Nobody likes to lose. But one thing that Americans themselves despise more than losing? A sore loser. And after November 6th, it’s clear that we have very sore losers in both Mitt Romney and the GOP.
Granted, Mr. Romney’s recent comments about Obama giving “gifts” to his electorate in exchange for their vote is nothing short of offensive. Now that he’s finally untethered from the whims of his party, Mitt’s true character has been revealed for the world to see. But here’s the big “secret” that’s right in front of everyone’s face… This is THE Mitt Romney that the GOP elected!! Remember how he said “I’m not concerned about the very poor“? That was back in late January. And the infamous “47 percent” comment? He said that in May, but it wasn’t really on the national consciousness until September. But still the GOP rallied around him… the crowned him the leader of the party, and accepted him WITH ALL OF HIS FLAWS. Long story short, they bought in, and then sold him to the American people. One may be frustrated with Romney for being a sore loser, but folks, we knew he would be all along. You get what you vote for, right?
For the greater Republican Party on the other hand… the blazing speed with which they have turned to disown Mitt Romney is quite astonishing. Some are trying to quickly act like November 6th never happened and that he was never the nominee. They have disowned Romney at every public opportunity. Does that mean that they also want to disown their vote too? Did they forget that this guy was one night away from the Presidency a couple of weeks ago?
Here’s the greater problem… turning Mitt Romney into the new “Republican enemy number one” does nothing to solve systemic issues within the party. Romney was simply a symptom, he was not a cause for the GOP’s long history of problems. After living in a vast bubble of denial, the GOP finally must look in the mirror at a party that was built on malice and falsehoods. This party nearly tore apart between fringe religious fundamentalists and the well-funded but shrinking establishment. And in 2012, Mr. Romney stepped up to the plate and chose to lead them to an humbling defeat. In so many ways, they really should be thanking him saving a more critical member of the party agony and public embarassment of a 2012 loss. No matter what he says days after election, the party should be standing up for him, and finding a way to move forward with their own political aspirations.
Last night’s election was the culmination of a very bitter fight for survival. The GOP spent tons of capital… both political and monetary… in the hopes of destroying President Obama’s agenda, and decimating his long list of first-term accomplishments. After four long years of being a party defined by divisiveness and obstruction, they received their mandate from American voters.
CHANGE NOW, OR GET OUT.
Eventhough Republicans retained a comfortable majority in the House of Representatives, they were decisively clawed back in the Senate. And of course, President Obama roared back into the White House.
For Mitt Romney, the coming weeks will likely bring much criticism of how he ran his campaign and what all went wrong, but in reality, the GOP owes him a tremendous bit of gratitude. As the party has fractured so deeply between the idealogues and the Pro-Business wing, Romney stepped up to the plate and made the ultimate sacrifice for his party. He was the only man willing to steer the ship into what we all saw as an inevitable crash course in 2012… FAILURE.
But in doing this, he’s also helped to save Republicans from themselves too. Countless shifting political positions aside, Romney is a decent man, and he ran a good campaign. He conceded to the President with grace and helped to unite our country after a bitter fight. And most importantly, he sacrificed his time and energy so that future candidates (like Chris Christie, Paul Ryan or Marco Rubio) wouldn’t have to go down with the ship… at least not this year.
Finally now, the GOP has come face-to-face with the real change that President Obama helped to accomplish. They now have to wake up to the new realities of a more diverse nation than what they represent. This time, change is sure to happen, because the GOP no longer has a choice.
So today is a new day, and already we are seeing small signs of a new mood in Washington. Here are tweets from retiring Senator Olympia Snowe and House Speaker John Boehner.
Change indeed. Let’s just hope it lasts and that President Obama and Congress have a more productive relationship… starting with the Lame Duck session.
Regardless of the actual results on November 6th, former President William Jefferson Clinton made history on September 5th. He gave a speech at the 2012 Democratic National Convention that will be talked about for years to come. The brilliant man that has traversed every corner of the USA and the globe delivered a speech last night that was as down home as an Arkansas watermelon. And yet, he countered the falsehoods of the GOP and Romney/Ryan campaign in one 48-minute swoop. He was able to not only give a speech about policy details (Ezra Klein even referred to him as the “Wonk-In-Chief“), but also that landed on the very pulse of the American people. Simple. Direct. Genius.
But even beyond the budget specifics, perhaps the most effective thing President Clinton’s speech happened in the first 20 minutes. He reminded the American people that bi-partisanship is a two-way street. As many attempts as President Obama made to reach out to the GOP, they would have none of it. He also did something that few Democrats today are willing to do… told us that the GOP of 2012 has been taken over by its extremes. Try as they might, this is not the party of Ronald Reagan, or even Bush 43. They have lost their ability to compromise, and to GOVERN. Time and again this was evidenced through House GOP mutiny from Speaker John Boehner over the debt-ceiling fight, to the incessant repetition of 33 votes to “repeal Obamacare”. The Republican Party in Washington has a real problem.
