by Bob Geary
Obama a decisive winner, though the popular vote is close. Elizabeth Warren, Tammy Baldwin head a cast of new Democrats in the U.S. Senate, which stays Democratic by 55-45. The House is Republican. Averting the fiscal cliff and moving the country forward now requires — what?
Pat McCrory wins the governor's office for the Republicans, who dominate both houses of the General Assembly. They can do what they want, but North Carolinians split down the middle for lieutenant governor, and most of the Council of State went Democratic. Obama lost North Carolina, but not by much.
Our state is closely divided, suggesting that while the Republicans can slash and burn government services, it won't be popular if they do. They really should — what?
Around the country, gay marriage is winning in Maine, Maryland and Minnesota, and we'll see about the state of Washington later. A pro-immigration DREAM Act measure passed in Maryland as well. Florida rejected an extreme anti-abortion measure. The country is not conservative. It is forward-looking.
Given our constitutional structure, the Republicans in Washington can stop President Obama and the Democrats from accomplishing anything, despite the election results. The Republicans in Raleigh can run roughshod over the Democrats, despite the election results.
But good sense and a regard for the good of the nation — and the state — say that it's time for the Republicans to stop being the party of opposition and obstruction and start being a party of constructive compromise.
Obama is prepared to bargain. Not clear if the Republicans in Congress will.
In Raleigh, McCrory may or may not put the brakes on his party's right-wing. As for the Democrats, the search for leaders and policies begins immediately.
One final word, about Walter Dalton. Bev Perdue's lame withdrawal put him at a terrible disadvantage against McCrory, one he couldn't overcome. But he proved to be a first-rate candidate, albeit with second-rate financing, and he shouldn't be counted out in the future. He'd be a good governor.