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U.S. Elections--Post-Conversation

Jazzalo​ha

over 1 year ago

I’ve been thinking about the elections and politics lately (at the expense of watching and thinking about films), and I’m thinking about several things after the recent election. This is a thread to talk about any of your thoughts and reaction to the election. I want to talk about the reasons Obama won and Romney lost and what’s next for the President and the country.

Off the top of my head here are several brief comments:

>I’m already thinking about the way Democrats will blast Obama if and when he manages to strike deals on deficit/debt, immigration, etc.

>There was some talk about “meltdown” for Karl Rove and other pundits on Fox News. I admit that piqued my curiosity enough to check out some available clips. Personally, I wouldn’t call Rove’s reaction to calling a victory for Obama in Ohio a “meltdown.” What he seemed to be saying (900 votes separated Obama and Romney and a lot of votes still had to come in) seemed reasonable. When Megan Kelly went down to talk to the stat team, they stood by their claim, but they didn’t really refute or address Rove’s specific remarks. The comments by O’Reilly (on America no longer being “traditional” and not dominated by whites) seemed veered to something close to racism, though. “Racism” may not be the right word, but it was a kind of sorrow a certain millieu losing their influence.

>Does anyone have a good idea of how the Tea Party did? It seems like many of the politicians elected in the 2010 election maintained their seats. However, I have read that Tea Party candidates have also lost as well.

Matt Parks

over 1 year ago

“Of the 60 members of the Tea Party Caucus, 46 have already clinched victory. Four others, including Bachmann and West, remain in races too close to call. Six Tea Party caucus members were defeated at the polls, plus another seven who retired, lost a primary or sought higher office. Both tea party candidates who ran for the Senate, Reps. Denny Rehberg of Montana and Todd Akin of Missouri lost, while Rep. Mike Pence won his bid for governor of Indiana.

Blue Dog Democrats also saw their numbers shrink from 24 to 15, including six members who retired, sought higher office, or were defeated in primaries earlier this year. Reps. Ben Chandler, Larry Kissell, and Leonard Boswell all lost Tuesday. One Blue Dog, Rep. Jim Matheson of Utah, fended off an intense challenge from Mia Love"

http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/politics/2012/11/what-happened-to-the-tea-party-and-the-blue-dogs/

ruby stevens

over 1 year ago

The comments by O’Reilly (on America no longer being “traditional” and not dominated by whites) seemed veered to something close to racism, though. “Racism” may not be the right word, but it was a kind of sorrow a certain millieu losing their influence.

he said the white establishment is no longer a majority. and he’s right. marijuana was decriminalized in 2 states, medical marijuana now legal in 18 states, and 3 states approved gay marriage. it’s historic. it took 50 years but the hippies have finally won. peace out everyone

Jazzalo​ha

over 1 year ago

Thanks. I dont’ think I came across the “60-46” number. I should say that I’m assuming that most tea party politicians took a more obstinate stance towards compromise. That might not be true. While I don’t agree with much of the ideology of the tea party politicians, I much more strongly oppose the attitude that a politician should never give an inch. Our system of government can’t function if politicians take that approach.

@Matt

I’ve read that Republican victories in North Carolina can be party (or largely?) explained by recent redistricting to protect certain seats. Would you agree with that? Then again, didn’t you all elect a Republican governor? How would you explain that? (And I’m not asking this as if I’m blaming you or anything. ;)

Jazzalo​ha

over 1 year ago

@Ruby

he said the white establishment is no longer a majority.

Yeah, but there were other things that weren’t so benign. (I’ll try to post the clip later.)

I didn’t have a problem with the clip I saw of MIke Huckabee’s comments I saw. (I’ll try to find the Atlantic post that has these clips later.)

Jazzalo​ha

over 1 year ago

Tea Party’s National Ambitions Are Finished is an interesting Atlantic Wire post that I happen to agree with.

While the Tea Party won Republicans a majority in the House in 2010, election night 2012 showed the party’s message is toxic at the national and statewide levels. While house races are local in character, Senate and presidential races are held statewide. And that is where the Tea Party did worst last night. Tea Partier Richard Mourdock picked off moderate Republican Sen. Dick Lugar in the Indiana primary, and then lost the election. Todd Akin proved he really was too conservative for Missouri, as Sen. Claire McCaskill claimed in primary ads intended to trick Republican voters into picking him as her opponent. Three other Tea Partying Senate candidates met the same fate in 2010. But while Tea Party’s passionate activist model works best locally, sometimes that even fails at the congressional level when the race gets lots of attention — Tea Partier Allen West lost in Florida, and former presidential candidate Michele Bachmann held onto her seat by about 3,000 votes in Minnesota.

