If Martin Luther King Jr. had been allowed to live out a normal life—if he hadn’t been cut down by an assassin’s bullet before he even turned 40—he might’ve lived to see today: He might’ve been an 84-year-old man watching Barack Obama inaugurated as this country’s president for the second time.History was not so kind. Instead, the country celebrates President Obama’s inauguration today, the same day we’ve also set aside to observe King’s birthday. And the confluence of the two events causes one to ask: What would the old minister have made of the young president?Would Rev. King have praised...
President Obama and Mitt Romney had lunch together on Thursday, and let’s be honest: The whole thing was for show. That’s OK! Some shows are necessary, and in America, the post-election show of unity is a fairly honorable tradition—signaling both to the world and ourselves that democracy still works, that we’re not yet to the point of spilling blood in the streets because of our disagreements.But the show usually ends at lunch. Oh sure, there was talk about maybe Mitt contributing to the Obama Administration in some fashion during the next four years, but that probably won’t happen: The two men are ready to be done with each other.
“Myth is the hidden part of every story, the buried part, the region that is still unexplored because there are as yet no words to enable us to get there. Myth is nourished by silence as well as by words.”I remembered that quote by the late great Italian journalist Italo Calvino when I read Post contributor Stephen Silver's "'Massive Voter Fraud' in Philly Is a Myth."
So, Republicans, you lost to President Obama. How are you going to win the next election?Yes, two weeks have passed since the election, and yes, Mitt Romney appears to have begun his post-election shame spiral. (Look away, kids, look away.) And yes, all kinds of liberal commentators are out there giving you free advice about how to improve Republican prospects in the next election—especially among the non-white-dude voters who provided much of Obama’s coalition—most of which boils down to “be more liberal.”Me, I’m liberal, but I think the GOP can expand its appeal by being true to its own beliefs...
Once again, the voting process in Philadelphia is a joke told over and over again on national newscasts. Every four years, the fairness of voting in the city is questioned, and every four years, the suspicions and allegations swirl without investigation.
"Define irony: Bunch of idiots dancing on a plane to a song made famous by a band that died in a plane crash." So said Steve Buscemi’s character in Con Air as the criminals rocked out to Lynyrd Skynyrd. Don’t look now, but the Republican Party is giving that definition a run for its money.
10. The Tea Party? Not much of a party.If there’s one thing 2012 proved conclusively, it’s that the Republican Party needs to be more and not less inclusive. That means shedding itself of associations to the “wackadoodles” who cost the GOP a couple of Senate seats. When even Lindsay Graham says, “We’re not generating enough angry white guys to stay in business for the long term,” change is in the air. Too bad, Tea Party Tom Smith.
Jimmy Kimmel has sent me into a tailspin of doubt. On Monday, Kimmel's Lie Witness News asked people if they’d voted (no polls were open that day in L.A.), and they emphatically answered yes. In other words, they lied.
Once a homeless mother, Cheri Honkala moved to Philadelphia in the late 1980s and has been fighting for the rights of the poor and homeless ever since. This past year, she was chosen as running mate by Jill Stein, the Green Party's presidential candidate. I spoke to her about Obama, Romney, and whether the Green Party would ever consider merging with any other third parties to try to gain a larger base.
We seem to only think about the electoral system for one day every four years, and when that day passes and a winner has been declared, it’s out of sight out of mind. It’s like Groundhog Day with dangling chads. Every four years, like clockwork, we are shocked and appalled at how fragile, incompetent and prone to breakdowns our system for choosing our leaders has become. If our electoral system was a car, we would have traded up decades ago.
Polls were crowded and lines to vote were long on Election Day here in Philadelphia. Unfortunately, that is not always the case. It is a political maxim that voters engage and turn out for presidential elections. But, in the four years between the presidential contests, Philadelphia polling places can be awfully lonely. If we are going to make Philadelphia the city we know it can be, we have to change that fact and come out to vote in local races—as they can be much more important to our day-to-day lives than national contests.
It’s a new day, and we have a new president. Well, actually, we have the old President along with the old House and the old Senate; a Congress that will surely be as deadlocked for the next four years as they were for the last four. My guy lost, and I’m disappointed. I’m disappointed that we’ll move forward with policies that I believe are bad for my country.
Barack Obama has been re-elected to a second term. I voted for the president, and I'm beyond gladdened that Obamacare will be implemented as planned, that there's a chance of a slightly more fair system of taxation, and that the Supreme Court has no chance of suddenly going off the cliff to the right.
Pity poor Mitt Romney.No, I never wanted the man to be president—and given the Pennsylvania returns in Tuesday's election, neither did many of you—but it’s really easy in the heat of a presidential campaign to see your opponent as the devil incarnate, and only appreciate his good qualities later. In 10 years or so, Liz Cheney will be leading the Republican ticket and making everybody outraged, and Democrats will hearken back to the days of old Mitt’s relative courtliness on the campaign trail. In the meantime, Romney has to figure out how to spend the rest of his life now that his ultimate goal has eluded him. That can’t be easy.
This being 2012, voters are taking to Instagram and Facebook to post photos they've taken inside of polling places and even inside of the voting booth, finger on the "Obama" or "Romney" button. And, this being 2012, people have taken to Twitter to complain about how this is illegal. But is it?
As I write this, I have not yet cast my vote because it's Monday night and my polling place is a coffee shop and it would be awkward if I were over there in the dining room right now, demanding that someone ask me for ID though they don't actually need to see it. No matter what Alec Baldwin's most recent personal email to me might suggest, the Dems haven't had to worry about my vote for a while: I've known who I was going to vote for in this election for years now—because though I'm willing to be open-minded about party affiliation, the Tea Party has ruined the GOP for me.
In any good mystery novel, you can’t guess the ending. That’s what tonight’s election results will be: the end of a good mystery novel. Anyone who tells you they know what is going to happen is fooling themselves. I have heard fact-based prognostications from both sides with different results and all are plausible. That’s what makes tonight’s election so much fun to watch.
I make no mystery of my progressive leanings—particularly on social issues like marriage equality and a woman's right to choose—and I have little patience for tried and failed economic strategies that place ideology above reason and use dogmatic tax policy to hold government hostage. But that's not why I'm voting for the President this year.