Friday, November 09, 2012

Hello, Anybody Out There? The Republican Vacuum

It has been rather amusing reading up on, and watching television reaction by, Republicans who appear to have been caught by surprise that Obama (and other Democrats) won in this election.  Why?  I think that an important factor is the alternate universe these people have been living in. 

I was watching CNN, Anderson Cooper's show, where he had David Frum and Mary Matalin on to discuss what they felt had happened to Mitt Romney and the rest of the Republicans seeking office, this election.  More specifically, Anderson parroted some of the meme floated by other Democrats in the media that, basically, the Republican electorate had been lied to by the Republican elite, ala Karl Rove and his heavily monied Super Pacs.  While Frum agreed with that analysis, it was rather interesting to watch Ms. Matalin completely discount that narrative. 

I think the people were lied to, and many of us on the left have been yelling at our television sets and grinding our teeth over the obvious lie infested, truth averse, Republican hierarchy's factless narrative.  It is rather pleasant to see the right wing nutjobs squirming in their attempts to spin this election any way other than a total loss for Republicans.

Dazed And Confused

Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney was so confident of victory against President Barack Obama that he spent $25,000 for victory fireworks, had already drawn up a list of White House appointments and took it easy on election day when his opponents were still working hard to get out the vote.

Political insiders tell Capitol Hill Blue that Romney didn’t think he could lose and was genuinely “shell shocked” when he lost the Presidential race in an electoral vote landslide to Obama.

“He was supremely confident and delayed conceding the race as long as possible because he just didn’t believe he would lose,” says one senior aide.  “It was overconfidence based on inaccurate assumptions and flawed data.”

In conversations with campaign insiders, a portrait of a clueless campaign emerges, driven by a candidate so sure of himself that he ignored all the obvious warning signs.

Romney told his advisers that he was sure minorities and young people would stay home and turn out for Obama as they had in 2008.  That turned out to be a politically fatal assumption.  Obama drew 90 percent of a large black vote and more than three quarters of Latinos.  Asian-Americans also turned out in droves for the incumbent President.

The GOP nominee’s campaign advisers convinced themselves that the polls showing a close race were flawed and that the “true electorate” would give give Romney at least 330 electoral votes.

“They were living in a fantasy land,” says one long-time GOP strategist who asked not to be identified.  “They remained in a fog generated by their candidate’s massive ego.”

When the numbers came in election night, Romney was stunned.  So was his running mate, who couldn’t even carry his home state of Wisconsin.

The wives of both the Presidential and Vice Presidential candidates broke into tears.  Romney appeared dazed and it took a while for him to regain enough composure to deliver a long, rambling concession speech.

“Mitt is not accustomed to losing,” says one friend. “It was a bitter pill for him.”

A bitter pill, indeed.  I find it gratifying that I had no belief in the Republican spin going into this election.  My gut feeling was quite the opposite.  I had a sense that Obama was going to win, and win big.  I also believed that the Senate was going to gain Democrats, although I was pretty much resigned to the House remaining in Republican hands.

I am managing to watch Fox a few more minutes every day.  They are still on the Benghazi train, but let it never be said that Republican spinmeisters could let go of a flawed Democratic conspiracy theory.

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