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How Republicans Forfeited the Economy

From a psephological perspective, there are two different ways of looking at Tuesday’s presidential election results. Psephology, of course, is the science–or at least wannabe science–of analyzing elections.

The first way is not so bad for Mitt Romney. It reminds us that it’s hard to beat an elected incumbent running for re-election. From 1900 to 2004, a total of 14 elected incumbents have sought an additional term, and 10 of them won. And now, of course, counting 2012, it’s 11 successful re-elections out of 15 attempts. It’s simply not often that a president loses a re-election bid; a partisan change in the White House usually comes when there’s no incumbent running.

Moreover, since 1896, only once has a president, and his party, been turned out of office after only four years. That was Jimmy Carter, who lost his re-election bid in 1980, thus returning Republicans to the White House after only a four-year exile. The other incumbents running for re-election who lost–William Howard Taft, Herbert Hoover, and George H.W. Bush–were all part of a string of incumbents for their party. In their cases, the public had grown tired of the incumbent party, as well as the incumbent himself. Only Carter was a single-termer both for himself and for his party–that’s Carter’s own claim to electoral ignominy.

So by that reckoning, we can ask: was Barack Obama, in 2012, as weak of an incumbent as Jimmy Carter in 1980? And the answer, simply, is “no.” Obama’s personal approval ratings were 10 points higher than Carter’s, and the “right-track/wrong direction” poll question–which once showed a 2:1 “wrong direction”–had crept up to a manageable single-digit minus.

And interestingly, Obama is the first president since Woodrow Wilson in 1916 to win a second term by a narrower margin than in his first term.

Okay, so that’s not so bad.

The second way is harsher on Romney. The economy is the Number One issue for Americans, and Romney was supposed to be Mr. Fix-the-Economy, yet the voters didn’t buy it. No president has won re-election with unemployment so high since Roosevelt in 1940, and FDR could at least claim to have lowered it substantially since he first took office. Yet Obama won anyway. Maybe running the Bain guy wasn’t the best way to capitalize on the voters’ economic discontent.

Moreover, as many analysts have noted, if today’s unemployment is measured by the labor-force participation rate–that is, the ratio of adults over 16 in the workplace–the unemployment picture looks far bleaker, in the double digits. So it would have been a worthwhile project for the GOP to elaborate more on the true dimensions of unemployment. But that’s the sort of education effort that had to begin, party-wide, years ago–during the campaign was too late.

In addition, Republicans need to think more about better approaches on other bread-and-butter issues, including Medicare. And not just “reforms” in Medicare that most seniors regarded as budget cuts, but reforms that could mean actual improvements in senior health, and public health. After all, healthier people cost less than unhealthy people.

Indeed, the healthcare equation has two halves: the healthcare-finance half and the healthcare-science half. Yet in Washington policy circles over the past few decades, the focus has been almost entirely on the first half, finance. But we might ask ourselves: when we’re sitting in a doctor’s office, what are we most worried about? The cost of the care? Or whether that care–or cure–is even available? That is, do we come away from the medical office with our bills covered? Or a clean bill of health? Which would you rather have?

As I have written here before [1], Romney would have been good a choice to put a national focus on, say, Alzheimer’s Disease–which is presently incurable. Of all Romney’s strengths and weaknesses, even his critics agree that he is inordinately effective at getting people and resources into play to solve a problem. And yet he chose not to display that strength by seizing the Alzheimer’s issue, or any other tangible health issue, such as, say, using new advances to fully rehabilitate Wounded Warriors.

So sure, there will be a lot of time spent analyzing all of Romney’s missed opportunities.  And note to future GOP presidential candidates: It’s always better to be for something–something tangible and positive and life-affirming.

Indeed, Republicans need to reflect on the fact that they have now lost four of the last six presidential elections. And if we measure the popular vote only, the GOP has lost five of the last six. This losing trend is not unprecedented–Republicans lost five in a row in the ’30s and ’40s–but it’s surely a flashing warning light for today.

