I realized after completing my last post about why I always thought Obama was going to win the 2012 election, I left out the one reason that had most inspired me to write the article in the first place, probably because it was the most partisan:
Barack Obama won the election because a Republican has not fairly won an election since George H.W. Bush was elected in 1988 — in other words, in the last 5 elections, the Democrats were or should've been the true winners.
Clinton's wins in 1992 & 1996 along with Obama's win in 2008 are the obvious ones. & everybody knows that in 2000, Gore got the most number of votes, but lost it in a perfect storm of Fox News, political corruption, & (most disturbingly) the Supreme Court's Gore v. Bush decision. (Which, if you don't think it's possible for something to be compelling that's written in legalese, check out Justice Stevens' masterful dissent, which concludes that the real losers are not Al Gore or the Democrats, but the people of the United States.)
Bush's "loss" to Kerry in 2004 is the kicker, & the one that'll make most conservatives roll their eyes & think you're a joke. To all the haters (as well as all the believers), I refer you to one place, which is one of the most overlooked piece of journalism of the last decade: Robert F. Kennedy Jr.'s "Was the 2004 Election Stolen?" from the June 1 issue of Rolling Stone, which has been reproduced on the progressive website Common Dreams & can be found here.
The 2004 election was a bitter one, in some ways just as much as 2000. But ultimately, in both cases, it seemed as though the "true" winners, Gore & Kerry, didn't really want it so much after all, & in some ways this was the hardest pill to swallow of them all. After a prolonged fight to election day, it was as though neither one had any fight left in him. If Gore hadn't dismissed all of the people contesting their votes (or lack thereof) in his waning days as President of the Senate, or if Kerry had shown the muscle he failed to in the swift-boat controversy, we might be looking at a very different chain of events.
Now, in the end, it was worth the crushing defeat of Kerry (& perhaps even Gore too) if that's what it took for us to get to Obama. With Obama in 2008, the Democrats finally had a candidate strong enough to beat the Republicans, no questions asked. & with Obama in 2012, the Democrats finally had a candidate who could campaign just as strongly as the Republicans, pulling tricks right out of their handbook: Namely, defining Romney before Romney could define himself through his tenure at Bain (this year's swift-boat, if you will) & capitalizing on the "47%" video (this year's "I voted for the war before I voted against it"), which helped to keep an upper-hand on the news-cycle.
But most importantly, in 2012 the Democrats were able to learn from their previous trials & tribulations & turn them around into a stunning mandate. Voter suppression & corruption at the polls were no match for an electorate that was diverse & well-informed. The Democrats were finally able to tap into the base they always knew was out there, & deliver on it honestly & fairly.
&, as icing on the cake, an exasperated Karl Rove on Fox News began accusing the Democrats of rigging Ohio, even after the channel's own people had called the state for Obama.
Pot, meet kettle.