Of course you don’t need masterful Clintonian rhetoric to figure out that the current iteration of the Republican Party is a mess… just ask a Ron Paul supporter. Ask them why the party went from state to state to change their party rules and ensure that Paul would be flushed out of the primary. Ask them why Mr. Ron Paul got 190 delegates (which even that is up for debate, based on whether the Paul supporters would be willing to sue) but wasn’t even allowed to speak at the Convention. If they can’t unite the inner factions of their party, why should we trust them to be able to unite and govern the country?
Here’s the full video of President Clinton’s speech…
You know what they say about overly aggressive dogs… “Don’t worry, it’s bark is worse than it’s bite.” Most of the time, the same cliche applies in Washington. Politicians make a lot of huge promises during campaign time. They vilify the party opposite, and proclaim themselves to have all of the right answers. But once sworn in, they go behind closed doors, and try to come up with common-sense solutions.
But unfortunately, the days of common sense are over for the GOP. Their singular modus operandi has been reduced to its most primal, instictive core… FEAR. As for what they are afraid of? Well let’s see if we can figure that out.
The GOP is afraid of changing demographics. Much of this was covered in the letter E, but it is quite fitting that we were reminded today. During President Obama’s bold move to end deportation of young illegal immigrants “Dreamers” The Daily Kos’ Markos Moulitsas caught a rather interesting conflict between Fox News coverage and it’s affiliate Fox News Latino. On FNL, the reaction to Obama’s new policy seems quite positive, compared to its scathing counterparts on the Fox News and Fox News Nation main sites. The Romney campaign was “hesitant” to respond to the Presdient’s statement, finally criticizing the move for not being a “long-term solution”. It’s sufficient to say that their stance is fearful and weak.
To some extent, the GOP is afraid of Obama. Not of the man himself, nor of the office of the President. But the one thing they do know about him is that he is smart, and fair. No one is saying he does everything right, or that he’s been a perfect President, but they know that he is very good at representing his views. He’s a strong, centrist Democrat. That’s why they stop at nothing to portray him as a far-left, foriegn-born socialist. If they weren’t afraid of him, there wouldn’t be the need to make up and promote such exceptional lies. This fear has caused quite a mess for some GOP lawmakers. In order for Obama to be all of these terrible things, they first have to make him the enemy. That means they must present a united front against him, and can NEVER agree with him for any reason (especially in public). Some legislators like John McCain and Texas’ own Kay Bailey Hutchison have actually had to vote against legislation they originally co-sponsored once they found out the President would support it. And of course in 2010 Senator McCain of Arizona, who co-sponsored the DREAM Act, tucked tail and changed position to filibuster the bill during the Obama administration. Clearly they are afraid of giving any support to Obama, even if it is in concert with their own principles. Why would you do all of the work to sponsor a bill, then vote against it?? Here’s Rachel Maddow’s coverage of this very difficult scenario…
But the GOP’s greatest fear is not the threat of extinction or Democrats, or even President Obama. None of those things. The GOP’s greatest fear is itself. As their numbers have continued to wane and their views on social issues like Gay marriage and contraception become increasingly antequated, Republicans have been forced to latch on to the far-right in order to stay relevant. At first, this grand merger seemed workable, but now the extreme group is threatening every structural aspect of the party. They are driving out moderates, and leaving those that stand with them as hypocrites. Many people have said that Ronald Reagan couldn’t get elected in the contemporary GOP. I strongly suspect that they are correct.
The careful art of distraction has been a central tenet of the GOP campaign strategy. Modern Democrats aren’t as good at the “slight of hand” techniques, but Republicans have it down to a science. So let’s take a look at some of the more popular political distractions waged by the GOP.
Over the course of the Obama Presidency, this tactic has been used with tremendous success.
Believe it or not, Contraception used to be a widely supported issue among both parties. Many Republicans have been openly supportive of Planned Parenthood and family planning… including George H.W. and Barbara Bush, Richard Nixon, and yes, Ronald Reagan. We all know that Mr. Romney is a far cry from the days when he “sustained and supported” not only Contraception, but ABORTION(like the over-sized font there? Distracting, huh?). It wasn’t controversial at all, and candidates like Rick Santorum have always been considered “fringe” political forces. Mitt Romney was at one time in his life a Centrist, and occasionally he’s forgotten this. When asked about his views on a bill that would limit Contraception funding, this was his answer…
“I’m not for that bill, but look, the idea of presidential candidates getting into questions about contraception within a relationship between a man and a woman, a husband and wife—I’m not going there,”
Sounds like a pretty sane thing to say, right? Not anymore, at least by Republican Party standards. The GOP leaders decided that this year, despite decades of voting records to the contrary, Contraception was going to become a mainline distraction. Suddenly people are changing their positions and running to the Right. It leaves voters having to make a choice based on values, and not who would do a better job. They have been willing to sacrifice their own personal opinions or the dynamic views of their 21st century constituents in favor of that all-important directive… DEFEAT OBAMA.
