Wednesday, November 07, 2012

Some quick reflections on last night's election

The Republicans and other conservatives lost nearly every facet of the election. Here, in my opinion is why

The Presidential Election

  • I believe, in large part, the Republicans lost for four reasons
    • Reason 1: Axelrod and the new DNC have exceeded Rove's wizardry in targeting votes and getting them to the poll. Romney ran a lot of TV ads. Obama worked harder on organization. Organization and door to door politics made the difference.
    • Reason 2: The Republican party candidates need to find something to run for, and not just run against someone they do not like. Romney had no clear and specific plans, and it hurt him
    • Reason 3: The Republicans need to find someone likable to run for president. By likeable I mean: a/ someone easy or entertaining to listen to b/ someone who doesn't struggle to smile c/someone who seems like "one of us" and d/someone people could imagine having over for dinner and not worry they were going to ruin the fun for everyone
    • Reason 4: Republicans need to ruthlessly eliminate any hint of racism from their party. Bush worked hard on this. The twenty-first century Republican party will die unless it intentionally eliminates and speaks out against anything that might be perceived as racist. The Republicans repeatedly believe they can win an election by appealing to the fears and values of middle aged white, heterosexual men, and people who sympathize with their plight. Romney won by 20 points among whites, but still lost the election.

The House and Senate

  • The tea party is killing the Republican party. It is parasitical. By attacking strong Republican candidates in the primary, they are destroying their host.
  • Several candidates need tactical and diplomatic training to run an effective campaign on the GOP side.  Not only on the abortion issue. Walsh's treatment of Duckworth in Illinois showed not only a lack of class, but a lack of political skill
  • Again, the Dems did a great job of strategically organizing their party and using their finances. At points they also did a good job of convincing people they did not have to run a "straight one party ticket". Montana and Missouri are two good examples of this
  • As the Dems gain in votes, you see them becoming more of a big tent party, with two pro-life Dems winning elections last night. This makes it easier to win, but harder to govern even when you control parts of congress and the executive branch

The Initiatives

  • The ballots are clear. Gay marriage is going to be a part of American life for the foreseeable future. Like it or not, folks are going to have to adjust to this reality. Candidates on both sides of the aisle are going to have to address this as a reality, instead of fighting against it.
  • People like to smoke pot. Legalization and medical marijuana will continue to grow in unexpected places. In many states, it is going to be a decision on whether the government controls the trade, or whether it is given to free enterprise and/or organized crime

The Electorate

  • Is becoming more socially liberal
  • Is still going to be more fiscally conservative
  • Has a more positive view of government's ability to lead on "big issues"
  • Wants government to have less of a roll in defining ethics and in personal matters
  • Is becoming more racially diverse.

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