After working so hard to re-elect Barack Obama, I was looking forward to a little breathing room. I knew it would be short-lived because of the challenges we are facing as a nation, the fiscal cliff being the most urgent at present. I knew the Republicans would be upset but really, the depth and range and the continuing self-delusion is an astonishing phenomenon to witness.
We got our first hint on election night, when the Romney campaign was sequestered behind closed doors, avoiding the press, trying to process the realization that they had lost. They had the same polling data as the rest of us. Even FOX News was saying it was all over but the concession speech. But those were only FACTS, something that seems to be anathema to a party drunk on its own BS. Rumor was that there was no concession speech, so certain was Governor Romney that he would be the next POTUS. Must have been a particularly nasty task to have to sit down and cobble something together in the face of such denial.
But what has come after is truly mind-boggling. According to the Republican Party, these are some of the reasons for their loss:
Mitt Romney, among others, has stated he lost his momentum due to Hurricane Sandy. Pretty amusing, when you consider how when things like this have happened before, there was always certain to be someone on the right bugling how this is God’s judgment on a sinful population. Using that logic, it would follow that the intervention was to ensure an Obama win. But I digress.
According to Ed Vitagliano, research editor for the American Family Association, we voted for Obama because George Clooney did. His logic in his own words: “I love George Clooney, George Clooney loves President Obama, therefore I love President Obama.”
Karl Rove, on the other hand, claims that Obama won the election by suppressing the vote with negative ads, which kept voters from the polls.
Right wing radio talk show host Joe Pags puts it rather succinctly in his blog post title: The Biggest Mistake This Campaign? Republicans Assumed Voters Were Smart. He then goes on to list some of the “lies” told by the Obama campaign and its surrogates, none of which were lies, and all of which is checkable.
Radio host Michael Graham attributes the loss to the Obama team making women believe they would be forced into “rape camps” if Romney won.
According to Tea Party leaders, the loss was due to Romney being too moderate and not nearly conservative enough.
Rush Limbaugh states that Republicans lost because the party didn’t turn out its base.
The list goes on and on but the common thread is placing blame on externals. It was a hurricane, it was voter suppression, the American electorate is stupid, Romney was too moderate, Republicans stayed home.
I once had a psychology professor who uttered a line that has stayed with me through the years: “There are two kinds of people in this world. Those who take responsibility and those who place blame.” It is obvious into which category the Republicans fall.
In the past few days, several articles have been written about why the Republicans were denied the presidency but it all boils down to one thing. They refused to acknowledge that theirs was a stance that did not resonate with women, minorities, LGBT people and a large portion of the white population who are fine with minorities, women’s rights and LGBT people. The concerns of those citizens were marginalized, belittled or ignored. Middle class people were viewed as ignorant pawns to be manipulated and now, in a hissy fit that would do a two year old proud, are being threatened with the loss of jobs in retaliation for an Obama win.
It is unrealistic to think that we as a nation will agree all of the time on every issue, but we have always been able to rise above our differences and come together for the greater good of the nation. This election has shone a spotlight on the ugly underbelly of America and it is disturbing to realize that there are still people out there rooting for our re-elected president to fail. They are still stuck in the politics of hatred and don’t want to let go because then they will finally realize they have nothing to fall back on. They still have no fresh ideas to offer, no path forward. All they have to offer is vitriol and a huge serving of sour grapes.
America works best when opposing points of view are presented, dissected, modified and molded into policy where everyone gains a little and everyone gives up a little. It’s never been an all in or all out kind of country. There’s room for everyone in this pool but until Republicans do some serious self-examination, they will continue to lose ground with an electorate that is looking forward to the future in favor of the policies of the past. Those past policies are a millstone around the neck of the Republican Party and unless some serious introspection occurs, the GOP will, like the Whigs, fade into being a footnote in American history.