In fact, I’m not particularly worried by this election. I am sorry to lose Betsy Markey. I am happy we’re keeping Michael Bennet. Some other good things happened in Colorado as well: all three tax-busting amendments were defeated, and the profoundly misguided “fetus personhood” amendment was defeated.
Still, even here conservatives made a lot of gains, and in other parts of the country they made even more. But I am not worried. The demographic tide is with the progressive vision. The religious right, the old white regressives, they are dying off one by one, and a new multi-racial, multi-cultural generation is following close behind.
They are a generation that takes gay people for granted. They are attuned to cities and to peer groups, and they don’t long for the days of June Cleaver and the Mad Men. They’ve always had birth control, rock music, and the internet. They’re going to do things we can barely imagine, and those things will be less racist, less dependent on religion, and hopefully less fear-driven than you might imagine if you looked at this one election.
I am not afraid of them, and I am not afraid of the future, and I am not afraid of a short-term Republican House. The Republicans have no coherent governing vision, and so they are doomed to fail. There is a reason why they consistently refused to outline what they would do if elected. There is nothing they will do, other than cause trouble. They will do nothing but block progress as long as they can, just as they have for the past two years. But they can’t block it for long, because the tide is already moving against them.
Edit to add: This chart makes the point clearly. I picked it up from Andrew Sullivan. This wasn’t the electorate of 2008 repudiating Obama. This was a separate subset of the electorate that is revved up and voted heavily in the mid-terms (which tend to be dominated by older voters), while the younger, more diverse part of the general electorate sat it out. I don’t think that’s a good thing, but the election and what it means has to be understood in context.