Explaining why Romney shouldn’t be blamed (with the implication that the party’s platform is the problem) but rather the best candidate the Republicans had:

Some Republicans want to blame Romney for being a bad candidate. “JUST A THOUGHT…Next time, GOP might want to think about nominating a conservative,” radio host Laura Ingraham tweeted. A “GOP operative” told Politico’s Jonathan Martin a few days ago, “A Romney loss would be solely based on class and personality: middle class, affable and emotional former governor would be up by 5.” But Romney was the best candidate Republicans could have possibly had. The people Romney ran against — Rick Santorum, Michele Bachmann, Newt Gingrich, Herman Cain — would have been destroyed in a national election. Many better potential candidates decided not to run, in part because they couldn’t win the Republican primary. Tim Pawlenty wasn’t willing to say what the Tea Party wanted, and he dropped out. Jon Huntsman wouldn’t either, and he lost badly. Romney couldn’t stop running in the Republican primary until the first presidential debate October 3. He was the only candidate with decent credentials who was willing to say all the things the Tea Party wanted to hear in order to be elected.

Later,

But the Tea Party isn’t just scary to minorities, it’s scary to enough white people for Obama to win. It’s crazy to young people, who will slowly replace the more-Republican old people. Outside of the South, Democrats are quite competitive among whites.

Maybe the most effective quote is the one at the beginning of the piece:

It should be a warning sign when your case for why polls are underestimating your party’s strength is that fewer people will actually vote than pollsters project. If your party’s fate depends on fewer Americans participating in our democracy, perhaps you have a popularity problem.

Look, I’m not anti-Republican per se. I do think they have some good ideas, and I also think that a healthy and reasonable Republican party is good for Democrats (keeping them on their toes) and good for the country. And I do think the radical side of the party is messing the party up. I think one of today’s NPR headlines stated that the election wouldn’t lead to soul-searching in the Republican party. That’s unfortunate, if true. They need to start doing this now, because they’re going to have to do it later or cease to be relevant. (Maybe more in their party will be more receptive to David Frum and David Brooks.)

ruby stevens

over 1 year ago

yeah well o’reilly’s an idiot. i took what i wanted from what he said lol. i also think hurricane sandy ended up being obama’s ‘october surprise’. mitt is a known climate change denier and has advocated states funding their own disaster relief (“they want stuff. and who is going to give them stuff?” as o’reilly put it). that came back to bite him. also as a woman i don’t appreciate being referred to as a ‘minority’. i believe we’re still a clear majority in this country. get used to it bill o’reilly. he’s just trying to stir the panic about old white men losing their god given right to lord it over everyone like they have since time immemorial. as someone who lives in a long time tea party state run by mean old white people, i couldn’t be happier to see them losing out on the national level. makes me look a little less nutty at home and gives me some hope for the future ;) k i’ll shut up now. for u jazzy:

Polaris​DiB

over 1 year ago

Last night a bunch of friends and I stayed up and watched the results come in until about 11:30pm, when Obama started gaining a lead on the popular and had already solidified the electoral. That whole thing was half as interesting as the various state results; in fact we spent more time talking about the independent Senators elected in New Hampshire and Maine than we did about the executive office.

Honestly, the result of the federal election is literally ‘four more years’: the next four are going to be the same as the last four, with Obama carefully and quietly and painstakingly trying to get whatever he can get done done (which is not going to be much), while Congress screams bloody murder at every last piece of legislation put under their noses and the Senate is rife with filibuster. So in fact, a value considered ‘conservative’ really won out for many progressive projects! That is to say, states’ rights are the real winners of last night as individual states went bonko-nuts passing mostly progressive legislation, from ever relaxing marijuana laws to gay marriage to individual states taking on Citizen’s United on their own level. It was crazy to watch. All this while Obama eased into reelection at a frankly more rapid and clear pace than anyone I know was expecting (I was with most commentators who believed that he’d probably get the electoral and miss the popular, and its relieving to see we don’t have to deal with that bullshit because… I actually don’t care much for the electoral college).

