By the time you read this, the United States will have re-elected Barack Obama to a second term. I write this the Thursday before the election. Most people wouldn’t have the confidence (or arrogance) to declare a winner five days early, but mainstream logic is boring, and I’ve been writing about this victory for too long to play it to the chest now. As I’ve said before, the dialogue in the media has come to a conclusion that this race is too-close-to-call. But the discussion should be why Romney lost this race and how bad, not will he.
The political strategist George Carville wrote a book called 40 More Years in 2008 when Obama was first elected. I’ve never read it or even a synopsis of it, but for some reason that title has stuck in my head these few years. It’s alluding to a new age of politics dominated by democratic victories particularly in the white house, and I think I can guess as to what he was getting at. Since we live in the 21st century, the Republican Party platform is falling apart.
The last great social rights issue of our time is gay rights. And it’s becoming apparent Republicans are once again on the wrong side of history. Their attempts to disenfranchise a group they believe doesn’t exist no longer has backing from most of the population, youth in particular. If you start alienating youth, you deplete your support down the road when that generation grows up.
While abortion is still a divided issue in America, contraceptives, family planning, and women’s healthcare are not. Republicans across the country have tried to pass extreme abortion bills in an attempt to destroy Planned Parenthood or women’s access to contraceptives. Hello 1950’s. There’s your alienation of women.
Romney praises the “papers please” law in Arizona as a model for the country and says he would veto the Dream act. I can’t think of a more draconian approach to immigration reform, and the Party’s failure to suggest something else other than voluntary deportation has crippled their Latino support, who by the way, are likely to be almost half of the population by 2050. Good luck winning those elections.
Then there is the true litmus test to a Republican: austerity and trickle-down. Republicans like Paul Ryan demonize government aid to the poor or unemployed as a handout. Many like Romney think that almost half of the population is a bunch of lazy dependents. They view stimulus to improve schools or energy or infrastructure as socialist policy. They think showering the wealthiest with tax breaks and deregulation while starving public expenditure will produce economic booms. They miraculously forgot how poorly such policy worked during the Bush administration. Mark that as alienating most of the poor and anyone who likes the concept of economic practicality and fairness.
I guess that leaves us with the moderate to wealthy white man. As Mitch McConnell said a few months ago, “we aren’t producing enough angry old white guys to win elections”. It seems that in their final weeks of campaigning, conservatives have decided that they need to turn out this group by making these white voters feel like they have the most to lose from an Obama presidency. Prime examples: The false welfare advertisement and the deplorable “Obama 2016” video. If Romney were able to get 60% of the white male vote during this election (he won’t), he might be able to win.
Unless the wealthy white population of this country decides to start raising 12 children at a time, the current social political trend is that Democrats will be winning the white house far more frequently than their Republican counterparts. The exceptions to this trend would be poor economic times or scandals in office.
Or they could moderate their positions. There is a legitimate and needed conservative viewpoint in American politics, and it is not being sufficiently represented because the moderates are being snuffed out in primaries and run out of office by the crazies in organizations like the Tea Party. Instead of trying to accommodate different viewpoints into their logic, Republicans have instead been trying to suppress voting with requirements of photo ID or cutting voting accessibility. If you can’t join them, burn them.
And here I’ll finish my yearlong critique of Romney. Of course it didn’t help that the Romney campaign was a disaster from the start. He’s been getting hammered by his latest lie of an accusation that Obama’s policies are moving Jeep jobs overseas. He’s doing his classy bow out of the race by saying anything and everything to try and fight his way against the inevitable tide. No one should be shocked another malleable puppet couldn’t get elected. Obama won because people are not stupid. They see the same policies of Bush but worse in Romney, and the majority of people still remember who sat in office for the crash.
I made an electoral prediction on my blog in early October that Obama would win the election with 332 electoral votes to Romney’s 206. I’m still sticking with that, but if I’m wrong it’s because Obama lost Florida, which would make his total 303 instead. You, the reader in the magical future know the results. How’d I do?
Published in the Flipside