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INTERMITTENT NOTESXML

A Post-Mortem

Wain cat, croppedIn retrospect, everything seems clear. "Demography is destiny." The Democratic machine vastly outperformed the Republican one. Etc., etc. Myself, I was right for the wrong reasons and wrong for the right reasons. A couple months ago I guessed that Mr. Obama might win by a wide margin. To be honest, several times in the last few weeks I was on the verge of amending my prediction... I thought Mr. Obama might win because I couldn't believe that the Republican Evangelical base would vote for a Mormon candidate. Ultimately, Mr. Obama won by a wide margin; it's unfair to suggest, as George Will does, that this is a piddling victory; and he won by turning out his base. Despite everything, on the other side Republican Evangelical voters, according to exit polling, did, in fact, turn out for Romney in record numbers. Nonetheless, I maintain that I'm correct to believe that Evangelicals would never have voted for Romney if they knew even a little bit about Mormonism. That consequential public discussion, unfortunately, did not take place and the issue of Mormonism has, at least for now, been tossed into the bigot box by right thinking liberal scolds. It will, of course, reappear.

But is demography destiny? It sure seemed like Mr. Romney was on a roll after that first debate. Even Nate Silver at one point put his chances at about one in three, which isn't so bad. With a little luck I think Romney could've done even better. Moreover, a different candidate, one who could plausibly pass himself or herself off as a normal human being, probably would have done better still. Maybe I don't get it and I may well be wrong but I don't believe for a minute all this current talk about the death of the Republican party.

There's a simpler explanation for the election. In 2010 the public repudiated the Democratic party for its failure to implement a liberal agenda. (And, btw, how could the demography is destiny argument change so much in a mere two years? That doesn't make sense.) This year the public repudiated the Republican party for its failure to cooperate on anything. If nothing gets done in Washington before 2014 rolls around the public may well swing back again the other way. To be honest, if the Democratic party leadership doesn't get anything of significance accomplished then another reverse swing would serve them right.

« Some R&R | Main | The Little Win »



Comments


Death of the GOP? Doubtful; a seismic shift in their view of the U.S.? Most assuredly.
The last decent republican I can remember was Tom McCall of Oregon. I counted myself as in line with his policies.

Now, both parties disgust me and I'll truck with neither.

As to the future; I remain skeptical and cynical.

For now I'll follow the Zen monk when looking forward; we'll see. Cheers


I remember the talk of the death of the GOP in 2006, but I don't think it will happen until progressives can figure out a way to deprogram the nearly 50% of the U.S. who believe:

1. that it's possible for *everyone* to be rich, and therefore, rich persons should not be asked to pay a higher rate of taxes;

2. that *the government* always does a bad job and doesn't do anything for them (even though they drive on roads, their kids go to public schools, their food is not poisonous, etc.);

3. that cuts in programs that help the poor are more preferable than raising the tax rates on capital gains or ensuring that the children of the recently dead rich have to pay something for their windfall; and

4. that it doesn't matter if you get healthcare, because if you die, you go to heaven (or the rapture is almost upon us anyway).

These are ideas that have been germinated and fertilized by the wealthy and powerful in this country for eons. It's going to take a powerful progressive like FDR to show people that they have been sold a pack of lies. Obama is not that person, but he's better than Romney.


They hate Obama more than they disagree with Mormonism. I think that shows how deep their hatred is and/or how shallow their supposed religion is that they vote for someone who belongs to what they called a 'cult' for decades.

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