As for ‘Why Obama won’, that’s again not nearly as intellectually stimulating a conversation as the clarity of the Senate races. I agree with this Republican commentator I heard on NPR this morning who said, “Basically every factor mattered because if any one of them hadn’t mattered, Romney could have won.” So distinguishing between, say, women’s rights and the youth vote and the Hispanic vote and so on is somewhat useless as any single one of those factors could have changed the results, so they all worked together. However, the Democratic Senate majority is pretty much crystal clear: “Stop redefining rape, you idiots.” That’s pretty much what that came down to. While Maine elected a technocrat and New Hampshire elected a socialist and Wisconsin elected the first openly gay Senator, possibly advertising an increasingly diverse Senate over the coming decades (this would be me willingly wishing), Todd Akin, Richard Mourdock, and whatever the hell that other guy’s name was were fucking spanked. It was impressive and cheering to behold. Obama’s victory is barely a blip of significance to that feature.

Many of these features is what confirmed to me my feelings expressed on other threads that if you want to get something done, your best bet is to get as much of it done on the local level first and then the federal will move to reflect it. If you bow out of voting because you don’t see a choice between Obama and Romney, there is clearly a choice between passing an amendment to legalize gay marriage or an amendment to prevent it.

Now, as much as this year I was compelled to side entirely with the Democrats, I still hold out hope that, rather than forcing the Republicans to dig their heels in deeper and throw even louder temper tantrums like they have over the past two years, this will give the GOP some time for self-reflection so that they can start nixing the tantrum-prone from their mixes. One could hope, at least. The Dems are going to be too busy working this next four years to have time to build up a new leader, and regardless of how well the next four years goes people will still be bitchy and tired of Obama because that’s how eight years with a president goes, so if the Republicans decide to dig in deeper then we’ll have yet another scary cycle that Warren Ellis aptly described as, “where the winner of the primaries would be the only person capable of standing on stage without shitting themselves” except that this time they’d actually have a chance to win. Plus there’s the still extant worry/joke/cynicism that we’ll see a Jeb Bush v. Hilary Clinton race, which would suck ass.

What I want is for the Republicans to learn a lesson and put Jon Huntsman on the stage to represent the party in 2016. At the VERY LEAST they’ll probably learn to steer clear of Donald Trump.

Those are my thoughts.

—PolarisDiB

Polaris​DiB

over 1 year ago

By the way, Ruby, I’ve been hearing interesting commentaries about how Arizona is predicted to start trending blue over the next few years. The argument rests predominantly on the increased turnout of Hispanics voting Democrat. I don’t know if I believe it but it’s an interesting thought and I figured I’d keep it in the back of my mind to pay attention to in the next couple of election cycles.

—PolarisDiB

ruby stevens

over 1 year ago

yes i think it’s very possible ^ within 10 years we won’t be an embarrassment anymore hopefully :p

mean old white people gotta die sometime. it’s mostly the generation that came up in the 50s that are the problem i think. the ones who keep electing joe arpaio sheriff and cheering him on in supreme court battles. ok nothing against old people but we’ve got way too many retirees here. who wants to take some off our hands? xD

Matt Parks

over 1 year ago

“How would you explain that? (And I’m not asking this as if I’m blaming you or anything. ;)”

Its kinda a long story, but the short version is an unpopular, ineffective Democratic incumbent for whom things looked so bad that she didn’t even seek re-election + an awful lot of Republican money = Gov. McCrory.

This is only for one quarter of the campaign year, but it gives you an idea of the disparity:

Jazzalo​ha

over 1 year ago

@DiB

…the next four are going to be the same as the last four, with Obama carefully and quietly and painstakingly trying to get whatever he can get done done (which is not going to be much), while Congress screams bloody murder at every last piece of legislation put under their noses and the Senate is rife with filibuster.