Here’s why we just can’t get rid of Donald Trump. As Lawrence O’Donnell commented on his show, Trump is being used by Romney and the GOP to do the party’s “dirty work”. After all of the talk of birtherism in 2008, the GOP has revived it to be a distraction in 2012, knowing full well that Americans who voted for Obama last time think the whole thing is ridiculous. But the GOP needs racist and suspicious voters to stay on their side and be active. So instead of engaging on our nations most important issues, they continue to divide and distract by questioning the President’s legitimacy. Of course Mitt Romney’s father ran for President in the 60s and he was born in Mexico. Maybe Mr. Romney would like to explain why he thinks his father should have been President.
Wait, sorry, how did I drift over into that? What were we talking about again??
Perhaps the most controversial of distraction politics is the debt-ceiling debate… you remember right? The one where the GOP held the full faith and credit of the United States hostage unless Democrats agreed to near Draconian government cuts. It seemed ludicrous at the time, but the GOP fought hard and got much more of what they wanted than Democrats. Now this debate was and will be a distraction on a grand scale, but it has absolutely NOTHING to do with the American people. It’s actually about a debate within the Republican party itself. 20 years ago, there were too many level-headed people in Washington to be able to do something like this. Remember that most of the contention over the debt-ceiling in the final hours was between House Republicans. Boehner actually brought the bill up for several votes, only to have it fail by his own Caucus. When you have defeats on that large scale, it’s understandable that the party would rather wage massive distractions so that voters spend more time looking at the President’s faults, and maybe, hopefully forget how much of a mess the GOP has become.
But of course all of these distractions are much more than just insults lodged via Twitter or the latest fodder for Fox News. They are occurring among the 536 most powerful people in our country. If Congress doesn’t raise the debt ceiling, millions of people will lose money, some people will lose their job, and endangered seniors will have even harder choices to make as they near retirement. When you’re a nationally elected official, even the distractions could have major consequences. And in the case of the GOP, that is their intention. The debt ceiling distraction was designed to make our government operate at a continuous crisis point in order to weaken Obama’s ability to govern. It is MUCH more than ideological disagreements at play here. What the Republicans want us to believe is that the Democrats are unreasonable, but in reality they are the ones holding the government gun to our heads. Brilliant political strategist Dick Morris designed this playbook. He has experience on both sides of the political aisle, and back in 2011 he calculated the results of these fights with distinct accuracy. BTW, the BEST thing Liberals can do for themselves? Watch Newsmax TV…
There you have it… the exact motivations behind the debt-ceiling debacle, and why we’re about to fight it again. BRILLIANT.
So why do they even need all of these distractions in the first place? Do they really hate President Obama as much as they say they do??
So let’s take a quick trip back to January 2010. The nation was in the throws of a very contentious Healthcare brawl (the Republicans won that btw… Democrats got screwed because they were SPINELESS). Talk of Death Panels and third-world rationing filled the airwaves. The Tea Party was drawing political blood at every chance. The economy was still feeling for a pulse with jobs numbers swinging on either side of Net Zero. Osama bin Laden was still a real, tangible threat to our country, and the Arabic world had not yet capsized. Basically, Americans were seeing the Democrats as a deplorable, dithering bunch that couldn’t accomplish anything.
And then there was Scott… Brown.
Like Helen of Troy, Brown’s election in the supposed Liberal safehouse of Massachusetts launched a thousand ships. By November the Red Wave had brought nearly all to shore by sweeping the House, demolishing the Senate and completely upsizing state legislatures. To put it plainly, in 2010 the GOP got it’s swagger back.
Let’s face folks… Even today President Obama has fallen far short of the hope and change he promised us in the 2008 campaign. His signature achievement hangs in the balance of the Supreme Court. Unemployment remains at an historic high. The signs should be obvious by now. In any other year, there is a strong case to be made for someone who could possibly do better. In any other year, a capable, charasmatic leader could unite and electrify the GOP while giving us a clear, consistent vision of how America moves forward.
But don’t take my word for it. Look at the Protests in action.
And of course, Wisconsin is merely part of the story. Radical, devisive measures have been launched by the GOP (or those radical right that claim to be GOP) all across the country. And in each case, Americans have taken to protest in front of their state capitals, city halls and via social media. The so-called “war on women” will probably be cited in the history books as one of the worst political calculations ever made. If you can’t get a measure like Personhood to pass in the Conservative stronghold of Mississippi, then it’s a pretty good warning that those measures should be untouchable across the US.
The 2012 elections are no longer about philosophical difference. Thanks to an unyielding march to social issues and nonsense gender-baiting, Radical-right Republicans have officially overstayed their welcome this year. Let Wisconsin be a warning sign. Even if voters aren’t happy with the Dems, they’re much more likely to choose a party that displays some logic and reason over one that has flown the Cuckoo’s nest.