I can remember back in 2008, after the collective will of the country turned with revulsion away from the Bush years with elation toward the inception of the Obama years, that someone wiser than I posted a highly recommended diary that advised all of us not to gloat over our victory. The reasoning was as simple as the sentiment was kind: McCain voters also had passion, also had hope, and if we truly wanted to heal the country, they should be welcomed to the process of getting the country back on track. They should be invited into the process. We knew what a kick in the gut it was to lose to Bush in 2004 and like the big-hearted, open-minded community Progressive America is, we needed to acknowledge the pain of their defeat. Even with Sarah Palin on the ticket. Even with "palling around with terrorists." Even with the avalanche of "ist" accusations (Obama's a socialist, communist, Marxist). We were bigger than that. And the country would be better off. I bought it.
Four years later, I'm not so sure the same holds true. I can remember thinking that as much as I hated the idea of McCain winning in 2008 I found it hard to hate McCain. Politics is a brutal, full contact sport and sure he had to dabble in some ugliness, but you couldn't take away the guy's love of his country, his service, and even some moments of decency - such as telling that crazy woman at his rally that Obama was a good man.
Could anyone imagine Romney doing that? Has there ever been a more shallow, graceless politician nominated by his party? The lies have been documented. The arrogance has been documented. The disregard for work is clear. The disrespect for sweat equity, the struggle, for people who weren't born with the advantages of money and influence. Or white skin.
An faith-based portion of the population still thinks he's going to win - the Dick Morrises and Peggy Noonans of the world write, without any hint of irony that it's actually Mitt Romney campaigning with a spring in his step, that Mitt Romney must be the one seeing the great internal polling, that Mitt Romney is the one confident of victory...
We've all had interactions with Republican "friends" on Facebook. We know how they're thinking. That our guy hates capitalism. That our side doesn't love America. Rooting for the failure of the country so their guy can get in the White House and give everyone a magic tax cut that will solve everything.
It's going to sound impolitic, but this is a fraction of the electorate that needs a comeuppance. They need to know they're wrong - not just a little wrong, but entirely wrong. 2+2=5 wrong. Crazy person wrong. They need to see an electoral end-zone dance cheered by a majority of the country. Because if all the polls are wrong and Romney somehow manages to win this thing, do you think they're going to extend an open hand and say "congratulations on a job well done?" Just like they did in Wisconsin? Just like George Bush did when he won the slimmest re-election for an incumbent since forever? Of course not.
There are good Republicans. I know many. But there are also huge numbers from whom the Fox News caricature of Democrats has become reality. So when the time comes we will be gracious. We will be inclusive. Will be inspired.
And we will be gloating.