Like most of America, I imagine, last night I sat up glued to my computer screen, downing far more local porter than advisable and scarfing pizza to stave off the anxiety that Mitt Romney might become the leader of my country. Fortunately, thanks to stubborn voters standing in lines for five hours or whatever gods might be smiling on us, Barack Obama retained his office with 303 electoral votes--including those of my new state, Ohio (yes, I cried tears of pride when those results rolled in--now if only Florida will match it!).
Beyond this happy news, the 2012 election also yielded a Senate majority for Democrats (let's hope they use it), and better yet, ousted or denied several members of the rightwing rape-enabling brigade: Elizabeth Warren defeated Scott Brown in Massachusetts and Claire McCaskill won against Todd Akin in Missouri. That the winners were female senators is just icing on the cake. Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin took Tommy Thompson's seat, to become the first openly lesbian senator in US history, and Tammy Duckworth will replace Joe Walsh (another rape-enabler) and become the first US senator with a disability. Anti-marriage amendments were struck down in four states and Massachusetts legalized medical marijuana, while Colorado and Washington legalized it for recreational use, with limits.
All in all, it was a pretty good night. President Obama isn't perfect--he certainly isn't as wildly progressive as some reactionary types like to imagine--but waking up this morning to four more years was a good feeling. It is good to think that there are voices in this country that outlast the lunatic fringes and that voting shenanigans can't always keep democracy down. Now we have four more years to get the things done that matter, four more years to work for education initiatives, healthcare, and true civil rights for all our citizens, four more years to work on ending our various fruitless wars. We elected many great people yesterday: now we have to hold them accountable.