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Election Day Revisited

If you think 2012 was wild, try 1936. That’s the closet mirror to Barack Obama’s re-election. FDR, struggling with a bombed-out economy under his watch (yet the public still blames on his predecessor), runs on a platform of class warfare and attacking business against a business candidate, who runs on a strictly economic platform. The returns come in, and FDR’s identity politics win the day. Sound familiar? We don’t have new elections, it seems we re-run former ones. FDR took advantage of changing demographics through immigration, as well as a candidacy that appealed to subsets of voters. The numbers added up for FDR, much like it did for Obama yesterday.

What didn’t add up was the horrible reporting by almost every conservative media outlet available. This is unforgivable. Whether it was Dick Morris or Michael Barone improbably predicting a 300-plus electoral vote win for Romney, or it was the relentless lack of reality that infected all their reporting across the entire spectrum. Conservative media effectively ran the campaign into the ground. It gave its readers almost no indication of what was happening nationally with voters or actual issues that mattered. I do know a guy in a Black Panther jacket was standing outside a precinct. Whatever plus conservative media added to the movement has disappeared completely, lost in the buzzword “epistemic closure” to go along with a profit motive that is more interested in publicity and site hits than actually informing the electorate. The mainstream media has its issues, believe me, I know as a part of it. But the massive failure of conservative media is a cause of concern. We need more Wall Street Journals and a lot less Andrew Breitbarts. It’s time conservatives dumped the cults of personality like Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh and the like and start demanding better and more informative outlets for their news. Conservatives should also take note how these outlets sound to independents and moderates, ones they need to attract to vote.

Romney was a good candidate who never had a chance once he left the primary. To let two goons like Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich savage him from his left was a death knell. It shaped the entirety of his campaign. All Obama had to do was replay footage of Gingrich and Santorum from primary debates, throw in some Bain Capital heartless out-sourcing, or the ultimate character attack, accusing your opponent of killing a woman with cancer, and it was sealed. Worst of all, Santorum and Gingrich had no serious presidential aspirations. They weren’t even registered in all the states they ran in during the primary. Instead – see if this sounds familiar – looking for instant publicity and a payout. Gingrich is now the go-to conservative of Piers Morgan, while Rick Santorum (a guy who lost his last senatorial campaign by nearly 30-percent) is now the chosen man for all things social conservative. What good did that do Romney or the economy? They savaged him relentlessly, and as a recent post at The Atlantic stated, the mud that gets on you earliest is the hardest to wash off. It cost the Republicans the election.

The other question – Romney had  baggage, sure, but where were the other candidates? Where was Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio, Chris Christie, Haley Scott or Bobby Jindal? The Republicans are loaded with smart, young and talented candidates, who were all scared away by the incumbent. Gutless.

A bigger concern than the demographic changes to the electorate is how tone-deaf Republicans have been to the issues of the moment. Income mobility and inequality is huge, one Obama had answers for, or at least pretended to have an answer for. Conservatives have nothing. There are distinct, smart, and winning answers to those two issues, yet Republicans ran away from any suggestion that they were even issues to begin with in some kind of mad Ayn Randian obsessive objectivist belief that Darwinism works best. Do Republicans actually believe that? Not in the least, but given the lack of acknowledgment of the issues they might as well have. Trying to get these issues addressed is nearly impossible, almost every candidate grabs their ears and begins screaming like a 4-year-old. The problem is these issues matter to the electorate, which means they should matter to Republicans more than they currently do.

Another example is the skyrocketing tuition and student loan default rate. Conservatives should be railing against universities and public entities indebting students, instead they are silent. One southern lawmaker called complaints over the cost of college whining, I’m sure she did wonderful yesterday. Why aren’t conservatives pointing out the administrative costs at college, the bad public financing model or encourage privatization, or using market forces to cure the debt-bomb?

Ohio came down to a razor-thin edge, one Romney lost. Want to know why? Union turnout and blue-collar workers, once the bastion of George W. Bush. John Kasich’s Senate Bill 5 led to union organization in the state not seen since the 30s, which left them a model and platform to use in order to promote Obama this year, after the recall vote. It worked wonders and it proved the difference in Ohio, where firemen and policemen are still smarting over nearly having their collective bargaining rights stripped.

There’s a lot more to go over, but not here. The good news is this – Obama needs to come to the middle. His second term will be a disaster unless he finds a way to work with Congressional Republicans like Clinton did. This may mean giving up a tax-hike to millionaires, but the trade-offs could be debt reduction, market-based reform to Obamacare (take the stink off the pig a little bit), or other reforms. Conservatives were able to reform welfare, capital gains, regulation and other means with a Democrat in the White House, it could happen again.

