This was not supposed to have been an easy year for U.S. liberals. After the Tea Party wave of 2010 and the unprecedented flood of money brought in by the Citizens United ruling, the deck was stacked against many on the left. But liberals fought back and won: this was the year of resilience.
The fight against right-wing voter suppression was perhaps the biggest success. More than half the states in this country considered voter ID laws, and some lawmakers were open about their intent. Pennsylvania Senate Majority Leader Mike Turzai put it simply: “Voter ID, which is going to allow Governor Romney to win the state of Pennsylvania– done.”
But it wasn’t done. Voting rights advocates successfully blocked that law in Pennsylvania, and blocked similar laws in Wisconsin and beyond. Obama went on to win the state’s electoral votes.
In Florida, voter suppression measures backfired and inspired many voters to go to the polls, where some stood in line for six or seven hours, waiting to vote. But eventually all the ballots were casts, and the voice of the people was heard.
Not everyone had an easy time accepting the defeat, especially Karl Rove, who’d spent three hundred million dollars trying to win an election, and failed. Despite the odds, the massive liberal ground game ultimately overcame the billionaire boys club.
Liberals triumphed when it came to marriage equality too, where after 32 straight defeats at the ballot box, marriage equality became reality in Maine, Maryland, Washington.
Tea Party radicals like Allen West, Richard Mourdock, and Joe Walsh were sent packing, and we won’t be hearing from Todd “legitimate rape” Akin anytime soon. Instead we’ll say hello to 20 women senators, a new record. That includes the main street fighter herself, Elizabeth Warren, who’s ready to push back against the big banks and stand up for the little guy.
More than anything, 2012 was about fairness. We witnessed a great debate on what kind of country we want to be and what role the government should play, and Americans voted for compassion, for hope, and for fairness–a world where we ask the big guy to chip in a little more to help solve our debt problems, rather than taking from the neediest among us.