Now that President Obama’s re-election is safely in the bag, is it OK for grumpy liberals to start criticizing him again? It is? OK then!
So, Republicans, you lost to President Obama. How are you going to win the next election?
Yes, two weeks have passed since the election, and yes, Mitt Romney appears to have begun his post-election shame spiral. (Look away, kids, look away.) And yes, all kinds of liberal commentators are out there giving you free advice about how to improve Republican prospects in the next election—especially among the non-white-dude voters who provided much of Obama’s coalition—most of which boils down to “be more liberal.”
Me, I’m liberal, but I think the GOP can expand its appeal by being true to its own beliefs and core philosophies. And I think three big efforts will go a long way toward expanding the party’s appeal.
• Pass The DREAM Act. You hate being called racist. Hate it. But look at the poll numbers again—Mitt Romney got the support of the white dudes and President Obama got everybody else. Those non-white-dude voters think you’re not on their side. You can gripe about the unfairness of it all, or you can resolve to win elections and address this.
And the easiest way to start is by passing The DREAM Act, which paves a pathway to citizenship for the children of illegal immigrants who grew up in the United States, by requiring them to serve in the military or get a college degree. A big concern among anti-immigration conservatives is that the recent wave of Hispanic immigrants isn’t assimilating like previous generations did. That concern is way overblown, but the truth is that the kids covered by The Dream Act already have assimilated to a large degree—they’re Americans, they just don’t have the paperwork. You can continue to punish them for the sins of their parents (and perpetuate the idea that you just don’t like brown people) or you help them build better lives through service to the country.
Is this actually conservative? Well, The Dream Act originated with Sen. Orrin Hatch, a Utah Republican. So I’ll say it can be conservative, if conservatives want it to be.
• Be pro-free markets, not pro-big business. Republicans spent a lot of the recent election cycle accusing Democrats of “crony capitalism,” cozying up to favored businesses and industries and helping them with the power of government. But the attack never caught on—even though it was sometimes fair—because everybody knows that the GOP is just as guilty of this particular sin.
Being pro-market means being against banks being “too big to fail.” Being pro-market means keeping banks small enough that the failure of one won’t upend the entire economic system—which means government can allow it to fail. Being pro-market means fixing copyright law so that it benefits more idea-makers and entrepreneurs instead of just protecting the revenue streams of giant corporations. Being pro-market means that if you really hate crony capitalism, you immediately weed out the system of corporate welfare before you ever again complain about the 47 percent of Americans supposedly looking for handouts.
Americans are fair-minded. They’re not prone to class jealousy, even when they maybe should be. Convince them you’re for a real level playing field, Republicans, and you might win their hearts back.
• Stop being crazy. Stop hanging out with Donald Trump. Stop hanging out with members of congress who believe President Obama has secret mind-control powers. Stop giving your approval to members of the Georgia Legislature who believe the U.N. is undermining American freedom with “Agenda 21.” Stop letting your followers rest easy in the idea that President Obama is a Kenyan-born Muslim. Stop with the secession talk. Stop doing a million other things. Just stop.
This might be the hardest one to pull off, because it appears from the outside that the GOP identity is so closely tied to the most outlandish beliefs of its base. But the rest of the country looks at those beliefs and flees. But there’s no reason that “limited government” means “insane.” There’s no reason that favoring a strong military means believing boogety-boogety-boogety. If you want the power and responsibility to govern again, then for the love of God stop hanging out with your weird friends.
If conservatism is what it says it is—colorblind, pro-market, pro-limited government—then these fixes shouldn’t be too hard. There’s no reason that Republicans can’t win elections again. They just have to be true to their best selves.
After a week of stunned, grieving silence, the Tea Party has begun boiling anew over yesterday’s news that Mitt Romney failed to garner even one vote in 59 Philadelphia election precincts:
This CANNOT STAND. This is NOT the America I grew up in. Romney got Zero votes in 59 Philadelphia voting divisions mobile.philly.com/news/?wss=/phi…
— David Limbaugh (@DavidLimbaugh) November 12, 2012
— Paratisi (@Paratisi) November 13, 2012
— NP-Whitlo (@Bud1miSScrub32) November 13, 2012
— joan dawson (@jfdaws) November 13, 2012
— MaydnUSA (@MaydnUSA) November 13, 2012
Mathematically Impossible: Presidential candidate Mitt Romney did not register a single vote across 59 voting districts in Philadelphia, Pa.