Over the first 13 decades of its history, from 1860 to 1988, the GOP won 21 of 33 presidential elections. The general sense that Republicans were the natural occupants of the White House gave rise to Chris Matthews’ formulation that the Republicans of those days were the “daddy party,” the party of executive-branch governance, while the Democrats were the natural “mommy party,” the party of legislative-branch access and voice.

But now, not so much, as the election results show. Over the last six elections, the GOP has averaged approximately 43.5 percent of the popular vote. So what does that say about Republicans on the national stage?

To put it mildly, considerable discussion on these points will come–from all quarters.

As for other elections yesterday, the Republicans, who had hoped to win back the US Senate in 2012, now find themselves having lost seats. More considerable discussion is to come about that, too, specifically, how the party recruits and nominates candidates.

The Republicans had a better night in the House, of course, and so now Speaker John Boehner continues his reign as the only Republican with real power on the national stage. Boehner thus has his own no-tax-increase mandate to take with him into the “fiscal cliff” negotiations.

A few other points:

The engine of social liberalism–or, if one prefers, libertarianism–keeps chugging along. Proponents of gay marriage won popular referendum victories in Maine, Maryland, and  Washington State. And marijuana legalizers won similar victories in Colorado and in the same Washington State.

Oh, and about New Jersey governor Chris Christie. In a close election, any observer with a point to make–or a bone to pick–can fairly say that any one particular factor was decisive. And so it is with Christie, who gave Obama a hand–a big hand–in the last week of the campaign in regard to Hurricane Sandy recovery. So is Christie now going to be regarded as a sterling exemplar of bipartisanship? Or a blackened example of party disloyalty? It depends on who you ask, of course, yet the overall answer from the country will help set the tone of national politics in the coming years.

Indeed, since bipartisanship works both ways–Christie’s help for Obama is Obama’s help for Christie–it’s a safer bet now that Christie will be re-elected next year. And so Christie will continue to be a big figure on the national stage, of both admiration and obloquy.

Finally, Pinkerton’s Principle of Political Regression tells us that while it’s never as good you hope, it’s also never as bad as you fear. And so conservatives, fearful of a second Obama presidency, can be cheered at the thought of Republicans holding the House. As they say in D.C., “The President proposes, and the Congress disposes.”

So while Boehner will be under enormous pressure to “grow in office”–that is, cave in to Beltway pressures–the Speaker and his legion should remember that the American people seem to like divided government and all that such a dispensation entails.

In the 67 years since the end of World War Two, one party has controlled the White House and both chambers of Congress for just 28 years; in the other 39 years, power was divided. And now, for at least another two years, it will divided again. So maybe the public thinks that gridlock is bad, but unchecked power for anybody, Americans believe, is worse. So once again, yesterday at the polls, the American people got what they wanted.

The re-elected 44th President has a perfect right to feel good about things this morning, and his mind is no doubt filled with potential legacy-builders. Yet history shows that second-termers have a way of hubristically over-reaching. If so, the political system–and the Constitutional system–is ready for that challenge.

James P. Pinkerton is a contributor to the Fox News Channel and a TAC contributing editor. Follow him on Twitter [2].

34 Comments (Open | Close)

34 Comments To "How Republicans Forfeited the Economy"

#1 Comment By EngineerScotty On November 7, 2012 @ 12:43 pm

What do you call a candidate who wins his second term election by a narrower margin than his first term?

“Mr. President”.

#2 Comment By Elizabeth A On November 7, 2012 @ 1:55 pm

As a 44-year-old conservative leaning soccer mom (Obama 2008, Gary Johnson 2012), Romney (the GOP) had five major flaws in this campaign:

1) Warmongering. The aggressiveness I heard during the Republican debates was atrocious. Did the GOP not get the memo that Americans are tired of war? Ron Paul was the only sane person on the stage. I couldn’t believe my ears. Romney’s flip-flop from this in the last debate was probably even more unsettling.

