The Republican Party Believes In A Make-Believe America
President Obama decisively won a second term with at least 303 electoral votes and likely to grow to 332 if his slight lead in Florida holds up. This result beats most predictions, including mine, and as uncomfortable as Republicans are with mandates (and man dates), 332 EVs definitely qualifies.
Mitt Romney failing to win Florida with an unemployment rate that’s been above 10 percent for most of the last four years, one of the most devastated real estate markets in the country and an opponent named Barack Hussein Obama who has had a chilly personal relationship with the high-maintenance president of Israel, would be proof positive of just how toxic of a brand the Republicans have become.
Willard Mitt Romney is not my ideal candidate, but there’s no reason to think middle-of-the-road Floridians would find him so offensive. There was no auto industry in Florida for him to let die, and besides, Mitt looks and sounds like the type of guy a lot of snowbirds invest their money with or buy Lexuses (Lexi?) from.
But it’s not about Mitt. Republicans will blame him for the loss and claim that a candidate who was true to their conservative values, someone like Mullah Omar, would have carried them to the victory they felt was ordained. This is why they ignore polls. Only God’s plan matters. I guess they have to accept Nate Silver as their Lord and Savior now.
Mitt didn’t make Todd Akin (who got smacked by Claire McCaskill) talk about “legitimate rape” or Richard Mourdock (who also went down) rationalize rape babies as “something God intended.” Mitt stumbled by not pulling the commercial he made endorsing Mourdock, but he was cooked before that, having had to embrace all kinds of insane Santorumbabble during the Republican primaries. It’s tough when you are trapped between a rock and a padded wall, especially for a soulless mercenary manager like Mitt. He’ll say whatever to advance a short-term goal.
The Republican ship has sailed to Crazytown and there was really nothing that rudderless Romney could do. Alienating women, Latinos, LGBTQ (great people, terrible acronym) folks and non-Christian Americans is a great way to win an election that takes place 40 years ago.
With his big win Tuesday, President Obama claimed back-to-back victories in the bastions of European socialism known as Colorado and Virginia. Colorado in particular was an impressive four-point win for the president, which was probably boosted by a growing Latino population (which has been almost systematically alienated by the Republican party for reasons that could only be explained by soft bigotry and in some cases, outright racism) and a ballot initiative calling for the legalization of marijuana, which had to motivate youth turnout.
The Republican Party’s current strategy of tax cuts for the people who need them least, very un-sexy pale men talking about lady parts and racist photoshopping of Michelle Obama was soundly rejected by the American people. Colorado, a solid two-time George W. Bush state that was not in contention since the Clinton years, may provide one possible re-tooling opportunity.
The War on Drugs is much less popular with younger and more ethnically diverse Americans than it is with old white people. It’s also probably the one issue where the Democrats have shown the least amount of political courage, and this includes President Obama, which is shameful for someone who is familiar with both smoking marijuana and especially how drugs are often used as a tool to reel poor black and Latino youths into the criminal justice system.
Ron Paul, who was the one candidate running for the Republican nomination with strong youth support and non-token non-white support, campaigned vociferously against the War on Drugs, calling it “a real abuse of liberty,” according to the Huffington Post. This is not a coincidence
The regrettable nanny-state element of the Democratic Party gives the Republicans an opportunity to outflank the people who brought us bike helmet laws on the Drug War. This would play extremely well with younger voters, non-white voters and voters in places like Colorado and Nevada with a strong libertarian lean. (They shouldn’t take Paul’s inspiration and go back to the gold standard though—that would be worse for the economy than a Romney presidency.)
This argument makes logical sense, but this is now a faith-based party. Mitt Romney tried to get his supporters to “Believe in America” but they only believed in a make-believe America where Latinos don’t exist and rape babies just take themselves out. Fortunately, in real America, our electoral process allows us to kick these crusading legislators out too. Legitimate democracy.
Read more of Neon Tommy’s coverage of the election here.
Reach Editor-at-Large Matt Pressberg here.