— Buddy Helland (@DebtFreeBuddy) November 13, 2012
Where’s the Beef? No Media Outrage Over Mitt Romney Getting Shut Out in 59 Philadelphia Precincts joemiller.us/2012/11/wheres…
— TheBoldPursuit (@TheBoldPursuit) November 13, 2012
@carterfliptme this is impossible..I have friends in north Philadelphia and west Philadelphia who I know for a fact they voted for romney
— Brian Hennessey (@BrianHenn) November 13, 2012
59 precincts in Philadelphia and not 1 vote for Romney / Ryan . Voter fraud was so blatant in 2012 Pres. Election it defies reason #IMPEACH
— victor(@lockdude09) November 13, 2012
Romney received zero votes in Philadelphia. ZERO. But no, voter fraud doesn’t exist, we just want stricter rules because we’re all racist.
— Kristen Miller (@kamiller24) November 13, 2012
“It’s absolutely INSANE that people are just accepting this Treason of the American People! The anger…” — Paratisi disq.us/8bsboj
— Paratisi (@Paratisi) November 13, 2012
Need proof that Philadelphia really, really, really a Democratic town? How about this: In 59 of the city’s voting divisions last week—mostly in West and North Philadelphia—GOP presidential nominee didn’t receive a single vote. The final score in those divisions? President Obama: 19,605, Romney, 0. That’s triggered the expected conspiracy theorizing, but it even surprised more sober analysts. ”Not a single vote for Romney or even an error?” said Larry Sabato, a political scientist at the University of Virginia. “That’s worth looking into.” There may not be much to find: As the Inquirer points out this morning, some divisions contain only a few registered Republicans—and those folks may have moved away. It’s easier, instead, if we assume that one Black Panther guy frightened potential Romney voters across the entire city. [Philadelphia Inquirer]
10. The Tea Party? Not much of a party.
If there’s one thing 2012 proved conclusively, it’s that the Republican Party needs to be more and not less inclusive. That means shedding itself of associations to the “wackadoodles” who cost the GOP a couple of Senate seats. When even Lindsay Graham says, “We’re not generating enough angry white guys to stay in business for the long term,” change is in the air. Too bad, Tea Party Tom Smith. Read more »
President Obama’s re-election has saved the taxpayers a lot of money. Why? Because the Secret Service only has to pay to protect the four immediate members of the president’s family—all of whom live together—and not the 29 members of the fecund family of Mitt Romney. Ben Jacobs notes: “The cost of protecting 29 different Romneys scattered across the country would have be huge. Of course, considering the size of the U.S. budget deficit, it would just be a drop in the bucket. But, every little bit counts and, who knows, the savings might just be enough to allow taxpayers to continue funding Big Bird.” [Daily Download]
New Jersey Governor Chris Christie addressed the press in LBI on Wednesday. In addition to winter storm Athena (read: the Nor’easter that’s about to kick the East Coast while it’s down), Christie offered his thoughts on the presidential election and, specifically, his role in the Mitt Romney campaign. The guv says that he put a lot of effort into getting Romney elected, but that he doesn’t intend to dwell on the outcome of the election. Oh, and then he basically offered in 2016 nomination acceptance speech.
My work with President Obama was symbolic of the leadership I brought to Trenton over the last three years. Sometimes you need to be a little direct and blunt to get the attention of the other party. I plead guilty to that. But what the party also knows is that I’m a guy they can sit down with and make a compromise with in order to make progress. We’ve made great progress with this state in a bipartisan way. My activity with President Obama is just another chapter in the leadership I’ve tried to show in this state. People care more about getting things done than they care about partisanship. I’m going to continue to conduct myself that way. I can be as hard a partisan as the next guy when I think it’s necessary, and I’ve proven that. But when it’s necessary to get the job done and get the deal I can do that too. That’s what people expect you to do. They expect you to walk and chew gum at the same time.
Someone, somewhere is already making “Walk and chew gum at the same time 2016″ T-shirts. [NBC Philadelphia]
Barack Obama won, but if the State of Pennsylvania had been decided on a county-by-county basis, Mitt Romney would have won by a landslide here. Below, a list of unofficial county-by-county vote tallies for each candidate, with more than 98.8% of districts reporting. Click on the column headers to sort.
Source: Pennsylvania Department of State
Pity poor Mitt Romney.
No, I never wanted the man to be president—and given the Pennsylvania returns in Tuesday’s election, neither did many of you—but it’s really easy in the heat of a presidential campaign to see your opponent as the devil incarnate, and only appreciate his good qualities later. In 10 years or so, Liz Cheney will be leading the Republican ticket and making everybody outraged, and Democrats will hearken back to the days of old Mitt’s relative courtliness on the campaign trail. In the meantime, Romney has to figure out how to spend the rest of his life now that his ultimate goal has eluded him. That can’t be easy. Read more »