2) Becoming the party that doesn’t accept people who are different. There is a strong perception that the party is made up of racists and homophobes. This is a big problem because the psychographic trend is that our society is becoming more accepting of gays. The number one message in the bible is a one of love and tolerance, yet the party seems hell bent on persecuting those that need the most love and support: those who are different and have huge obstacles to overcome. (Wake up call. No one chooses to become a persecuted member of society who doesn’t have the same rights as others.)

3) Becoming the hard-lined pro-life and perceived anti-contraception party. This is not sustainable if you want the female vote. Pro-choice does not mean pro-abortion! I support giving this back to the states, but don’t want to go back to the days where only the rich could get illegal abortions AND THIS WILL HAPPEN. Instead of spewing hate, if pro-lifers (e.g., the church) put more energy into actually helping women who seek out abortions (primarily poor minorities), I might be able to get behind them. No matter what, please don’t make contraception harder to get.

4) Not differentiating from Bush. The Obama campaign did a fabulous job driving home the fact that the mess we’re in was all Bush’s fault and that Romney’s strategy was the same as Bush’s — that meme was never challenged in my opinion. How was Romney different? Really, someone tell me.

5) Not sticking with one central message throughout the campaign. As a marketer, it was entertaining to see all of the different slogans on the podiums. That was just the outward sign of a campaign that lacked a brand strategy (a core message, a reason for being, why voters should believe), one of the most important aspects of a campaign. The Romney campaign was all over the place until the final weeks of the campaign.

I think the GOP brand is stodgy, intolerant, fat and completely out of touch with reality.

#3 Comment By Majumder On November 7, 2012 @ 2:07 pm

Two-term President Ronald Reagan promised and gave amnesty to all illegal immigrants inside America. Hispanic votes were in favor of Ronald Reagan.

President Baraq Hussein Obama, Jr. gave de-facto amnesty to all illegals inside America living under certain age. Hispanic votes made him a two-termer.

The new influx of millions of illegal immigrants will make sure no one gets elected to the high office if s/he does not support amnesty.

#4 Comment By Victory over Eurasia On November 7, 2012 @ 3:13 pm

The challenge for Mr. Romney, contra your suggestions on eg public health, is that he was absolutely forbidden by his party (and perhaps also his own preferences) from offering any positive vision for the role of government. The solution to everything is always the same: repeal, reduce, cut, eliminate, and there are times where people, rightly, have a more positive view of the potential and role of government in the national debate. Being merely anti-government at all times and under all circumstances very much limits the options for the GOP. it is intellectually and morally bankrupt, and is also, apparently, a political dead end.

#5 Comment By Peter913 On November 7, 2012 @ 3:59 pm

Jim, it is not “Romney’s missed opportunities.”
You are over thinking it.
The Dems bought “food stamp votes,” that’s 47%, then add in a few percents for A**holes and you arrive at 51% for BO. Yea I know, it stinks.
The new political-social compact is: Do you want to eat or have a job?
I propose a Jeffersonianize answer: Lets go off of the cliff and have a revolution as “The Donald” has just proposed.

#6 Comment By Ken Zaretzke On November 7, 2012 @ 4:05 pm

I agree with James Pinkerton. I voted for Romney for cultural/religious liberty/structural deficit reasons, but I believe, as I have since the early ’90s (when I was shocked out of my belief in Reaganomics by Kevin Phillips’ *The Politics of Rich and Poor*), that Republicans just don’t get it about the economic plight of the middle class. There’s no doubt that this failure to “get it” is the overwhelming reason why Romney lost.

I recommend Lawrence Goodwyn’s *The Populist Moment* to all Republicans wondering what the hell to do now.

#7 Comment By Rossbach On November 7, 2012 @ 4:35 pm

@ Elizabeth A – In general, I think your points are valid, but I do have a couple of questions:

1) Why does opposition to “gay marriage” equate to persecuting homosexuals? Isn’t it possible to respect others without caving in to their every demand?

2) Why does the fact that a political party chooses not to pander to voters on the basis of race or ethnicity make that party “racist”?

