Kennedy is too conservative for my tastes, at least I don’t think he’s a party hack.

      As for the rest, they strike me as more sensible than partisan. Here’s an article about why they felt the ACA did not violate the Commerce Clause:

      Here’s the takeaway from that which demonstrates their core sensibility:

      “When contemplated in its extreme, almost any power looks dangerous. The commerce power, hypothetically, would enable Congress to prohibit the purchase of all meat, fish, and dairy goods, effectively compelling Americans to eat only vegetables. Yet no one would offer the ‘hypothetical and unreal possibilit[y]’ of a vegetarian state as a credible reason to deny Congress the authority ever to ban the possession and sale of heroin. THE CHIEF JUSTICE accepts just such specious logic when he cites the broccoli horrible as a reason to deny Congress the power to pass the individual mandate.”


    • Thanks for elevating the conversation, Rawhead. I can always count on you.

      Liberal Douchebag


  8. Kabe

     /  November 9, 2012

    A friend of mine told me that many of his Evangelical friends were praying that God would choose the right man to be President. Now they are all pissed. How can that be? If one is so obedient to God, how can they argue his apparent choice? Perhaps this is a sign to them?

    This reminds me of when I was growing up. My cousins and I would spend many summers in Mich. at Grandmas house. She was “Old School Catholic” to say the least. When we fought, she would pull up a chair and make us go a few more rounds. It just wasn’t the same! When one cousin found the booze cabinet, his punishment was a Black Velvet chaser enjoyed with a nasty cigar. ALL of it, not a shot, but in a cup. Missed curfew? Tough, she would unlock the door when she was damn well ready. You get the idea. I have thought about her lately in relation to this election and the Evangelicals. Perhaps this is God’s version of Old School Catholicism for ultra conservatives. Four more years to come to grips with this selection, to behave yourselves, and learn to respect others.



    • Kabe,

      That is an excellent point, one I have pondered for a long time. Conservative Christians believe that God essentially installs our leaders, as Romans 13:1 says:

      Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established.The authorities that exist have been established by God.

      Ouch! How can they be full of Obama-hate and believe the above?

      And I love that story about your Grandma. A cup of Black Velvet and a cigar? That really is old school.



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