My Not-So-Brief Thoughts On The Election

I know. I don’t like posting about politics but I’m doing it anyway. I guess that’s the advantage of having your own blog, right?

I should mention first that I didn’t vote for either of the mainstream candidates. I didn’t feel either earned my vote or filled me with any level of confidence. I don’t feel good about that. I knew that the election was the finality of a lot of my disappointment with what has become national politics and what is now the Republican party.

First, Romney was the best candidate of an awful group of finalists. That’s not saying much, though. Republicans couldn’t give the nomination away. In the end, Romney wasn’t going to win because he wouldn’t ever be bold enough to form a coalition around his actual ideas and hold steady. He never had a chance or, at least, he shouldn’t have had a chance. His fate mirrored the fate of another Massachusetts politician: John Kerry. In both 2004 and 2012, history will show that there were two very beatable incumbents and their party picked the wrong guy to get the job done.

The fact that this election was close (and without Hurricane Sandy, it might have been closer) should be a huge worry for President Obama. Not that Obama wasn’t beatable but that he shouldn’t have been beatable by candidate Romney (or any of the Republican challengers). My concerns with Obama are basically the same as they were in 2008: he lacks the leadership to get it done in Washington. I have no confidence that he will turn it around in his second term and if you look at the recent histories of second terms, you should immediately see why. For all of the accomplishments he could point to, it wasn’t result of bipartisan agreement nor a man with a strict, uncompromising vision. He let both the opposition and his own party run roughshod and got lucky with a half-term of across-the-board majorities.

For those independents who eventually broke for him, it was a roll of the dice either way. You’re gambling that Obama will grow a backbone or that Romney’s plan, whichever one comes to fruition, would be the right one.

Of course, for a lot of people, this came down on ideological, strictly partisan grounds. Most of the people who voted for either candidate wouldn’t vote for the other, ever. I don’t really care about those people since it is always a question of turnout rather than any sort of decision for them. Those people are going to be most happy or most disappointed by the result. In reality, these people should all be disappointed with how this entire election cycle went. Outside of holding the House, the Republicans looked pathetic and holding the Senate and Presidency against the people the Republicans threw at Democrats is barely an accomplishment.

On a larger scale, I wonder what is going to happen with the Republicans after this loss? I used to consider myself one but frankly, we’ve moved away from each other. The things you have to support in order to make it through the primaries are also the things that put your appeal with independents at serious risk. Running a moderate Republican out there who literally ran from his record and past viewpoints to make in-roads with the base has lost two straight elections. Something has to break. I’d like to break it towards the moderates but that hasn’t been popular in the past (and why I consider myself a former Republican, in general).

The leg they have to stand on at this point is financial prudence; a spot that is being rightfully chipped away by a decade of indulgence that they would kill the Democrats on. If they got that sorted out, along with a reasonable and reworked foreign and domestic policy agenda and a commitment to pursue all three, they could start turning things around.

I’m not betting on that though.

Meanwhile, Democratic celebrations are going to be short-lived when they realize that they still have a Republican House and the risk of filibuster in the Senate. Nobody is going to have an easy time the next two years and it won’t be easy politically to turn the tide around on Republicans unless you really start to chip away on their key issues. Assuming the President doesn’t lead and push this Congress to better results, we can probably bet on more of the same.

Forget the electoral college for a second. The nation that needs to be governed is split down the middle. That’s not changing without some significant retooling from some party.

Democrat or Republican, I hope we can do better these next four years. And after over a billion dollars spent on this one election, I would think that we could have done better. Maybe I’ll be wrong and Obama will deliver the presidency he promised four years ago and Republicans will pull their head out and devise a clear path forward in the wake of another defeat. I’m skeptical on both fronts, though. I hope for everyone’s sake that I’m as wrong as so many political pundits were in the last three months.

5 thoughts on “My Not-So-Brief Thoughts On The Election

  1. This explanation makes no sense. It’s a convoluted view of the GOP and Romney but right on as it concerns Obama. The reason why Romney lost is simple. The ‘takeaways’ in this country would never vote for anybody who threatened the goodies they have been collecting in huge amounts from the liberal wing of the Congress. In fact, they want more. Romney’s plan to “reduce government” was the killer. Take away my government check? Never happen. The lines at the social security office are getting longer and longer and the rolls of the so called ‘disabled workers’ has doubled. Why? Because the Obama administration feels compelled to take care of everybody, we are on a downhill slope toward a more socialistic approach and as such, the number of people getting something from the government will increase. The election only solidified the fact that ‘more government’ is what people want, not less and they voted accordingly. This gives Obama 4 more years of moving forward with his plans to dramatically change the way this country views the world. My fear is that people are willing to give up their freedom in exchange for a government handout. We just passed the tipping point, so hold onto your pocketbooks, your possessions and be ready to give up your freedom for the ‘good of the country.’

    • Clearly, there can’t be any alternative explanation, right? Almost everyone I know, Republican or Democrat, wants to work, wants to be a contributing member of society and doesn’t want to be on paltry government handouts. But that’s the only reason Romney lost?

      That “hell in a hand basket” argument might work for a certain faction of Republicans but it hasn’t worked in now two presidential elections. Maybe instead of trying to create more scares, Republicans focus more on compelling reasons for the populace to vote for them?

  2. I do think there are republicans that would rather see Obama fail then the country succeed. He kept a good percentage of his promises, compromised on another fair amount. It wasn’t a perfect score but considering the two from war he was facing from the far left and most of the right, I think he did a pretty good job.

    • You may be right,, and all politicians bend the truth however, you are wrong on one point. I have a list of over 90 promises that Obama made that he broke. These are all fact-checked. Now that is truly ‘bending the truth.” The biggest lies of all time are the 5.5 milliion jobs created by BO during his first term. If you go to the BLS you will find that the NET is 300,000 a far cry from 5.5 mil;lion. This was also verified by CNN, not a conservative channel and an obvious supporter of BO. The second lie is that the ‘middle class will not pay one dime more in taxes if we tax the rich a little bit more.” In truth, there are 21 new taxes in the Obamcare legislation that all will pay. Secondly, if the Bush cuts are not extended, a family of 4 will pay about $4500,00 more in taxes and this means the bulk of the middle class. Further, the tax the rich proposal will generate enough money to last the government (at current spending levels) about 8 days, or 88 days if the take ALL of the money from ALl of the rich. Yeah, I know, you can find a number of sources that say this is not true. In fact it is and I have researched each point. Look, I am not against closing loopholes and generating more revenue and taxes from the rich who are the primary beneficiary of loopholes. But, please do not tell me that the middle class will benefit and that they will not pay “one dime more in taxes.” If you believe that, I live in Florida and there is plenty of swamp and gator land I can sell you for a song. I wish BO was correct, but he is not, never has been.

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