#8 Comment By james freedman On November 7, 2012 @ 5:10 pm

Americans like a divided government, but not in the case where it means obstinacy on one or both sides. They like it because one side cannot steamroll the other, but they still expect a degree of bipartisanship, NOT total gridlock. In a democracy (if we still have one) we choose government officials and make decisions about public policy. It is treasonous to the democratic process to refuse to compromise under any and all circumstances (see “Pledge”), particularly with the goal of ousting an official elected by a majority of the voters.

#9 Comment By sglover On November 7, 2012 @ 6:24 pm

“President Baraq Hussein Obama, Jr. gave de-facto amnesty to all illegals inside America living under certain age. Hispanic votes made him a two-termer.”

You are at least dimly aware that “illegals” don’t vote, aren’t you?

Actually, during the 2008 campaign Obama promised immigration reform in his first term — and never delivered, never even tried, except for the inconsequential, nibbling-round-the-edges ‘Dream” Act just a few weeks ago. Obama didn’t so much get the Hispanic vote as have it delivered to him, by the usual Republican appeals to bigots.

#10 Comment By sglover On November 7, 2012 @ 6:27 pm

“2) Why does the fact that a political party chooses not to pander to voters on the basis of race or ethnicity make that party “racist”?”

That you actually believe that goes a long way towards explaining why the Republicans will NEVER change.

Here’s a hint: Whites are an “ethnicity” too…..

#11 Comment By JonF On November 7, 2012 @ 7:31 pm

Majumder,

His first name is “Barack”, not “Baraq”. /k/ and /q/ are different phonemes in the Afroasiatic languages.

#12 Comment By Lulu On November 7, 2012 @ 7:33 pm

Rossbach: Regarding your questions–
1) If someone has been told that he is immoral because his sexuality is deviant, and he wishes to avoid deviancy by marrying (“It is better to marry than to burn”), but there are people who vote to forbid him this path to normalcy, he may well feel that the people who deny him this path hate him whether or not they profess to respect him.

2) A political party that doesn’t pander to voters on the basis of race or ethnicity doesn’t exist–it just panders to different people.

#13 Comment By GregJustice On November 7, 2012 @ 8:00 pm

@Elizabeth A

You make some interesting points but the charge that the Republicans party is seen to be made up of “racists and homophobes” is not rooted in reality but is a carefully constructed mainstream media creation. If the mainstream media was tilted to the right, imagine the silly images they would paint of Democrats.

Regarding your comments on people who are engaging in homosexual behavior and the choices they make… please answer the following questions:

1) Why is it that people who have engaged in homosexual behavior in the past and later ceased that behavior and chose to be heterosexual are completely ignored and even attacked? Shouldn’t these people be the focus of studies? Nope, because people who engage in a homosexual lifestyle are a 100% reliable Democrat voting bloc.

2) Why do people get depressed, comtemplate suicide, and even commit suicide? Are they choosing to be in such a state of mind? Many recover and go on to live normal lives. Why do some recover and others don’t? There is a lot we don’t know about the human mind. Inventing civil rights and applying them to people who engage in a certain behavior that we don’t really understand is hardly a victory for liberty. I’m sure someone out there can be found who would want to marry an animal. Should we cater to them? Why would they make such a choice? People might say that’s silly but the thought of two men getting “married” used to be thought of as silly.

#14 Comment By qwerty_ca On November 7, 2012 @ 10:45 pm

Oh come on. The only reason the GOP kept the House was because of unprecedented levels of gerrymandering. If the district lines had been drawn fairly, there’s a good chance the Democrats would have kicked Republican rear-end there too. Michele Bachmann only just barely got re-elected, for example.

#15 Comment By qwerty_ca On November 7, 2012 @ 10:50 pm

This is my first time on this site. I’m a hardcore liberal, but you lot seem to be far too reasonable to be real conservatives. I actually agree with some of the things people here are saying. Have you guys considered switching parties (especially if you’re in red states)? Swinging a few more House seats toward the Democrats could really help our America. We need to kick out the wingnuts on the right to end the gridlock of the last decade.

