Dana Milbank, while crowing over President Obama’s re-election, says that Republicans are going through the 5 stages of grief:
Denial. “I think this is premature,” Karl Rove protested on Fox News election night, after the cable network, along with other news outlets, correctly projected that President Obama had won Ohio — and therefore the presidency. “We’ve got to be careful about calling things.”
Bargaining. “We’re willing to accept new revenue under the right conditions,” House Speaker John Boehner offered Wednesday, shifting his budget negotiating posture before reconsidering the next day, but “the president must be willing to reduce spending and shore up entitlement programs.”
Depression. “If Mitt Romney cannot win in this economy, then the tipping point has been reached,” Ann Coulter said on Laura Ingraham’s radio show. “It’s over. There is no hope.”
Anger. “We should have a revolution in this country,” tweeted flamboyant mogul Donald Trump, who had served as a prominent surrogate for Romney. “This election is a total sham and a travesty.”
Acceptance. Uh, well, there hasn’t been much of that yet.
Well, let’s work on that last one. First of all, remember that the Democrats were going through the very same depression with the re-election of George W. Bush in 2004. They too were worrying if their party would survive, if they could ever win the hearts of an American majority again, if they needed to give up their liberalism and become more like Republicans. That was for the president just before this one. And now the Democrats have re-elected their guy and are as triumphalistic as 2004 Republicans. And now look at those woe-begone Democrats and those crowing Republicans. The pendulum swings, the wheel turns, and fortunes keep changing.
Furthermore, those of us who believe in limited government should also believe in the limited importance of government. True, this election will mean that government will get stronger and, perhaps more concerning, that the general public wants it to get stronger. But our country is too big and complicated to control or even to figure out. Attempts to control and to figure out everything and everyone invariably fail, making for new political opportunities.
Yes, conservatives will have lots to resist. Republicans will need to regroup and address their failures.
But this election surely doesn’t mean the end of America, as I have been hearing. The government as presently constituted does not prevent us from going to church, enjoying time with our families, having a good meal, reading an interesting book, or exercising other facets of our humanity. We are far, far from state totalitarianism, and if you don’t think so read up on life in the former Soviet Union or present-day North Korea.
Christians in particular should cultivate some perspective from a much-much bigger picture. However you voted–and I recognize that some Christians are overjoyed with this outcome that others are mourning–I invite your meditation on Psalm 146, the whole thing, an exploration of whom we must trust including for things we think are political:
Put not your trust in princes,
in a son of man, in whom there is no salvation.
When his breath departs, he returns to the earth;
on that very day his plans perish.
Blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob,
whose hope is in the Lord his God,
who made heaven and earth,
the sea, and all that is in them,
who keeps faith forever;
who executes justice for the oppressed,
who gives food to the hungry. . . .
The Lord will reign forever,
your God, O Zion, to all generations.
Praise the Lord! (Psalm 146:3-7)