 

35 comments to Election Day Revisited

  • Kit

    “Another example is the skyrocketing tuition and student loan default rate. Conservatives should be railing against universities and public entities indebting students, instead they are silent. One southern lawmaker called complaints over the cost of college whining, I’m sure she did wonderful yesterday. Why aren’t conservatives pointing out the administrative costs at college, the bad public financing model or encourage privatization, or using market forces to cure the debt-bomb?”

    Oh, the stupidity of the right and the GOP on this issue!

  • Kit

    “There’s a lot more to go over, but not here. The good news is this – Obama needs to come to the middle. His second term will be a disaster unless he finds a way to work with Congressional Republicans like Obama did. This may mean giving up a tax-hike to millionaires, but the trade-offs could be debt reduction, market-based reform to Obamacare (take the stink off the pig a little bit), or other reforms. Conservatives were able to reform welfare, capital gains, regulation and other means with a Democrat in the White House, it could happen again.”

    I’m hoping he does.

  • “To let two goons like Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich savage him from his left was a death knell.”

    Bravo John!! Well said.

  • Matt

    I have been lurking here for nearly five years and have enjoyed myself thoroughly. It never occurred to me to post until now. I’d just like to say thank you for this – and a thousand other spot-on posts like it. This is a great site and a daily place for me to visit for a smile and an insight or two. Keep it coming. We need it now more than ever.

    Cheers from the SC Lowcountry.
    Matt

  • Rufus

    This is very astute, JohnFN. I agree that Kasich killed Ohio for the Republicans.

    Two things:

    1. Your advice here is sound and I agree it would have helped Romney’s chances. He might have won.
    2. Part of why I “liked” this election so well is the Republicans did not engage in much gamesmanship to win. I am glad there was such a distinct choice.

    One example: The Obama administration has been terrible for Latinos, but Axelrod put Eva Longoria in front of a podium in a tight dress. Marco Rubio is actually a Republican and son of Cuban refugees who gave a real speech at the Republican Convention about real issues, rather than pretending someone was going to outlaw condoms.

    People voted for Longoria! It’s just like Bill Clinton. The man was accused of rape, multiple times. He violated a female employee in the Oval Office. He had multiple extra-marital affairs. But he said he was on the side of women and people voted for him.

    I’m glad the Republicans did not run a sensational campaign because now we know; a majority of people don’t want reality, they want promises. And, as you wisely pointed out, this is nothing new. I thought maybe, finally, Conservatism was getting a foothold. It’s grown, but I don’t think it will ever be a majority view. It’s too hard.

    • -fritz-

      I have never understood where NOW was during the Clinton years. The whole scenario seemed like a script for a retrospective on the life and times of Caligula!

    • Mike

      Rufus, I thought we got rid of you!

      I can’t see how Rush Limbaugh or Glenn Beck cost Romney the election. Perhaps they are as off-putting to independents as you say, but Romney won handily among independents in all the swing states.

      If Romney couldn’t handle attacks from the likes of Santorum or Gingrich then he had no business thinking he was up to the challenge of the attacks Obama and his mouthpieces in the media would unleash. The Obama – Clinton primary battle was an ugly, drawn-out affair, yet Obama managed to win the Presidency regardless.

      As for the misread on the polling, I’m as surprised as all the echo-chamber pundits are that Romney was unable to generate the kind of enthusiasm that McCain did four years ago. If he’d gotten the same number of votes as the electrifying Senator from Arizona, he’d be picking his cabinet right now.

      Romney chose the ground he wished to fight on–the economy, full stop. The people preferred Obama’s policies to his. That’s the sad truth and it has to be faced. Forget the scapegoating.

  • JS Lawalin

    Why should Obama come to the middle? The scariest thing about this election is that Obama did not need to run in the center after a bad mid-term election like Bill Clinton in 1996. Romney had the advantage with independents, a supposedly necessary conditions to win elections in this day and age. Obama started left, stayed left and won re-election. Now the moonbats knows they can win all by themselves. Obama is too arrogant, smug and far too entrenched in his leftism to ever consider compromising and his side is so intoxicated by the election results that we’re going to see them bull-rush their agenda starting in the next session of Congress. In fact, it’s already begun with Harry Reid announcing that he’s going to rewrite the Senate rules to limit GOP filibusters. Even if the Republicans fight them off, the unholy and incestuous alliance of the media and the left will see to it the GOP is blamed for obstructionism. It’s a win-win situation, so why bother moving to the middle?

    • -fritz-

      Obama has a major advantage over even Bill Clinton…he totally ignores the fact that America has a Constitution that it holds dear. If Obama needs to do something, and won’t get approval from the House or Senate? Write an executive order and do it anyway. He don’t need no steenking Congress!

    • Rufus

      I believe you are correct, JSLawlin.

    • Stephanie

      Mitt won the Independents in the swing states. Still trying to figure out how he lost. You add Gary FING LOSER Johnson and his million man dope smoking army, and questions about vote fraud…and voila…you have Obama magically winning. I looked at the numbers. 300,000 seperated his worship from defeat in OH, VA, PA and FL….think about it.