#16 Comment By Elizabeth A On November 7, 2012 @ 11:18 pm

Re: “1) Why does opposition to “gay marriage” equate to persecuting homosexuals? Isn’t it possible to respect others without caving in to their every demand?”

I’m not a homosexual, so you’ll have to ask someone who is gay and unable to marry why he or she feels persecuted. You can respect them, but as long as you don’t respect their right to marry my hunch is they will feel persecuted. I have gay friends, family (a sister) and colleagues. The GOP doesn’t look tolerant or embracing of differences — right now it’s not a party that I can identify with.

Re: “2) Why does the fact that a political party chooses not to pander to voters on the basis of race or ethnicity make that party “racist”?”

I don’t think the GOP is racist because they don’t “pander” to hispanics, blacks, asians, etc. I’m simply saying that there is a perception that the GOP is racist — that there is a home for racists within the GOP. Barack “Hussein” Obama??!! This perception is one of the reasons people don’t identify with the party and it’s something that has to be fixed. I don’t want the GOP to pander, I want people regardless of color or religion to feel there is a home for them in the GOP.

#17 Comment By Elizabeth A On November 7, 2012 @ 11:31 pm

@GregJustice

“Why is it that people who have engaged in homosexual behavior in the past and later ceased that behavior and chose to be heterosexual are completely ignored and even attacked? Shouldn’t these people be the focus of studies?”

I think that is a good question and one that deserves to be studied. Perhaps there are individuals out there who are truly bi-sexual. It seems there should be plenty of funding out there for that kind of research.

“There is much we don’t know about the human mind…I’m sure someone out there can be found who would want to marry an animal. Should we cater to them? Why would they make such a choice? People might say that’s silly but the thought of two men getting “married” used to be thought of as silly.”

Maybe the gay mind can be fixed, but in the meantime, why can’t my sister marry the woman she has been in a committed relationship with for 15 years? I don’t mean to be flip, but if someone wants to marry and have sex with an animal it is none of my business.

#18 Comment By Elizabeth A On November 7, 2012 @ 11:39 pm

Sorry, I forgot this one…

“the charge that the Republicans party is seen to be made up of “racists and homophobes” is not rooted in reality but is a carefully constructed mainstream media creation. If the mainstream media was tilted to the right, imagine the silly images they would paint of Democrats.”

If the perception (perpetuated by the MSM) that the GOP is made up of “racists and homophobes” is not rooted in reality — THIS IS THE PROBLEM. You can blame, blame, blame, but what is the GOP going to do to fix this. That is my point.

#19 Comment By Vin M On November 7, 2012 @ 11:54 pm

@GregJustice

It seems like you are rambling but I’ll try to answer your questions.

1) The homosexual demographic is a reliable Democrat voting bloc because the GOP treats homosexuals as if they were a perversion of humanity. Why any homosexuals support the GOP is beyond me. Additionally, no human being on this planet should be the focus of any study besides those that are a danger to society, i.e. the Timothy McVeighs of America. That study should be part of an effort to better socialize them, and nothing more IMHO. How would you appreciate the youth studying the elderly for reasons as to why they haven’t just given up on life? Considering the division between the youth vote and the elderly vote, it makes sense that the elderly are afraid of change because it is a reminder of their proximity to the grave, which makes older Americans that much more of a pain to those of us that are still useful.

Do you get it?

2) What is there not to understand about homosexuality? It’s not exactly confusing. It’s a preference for a partner. Homosexuality has been a large part of human history for as long as can be remembered. The very obvious fact is that, a man and woman can fall in love and marry no questions asked, but if two men fall in love, suddenly you have a problem with it. Who are you to judge? It is against your God? Well, God is a fairy tale, time to grow up. IMHO if a man wants to marry a goat, well let him marry the freaking goat. Let that wierdo and his goat live in peace, and make creepy half-goat man babies. Personally, I have my own problems to deal with, and I could care less about some fool and his goat fetish.