Let me suggest two areas that I think the President and Congress might take substantive action on: 1) changes to tax code and budget to address short and long term deficits and debt; 2) immigration reform. No one wants to go over the “fiscal cliff,” and I do think there is significant motivation to come to a deal. There’s always the possibility for kicking the can down the road, but my gut feeling is that President Obama is not going to stubbornly oppose that, but who knows. As for the second point, the President acknowledged that if he wins, it’ll largely be because of the Latino vote. That seems to be a significant factor. Doesn’t this make the likelihood of serious immigration reform more likely? I think the President genuinely wants to act, and he has a compelling reason to do so—not just to repay Latino voters, but because the politics make this possible. Similarly, the Republicans should be thinking hard about winning support from Hispanic voters. If they refuse to cooperate on this issue, this may lead to greater political losses in the future. I’m hoping there are enough reasonable Republicans who see the writing on the wall. What do you think?

So in fact, a value considered ‘conservative’ really won out for many progressive projects! That is to say, states’ rights are the real winners of last night as individual states went bonko-nuts passing mostly progressive legislation,…

I’m pretty sure that’s not what conservatives had in mind when they advocated for state’s rights. Seriously, my sense is that conservatives largely champion state’s rights because doing so traditionally would swing to their favored policies. Have you not seen them back off the principle of state’s rights when doing so would probably not lead to the type of policies they like?

So distinguishing between, say, women’s rights and the youth vote and the Hispanic vote and so on is somewhat useless as any single one of those factors could have changed the results, so they all worked together.

Well, I think there are other issues. I like what the article above says: it’s the policies of the hard-right that seems to dominate the party. Were it not for this factor, candidates with a stronger chance of winning (Pawlenty, etc.) could have ran; Romney would not have had to expose his political expendiency by tacking right and then trying to tack back to the middle.

This is a different diagnosis from saying that the problem was all Romney or some other factor. If the Republicans conclude that the problem was Romney—i.e., let’s get Marco Rubio and keep essentially the same platform—that would have very different ramifications.

However, the Democratic Senate majority is pretty much crystal clear: “Stop redefining rape, you idiots.”

Again, I like the article piece fleshes out the reasoning a little more. Basically, the policies of the hard right won’t work on a state or national level. (It might work in voting districts—especially gerrymandered one.)

Many of these features is what confirmed to me my feelings expressed on other threads that if you want to get something done, your best bet is to get as much of it done on the local level first and then the federal will move to reflect it.

I agree with this, especially if you mean doing the painstaking work of grass-roots organizing, building consensus, support think-tanks to develop policy and ways to present these policies, etc. Basically, if you can build a large coalition of voters, the legislation in Washington should be easy. Politicians, by the nature of a democracy, have to respond to where a lot of people are at. But it’s hard to create this kind of groundswell—but a grass-roots organizing is probably crucial for this to happen effectively.

Now, as much as this year I was compelled to side entirely with the Democrats, I still hold out hope that, rather than forcing the Republicans to dig their heels in deeper and throw even louder temper tantrums like they have over the past two years, this will give the GOP some time for self-reflection so that they can start nixing the tantrum-prone from their mixes.

Yep. I’m with you here.

…so if the Republicans decide to dig in deeper then we’ll have yet another scary cycle that Warren Ellis aptly described as, “where the winner of the primaries would be the only person capable of standing on stage without shitting themselves” except that this time they’d actually have a chance to win.

I’m not sure what you mean here.

@Matt

Its kinda a long story, but the short version is an unpopular, ineffective Democratic incumbent for whom things looked so bad that she didn’t even seek re-election + an awful lot of Republican money = Gov. McCrory.

Well, that makes sense. How did the Republicans manage to raise that much more money? (Weak Democratic candidate?)

Matt Parks

over 1 year ago

“How did the Republicans manage to raise that much more money?”

Out-of-state donors, mostly. McCrory got outspent last time he ran and his campaign learned that lesson.

Jazzalo​ha

over 1 year ago

Out-of-state donors, mostly.

Lovely. It’s happening everywhere, it seems.

NIGHTSH​IFT

over 1 year ago

I’ll just say one thing- for the first time in my life I felt better than many billionaires and millionaires last night. I slept sound while they tossed and turned all night counting their losses realizing their attemp to buy the election was a total failure.

ruby stevens

over 1 year ago

xD agree wholeheartedly with this ^^ citizens united decision made this the costliest election in u.s. history with very little to show for all that cash expended. so nyah nyah koch brothers xD

NIGHTSH​IFT

over 1 year ago

Karma is a real b… After all the lies, slander, insults and arrogance and holier than thou attitude, they’ve had it all coming.
I hate to gloat, but coming to work today looking at some of my pro-Romney co-workers with their bitter face and bloodshot eyes was priceless. I wasn’t celebrating but rejoicing, and spent the whole day grinning like an idiot.

