Rather than "pollute" my Facebook account with a lot of political discord (not that others haven't been trying to do just that, with all sorts of insults snarkily hurled at either side, but seemingly especially coming from the left towards the right), I'm popping back up here to say a few words. If time allows, and my thoughts collect enough, I may find myself back here many times over the coming weeks to say more than just the few words. No promises, but it seems my mood to rant on politics may be coming back around again and if so, this still seems to be a great place to exercise my gift of gab.
First up, well, we have the election results from last night and of course the next morning's analysis that is supposed to tell us why the election broke the way it did.
I could list a multitude of reasons and others will of course list a ton themselves, but a few spring to mind quickly.
First up there was the Todd Akin "gaffe". Akin seriously hurt the Republican cause in his state of Missouri. His comments about "legitimate rape" were so wrongheaded and broken that it is hard to believe he could muster even a single vote. He got plenty of votes, but not nearly enough to make up the ground that he most definitely lost, and certainly there was nothing that *he* could do (short of dropping out of the race, which he was too pigheaded to do) to correct the problem on the national stage. His comments likely cost Romney countless lost votes because nothing that Romney could do or say would be enough repudiation to get back the votes that the Obama campaign was going to keep him from getting with Romney's own words during the primary election cycle. While Romney's anti-abortion stance may not have been as firmly entrenched as he made it sound during the primary cycle, that he had stated a seeming emphatic support for the pro-life cause that was captured on videotape and then later brought back to keep the women in line with the Democrats rather than seeing that Romney wasn't the wolf in sheep's clothing that Obama's camp painted him to be.
That opens up several possible future thoughts. Lets start there with the "pro-life" stance that seems so entrenched in the GOP. That same stance came back in the later part of the election cycle with a candidate that Romney had endorsed -- Richard Mourdock -- flubbed his way through a statement about being pro-life even in cases of rape or incest. His words were something to the effect of "if a baby is conceived in such a manner it's God's will". Uh, oh. What I believe he was trying to say, but failed utterly at, was that to him 'all life is precious, and even in such terrible circumstances, compounding the original acts with the taking of a human life would be wrong', but that isn't at all what he said. He may have tried to clarify his words to something close to that, but by then it was too late. Unrecoverable damage done.
The pro-life (anti-abortion) stance is one that the Republican party is going to have to move beyond. I'm not saying that the party has to swing over to supporting abortion on demand, but the idea of requiring a staunch anti-abortion stance in order to be a Republican candidate just makes the party that much more the part of the "rich old white guys" and that must change. The Republicans have seemingly long since lost the idea of being a party of inclusion to the Democrats. It isn't necessarily true, but they've certainly let the Democrats claim that it is so. The Democrats have played the class warfare, race and gender cards over and over again in the last several elections and it has been to their advantage certainly in the last few elections.
Taking out the election of 2010, with a seriously pissed off electorate that sent the Tea Party types to D.C. to take back their country, the Republicans have been losing these battles repeatedly. The Democrats repeatedly pander to and convince various minorities that the other side doesn't care about them or worse that the other side will "Put ya'll back in chains" (to repeat the words of Joe Biden). That has *got* to change. The Republican party needs to move towards being the party that is pro-business. Not the pro-business and anti-abortion and anti-women and anti-minority party. Just the pro-business and pro-economic empowerment party.
This election should have been one that would be easy for Romney to win. With a economy that is in shambles, with a financial cliff that still looms on the horizon, and with a divided congress, the chance of Obama doing anything positive in the next 2 years is nearly nil. While there is talk today of bipartisanship, I would say here and now the chances of that given the make-up of the house is nearly nil. I would be somewhat shocked if sequestration doesn't happen. It is the chance for Republicans to go Nuclear. They have nothing left to lose at this point. The Tea Party element of the party can circle the wagons and pull the old hell no, we won't go routine and just let the chips fall where they may. Once the budget tightening begins they get what they've wanted all along, massive cuts throughout the federal budget. They might look like bad guys in the short term, but given the short memory of the U.S. electorate, it would likely blow over quickly and cost few house members their jobs. Oh, sure the Democrats would try to unseat them and claim that they *must* take back the house to get rid of the partisanship that exists currently, but given the make-up of the country and just how much Red still exists in the map, it likely wouldn't make a lot of difference. Once that happens, the Democrats will lose many of their wedge cards and items from the bag of pandering supplies as the pet projects of so many different constituents see the cuts that would be forced upon them. While I hate the idea of seeing the D.o.D. cuts that would be included at the same time, it may be worth it just to see the other pain inflicted in the economy that would become the reason that the Democrats could no longer be trusted to do the right thing to manage the economy in this country.
That leads me back to another thought that I think factored in here. What would the media do in such a circumstance? Oh, I'm sure they'd try to take the "it's all the Republicans fault" stance. That might work for a few weeks, but it would probably quickly be lost when the next major event on the world stage occurs, or when the next American Idol is about to be crowned, or when the feeding frenzy that will be the investigation to the real truth about Benghazzi occurs. Suffice it to say that the media would try to keep things spun positively for Obama and the Democrats, but it would likely be met with a lot of yawns.
Now, I would add the thought that the media was yet again certainly complicit with helping to put their friend, Barrack Obama, back in the White House. Candy Crowley's defense (and interference in the debate) of Obama's response to the embassy attack in Libya was a game changing event. Romney was going for the kill and was cut off at that debate. That CBS sat on the tapes that show that Obama and his staff/admin were spinning the events there is criminal really. But that isn't exactly what sunk Romney, or at least I don't think it was.
Let me continue with some last thoughts here. Romney was, I truly believe, a moderate. That he was disappointed many Republicans. That he was a Mormon made him a less favorable candidate to many. That he was pro-life, etc. That he could be easily covered with filthy, stinky, slime that he waited until the first debate to try to wash away was a huge mistake. It was one that he nearly turned into a game changer of his own. A sort of rope-a-dope (while Obama was behaving like a dope in that debate) leading up to that debate, but it was one that I think ultimately hurt Romney. He let himself be defined by the other side rather than taking a clear, concise, and firm and unwavering position and platform throughout. Oh, he had the economic platform and plan, but in terms of his own humanity and his own potential failings in the eyes of women, the poor, the working class, and minorities, he sat back and let himself be demonized over and over again. Giving the other side the edge in that area was stupid and wrong. Just as I think taking the pro-life stance was wrong. His more moderate stance might have cost him in the primary, and I still hold that is a failing of the current Republican party, but he should have proudly stood behind his moderate credentials and continued to tout that he was really the Republicans only chance to take back the country. If he had done that, he might have lost out on the candidacy, but he would have had the high ground to come back later and show the party that they must move towards the middle or else they'll never win again. He might try that now, but the more right wing elements of the party will claim (with some potential traction) that his own moderateness was the problem much as John McCain's RINO status was a problem.
Sadly the right wing (Tea Party type) element of the GOP is really the problem. I wish they'd form their own third party and take that element away leaving the moderate elements behind. While it might hurt in the short run (like pulling off a bandaid quickly) I think it is the right approach. From there the GOP could put forth the effort to attract moderates and become the party of the majority of the U.S. citizens, marginalizing the left wing and right wing both. Too bad the chances of this happening seem to be, well, not very high.
Just my $.02