And so President Barrack Obama has been reelected for another term. To all his supporters, I offer my congratulations. I guess I can kind of congratulate myself here, though I am more of a reluctant supporter. In my mind, the president was merely the "least worst" candidate, which is how I seem to cast all my votes now-a-days.
To Mitt Romney supporters, I offer my condolences. How you are feeling right now is how I felt when President Bush got a second term. And I sympathize, I really do. Because I know exactly what it's like. I thought (and continue to feel) that George W. Bush was the worst president in the history of this country. He was horrendously inept at all facets of the job. He was supposed to be a Conservative, but did stupid shit like passing the prescription drug entitlement and doubling spending, which sent us on the road to bankruptcy. He was a terrible Commander in Chief, getting us into wars with no planning (and no financing)... even worse, he sent our brave soldiers into battle, then turned around and made a joke of it. Bush was laughably bad at foreign policy, and managed to reverse the entire world's support after 9/11 into a seething hatred of America by even some of our most dedicated allies. His leadership was woefully lacking, with him coming across as more of a puppet with Karl Rove's hand up his ass than a president... and his constant caving to special interest and far-right rhetoric only confirmed it. He would pander to most anything that had even a hint of political up-side, and I lost track of the number of subsidy programs he financed with hundreds of billions of taxpayer dollars. And don't get me started on his crazy-ass delusions that convinced him God was telling him what to do. The list goes on and on. With each passing day of the Bush administration, I grew more embarrassed for his clueless presidency, and increasingly fearful for the fate of this country.
So yeah, I get it.
But, in truth, Republicans really have nobody to blame but themselves that Obama got a second term. Mitt Romney was an abysmal choice for a presidential candidate, even by their own standards (don't take my word for it, listen to what his fellow Republican candidates had to say about him during the primaries... it's brutal). And if you can't get your own party base to get excited for your candidate, you're fucked no matter how you slice it. I mean, seriously, how can you get people excited about Romney when it's impossible to know where he stands? He condemned ObamaCare, but he also created the blueprint for it (RomneyCare!). He said humans contributed to global warming, but also said nobody knows what's causing climate change. He says he supports guns, but also passed significant gun-control legislation. He's voraciously anti-abortion in all cases, but also said he was pro-choice. He pandered to both the Tea Party crazies and moderates, then ended up pissing them both off. His non-stop parade of mind-boggling flip-flops and outrageous lies made him a complete joke (though I'd argue Obama wasn't much better). Pile it all up, and Mitt Romney was a disaster waiting to happen.
But, to many people, he was their least-worst choice, so he got a lot of votes.
Just not enough votes.
And it didn't help Romney that there were so many dumbass Republican politicians driving people away from the party. Idiots like Todd "Legitimate Rape" Aikin. And Richard "Rape is a Gift from God" Mourdock. And Bob "Governor Ultrasound" McDonald. All these dipshits (and so many more) seem to forget that Republicans are supposed to aspire to Conservative ideals... such as smaller, less intrusive government. Which brings me to this...
HELPFUL NOTE TO REPUBLICAN LEADERSHIP: Give us a presidential candidate that a rapidly growing number of party-indifferent people like me can actually vote for. Give us somebody that's going to balance the budget, keep us safe, be mindful of our place in the global community, represent all citizens fairly and equally, AND SUPPORT PERSONAL LIBERTIES LIKE A GOOD CONSERVATIVE SHOULD! Stop condemning Americans for wanting personal choice when it comes to things like religion, abortion, and marriage. Because clinging to the belief that it's your business to dictate the most personal aspects of a person's life is going to motivate people alright. Motivate them to vote for Democrats like they did in this election.
It certainly motivated me.
And, yes, I realize this is a simplistic assessment, but it's not exactly a bad start. Because if the Republicans don't ditch the extremist Tea Party nutjobs and make some critical changes real soon, they're going to become increasingly irrelevant to a growing number of people who might like to vote Republican for a bit more fiscal responsibility and less government dependency in this country... but can't do so because they want control over their own damn lives.
If the Republican Party is to have a future, they need to embrace the future.
And if you need a role model for your survival, look no further than Maureen Walsh from my great state of Washington.
You probably recognize the name because of this...
Talk about motivation. She's not even in my district and I donated to her reelection campaign (she's a class act too... I got a handwritten thank-you note!).
And boy how I hope she aspires to State office one day.
The question is whether or not she'd be able to run as a Republican. Because if the party stays mired in the backwards-thinking past it would be like hitching her campaign to a boat anchor, and that would be a shame. This is one Republican that wants to sail free.
And if this year's election results are any indication, so do the majority of Americans.
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Most precise thing that I read post-election was that the GOP think they’re living in “Mad Men” when the rest of the country is living in “Modern Family.” Their problem, as I see it, is that they are threatened by the idea that someone other than a white Christian male is leading and as such, has alienated many of those who are not. Part of why I have voted Democrat over the years is that they have made me feel that I am an equal. And yes, there are some Republicans that have made me feel that way as well. They just were not running for office in my area. President? Grew up hearing stories about what Reagan did to the mental health system in California. Bush? He knew the game. Perhaps a little too well. He was the lesser evil of the Republican Presidents. But then his son came along. And what I saw there was a puppet for his father’s people. I can understand how people voted for him a first term but a second? Although a friend recently admitted to me that she voted for him the second time because she thought that he should clean up his mess.
