The election's over; now what's next for the nation?

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Despite the expectations of some, the sun did come up today and we'll have to wait at least until the Mayan calendar runs out -- 44 days -- for the world to end.

If' you're generous with who you "friend" on Facebook, you'll see some who are jubilant, others in despair and still others resigned to four more years of gridlock in Washington.

It's good that President Obama was re-elected with a clear majority in the popular vote and Electoral College so the issue is settled, but his "mandate" to rule is slim, having only narrowly defeated a Republican candidate who won votes largely as the only available viable alternative.

Bob Kerrey sounded an appropriately conciliatory tone with Deb Fischer, Nebraska's first female senator and the first congressional delegate to give Nebraska all-GOP representation in Washington for the first time since 1971.

Nebraskans defeated a raise for members of the Unicameral and enshrined hunting and fishing in the Constitution, made committing a crime in pursuit of a public office an impeachable offense, and turned down an amendment that would have given legislators three terms in office instead of two.

However, the man targeted in the original term limits drive, Ernie Chambers, was sent back to the Legislator because of his replacement's gambling problems and his enduring popularity.

Marijuana remains illegal at the federal level, but it will now be legal for all uses in Colorado and Washington -- how much will spill across the border into Nebraska remains to be seen.

The status quo was maintained in the nation's capital, with a Republican majority in the House and Democrats in charge of the Senate, but celebration will be tempered by the fact winners will be forced to deal with consequences of the "fiscal cliff" laws that are supposed to kick in after New Year's, unless, by some miracle, the lame duck Congress acts.

Will anything come of all the talk of bipartisan cooperating during the campaign, now that all the players are in place for at least the next two years?

Our nation's future depends on it.

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