Considering couples are waiting longer to marry, and marriage as a whole is losing it’s appeal, I think you need to let it go, and let the LGBT community live their lives in peace. You probably won’t but then again, soon enough you’ll be 6 feet under and the youth will be in a position to pass the civil rights legislation without elderly resistance.

Facts: History shows that society moves towards equality for all, whether you oppose same sex marriage or not, your vote is quickly becoming less of a deciding factor, and me and my LGBT friends and pretty much everyone else under 30 march together… forward!

#20 Comment By sglover On November 8, 2012 @ 1:43 am

You make some interesting points but the charge that the Republicans party is seen to be made up of “racists and homophobes” is not rooted in reality but is a carefully constructed mainstream media creation. If the mainstream media was tilted to the right, imagine the silly images they would paint of Democrats.

It is “seen to be” because that is the crowd that the GOP has been **consciously** courting since Nixon’s “Southern Strategy”. It is “seen to be” because it is so.

In 2004 and 2008, did **any** Republican give a damn about the serious security concerns arising from electronic voting? Yet suddenly, in 2012, they discovered a new love for process and the sanctity of the ballot, and launched actions to counter the “epidemic” of “vote fraud”. And amazingly, their concerns were always limited to urban or lower income areas — areas that are disproportionately non-white. With this history, do you honestly expect anyone to believe that Republicans are acting in good faith?

Your own comments are like many (though, thankfully, a minority) here, that indicate that Republicans will NEVER do any really meaningful self-examination. They aren’t capable of it.

#21 Comment By Scott On November 8, 2012 @ 7:05 am

You ask why the GOP is seen as “racist and homophobic”. I have an answer to half of that. When a cadidate for president from your party can talk about electrifying a border fence to kill folks trying to come into the country illegally and it garners applause – you are going to be seen as racist towards people of whatever ethnicity you just applauded the deaths of. Set aside the various and sundry valid reasons for controlling the borders, you advocated killing mass numbers of Hispanics and your crowd cheered. That will be seen as racist. Period.

#22 Comment By Sean Gillhoolley On November 8, 2012 @ 9:25 am

Romney/Ryan was a terrible choice…not that the Republicans had any good ones. I was overjoyed when Romney was the nominee, knowing that the Republicans would come to represent the 1%, and when he picked Ryan my joy turned to elation. Two privileged white men telling the rest of us that the only path to salvation was to cut taxes for the rich. Wonderful stuff, but what really tickled my fancy was looking at some of the demographics on the election. Old people tend to vote Republican, while young people (to age 44) tend to vote Democrat. Good luck with that one. And the one that seemed a bit of ironic justice…the heterosexual vote was split 50-50, but the homosexual vote was overwhelmingly Obama…so gay people decided this election. ROFL!!!!

#23 Comment By YIJ On November 8, 2012 @ 9:38 am

A few years ago I was at a party with a bunch of people in their mid-20’s. These were all highly educated professionals — Ph.D.s, JDs, accountants, and physicians-in-trianing (residents). They were discussing politics and how the Republican party would be extinct in 10-20 years. They were resigned, as if it was inevitable. I was flabbergasted. “How is that possible?” I asked. They told me that Republicans were going after older, white voters and ignoring emerging groups like the young, Hispanics, and the growing Asian population. An aging, white population will eventually die off. I still was not so sure. But this election seemed to put heft behind their theory.

#24 Comment By GregJustice On November 8, 2012 @ 12:06 pm

@Elizabeth A

“It seems there should be plenty of funding out there for that kind of research.”

I agree but you know what would happen if a prominent person suggest that there should be funding for this? They get slandered as a homophobe, bigot, etc… As I stated, the homosexual vote is vital to the Democrat party.

“…but in the meantime, why can’t my sister marry the woman she has been in a committed relationship with for 15 years?”

