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Sun Feb 17, 2013, 09:47 AM

Republicans Are Losing the Post Election

Republicans Are Losing the Post Election

For a political party, there is nothing good about losing an election. At the same time, there is little utility in the second kick of a mule, so how a party responds to a loss can be as important as how it waged the election in the first place.

In 1980, the Democrats lost the White House and the Senate in a stinging defeat in which an incumbent Democratic President carried only six states, was trounced among independents and nearly lost the union vote. In the period after that defeat, the party's emerging leaders such as Senators Bill Bradley, Gary Hart and Paul Tsongas, stepped forward to attempt to articulate a Democratic approach to a post-Great Society and post-Vietnam America.

This would eventually pave the path towards the election of Bill Clinton in 1992 and the Democrats winning the popular vote in five of the last six elections. The first step on the path towards reclaiming the White House, however, was an acknowledgement of defeat and a recognition that the party had to recast itself towards a new electorate.

Republicans entered the 2012 election season hoping to replicate the 1980 result, with the electorate tossing President Obama and rejecting his economic program amidst similar hard times. Having failed miserably during the election, including handing near certain Senate victories to the Democrats in Indiana and Missouri, the Republicans are faring even worse post-election.

Far from acknowledging the judgment of the electorate, the Republicans instead have rejected it and appear eager for their next date with the mule.

After four years of denying that race was a driving factor as they seethed and babbled about the evil simultaneous fascist and communist dictator occupying the White House, rank and file Republicans responded to President Obama's overwhelming victory by spewing racist rants throughout social media.

The mask had fallen and Republicans were not the least bit embarrassed or apologetic. Their nominee, Mitt Romney, bitterly claimed that his bid for the Presidency for white America had been undermined by the President's hand-outs to minorities.

When former Secretary of State Colin Powell spoke last month of a "dark vein of intolerance" in the GOP, it apparently had little effect on his party as was evident by freshman Congressman Steve Stockman's (R-TX) extending an invitation to the virulently racist and openly seditious Ted Nugent to sit in the House gallery during the President's State of the Union Address.

Did anyone in party leadership or anyone of note even voice a hint of disapproval for Stockman's offensive gesture? Of course, not. In fact, Fox commentator Bill O'Reilly says that Nugent's "straight talk" is "what the Republican party needed."

No Republican is stepping forward to offer a 21st century vision for the party, which seems driven only by its own petulant anti-Obama tantrums and not the interests of the country. As Daniel Larison in the American Conservative notes, whether it is calls for forcing a government shut down to its most recent stunt in filibustering the nomination of fellow-Republican Chuck Hagel for Secretary of Defense, the Republicans

are making sure that all of the moderates, independents, and realists that they have alienated over the last ten years will keep running away from them.


That is exactly what is happening, as the Republicans' standing in the polls continues to plummet, with a 72 percent disapproval rating in the most recent poll. This is unlikely to change anytime soon as the Republican leaders in both the House and the Senate are afraid of being challenged by the party's lunatic fringe.

The only substantive change the Republicans have put forth since President Obama's reelection have been for further efforts at voter suppression and proposals to alter the apportionment of electoral college votes by Republican states won by the President. So rather than make a compelling case as to why voters should entrust the country into their hands, the chest-beating, flag-waving party of so-called patriotic constitutionalists will simply try to steal it instead.

It is the same tone we heard on election night. Republicans continue to insist that it is the American people, not them that is wrong. As long as they cling to this belief and obstruct the will of people, the Republicans will continue on a dangerous path towards political extinction.

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Arrow 22 replies Author Time Post
Reply Republicans Are Losing the Post Election (Original post)
Bennet Kelley Feb 2013 OP
CurtEastPoint Feb 2013 #1
n2doc Feb 2013 #2
Jamaal510 Feb 2013 #10
southernyankeebelle Feb 2013 #16
prouddem19665nvd Feb 2013 #17
Jackpine Radical Feb 2013 #3
jerseyjack Feb 2013 #6
BrotherIvan Feb 2013 #11
Bernardo de La Paz Feb 2013 #4
Bennet Kelley Feb 2013 #5
Laura PourMeADrink Feb 2013 #7
Blanks Feb 2013 #8
GiveMeFreedom Feb 2013 #9
Rozlee Feb 2013 #12
tclambert Feb 2013 #13
jmowreader Feb 2013 #14
Nanjing to Seoul Feb 2013 #18
BlueDemKev Feb 2013 #22
DaveJ Feb 2013 #15
DainBramaged Feb 2013 #19
DFW Feb 2013 #20
savalez Feb 2013 #21

Response to Bennet Kelley (Original post)

Sun Feb 17, 2013, 09:57 AM

1. And we welcome their extinction.

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Response to Bennet Kelley (Original post)

Sun Feb 17, 2013, 11:05 AM

2. People are way too quick to bury them

They control the house and effectively the Senate. They have a 5-4 majority on the Supreme Court. They dominate the Governorships and many state legislatures. Just because Obama won by a 51-47% vote doesn't mean they are going away.

