This has been an interesting time to be a Democrat watching the Republican Party. My experience has always been the adage, Democrats fall in love, Republicans fall in line was true. Watching the GOP respond to the results. In one corner, you have Mitt Romney blaming his loss on President Obama buying votes with gifts and in the other you have just about everyone else.
Let’s start there. Romney told supporters, “What the president’s campaign did was focus on certain members of his base coalition, give them extraordinary financial gifts from the government, and then work very aggressively to turn them out to vote, and that strategy worked…It’s a proven political strategy, which is give a bunch of money to a group and, guess what, they’ll vote for you. … Immigration we can solve, but the giving away free stuff is a hard thing to compete with.”
Now, I should admit that being the savvy operative that I am, I held out for a trip to Paris, you’re not going to get my vote with some free birth control! I need something real for my vote! And I live in DC! Any Democratic candidate will tell you that winning DC is a challenge!
Seriously, how delusional do you have to be to think that President Obama won reelection because he gave people stuff for their vote? How arrogant are you that you think it is impossible for people to have wanted someone else to win? How desperate are you to not be at fault for your own failure that you grasp like this? (And how ironic is it that someone who claims to be so pro “personal responsibility” is so incapable of taking any?)
Then you have the “let’s not be the stupid party” wing of the GOP.
For a long time now, I am sure this started before Lee Atwater but I feel like he elevated certain aspects of campaigning, the GOP has been all about “wedge” issues. This party used fear to elect its candidates. Now, this last campaign seems to have shown that pitting the country against each other may not be the way to win elections and I say “amen to that!” I also know that we are fickle and what works today may not tomorrow so it may be too soon to get all excited. But the response of many Republican leaders has given me a lot of hope.
FYI: As a Democrat, I want to see Democrats in office but I also would like to see our political debate be about substance. We will all benefit from a Republican Party that is more interested in appealing to everyone than one that thinks half of us are to be written off.