So it's over and the President pulled out a very narrow victory over his Republican opponent.
But what does it really mean?
As the song goes, "there are three sides to every story - yours, mine and the cold dark truth." Here are some truths:
1. ObamaCare - It can not be repealed and is now the law of the land. Good, bad or indifferent, we have only the ability now to accept what I personally believe is the destruction of the greatest health care in the world. It may have been broken, but instead of fixing the broken part, ObamaCare took a hammer and obliterated it.
2. Supreme Court - it is unlikely that there will not be a SCOTUS opening for 4 years. The likelihood of that opening being to replace a conservative is better than 50/50, meaning the balance of the court could well shift decidedly leftward. Based on Obama's two appointees, whoever does join the court will not be a true constitutional conservative. If the SCOTUS who retires is a conservative, then Obama's choice could give the court a liberal majority for the first time in many, many years.
3. Iran and the Middle East - Obama has talked a good game and I guess we'll now find out if he really means it. Based on the previous 4 years, I do not see much optimism regarding the long term safety in the region - especially in Israel.
4. Benghazi and Al-Qaeda - Who? The non-FOX media basically gave Obama a free pass on this scandal. Unless that same media decides to treat the President like a head of state, and not like a deity, Benghazi - and those who died there - will be forgotten. The same goes for Brian Terry and the hundreds of Mexican nationals who were murdered by weapons from "Fast and Furious."
5. The deficit - Well he certainly owns it now. Without the ability to blame his predecessor any further, it is now up to the President to make things better. With a debt expected to fly way past the $20-25 trillion mark over the next 4 years, the status quo is not a worthy goal. But the electorate no longer cares about the economy, like they once did. What would have caused a landslide loss in years past, is no longer the top concern of Americans, who instead want someone to give them goodies like free contraception.
Regardless of last night's doom and gloom, the sun still rises and nothing has changed overnight. After all, had Romney won, Obama would still be President until January 20th. For the fifty million who voted for Obama, congratulations. But remember, fifty million Americans also voted against him. We have to accept the fact our guy lost. But we also have to remind the victors that Obama has no mandate, unlike 2008. Because the House is still in the GOP's control, gridlock will continue to stifle any real fundamental changes. Like the past two years, it will get ugly and brutal. But sometimes the status quo is far better than changing things for the worse.
It was indeed a rough night for the right. It's not the first time and sadly won't be the last. But in four years we get to do this all over again. At best, Obama may move center since he doesn't have to appeal to his base any longer (highly doubtful). At worst, we continue America's decline for four more years.
America has spoken and we truly get the government we deserve. But it isn't the end of the world. We've faced harder challenges in the past and things looked might bleak then.
We'll survive this too.