Until they are rooted out of their strongholds, I don't see them changing.They are just waiting for the propaganda to work and for people's memories to fade, so that they can strike again. Remember, in 2000 there was no reason for people to vote for Bush, other than a desire for 'something different', and an unrelenting propaganda push by the media against Gore. And that was enough for them to steal it.

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Response to n2doc (Reply #2)

Sun Feb 17, 2013, 03:11 PM

10. +1

Republicans' chances might be dead on the national level for now, but that doesn't mean that they can't do shady stuff state-by-state in order to boost their odds of "winning" in the future. Even though PBO won FL, there were still about 200K voters who were discouraged due to the inconvenience of long lines caused by Gov. Scott's vote suppression laws. They don't care about winning fair-and-square or changing their policies to adapt to the changing electorate.

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Response to Jamaal510 (Reply #10)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 08:58 PM

16. Until the rank and file republicans see what their party is doing nothing will change.

 

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Response to n2doc (Reply #2)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 09:02 PM

17. Sad but true

 

The GOP still has quite a bit of strength left. Let's not underestimate them. I mean, Bush got elected twice!

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Response to Bennet Kelley (Original post)

Sun Feb 17, 2013, 11:42 AM

3. Here's my problem with this piece--


In the period after that defeat, the party's emerging leaders such as Senators Bill Bradley, Gary Hart and Paul Tsongas, stepped forward to attempt to articulate a Democratic approach to a post-Great Society and post-Vietnam America.


It basically endorses the DLC/3rd Way approach, which effectively moved the party to the right in the interest of capturing corporate funding. I think that was a terrible mistake; it won us elections because it secured enough of the Big Money guys to our side (or, rather, it moved us to their side), but it cost us our values. What the Democrats should have done instead, imho, was to shore up the unions & rebuild the national consensus in favor of humane principles that the Democrats had stood for since Roosevelt. We should have given the people real and good reasons to vote for us. Remember that Carter was the furthest-right of the Democratic candidates in 1976, and lost 1980 in large measure because the right managed to hand the consequences of the energy crisis and its accompanying inflation a& economic misery on him. He didn't seek the leftward path out of the mess, which he could have done in those days when memory of the New Deal was still green. He could, for example, have moved to nationalize the oil companies, thereby removing them from collusion with OPEC. He might not have accomplished that end, certainly not in his first term, but he could have shifted the public debate back onto "first principles" of Progressivism.

The writer essentially argues that the problem with the Republicans now is their adherence to their principles and rejection of middle-of-the-road pragmatism. What he ignores is that those principles are small-minded and--dare I say it?--evil principles.

All principles, values and standards are not alike. "Pragmatic relativism" is a tool for those who would erode human dignity. The desire to keep black people down is not equivalent to the desire to provide universal health care. The desire to feed the avarice of the banksters is not equivalent to the desire to protect the elderly from lives in poverty. The desire to pour countless billions of dollars, and the blood of our young, into the maw of Empire is not equivalent to the desire to preserve the Earth as a habitable planet for our great-grandchildren.

The Republicans lose when they adhere to ideological purity because their ideology is the ideology of death and depravity.

Progressives win when they can convey their principles accurately to the public because theirs are the principles of life and well-being for the planet.

Rather than sacrifice our values, we must affirm them and shape the public discourse. Rather than obsessing about deficits, we must talk about building and distributing wealth. Rather than talking about sharing sacrifice, we, the 99%, must talk about claiming the fruits of our labor for ourselves.

This is not easy, since the mass media are not on our side and never will be. Nevertheless, we did it before. The progressive movement fought the robber barons and won many victories a century ago.

We can do it again, and we have new tools this time that our philosophical progenitors could not have dreamed of. I believe that social media can render the mass media irrelevant. The demographics are on our side. Our children are growing up liberal; old white males are becoming a smaller minority every day.