That’s a good question and it is one that most Republican’s have avoided or glossed over which has been a huge mistake. I think that the system nature gave us which is man and woman having children is the most optimal system with the most benefit for the state. Deviating from that model will produce what exactly? I think that there could be a civil union system for other kinds of arrangements such as homosexual marriages or polygamy. We could also just leave the matter up to states entirely. I mentioned polygamy above but keep in mind that once we deviate from the optimal arrangement, then on what basis can we refuse other arrangements such as polygamy?

@Vin M

Sir, I am not rambling, did you even try to follow the argument?

“…GOP treats homosexuals as if they were a perversion of humanity.”

You are making a sweeping generalization here that is not accurate. Maybe some people think that way, but most do not. Christians should love all people equally but that doesn’t mean they love all *behavior* equally. The priest at my church made a great observation this last Sunday: If you genuinely love others, this world will crucify you.

“Additionally, no human being on this planet should be the focus of any study…”

These studies happen all the time. How do you think drug companies get approval for psychotropic drugs? There are entire fields of science devoted to studying the human mind.

“What is there not to understand about homosexuality?”

Well, then you should be able to answer my questions above if it is so obvious. Should we encourage people who are suicidal to commit suicide since that is what their *feelings* tell them?

“Facts:…”

That is not a fact. Look at Europe for example… They have many of the institutions that you seem to advocate. Europe is dying out. If man rejects God, he perishes. Here is a good article on Europe’s declining birth rate:

[3]

#25 Comment By James On November 8, 2012 @ 1:14 pm

@Vin M,

You reply to @Greg Justice about not caring if some guy marries a goat is exactly how civilizations collapse, Rome anyone? When you begin to destroy the good order of a society because it doesn’t affect you, directly, and to destroy traditions that for thousands of years have moved civilizations to make the advances we have seen in this country in a very short timeframe you have tyranny. And you have the worst kind of tyranny, the tyranny of the masses.

Fact: History shows that as a society moves towards ‘equality of all’ they all become equally miserable.

#26 Comment By Geoff On November 8, 2012 @ 3:18 pm

The economy is the Number One issue for Americans, and Romney was supposed to be Mr. Fix-the-Economy, yet the voters didn’t buy it.

I think part of the problem is that Romney focused on blaming Obama for the economy, rather than primarily positioning himself as someone who could fix it. Another example of taking a negative approach, instead of a positive one. And what happened is democrats correctly mocked the willful dissonance of failing to recognize the effects of the Bush Presidency and the resulting economic mess.

#27 Comment By gsarant On November 9, 2012 @ 9:10 am

An excellent analysis Jim. I don’t think things are as dire as many people are thinking right now based on this analysis:

WHAT DO REPUBLICANS DO NOW?:
First and foremost Republicans should avoid what has already auspiciously begun, n… [4]

George Sarant: WHAT DO REPUBLICANS DO NOW?
bit.ly

#28 Comment By Don Mynack On November 9, 2012 @ 9:11 am

I’m seeing little to no real discussion/ideas from the national GOP about Medicaid and Social Security, when those were winning issues just a decade ago. Why not? The Social Security tax is a ridiculous burden on the working class, a 14%(!) inescapable drag on income that promises virtually no real return on investment upon retirement. FDR considered it worthy of only 3% of income…why is it 14% now? Evidence has been piling up for decades about what a terrible program Medicaid is for children, who compose 50% of its registrants, yet receive only 20% of its budget. Nearly 80% of the recipients of Medicaid (the so-called children’s health care fund) in the country are ADULTS, nearly 30% elderly and on pricey long term care. That’s right, the elderly are on both Medicaid AND Medicare. Meanwhile, children on Medicaid can’t get seen by a doctor because they don’t take Medicaid patients…yet I see no call whatsoever from the GOP to make Medicaid a simple subsidy to low-income families, rather than a ponderous, unworkable bureaucracy that wastes as much money as it spends. Remember – for every state in the union, Medicaid is the first or second largest item in the state’s budget. This effects virtually every citizen, in some way. Yet, hardly a word about it from the Rom-Bot. The national GOP is dumbed-down, tax-obsessed, war-mongering group of imbeciles that deserve to lose.

