November 12, 2012

…on the 2012 election. Rob writes over on his new blog (be sure to bookmark it):

Some are having a little too much fun with the outcome. I’m OK with a week or two of gloating and ridicule from the winners and about a week or two of snippiness and depression from the losers. My guess is we’re going to get four years of it, though.

Snippiness? Snippiness?? Hell, I majored in snippiness back in college, business administration just happened to be my minor. But seriously, folks, unlike some I know, I’ve been able to sleep just fine since Barack Obama’s re-election. Now if I lived in Massachusetts, I think I’d have a harder time sleeping knowing my state elected a true socialist class warrior and political lightweight like Elizabeth Warren as one of my senators. Here in Arizaona, we re-elected Joe Arpaiao as Maricopa County Sheriff and Jeff Flake as Senator to replace the retiring John Kyl, so we’re OK, at least for a while. Rumor is that Sarah Palin might relocate here with plans to run for Senate when John McCain retires; now that ought to be interesting!

But back to the election: a few final thoughts on the Obama win and Romney loss:

Turns out that for all the crap they took from conservative bloggers (not I!) the pollsters were right. They predicted a Democratic turnout similar to 2008 and they were right. Even though the voter turnout was less on both sides (more on that later) the Dem advantage over Republicans pretty much held. Romney never lead in any Ohio, Wisconsin, Iowa, Pennsylvania polls, and was barely ahead in a couple of Florida and Virginia polls; hence, his defeat.

I truly think Romney’s mistakes were both early on and self-inflicted. I never understood his resistance to releasing his tax returns in full. Sure, he would have initially gotten pounded for it from the liberal left, but it could have been a teaching moment for the American people by his illustrating the convoluted and antiquated tax system that no one likes. I think by embracing either the flat tax or something similar to Herman Cain’s 9-9-9 plan he could have elevated the debate beyond who’s rich and who isn’t. Instead, he allowed the Obama campaign to paint him as some rich, detached corporate raider with a lot to hide.

As I mentioned previously, Romney’s unwillingess to push back hard when the Obama campaign was painting him as a murderer, felon, and tax cheat was stupefying. I mean, someone accuses you of being complicit in a woman’s death and the best you can do is roll out some clueless campaign flack to say she would have been covered under Romney’s Massachusetts version of Obamacare? I mean, how lame is that? With Chicago-style politics the first lesson is to hit back and harder than you were hit. For all the nonsense about how negative campaigning turns off women and independents, the fact is, it works. Nice guys always finish last.

I also think Romney made a big mistake not allowing Paul Ryan to play policy wonk and details guy while Romney stayed elevated above the fray. He talked a good game about repealing Obamacare, education reform, and entitlement reform, but what did that mean? What, specifically, were his proposals? The lack of detail and specifics throughout Romney’s campaign was breathtaking; this is why a lot of conservatives ended up staying home. They suspected Romney was a RINO (Republican in name only) and didn’trust him. You can’t just run anti-someone in politics, you have to give people something to vote for.

Finally, it’s clear that Newt Gingrich’s primary attack on Romney’s Bain Capital tenure made a mark, and while Romney was able to overcome the wound by aggressively pushing back against Newt with a good debate performance sufficient enough to win the Florida primary, the damage was done. Were I the Romney campaign, once the GOP nomination was secured I would have been plastering the airwaves with stories by people whose lives were changed by Romney’s human acts of charity and goodness. I know that’s not the way Mormons operate by nature, but if you’re running for President people ought to know the kind of person you are.

You take all of these things, combine them with the shoddy treatment of Ron Paul and his supporters (not a small percentage of those voting in the Republican primaries), and it’s really no surprise that Romney couldn’t turn out the same number of voters John McCain did four years earlier. If he had, he’d be President-elect. Instead, you had a lot of voters whose disenchantment with the President was matched only by the same with his opponent. End result: an Obama second term.

But enough. The last couple of nights there was a real chill in the air, real Arizona winter stuff. Taking a long walk around the neighborhood you could smell the wood of fireplaces burning, and the only thing missing were the Christmas lights around people’s houses and properties. For the first time in a while I’m actually looking forward to the holiday season, putting up the Christmas tree, and listening to sounds of classical holiday music and not a little Loreena McKennitt. After all, one can only do what one can do; we’ll see soon enough how a continuation of the Obama policies plays out in his second term. You just hope for the best and cope with the rest.

Filed in: Politics & World Events by The Great White Shank at 11:03 | Comments (4)
  1. We had about 10 items on my precinct’s ballot. If not for those, I wouldn’t even have bothered to vote for a President. Boring race, boring election. Lately, both sides like to run stiffs versus incumbents. You know anyone stiffer than Mitt Romney, John Kerry, or Bob Dole?

    Comment by Rob — November 12, 2012 @ 11:47 am

  2. I am just happy you guys are putting up a tree this year….Christmas without a tree is just wrong. I love decorating the tree, make some kind of yummy drink. If it is really cold then I make Starbucks Hot chocolate with Rummple Mintz Schnapps…AMAZING.

    Comment by Jana — November 13, 2012 @ 6:01 am

  3. Rob, you are correct about stiffs. My guess is that you look back in American history and there are a bunch of stiffs or total asses who either ran for president or became president – they have the relative anonymity of history as cover. Consider James Buchanan or Chester Arthur. I sure hope so – that tells me that no matter how incompetent the current crop of politicians are, they’re no better or worse than what we’ve always had, and we’ve gotten this far, haven’t we?

    John Kerry was the worst – I’ll never forget him showing up behind the curtain at the 2004 DNC and saluting while saying “I’m John Kerry and I’m reporting for duty!”. Very lame. And his calling Lambeau Field “Lambert” was a howl”. I mean c’mon… he’s supposed to be a guy, for gawdsakes. Every real man knows all about “the frozen tundra of Lambeau Field”, right? 🙂

    Comment by The Great White Shank — November 13, 2012 @ 9:49 am

  4. Jana, they have 4-ft. Christmas trees at Big Lots for $17. I may get a couple of those, a white one for the Arizona / dining room, a red one for the back patio! I really wanted to have one of those silver aluminum ones with the blue flowers on the edges with the roto-wheel like my grandparents had in the 50s-60s, but they’re over $120 freakin’ bucks! I guess the manufacturers know which generation has the dough-re-mi…

    Comment by The Great White Shank — November 13, 2012 @ 9:52 am

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