  • Kit

    So, John, is it the end of the Republic as we know it?

  • Loyal Goatherd

    Seems to be a lot of hair pulling and jumping about. I don’t think you need to fire everybody and re-build the team from scratch, just because you lost the big game by 2 points. Some times the breaks do beat the boys. (Ah, but if we could have one just {this} one for the Gipper.) The biggest culpits here, imho, is the compliant media. That self same media who didn’t let a katrina victim sob without coast to coast coverage. Now, lets sandy victims rot with perfectly reasonable excuses. Excuses not aforded to Mr. Bush.

    I met a lady from Jersey today, she grew up on that beach and left alot of friends up there. She told me there are at least 3 townships she knows of where the media is not permitted to go to, the missing houses out number the damaged houses, they’re just gone. The house she sold before coming down here is gone. The prez got his photo op and that was good enough for 52%, a truthful media could have made the enormity of the disaster and the puniness of the response plain for all to see. Let’s not even talk about Benghazi, gas prices, proven falsehoods, work place violence (Fort Hood), fundraisers, basketball games and the ever present golf games.

    I think our best hope is to keep him on the golf course as often as possible.

    • Stephanie

      The biggest problems we have is the Media..whom I harass daily on twitter as we all should. The Democrats and their disgusting use of fraud, and Gary Friggen Johnson.

  • Mighty Skip

    And with after this post I won’t be coming to Threedonia anymore. Good luck with your purge and in future elections. No way I’m throwing in with you lot anymore.

    • Why would you dump the site for one post Skip? We have a variety of views here. Don’t quit on us. I’m not purging anybody.

    • Stephanie

      Skip my word…what the heck?!

    • Mike

      No, Skip! Stay!

      You know you’d miss the ole Mikester.

      Tell us what you didn’t like about the post. Rant a little. You’ll feel better.

    • Kit

      Come on! We need the pistol-packin’ monkey!

    • -fritz-

      Please.don’t.go.

    • Loyal Goatherd

      Mighty Skip and I were the Gingrich, I won’t say supporters, admirers, back in the primaries and Santorum had his acolytes as our choices decreased. I did not like either man being described as goons or any republican for that matter. Romney is a big boy and politics is a rough game, but it was what he chose to pursue. If he was so fragile that a little primary action destroyed him, he should not have been our nominee. If Mighty Skip is checking back and this issue was the last straw, it was not lost on me. I chose to ignore it and brought up the media point. His post was after I went to bed, or I would have offered this earlier.

      Rush hit this today: “Two-point-eight million votes is the number of votes Romney lost in the popular vote to Obama. But get this. Mitt Romney got three million fewer Republican votes than McCain.” http://www.rushlimbaugh.com/daily/2012/11/08/oh_the_futility_establishment_gop_draws_all_the_wrong_lessons_from_election_results

      We lost (the popular vote) because three million republicans would not vote for Romney. The party and the canididate must bear this responsibility. Blaming the also rans as the “goons” who did it is the famous republican circular firing squad. If this was Skip’s point it has now been made, and everyone should agree with it, if not he will have to return and post for us to know.

      • goozer

        Don’t forget to count the two million who also left between ’04 and ’08. Over five million have decided that the GOP has nothing to offer them as long as they keep trotting out statists and compromisers. In an election that we should have won in a walk, we offered up the same tired bullshit and weak-ass candidates that have plagued the conservative movement since the moment Reagan gave the keys to ’41. They were warned. We aren’t coming back.

        I honestly feel that W will be the last Republican president. I came to peace about that over a year ago when the last warning delivered by the people was not only ignored, but rejected by those who think they are our betters. This outcome became a fait accompli with the Roberts Decision.

      • Mike

        I tried to make those points last night up-thread, before Skip got mad. Maybe he missed it?

        I should always comment in boldface.

        • Loyal Goatherd

          Yeah, thought about bolding the GOONS too. I really think the election was enough crap without the handwringing we now have to listen to, too! That may have been a bridge too far!

  • Daniel Crandall

    “Ohio came down to a razor-thin edge, one Romney lost. Want to know why? Union turnout and blue-collar workers…”

    I’m not so certain. One screen shot I’ve seen of election totals in Ohio showed a razor thin margin between Obama & Romney that Romney would have overcome if not for ignorant useful idiots voting third party.

    Here’s a link to the image I’m speaking of – http://sphotos-a.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-prn1/72106_10151189371892740_2116010327_n.jpg

    Also Mia Love, in Utah, clearly lost because of Libertarian Party fools. Same can be said, according to what I’ve heard from Dennis Prager, of at least two Senate seats.

    Third Parties – a playground for the politically immature.

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