Daily Archives: November 23, 2012

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As Democrats gather for turkey or tofurkey in Brooklyn and Berkeley and, yes, even in Birmingham, they should offer thanks for Mitt Romney. Not just for being a clumsy candidate in a year when a more agile one might have knocked off Barack Obama—but for the broader benefit he served the Democratic Party as a powerful clarifying force.

In an era of resentment toward unaccountable financial elites, they put forward the ultimate financial elite, a man who sliced and diced companiessheltered his income offshore, and, above all, was eye-poppingly incapable of discussing his wealth and the economic anxieties of those less fortunate in ways that might put voters at ease. The muddle that had clouded the political debate since Obama’s inauguration parted. On Election Day, when exit pollsters asked voters whom they thought the candidates favored, a plurality, 44 percent, thought Obama favored the middle class, while 53 percent…

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Andrew Sullivan on Changes

The View From Your Thanksgiving

via The Daily Dish | By Andrew Sullivan by Andrew Sullivan on 11/23/12

A reader writes:

My 81-year-old father, a retired Marine and lifelong straight-ticket Republican, has gone through an amazing shift over the last four years.  When McCain had named Palin as his running mate, my dad defended the choice because she “was a fighter and everyone underestimates her”.  Four years ago he quaked in his boots and railed against Obama, who “was going to take everybody’s guns away” and was responsible for the shortage in ammunition (part of the plot to take away guns was his plan to remove ammo from the store shelves).  Obama didn’t have the experience to end the wars.  Obama wouldn’t be able to deal with the economy.  Our country was going to hell in a handbasket with that man in charge.

This election?  Straight-ticket Democratic voter and big contributor to both Obama’s campaign and Claire McCaskill’s senatorial campaign against Todd Akin.  As we would drive by homes where Akin or Romney yard signs were displayed, he’d say, “There’s a lot of crazy people in this neighborhood”.  A month ago my mother called me, worried that my father had become too militantly Democratic and wished he would settle down just a little bit in his zeal. We can sit down as a family and intelligently discuss politics, and I can’t express how wonderful it is to share this with him for the first time in my life.

To what do we attribute this change?  I believe it started with having multiple children, grandchildren and in-laws who didn’t have health insurance due to self-employment and the difficulty with getting an individual policy.

My father worked 40 years in the government and always had wonderful insurance and a lot of security in terms of retirement, and I believe he wanted the same for all of his children and grandchildren.  He realized that the guns weren’t going away (he’s an avid skeet shooter), that the president was an intelligent man who approached the nation’s problems with calm, deliberate reasoning and an eye towards the greater good.  Dad paid attention to the obstructionism within Congress and was disgusted by these supposed “patriots” who were focused on preventing recovery.  Obama was bringing the soldiers back home, which was a huge deal to a man who saw far too much of the damage caused by war during his Vietnam stint.

It takes a lot to change a man’s position so enormously.  I’m more proud of my father than I have ever been and see him as a lesson to the Republican party.  If they are losing someone like him, how many more must there be?

Mario Piperni on Repug Prospects

Are Republicans in for Another Rude Awakening in 2016

November 23, 2012 By

One of our regulars, E.A. Blair, responds to this line from my Thanksgiving post.

“…you can rest assured that there will never be a President Bachmann, Perry, Santorum or Romney.”

E.A. writes:

Don’t make any bets on that. With the exception of Jimmy Carter and Al Gore, most Democratic politicians who retire or bow to defeat fade quietly into the background.

Not so for Republicans. With the exception of The Shrub, nearly every Republican who has run for office in the last fifty years had suffered ignominious defeat before being nominated.

Think Nixon – humiliated as VP, defeated in 1960, elected in 1968.

Think Reagan – defeated in 1976, elected in 1980.

Think Bush I – defeated in 1980, career resurrected by becoming a running mate.

Think Bob Dole – Running mate in 1976, nominee in 1996, the only politician to have been his party’s nominee for both President and Vice President without being elected to either office.

Think McCain – Soundly thumped by The Shrub in 2000, nominated in 2008.

Think Romney – Defeated in 2008 primaries, nominated in 2012.

Republicans have this sense of entitlement, that if they run for office enough times it eventually becomes “their turn.” I don’t think even the most blatant abuser of federal aid felt more entitlement than Romney felt in the past election. It was his turn, the White House was meant for him, it should have been his! It WAS his! My Precious! My Precious!.

Until the Republican primaries for the 2012 election began oh, so long ago, I’d have thought that I’d seen the last of Gingrich or Santorum, the one disgraced and both losers. As long as Fux News is around, Sarah Palin, Mike Huckabee and Karl Rove all have a place to bark from. McCain’s bitterness is showing up like a bad aftertaste of spoiled cranberry sauce. Like Freddie and Jason, Republican politicians never stay down – they just keep coming back over and over and over ad nauseam.

I really don’t think that there’ll be a President Bachmann, Perry or Willard Mitt Romney either, but the Republicans do have a habit of re-animating their dead – they may be down, but they’re seldom out. Some of them may run again, but they’ll never win. On the other hand, there’s a whole new generation of Republicans who will be coming back again and again and again. Ryan will take over for Romney, and there’s Jindal, Rubio and don’t forget Jeb and George S. Bush who just filed intent to run for something-or-other in Texas. Romney has five sons who may feel it necessary to avenge their father’s defeat by taking it out on the American middle class.

In the meantime we must not let them get the Precious!

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E.A. makes a good point and I pretty much agree with all he wrote. I will add this though; unless Republicans seriously modify their agenda or, in lieu of that, someone like a Chris Christie or Jeb Bush successfully masks Republican’s true agenda, I don’t see the GOP winning a presidential election in the foreseeable future…or ever.

Different times are upon us and changing demographics do not favor TeaPartyism’s twisted view of America. A majority of women will simply not vote for a political party who deals with their health issues as if 51 percent of the population were little more than 19th century chattel. Nor will Hispanics and other minorities cast a majority vote for a party they rightly view as a white man’s country club.

Political Darwinism dictates that political parties either adapt and evolve in step with their changing environment or face extinction. If Republicans didn’t get the message this time around, then they’re in for another rude awakening in 2016 – regardless of who they decide to run against Hillary.

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