Wednesday, November 07, 2012

So, what really, really, really happened? Post-Mortem on 2012 Election

After Hurricane Sandy - AND I JUST GOT POWER BACK TODAY TEN DAYS LATER - somehow the presidential election feels a little anti-climatic. Despite hoping Romney won for the sake of the country, I am not an insane partisan and realized a while back (along with many others) that this was probably going to be Obama's race, because Romney had to win everything he was supposed to plus some swing states like Florida, Ohio and Va. He lost Ohio and Va. and Florida is still too close to call the next day (but, who cares?) So, he really didn't get all that close. He is credited with making a really nice concession speech. Big deal.

After weeks of reading and listening to right wing bloggers and hosts saying how the polls have it all wrong and Romney was way up, there was a part of me that wanted them slapped - then again, if that happened - it meant Obama won. So, now, even though I'm disappointed (and a little worried - Obama is trouble for the economy unless he pulls a Bill Clinton) I do feel a little smirky that they were so wrong. I don't mean Dick Morris. He's virtually always wrong. I mean an awful lot of so called pundits. As I am fond of saying, partisanship makes everyone crazy - and it made the droolers among the far right crazy in the same way the lunatic left was made crazy when they nominated Kerry, one of the few men in the country almost guaranteed to lose to Bush.

Even Jonah Goldberg, one of the more rational of the right's pundit core published a column today mocking the incredibly accurate Nate Silver of the New York Times. Silver was dead accurate again, state by state and Goldberg, if he wants to have credibility with me, has to say, he knows his stuff a lot better than I do, or, I was crazed by partisanship and saw rainbows in the dark. Silver actually called a 2 point Obama victory in September before the first debate unless certain things happened (and they didn't).

I haven't done a review yet of how the leading pollsters did, but suffice to say, in general, they were as a group pretty accurate and all that "malarkey" from the right about how they were deliberately oversampling Democrats (apparently even Fox News, if they were consistent, though they never said that) wrong.

I listened to Rush Limbaugh today. He made me laugh. He didn't have a real explanation yet, but said that Romney was a fine man who would have made a really good president. He forgets, of course, that not so long ago he said that Romney was done for in the primaries based on one position. Sean Hannity was busy saying how Obama's team should be ashamed of themselves the way they carried on the campaign, talking about Big Bird, binders full of women, accusing Romney of killing someone and Ryan of pushing Granny off the cliff, etc. Well, all true, and I do think that Romney ran a fairer campaign, although, they were dishonest about a number of things too. But for Sean Hannity, who had Donald Trump on his show without calling him a polite word for an idiot, and frequently Newt Gingrich and Dick Morris, well, sorry, but what goes around comes around.

Which brings me to another thing I always like to say - Democrats and Republicans, liberals and conservatives, all deserve each other. Unfortunately, the rest of us don't, but we get the short end of the stick too because they control everything.

So, what really, really, really happened? Why did Romney lose. Here are my reasons, not in order of importance.

* It is really hard to explain libertarian principles to a nation that knows almost nothing about it anymore, that has been raised on quasi-socialist principles for everyone's lifetime (except my Aunt Tess, who turns 100 - I think - at New Years), likes the nanny state and really doesn't care so much about freedom as libertarians do.

* Romney ran a decent campaign. He was patient and calm, did a great job in the Republican primary debates and killed in the first presidential debates. But, he did not follow through in the next two debates and let Obama get away with saying a lot of things that were completely untrue, let him off the hook on Libya (it was all but forgotten after Sandy anyway) and did not repeat enough how big the deficit has grown under Obama and how his spending policies have failed.

* The antipathy of many independents who lean a little left to Bush is understated. They hate him and a little brushed off, unfairly, on Romney.

* Political disasters for the right like Donald Trump and Newt Gingrich sabotaged Romney with their - I hate to use these words for specific people - crazy ridiculous maybe even moronic nonsense about birth certificates and vulture capitalism.

* Most of all, it was the cultural stuff that sunk the Republicans. Too many people have said to me that they did not want Obama, but they couldn't stand the Republican obsession (my word) with gays, atheists and American Muslims. They will continue to lose presidential elections if this continues to be the case. I've written about gay marriage before, so I will just say, one more time, the country is changing culturally, and if Republicans don't get off this reactionary notion soon, they are really going to damage themselves, just as they did when they continued to pounce all over Martin Luther King, Jr. Enough. See the light. You are wrong and it really bothers people.

Well, I've said a lot of this before and I don't want to go on and on about it, so I will leave it at this - I am disappointed and worried that Obama won. No, I don't think it is the end of everything, but it is a big sign that our country needs a re-education (no, not in camps, in school) about economics and liberty values. At some point anyone who educates himself about what has happened with our spending and borrowing should know - it is over one day. It is now recognized that it is probably not our children and grandchildren who will feel the noose around their neck, but us.  We don't know when, but we know that it is going to happen, as Greeks and Spaniards can testify about. The re-election of the progenitor of the stimulus package and Obamacare shows that we haven't learned anything. And, not that Romney would have been all that different - but a little better.

Last thing I like to say over and over - we don't like to fix things in this country until they are broken but good - like economic disasters, for example. And, that is probably going to happen some day. Many are still going through the drain of being without power for a week and half already. It is tiring and though we've handled it quite well, you can see tempers fraying and it wearing people out. Imagine this happening because of a snowballing disastrous economy. How will we handle it then?

I don't know. Maybe I'm just feeling blue because the wrong guy won in my opinion. But, nothing I've seen or read gives me confidence that this isn't bad news.

But, most of all, the Republicans



  1. So most Americans like living in a quasi-socialistic nanny state? Really? And you end your blog with a unfinished sentence fragment,, "But most of all the Republicans..." , since you've been without power for ten days, I'm going to write this whole thing off as the work of a petulant child that has gone too long without a meal or a nap. On to the next one.....

  2. Huh. I don't really know for sure how that sentence fragment got there at the end, but very often the culprit with these things is cutting and pasting and then not scrolling down far enough to notice the fragment (nor, apparently, did any of my many editors). But, rather than utilize the magic of blogging, I'll leave the error there rather than make you look like a petulant child, my good Sir.

    And, yes, without any doubt, most Americans do like a semi-socialistic nanny state. That's where you live and its so powerful, even a bona fide smarty pants like yourself can't see it. But, if nothing else, I am here to help smirking smirkers like yourself - social security, medicare/medicaid, virtually uncountable regulations, seat belts, no-smoking zones, a myriad of business, public cameras - even satellites watching us, and so on are all nanny state ideas that have become institutionalized and in many cases, virtually irreversible. Did you think most Americans were Ayn Rand libertarians?


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About Me

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I started this blog in September, 2006. Mostly, it is where I can talk about things that interest me, which I otherwise don't get to do all that much, about some remarkable people who should not be forgotten, philosophy and theories (like Don Foster's on who wrote A Visit From St. Nicholas and my own on whether Santa is mostly derived from a Norse god) and analysis of issues that concern me. Often it is about books. I try to quote accurately and to say when I am paraphrasing (more and more). Sometimes I blow the first name of even very famous people, often entertainers. I'm much better at history, but once in a while I see I have written something I later learned was not true. Sometimes I fix them, sometimes not. My worst mistake was writing that Beethoven went blind, when he actually went deaf. Feel free to point out an error. I either leave in the mistake, or, if I clean it up, the comment pointing it out. From time to time I do clean up grammar in old posts as, over time I have become more conventional in my grammar, and I very often write these when I am falling asleep and just make dumb mistakes. It be nice to have an editor, but . . . .