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.