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Response to Jackpine Radical (Reply #3)

Sun Feb 17, 2013, 12:02 PM

6. JR, its the differencce between winning the job of a representative

 

and DOING the job of a representative.

How many of the Dems in Congress really represent core values?

Does Obama do so when he agrees that chaining SS increases is an acceptable idea?

How about when St. Hillary voted for the Iraq war?

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Response to Jackpine Radical (Reply #3)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 12:57 AM

11. Most eloquently stated

Your post actually made me tear up a bit. I hope many more get a chance to read it and we learn that THIS is the way forward.

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Response to Bennet Kelley (Original post)

Sun Feb 17, 2013, 11:59 AM

4. Republican gerrymandering nullifies the popular vote margin & props up a fake House majority. nt

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Response to Bennet Kelley (Original post)

Sun Feb 17, 2013, 11:59 AM

5. thank you for the comments

I've written plenty about the pernicious aspects of the Republican agenda on this forum and others.

As far as Hart-Tsongas-Clinton-Obama, I think their success speaks for itself.

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Response to Bennet Kelley (Original post)

Sun Feb 17, 2013, 12:04 PM

7. Thank you Ted Cruz and Steve Stockman...they are helping tons. nt

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Response to Bennet Kelley (Original post)

Sun Feb 17, 2013, 12:33 PM

8. It's interesting that the comparison is made...

Between Obama and Carter (in 1980). If I had to point out the one really big difference between Reagan and Romney; it is that Reagan was an actor.

They tried to paint Romney (which rhymes with Ronnie) as a successful businessman (instead of an individual born into success). So they took this handsome guy and thought that they could work the same magic that they worked with Reagan, but Romney was born into the 'ruling class' and didn't have the training in acting like Reagan.

I think that was where they really failed; Romney didn't take stage direction as well as Reagan. They came pretty close to pulling it off.

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Response to Bennet Kelley (Original post)

Sun Feb 17, 2013, 02:25 PM

9. I hope they become

extinct, with many of them going to prison, if not the graveyard.

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Response to Bennet Kelley (Original post)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 01:44 PM

12. True that they have scared away all but their most lunatic fringe.

I remember having debates in college between the Democrat and Republican Clubs. Sometimes after the debates, we'd still be debating afterwards and take it over to the local pizza joint to argue over sodas and pies. Our professors would usually be with us and things sometimes got loud and raucous, but never vicious or mean. I can't see that happening today. Our arguments would usually be over foreign policy and communism, taxes, Latin American policy, military and domestic spending and other topics that did NOT include abortion, gun rights, homophobia, God, and did not veer into race with the venom of today and into women's issues with the intrusion of today's religious right. If those Young College Republicans of yesterday are still around, I can't imagine what they're like today. They almost sounded like moderate Democrats back then! Did they become snarling teabaggers? Independents? Democrats? I know that in any mention of the Moral Majority, only a very few of the young Rethugs viewed them with any approval. They might have been the last Republicans that ever got an education as well from the looks of what's left. Either that, or the intelligent ones bailed on them. Maybe that's another reason the Democrat Party is becoming more conservative. Too many Republicans fled from their party when it got too crazy and joined ours.

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Response to Bennet Kelley (Original post)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 03:22 PM

13. But what are the Koch brothers up to?

They squandered a barge load of money on Mitt Romney. Surely they have plans for revenge.

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Response to Bennet Kelley (Original post)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 07:09 PM

14. Gerrymandering is the major problem with this theory

It is true that the Republicans have been doing their level best to run off everyone except their "base," and their "base" are teabaggers and those to the right of the Tea Party. (Yes, there are some.)

OTOH, in the 2011 redistricting sessions the GOP, who at that time had taken control of way too many statehouses, managed to gerrymander their states to ensure continued Republican control of the House of Representatives.

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Response to jmowreader (Reply #14)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 09:47 PM

18. 2010 was proof that elections matter. 2010 is what happens when Democrats stay home

 

because they are too self-centered and narrow minded to get over the "i want everything i want or i'm staying home" nonsense.

Alot stayed home because they were angry at the president for not being left enough and now we have massive republican gerrymandering. rick scott, scott walker, john kasich, nikki haley, that asshole in pennsylvania, that douchebag in michigan.

Democrats need to remind ourselves, which is why i vote every election: getting 60% of what you want with a centrist Democrat is better than getting 0% of what you want with a tea bag jihadist.

