GOP Can't Afford to Be the Party of Just Rich White Folks

President Obama's re-election proves the Democratic Party understands the future of America as a diverse country, not one made up of rich white people.

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US President Barack Obama celebrates after delivering his acceptance speech ion Chicago on November 7, 2012. Obama swept to re-election, forging history again by transcending a slow economic recovery and the high unemployment which haunted his first term to beat Republican Mitt Romney.
US President Barack Obama celebrates after delivering his acceptance speech ion Chicago on November 7, 2012. Obama swept to re-election, forging history again by transcending a slow economic recovery and the high unemployment which haunted his first term to beat Republican Mitt Romney.

Oh my, oh boy, oh baby, Obama!

Yes, my dear Republican friends, four more years. 

The president did the unbelievable. Even many in his party didn't believe he could be re-elected with the economy as it is, the unemployment rate as it is, the death of a U.S. ambassador, and a very strong campaign run against him. But he did it—again, he beat the odds, and he made history.

[See a collection of political cartoons on the 2012 campaign.]

One of the reasons for this is the obvious effort that Democrats put into getting out the message to vote early in key battleground states. And another reason? The Democrats get the changing demographic of America. Hispanics and women certainly helped to decide this election. 

But to the president's skeptics: He did win nearly every battleground state and although it hasn't been called yet as I write this, I believe the president will carry Florida once all the ballots are counted. And he won not only the electoral vote, but likely the popular vote. 

The election was a victory for Democrats on many many levels.  Not only was the president re-elected, but Democrats kept their majority in the Senate and gained some key states: in Massachusetts, very strong liberal Democrat Elizabeth Warren. In Illinois, Tammy Duckworth won the seat she fought so hard to gain victory for. In Connecticut, Chris Murphy defeated Linda McMahon. In Florida, Bill Nelson held his seat against Connie Mack; and Sherrod Brown also remains the victorious incumbent in Ohio, as did Bob Casey in Pennsylvania. And in Virginia, Democrat Tim Kaine prevailed, as did Tammy Baldwin against Tommy Thompson in Wisconsin. The state of New Hampshire elected what will be the only female Democratic governor of a state after 2012, Maggie Hassan. As of this writing, Michele Bachmann has been re-elected in Minnesota, but the race is so close that there may be a recount. And of course, Democratic newcomer Patrick Murphy might just prevail over incumbent Allen West.

[See a collection of political cartoons on Congress.]

These are just a few examples of how Democrats have gained in this election year. But our nation, the results show, is still very much divided. And the president was very aware of that as he gave a very unifying speech to the American people late last night. He spoke of God blessing "these United States" as opposed to "America." So this election was a wake up call. And not just to Republicans, who clearly need to re-examine their loyalty to Grover Norquist and the Tea Party—neither of which served them well in this election. They also need to stop being the party of the rich white folks, as that is not the new face of America going forward. And they need to stop demonizing the federal government, for as Hurricane Sandy showed us, Uncle Sam certainly can and should help.

If the president, House Speaker John Boehner, and former Gov. Mitt Romney all mean what they say about working together and us not looking at America as a red state/blue state nation, it should be a very different four more years. Republicans keep the House. Democrats keep the Senate. And if you look at Minority leader Mitch McConnell's response to the president's victory? It would seem ole' Republicans like Mitch are very resistant to change. And that will continue to divide their party and provide a path to victory for us the Democrats, just as it did for the president last night .

  • Read Peter Roff: Obama Won But Has No Mandate
  • Read the U.S. News Debate: Should the United States Get Rid of the Electoral College?
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