At this point, I just want to see some working together. Stop holding the rest of us hostage already.
I do not think there is possibly any way I could agree more with this post.
Maybe if you covered it in cheese.
Very well said. I read an article yesterday, I believe in NY Magazine, that said basically the same thing about Romney. It was amazing to me that so many people legitimately thought he would be better for us. (And on a completely different note, I want to thank you for the astonomy picture of the day link a while back. I have it in my feed reader now and my son and love checking it out every day!)
I do think this is your best post ever. Summed up my thoughts exactly!
I do think this is your best post ever. Summed up my thoughts exactly! Especially this:
“Because if the Republicans don’t ditch the extremist Tea Party nutjobs and make some critical changes real soon, they’re going to become increasingly irrelevant to a growing number of people who might like to vote Republican for a bit more fiscal responsibility and less government dependency in this country… but can’t do so because they want control over their own damn lives.”
EXACTLY! That’s me in a nutshell. This year my husband and I didn’t vote party lines at all, which was weird for me. Both “sides” have their nutjob extremists and all they accomplish is further division. I was sad on election day because of that division being so apparent. Unless the people band together, we’re all going to lose. 🙁
I agree with practically everything you said. If republicans would act like republicans, I’d feel a lot better about voting for one.
What happened to their credo of less government? It seems like they all lost it which is what defined a republican for me.
To me, this was a really, really sad election.
Honestly, you just said exactly what I’ve been thinking and unable to articulate fully.
The original version of Mitt Romney is the one Americans kind of liked. Of course, to get the Republican nomination he had to woo the far right-wing. He flip-flopped on almost everything he supposedly believed in. They reluctantly gave him the nod.
If he had stayed true to himself, and managed to get the nomination, he could have picked up moderates like you.
Of course, if he had stayed in the center the far right-wing would have run a third-party (Tea Party) candidate, probably someone like Michelle Bachman or Rick Santorum.
Splitting the conservative vote gives President Obama an even bigger landslide.
Instead of hoping for a Republican to embrace the center, why not hope for a Democrat? Republicans are never going to support gay marriage. They’re going to support a woman’s right to choose. They’re never going to support equal rights.
Unless Republicans take your advice and make an unprecedented move to the center, you’re better off voting for Democrats.
Maureen Walsh IS a Republican. And she’s a Republican in conservative Eastern Washington who just won reelection. Republicans like her are the future of the Republican party or the Republican party will have no future.
Huzzah! Well said.
I agree with you. The Republican party has no future on their current path. But one rare bird isn’t going to change the entire party. They’re too far gone.
There are parts of the country where liberal Republicans and conservative Democrats can thrive, but not on a national scale (especially the GOP).
Your moderate version of the Republican Party won’t exist until the far right-wing breaks away.
I’m borne of the “real” Republican party, that would be President Eisenhower-era Republican. I’m also a Hoosier, and my grandfather was a Precinct Committeeman in Indianapolis.
I learned so much from his tutelage. This Romney-era Republicanism is surely making my Gramps roll in his grave!
The party changed with Reagan. We lived in Chicago at the time of his reelection and his turning loose of in-patient mental health-care consumers.
Not long after that, we began reading the stories of bag-ladies with grocery carts as well as other people who were left stranded nation-wide. Our country was suddenly flooded with “street-people”.
Oh, what a disgrace it was, but nobody was willing to do anything to help them.
Our son, is now 30 years old. He would be one of those stranded people if not for the help of Social Security Disability, Medicare, Medicaid and the THOUSANDS of dollars out of our own pocket to protect not only our son, but other citizens.
MrGTT and I didn’t do anything wrong to cause our son’s severe mental illness. We just got stuck with some very unlucky genetics, and our son suffers to this day because of that.
I just need to scream out to the extreme-right assholes — FUCK YOU!
This was brilliantly written. Seriously, Dave, you are probably one of the smartest people I know and I love hearing what you have to say about anything.
My favorite part of the most excellent post above in every thing in the “HELPFUL NOTE TO REPUBLICAN LEADERSHIP:” paragraph.
Maureen Walsh brought tears to my eyes when I first watched/listened to the above speech earlier this year. A class act.
Another Republican that I have a ton of respect is Steve LaTourette, who due to the nutty nuts in his party, is not seeking another term. We need more of him, not less.
Well spoken! You hit the nail on the head when you mentioned the lack of “support for personal liberties.”
The recent GOP coup d’etat, however, has been funded by the Koch brothers’ billions. And it is unlikely these extremist aristocrats with their armored division of think tanks along a flotilla of misinformation pundits and religious nutcases floating around the country will vanish until Charles and David are both resting in their tombs. Until that time, the Kochs will own the GOP.