#29 Comment By Greg T. On November 9, 2012 @ 1:44 pm

Obama got fewer votes than W. Romney fewer than Kerry. Obama ran his campaign pretty much out of the Bush playbook. Romney,like his fellow Bay stater Kerry.
My predicition is OBama will have about as pleasant a second term as W did.

#30 Comment By Soxtory On November 9, 2012 @ 1:46 pm

If homosexuals and pansexuals are really not different from heterosexuals, then they will trend Republican as they enter the same socio-economic permutations as others.

Ergo, this entire argument becomes moot!

#31 Comment By Dixie Pixie On November 9, 2012 @ 6:07 pm

It has been 3 freaking years and America is in the same political spot we were on November 9 2009.
Since the 1970’s the Democrats have been running against the “White Male Patriarchy” and the “Wall Street Plutocrats”

What does the Republican Leadership do?
They run a candidate that is a perfect image of both stereotypes.
And that was in a year a dead squirrel could win against Obama.

The Republican Leadership is the modern day version of the French Bourbons.
“They Learned Nothing, Forgot Nothing.”

#32 Comment By Jack On November 10, 2012 @ 6:50 am

Romney defied conventional wisdom by choosing the most economically radical veep he could find and the guy wasn’t even from a swing state. It made no sense and it cost him the election but the media and establishment on both sides say it was all about anything other than the economic radicalism. It shows how little real difference there is between the leftist and rightist establishments.

#33 Comment By F. Rudiger On November 13, 2012 @ 7:37 pm

This might have some relevance if Pinkerton were not on FOX every week before the election praising Romney as the ideal candidate.

People see what they can get paid to see, should be the apt analogy for both the article and the author in his FOX forays, and they will keep seeing just that until the electoral roof comes down upon them.

The Repubs did not have “a good night” in the House, they are simply most viable in the House which has districts entirely or rural elderly poor who listen to AM talk radio and are the least educated and most indoctrinated. The House will always by the last stronghold of regional parties, especially when the regional party is rural based in its voters.

The bottom line is, the Republican Neocons are Foreign Policy. They have no interests beyond trade scams that profit their paying lobbyists, wars, and foreign policy.

The Electorate is now Domestic policy focused, and wants actual policies for Americans domestically as relate exclusively to jobs and the economy..

The Repubs, to their mass protestation will be forever linked to GW Bush and his complete financial and economic collapse in the minds of every adult who lived through it. This is why selling benghazi ambassadors around the clock does not shake loose any votes for you, and Mitts’ economic bonafides are those of a globalist off-shoring CEO that no one is unfamiliar with. This is hardly a selling point, quite the opposite.

Hispanics, gays… along with about everyone else, will vote for a candidate who is domestic focused and this is not a endangered species in Repub ranks, its damn extinct.

Romney was in a contest with himself to see how often he could reference ‘Bibi’ a certain foreign state, and ‘Defense’ (of a offensive nature) in a single speech, which brought smiles to his ‘donors’ but did nothing for actual voters who have heard this foreign policy delivery before, and know where it will lead to.

#34 Comment By The Crafty Trilobite On November 13, 2012 @ 11:12 pm

Speaking as a pragmatist moderate — i.e., a socialist, according to Fox News — you miss the point where you say
it would have been a worthwhile project for the GOP to elaborate more on the true dimensions of unemployment. But that’s the sort of education effort that had to begin, party-wide, years ago–during the campaign was too late
The problem Romney faced was not scaring people more about unemployment. They are and were scared quite enough. The problem was that he had no answer. Even worse, to the extent he had an answer, it was, let’s try the same thing that didn’t work last time, but harder. After 30 years of the mantra that tax cuts for the rich and deregulating financial markets would make magic money happen, the bloom is finally off the rose.
My advice? Stop trying to put lipstick on that pig and find a theory that works. Ceasing to fund and believe junk-science think tanks that tell you whatever you want to hear would be a good step in the right direction.