Like many of my friends I am still shocked and depressed that the American voters would not be much concerned about our rapidly escalating $16 trillion of federal debt or the President's ineptitude and deliberate deception about Benghazi. But we've got to move on; taking an inventory might be a good, if painful, starting point.
Nationally, we're stuck for four more years with a left wing president who is a very good campaigner and a lousy executive. It was a narrow but clear victory (51% - 48%), won not on his record or his vision for the future, but on dividing the country on economic, ethnic, age, and gender lines. Our candidate could have been a great president, but allowed himself to be painted as a negative caricature, shied away from drawing sharp policy contrasts, and ran a poor get out the vote effort.
Republicans missed a lay-up in the Senate, losing a net two seats (for a 55-45 disadvantage) when 23 of the 33 seats up for election were Democratic. We will have the same opportunity in 2014. Pray for McCain/Graham/Ayotte to remain vocal.
Republicans lost at worst eight (three Tea Party) seats in the House, retaining a 235 - 200 majority. The redrawing of districts after the 2010 census helped, and will remain in effect for a decade. Pray for Boehner/Ryan/Cantor.
Republicans gained a net one governorship (North Carolina), bringing their total to 30. Pray for local wisdom to deal with Obamacare and public employee unions.
In California the public voted to further raise the nation's highest taxes and to create Democratic super-majorities in the Assembly and Senate which can operate with few restraints. Republican voter registration fell below 30%, and we have instituted a "cap and trade" tax/regulatory system to punish what remains of our industrial base. There's nobody to pray for.
In San Francisco we lost the leading moderate on the Board of Supervisors to term limits (a liberal ideologue beat a union official to represent this relatively conservative district) and voted out the one reformer on the Board of City College (which faces loss of accreditation for decades of mismanagement). The Board did vote to ban public nudity - except at street fairs. Ditto to California on the prayer front.
There, that's it. My therapist tells me that I also need to separate what is temporary from what is permanent and focus on what can be done. More than a few friends from afar have suggested that a moving van might be a good start, but first I've got to sort through the "temporary / permanant" thing and get a grasp on "what can be done". I apologize in advandce if the next few weeks feel like my therapist's couch.
bill bowen - 11/30/12