Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Republicans should get a grip

After any Presidential election, there is a danger for both the winning and losing sides. The loser sorely disappointed, will be tempted to despair and overreaction. The winners may forget that there are no permanent victories and politics and gloss over their own weaknesses coming into the next war.

What should conservatives take from Tuesday's results?

First, they should not make into more than what it is. Incumbent Presidents are hard to dislodge. In two man races since 1900, the incumbent has won 15 of 17. Depending on the final total, Romney came the closest of any of the 15 unsuccessful challenges. Obama's re-election performance was historically weak.

It is hard, moreover, to see the election as a mandate for any particular set of polices. The President did not run that kind of campaign. He could have said that he supports a larger welfare state and is willing to advocate for the taxes necessary to pay for it. Had he done so, he would have almost certainly lost.

Instead, he ran on a fuzzy platform of incremental state "investments" that could be financed solely by asking the rich to pay a "bit more." This is, of course, fantastical. You can't even make much of a dent in the deficit by allowing the Bush tax cuts expire for those earning more than $ 250,000. The Buffett rule - as even Buffett admits - would raise very little money.

But it is, significantly, the most he would say. His major focus was to trash Romney as a Big Rich Meanie. He did it masterfully, driving down the GOP vote in swing states. There are three telling facts from this election. First, turn out was down. Second, Obama's drop off in voter percentage was markedly less in swing states than in the nation generally. Third, Romney garnered less votes than John McCain. If he could have found a way to counter Obama's negative ad blitz in the swing states over the summer and turned out the McCain voters who stayed home, the outcome might have been different.

Ironically, given the attack on him a plutocrat supported by other plutocrats, he didn't have the money - having spent it on a lengthy primary fight.

So Obama's victory is significant for what it was not. It was not a mandate for the welfare state that he did not call for and will not pay for. It is also significant for what it was. A very close win in which brilliant tactics and execution played a large role.

So conservatives can get a grip. Still there are some things that must be faced. More to come.

Cross posted at Purple Wisconsin


Anonymous said...

Please. "Fewer" votes.

Anonymous said...

Close only counts in horseshoes.

jp said...

There are subsets worth mentioning.

The congress remains divided in spite of Republican suicides (some regarding rape).

Wisconsin is in Republican hands.

30 Republican Governors.

California’s deepening perversity.

Anonymous said...

Well there is a mandate for Republicans suck, or however you want to phrase it. If you can't get a grip on that, perhaps self-deportation is in order for rich white males. Or at least taxes for them (Kind of a mandate on that, right).

jp said...

Marijuana mandate:

“It’s time for the Justice Department to recognize the sovereignty of the states,” Democratic California Gov. Jerry Brown said on CNN on Sunday. “I believe the president and the Department of Justice ought to respect the will of these separate states.”

Schizophrenia from smoking bad pot?

Anonymous said...

Can't have it both ways, JP. Conservatives clamor that they can pass such laws under the 10th Amendment...yet those laws apparently have to "fit" their agenda.

Regarding Republican governors, a number of them are MODERATE in their rhetoric and methods.


Now, regarding "Republicans getting a grip", the professor needs to examine his statements. Really, the general public was unaware that Obama a "larger welfare state"? Apparently the professor wasn't watching TV or listening to the radio, as the GOP framed that topic repeatedly. Obama did not need to discuss that agenda, it was done for him!

"Had he done so, he would have almost certainly lost."

Didn't the professor proclaim that Obama could win, or that Romney had a chance, or that it would be close, or that one of the candidates would emerge victorious in a runaway, or...

Keep spinning your wheels, professor, it makes for great entertainment.

"His major focus was to trash Romney as a Big Rich Meanie. He did it masterfully, driving down the GOP vote in swing states."

I thought conservatives such as the professor took responsibility for their own actions.



Dad29 said...

Anony 842 can read headlines, but not much else.

Romney was a bad candidate. Good soul, lousy politician.

That's why he lost.

Obozo is rotten to the core, a demi-Marxist, and a lying scumbag, surrounded by dozens of similar people.

He's very good at lying, as are his handlers. That's how he won.

Anonymous said...

"Romney was a bad candidate. Good soul, lousy politician."

Yet, you supported him! What does that say about YOUR credentials as an alleged die-hard conservative who preaches RINO hunting?

"He's very good at lying, as are his handlers. That's how he won."

Says a two-bit blogger. The ADULTS say differently.

George Mitchell said...

The curse of the anonymous post. They so rarely add anything. Dump 'em.

CCOshkosh said...

"the adults say differently"...? % of adults on the left is rapidly dwindling...."gimme-stuff" people are children...no responsibility, no effort, just takers exactly just like untrained children....."gimme more or I'll hold my breath and throw a tantrum".

Anonymous said...

Oh my, I can see Dad29 is such a sore loser. Dad29--so what did YOU think about the lies coming out of Willard's mouth and Lyin'Ryan's mouth? Or what about all the flip flopping. Take your sorry butt out to a bar, drown your sorrows, get over it, and get on with life. Or, are you more of a very grumpy old man?

Bud said...

I did'nt see any commments about vote tampering in a number of states. I know you liberals will say I'm just a poor loser so lets look at the facts.

In Phipadelphia Pa.59 precincts cast 100% of the vote for Obama. Zero for Romney? Other Philadelphia districts claimed a 90% Turnout.Guess who won those districts.

Some Florida voting districts were
reporting over 100% turnout. One district had 147% turnout. Obama won those districts. What a suprise!

Voting machines in some states were entering votes for Obama when the person had actually voted for Romney. A glitch? I don't think so!

Supposedly there were 3 million less voters in this election then the 2008 election. This does dot pass the smell test. Republicans were totally pumped to vote in this election.

I live in Wisconsin so I know first hand how sleazy Liberals can be.

Anonymous said...

George--The curse of the anonymous post. They so rarely add anything. Dump 'em.

No, they generally add depth the conversation and keep the professor honest. You should try in engaging in conversation with them sometime rather than scoff at their positions.

Bud--The percentages you listed reflect the growth of NEW registered voters over the last four years. These "astounding" numbers are based on '08 registration figures.

If one looks carefully at St. Lucie County (FL), for example, there were 247,000 vote cards turned in by 175,000 voters because each voter was handed two cards -- one for the candidates running for election and the second containing various referendum questions. Sounds like many people, after standing in line for a long period of time, wanted to vote for the candidates and skipped the referenda.

CCOshkosh--"gimme-stuff" people are children...I'll hold my breath and throw a tantrum.

Waahhh! Please grow up.

CCOshkosh said...

Thanx for proving my point Anonathing.

Anonymous said...

CCOshkosh--That will be $20.00, please, for your nonsense. Pay up!

Anonymous said...

Get the $20 from that O'Bama stash we've heard so much about. Maybe you can get a free phone also.

Anonymous said...

Accidental mis-click for above.

Anonymous said...

Anony 9:21 a.m., get some new material.

CCOshkosh said...

Rather weak retort me thinks.

Anonymous said...

That's ok, CCOshkosh, you're think of something more witty in the future.

CCOshkosh said...

Weaker yet...turn on your brain, Anon.

Anonymous said...

Not even close, Oshkosh-bi-gosh.

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