, Salem, MA


November 10, 2012

Column: With Obama, gays, geeks and gals won


By 2032, we’ll be able to scrunch our eyes shut, visualize our pick for president, and the big scanners in the cloud will record our thoughts as a vote.

Women. The Senate will have 20 female members, more than ever before. Parity is still a dream, but Tuesday’s gains added five more sets of lady bits to the testicular-dominated dialogue on reproductive rights. Bonus: Richard Mourdock of Indiana (rape + pregnancy = God’s will), Missouri Rep. Todd Akin (legitimate rape) and Illinois’ Rep. Joe Walsh (abortion never saves a woman’s life), all Republicans, lost.

Ultimately, Republicans. The GOP has no choice but to toss its Betamax tapes and switch to a post-Blu-ray format that can attract women, blacks, Latinos, Asians, other ethnic minorities and voters under 40, constituencies who picked Obama. Mitt Romney ruled with older voters, white voters and, not surprisingly, old white voters.

We deserve options, but we have none when third-party candidates are perpetually dissed and when one party has moved so far right, it’s about to turn the bend and come in from the left.

Sen. John Cornyn of Texas, the chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, conceded as much, saying Republicans “have a period of reflection and recalibration ahead ...”

You think?

The voters’ choice is a refudiation (Again, I couldn’t resist.) of the GOP canard that America must be taken back (from whom, they won’t say). More than 47 percent of voters, it seems, care about climate change, energy independence, immigration reform and other issues that Republicans ignored or denied, but Obama promises to tackle in his second term.

Romney’s defeat is the perfect opportunity to use the word schadenfreude, but I’ll resist. (Oops. I just used it.)

Gloating and jokes aside, our nation can’t afford another four years of partisan bickering. America must be “greater than the sum of our individual ambitions,” as Obama said in his acceptance speech.

If America has any chance to “keep the promise of our founders,” Republicans must help build that.


Contact Wendi C. Thomas of The Commercial Appeal in Memphis, Tenn., at

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