A Note of Sympathy for the Republicans

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Suporters of Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney react to results on election night November 6, 2012 in Boston Massachusetts.  US President Barack Obama was re-elected Tuesday, November 6, 2012, television networks projected -- only the second time in several decades that a Democrat has won a second term in the White House.AFP PHOTO/EMMANUEL DUNAND        (Photo credit should read EMMANUEL DUNAND/AFP/Getty Images)
Photo: EMMANUEL DUNAND/2012 AFP

The furious attempts by conservatives to cast doubt upon the polls were obviously, to me, a defense mechanism. But it was a very understandable one. Losing a presidential campaign just stinks. It is a double form of pain. First there is the pain of anticipating changes you despise. And then there is the pain of watching the country you love making a decision you find inexplicable. You feel like a stranger at home.

I have argued that the Republican Party will have to change to have a future. But it will change, the sun will rise, a new day will dawn. I believe that most of the right's fears of what it would mean to reelect Obama — hyperinflation, mass deficits, endless economic stagnation, and an end to American leadership throughout the world — will not come to pass. I will even venture that, one day, Republicans will look back fondly on Obama, the way they do with Bill Clinton.

I am thrilled Obama won. But all of us Obama supporters should feel some kinship with the suffering of Republicans tonight. It has been our suffering before and will be again.