Nov 15, 2012

Before the election, Mitt Romney dismissed 47% of the electorate as victims.  After the election, Mitt Romney says he lost because the President gave "special gifts" to minority and younger voters.  Before the election, Paul Ryan said that 30% of Americans are "takers."  After the election, Paul Ryan says they lost because of the turnout of the urban vote.  Both men are full of sour grapes (actually I do not think it is just being sour.  Will explain more about that later) because they lost an election where, in most cases, you only need a majority of 51% to win.  Like the President said in his first post-reelection press conference, this is arithmetic not calculus. Did they really think they could thread a 4% needle?  Remember I am Avg Jo, not a political analyst.  Even I can see that that was a stupid risk.  Without all of the dismissive talk, it was a close election.  Common sense says you try to get as many votes as you can.  But you know what?  Common sense is not so common; clearly everyone does not have it. 

In 2008, Barack Obama was a virtual unknown.  His campaign and subsequent victory was nothing short of brilliant.  For better or for worse, campaigning will never be the same.  There were clear campaign lessons taught by the Obama for America team.  Did the opposition think his election was a fluke?  People trying to give the GOP the benefit of the doubt may answer yes to that question.  Unequivocally, my answer to that question is no.  They clearly saw the successful 50-state strategy and the diverse voter turnout in 2008.  They were not blind.  They saw the power behind it.  They did not seek to adapt or replicate it; they sought to circumvent it.  They got their billionaire supporters to fund their dirty work.  They sought to enact unjust voting laws.  They thought they could separate our hallmark issues from our economic concerns even though they are inextricably linked.  They thought they could pull all of this off without us noticing.  Yes we did not show up in 2010 as we did in 2008.  There is less turnout across the board in the midterm elections.  But apparently another key lesson the GOP did not learn was that anytime integration or a "first" has taken place more people pay attention. Particularly in this country when there is a first for a black man and the first for a white woman.  After the 2008 election of our first black president, undoubtedly, I knew that more people, both the supporter and the nonsupporter, were going to pay attention. Even the casual political observer will watch more closely.  With our history of race relations in this country, who wouldn't want to see how this was pan out?  And we all know that opposition did not disappoint.  They did not disappoint their fellow opposers that is.  What they sadly did not realize was what those underrepresented (women and ethnic minorities) in politics clearly realized early on into President Obama's first term.  We could not help but see if they treated the leader of the free world with such disdain and disrespect, they clearly would not embrace us and advocate for what we need.  If they sought to disqualify an undeniably qualified man, how much more will they seek to disqualify us and our concerns?  Sure enough they clearly did both during this election cycle by disrespecting our vote and speaking with disdain and condescension about our concerns. And now after the election, Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan have further sought to disqualify our vote.  Never mind the fact that neither of them won their home states nor their hometowns!  Surely they would never speak of their homies in the same manner.

All of this is evidence that this just isn't merely sour grapes, but them showing their true colors and airing their true thoughts and feelings towards underrepresented groups.  Some GOP leaders have had the sense enough to acknowledge the disconnect between the party and the changing demographics.  After the election, many have been able to speak quite adamantly about the need to evolve and be more inclusive.  The conviction with which many of the speak lets me know that they are not just now waking up to this reality.  Quite frankly, I am convinced that many of them show solidarity with their rhetoric but used the advantage of the "secret ballot" to indeed vote for the President because they know their party is way off and having them in power now would not bode well for the country and the people they represent.  No one is surprised by this.  My response is duh, duh, and more duh.


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