Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Up Early and Reflecting

My body's clock did not concur with its brain's decision to sleep in this morning, so I find myself here at the computer earlier than I'd hoped to be, muddling through the postmortems on last night's election.  I find myself in disagreement with The Hammer's analysis of the election, primarily because I always considered this to be Obama's race to lose, rather than Romney's to win.  It is indeed difficult to unhorse a President.  Much as I would LOVE to comfort myself with notions and "if only's", I come back to a fundamental sense that as a Party, we are in deep kimchee.  Yes, the popular vote was close, and yes, the House remains firmly Republican and yes, we won some governor's races and yes, Obama was less popular this time around than last.....but the truth is we got our asses kicked last night and it is time to do some serious soul-searching.

Mitt Romney did not lose last night because he was a flawed candidate--in my view, Romney was splendidly qualified for the job.  He lost because his ideas were less popular. Our ideas were less popular.  I know it is hard to hear folks, but the center-right approach to governing is decidedly less popular than it used to be, and while we are doing just fine with white people, the part of our population that is growing does not see government as the bogeyman that we believe it to be.  An increasing percentage of our fellow citizens sees government as a force for good, and they voted in numbers last night.

So what do we do? .

Well, we could double down and move even farther to the right.  This is the "we lost last night because we weren't Conservative enough, because we didn't hew to our beliefs, because we nominated the timid, moderate rather than a fire breathing Conservative."  I am unsure how the logic of this argument works, but I am certain we'll hear it loudly and relentlessly applied.  I believe that this is the quickest route to ignominy, and either the rise of a third party or the relegation of the Republican Party to minority status for decades.

Or we can change.  Doesn't mean that the have to repudiate what we believe, just means that we have to modulate our approach.

And we need to start on immigration reform.  According to exit polls, the part of our society that is growing fastest voted 70-30 for President Obama.  The voting bloc that has developed among Latinos, Blacks and liberal whites is formidable, and it will become more so if we ignore it.  We must be the party of comprehensive immigration reform, reform that shows both justice and mercy.  We have to offer hope to those here illegally--because their well-spring of support among the Latino community holds our intransigence on this issue against us.  Yes of course, we should patrol our borders more aggressively.  But the failure of our logic and our compassion on how best to deal with those already here is an albatross around our collective necks.

Additionally, we have to become downright missionary about our outreach to Black America.  It doesn't mean that we have to go into the neighborhood and try to convert multi-generational families of those dependent on government.  It does mean that we have to practice a little bit of class warfare of our own as we work like hell to gain more of the growing black middle class vote.  Like our effort among Latinos, we get nowhere with middle class blacks by culturally denigrating blacks in poverty.

Finally, white males have to man up.

What do I mean by that?  Obama took single women by the same 70-30 margin that he took Hispanics.  Why?  Because an increasing number of single women view the government--rather than marriage--as the new safety net. Think Julia--we all made fun of it when the Obama team put it out, but they weren't stupid.  Statistics are likely to show that the "gender gap" isn't really a gender gap at all; rather it is a "marriage" gap.  And the marriage gap exists because white males are increasingly happy to play the field for as long as they can, enjoying the fruits of the sexual revolution even as they contribute to marginalization of center-right governing strategies.  I can hear the howls now..."McGrath advocates marriage as a way of attracting women to the Republican Party."  Well, yes.  That's how it works.  Marriage and family appears to be correlated with our governing approach--seems sensible to me.  More married people means more Republicans in office.

Much more to come on this as we lick our wounds, but I wanted to get something out there for folks to chew on.

1 comment:

"The Hammer" said...

If I hated blacks and wanted to keep them oppressed and dependent, I'd be a Democrat. But unless you want to embrace the grievance/entitlement culture of Al Sharpton your position and mine will not change. Forget about attracting blacks, ain't gonna happen without a brain transplant.

They're talking about the demographic time-bomb on MSNBS. Romney got the same percentages of white voters as George I, but hispanics broke 70/30 Obama. This battle was lost when Reagan signed the amnesty bill back in the 80's. We can legalize them, educate them, pay for their healthcare and feed them and all you'll do is make them more dependent and more Democratic. California has shown us what happens to hispanics when they're coddled. They gang up and turn into huge social problems. And don't give me that they're God fearing family oriented hard working bullshit. Their poverty rates and illegitimacy rates are nearly as high as blacks in Ca. You can go after them if you want to, but it's a waste of time. The 30% we did get are the ones we want, the rest can F-off!

Women were saying Romney will do away with abortion and all kinds of other nonsense. Again, Romney was outcoached. When this issue came up Romney needed to go on the attack. Again, abortion is popular BUT ONLY FOR THE FIRST TRIMESTER! You start talking late term abortions and the numbers drop off dramatically. Romney needed to hit that HARD. He didn't and allowed himself to be defined as Jerry Falwell. All Romney had to say was #1 abortion is the law of the land #2 I'm am for abortion in cases of incest, rape and a LEGITIMATE concern for the woman's life #3 I am absolutely opposed to abortion after the first trimester, especially late term abortion (hit that hard), and as a means of birth control. Also, turn the Sandra Fluke thing into a religious liberty issue. The fact is we don't need any other group but women. Obama's people tapped into the women's club pretty good, and that's where the race was lost.

Here's the thing, it's the same old story, social issues killed Romney. A libertarian approach is all that will work; fiscally conservative and on social issues who cares. Everybody was hoping the religious folks would come out for Romney and make up the difference...evidently not.

But everything you say assumes, I guess, that things will not get worse. I think we're in for some VERY rough times. Obama has shown no inclination whatsoever to get spending under control. Iran will go nuclear in about two years, there will be a war in the Middle-East. China will become more aggressive. Taiwan will come under attack assuming Obama doesn't give it away. The UN will take more control through treaties ratified by a Democrat Senate. Obama will attack wealth and that includes the massive amount of money in private equity.

I don't know what's going to happen but it's going to be mostly bad. But I am who I am, and I've seen what works and what doesn't. Hard times are coming.

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