Next year, we can undo the mess 2010 created by getting the governors that we had out of office through the vote.

don't stay home!!!

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Response to Nanjing to Seoul (Reply #18)

Wed Feb 20, 2013, 01:45 PM

22. Amen.

Midterms, Presidential Races, special local elections, even dog-catcher elections....

Every Election, Every Time....VOTE as if your life depends on it (because it does!).

No Excuses...just VOTE.

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Response to Bennet Kelley (Original post)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 08:46 PM

15. I hope you're right.

As you say they are "afraid of being challenged by the party's lunatic fringe," but that's almost all they have left. The minority of their party is made up of actual conservatives, which by definition is not progressive. People in all walks of life are realizing that you can't be conservative, non-innovative, non-progressive, in any aspect of life anymore. So they are appealing to the fringe lunatics, which is scary.

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Response to Bennet Kelley (Original post)

Tue Feb 19, 2013, 08:08 AM

19. Senate Republicans Make a Spectacle of Themselves (adding your link)

National Journal reports on the new push for filibustering Hagel’s nomination. This jumped out at me:

Senators such as Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., are claiming they are holding up the confirmation because they want more information from the White House on Obama’s actions related to the 9/11 Benghazi attacks, which have nothing to do with Hagel.

That heartens the Hagel camp, which notes that the opposition to him has mostly to do with a lot of old history—primarily, the inability of many Republican senators to admit they might have gotten Iraq wrong—as well as a new insecurity among Republicans who are desperate for a winning issue.

The impressive thing about the anti-Hagel effort is how politically tone-deaf it is. It’s not just that their opposition is misguided, but they stand to gain nothing from it. No one outside of a small core of hard-liners sympathizes with what Senate Republicans are doing. While they may not be losing any votes over this, they are making sure that all of the moderates, independents, and realists that they have alienated over the last ten years will keep running away from them. Except for dedicated partisans, no one can look at the display most Senate Republicans have put on over the last eight weeks and conclude that these people should be in the majority.

Many of Hagel’s most vocal Senate critics right now were elected in the last two elections. For example, Cruz, Ayotte, and Lee have nothing personally at stake in defending the Iraq war or the wisdom of the “surge.” None of them voted to support either of these, and many of them weren’t in the Senate when Hagel was. I might be able to understand the hostility of older members that bear a grudge against Hagel, but the hostility of the new members is much stranger. They are damaging their reputations to defend the legacy of other Republicans’ failures. Partisan loyalty I can understand. It’s the attachment to the worst mistakes of the worst postwar Republican administration that I can’t fathom.

There’s no question that Republicans in Washington are desperate for a winning issue, but Senate Republicans seem to be missing the point that stalling Hagel’s confirmation (which will happen eventually) isn’t a winning issue for them. In the short-term, they will take a justified beating in the press for their ridiculous tactics, and they are ensuring that the GOP continues to be perceived as nothing more than a party of bombastic hard-liners. The entire episode shows them to be hopelessly beholden to people whose foreign policy views have led to disaster for the country and contributed to three major Republican defeats. Another consequence will be that future Republican Cabinet nominees for major posts are now much more likely treated in the same way. That won’t be good for future Republican administrations or the government as a whole. With a few notable exceptions, Senate Republicans are needlessly wounding their party and making a spectacle of themselves in the process.

.http://www.theamericanconservative.com/larison/senate-republicans-make-a-spectacle-of-themselves/



They ate too many nutcase mushrooms

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Response to Bennet Kelley (Original post)

Tue Feb 19, 2013, 11:44 AM

20. Keep in mind--the Republicans have a free permanent life-support we don't have

Big polluters, big industry, big banks, big insurance, and big religion all need and demand representation in government (or else, they'll take it over by force), and we ain't it.

Never mind the small-minded right wing idiots you meet in the supermarket check-out lines. They will rise and fall with Fox Noise and National Hate Radio. The real threats come from those state legislatures and governors who want to change electoral college rules so that only Republican presidential candidates can win in the future (Tom DeLay's "one party state"--welcome to the Soviet States of America). This is who the threat is, and it doesn't matter under what label they act. Whether it's Bolshevik, Fascist, NSDAP, Falange, or Republican, the goal is the same: power grab under the guise of popular consent.

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Response to Bennet Kelley (Original post)

Wed Feb 20, 2013, 12:06 PM

21. Boy I hope so!

Republicans will continue on a dangerous path towards political extinction

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