Obama and progressives: what will liberals do with their big elec
Elizabeth Warren during an election night rally after defeating Republican Scott Brown in the Massachusetts Senate race. Photograph: Michael Dwyer/AP
The greatest and most enduring significance of Tuesday night's election results will likely not be the re-election of Barack Obama, but rather what the outcome reflects about the American electorate. It was not merely Democrats, but liberalism, which was triumphant.
To begin with, it is hard to overstate just how crippled America's right-wing is. Although it was masked by their aberrational win in 2010, the GOP has now been not merely defeated, but crushed, in three out of the last four elections: in 2006 (when they lost control of the House and Senate), 2008 (when Obama won easily and Democrats expanded their margins of control), and now 2012. The horrendous political legacy of George Bush and Dick Cheney continues to sink the GOP, and demographic realities -- how toxic the American Right is to the very groups that are now becoming America's majority -- makes it difficult to envision how this will change any time soon.
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