Matt Parks

over 1 year ago

“It’s happening everywhere, it seems.”

Yup. North Carolina is sort of a strange state, politically. The center of the state is predominantly Democrat and the the East and West of the state are Republican Historically the state elects Democratic governors, but historically also has strongly trended to go Republican in presidential elections. In 2008 the state went to Obama because he mobilized a lot of people who were voting for the first time or might otherwise not have voted if Obama were not on the ballot. At the same time, the state legislature took a big Republican swing in that election.

So there was already a sort of local Republican countermove going on, and I think the governor’s race just capitalized on that.

So, while I’m happy with the Presidential election results, and I’m happy that a our district’s Representative in the House won again easily, I’m troubled by a lot of what we got at the state level (and, and I meant to say, yeah, the redistricting definitely hurt the Dems, which was exactly what it was intended to do).

J&K

over 1 year ago

The 4th legislative district in Washington state, where we are from, had this to go through:

“The race received extra attention because of the misdemeanor charge [Republican] Shea faces for keeping a gun in his car without a valid concealed weapons permit . Revelations that [Democrat] Biviano appeared in Playboy when she was a student at Yale brought more focus to the race.”

The guy with the gun won. He also pulled out that gun once during a “road rage” incident. Almost the entire east side of the state, as well as large swaths north and especially south of King County (Seattle, etc.) is very very conservative, but King County is so densely populated basically controls the election results. Every election year there is a clamoring of conservatives who call for a constitutional amendment to effectively split the state in two.

Matt Parks

over 1 year ago

ruby stevens

over 1 year ago

haha i’d forgotten that. good stuff ^

i don’t get why they’re still whining about romney winning the popular vote. he lost by almost 3 million. so far

anne coulter has reportedly said it’s her fondest wish that women not be allowed to vote since they are so likely to vote for democrats. lol

VOLUPTE NOIR

over 1 year ago

The fact that Ann Coulter is allowed to live is either an example of our shining democracy or a clear sign of the approaching apocalypse.

VOLUPTE NOIR

over 1 year ago

Polaris​DiB

over 1 year ago

“I hate to gloat…”

Eh. I’d still be rejoicing if Romney won but every other thing stayed the same. I’m really impressed with the state-level action taken, as I said before. I had already done the mental work figuring out how I would like to ‘handle’ an Obama or a Romney presidency, if that makes any sense. Life goes on.

@Jazz:

“two areas that I think the President and Congress might take substantive action on: 1) changes to tax code and budget to address short and long term deficits and debt; 2) immigration reform. No one wants to go over the “fiscal cliff,” and I do think there is significant motivation to come to a deal.”

I agree.

I doubt the Dem’s models for tax and immigration reform are going to have much breath. Actually I’m pretty sure they’ll just recycle expiring tax breaks.

" I’m hoping there are enough reasonable Republicans who see the writing on the wall. What do you think?"

The X-factor I’m paying attention to is how many Republicans over the coming year say, “It’s because we’re too alienating!” versus how many say, “It’s because we’re not conservative enough!” Both have already come out of the woodwork to start stating their points. We’ll see if their party listens.

“I’m pretty sure that’s not what conservatives had in mind when they advocated for state’s rights. Seriously, my sense is that conservatives largely champion state’s rights because doing so traditionally would swing to their favored policies. Have you not seen them back off the principle of state’s rights when doing so would probably not lead to the type of policies they like?”

I know, that’s the irony I’m enjoying.

Frankly this also indicates that the social progressives (not necessarily the Dems specifically) have actually learned something from the general conservatives. Too many marches on Washington, too few marches on state capitols, is what kept things not getting done for quite a while. I’m hoping this trend increases but of course, the events of one year does not dictate the activity of a voter base, and unfortunately one year’s success does tend to make the voters more relaxed about not showing up the next year.

“I’m not sure what you mean here.”

I mean that the GOP primary was so ridiculous and over the top it had no small part to play in general feelings like the GOP doesn’t have its shit together and has been taken over by howler monkeys and circus freaks. That kept Obama ahead on the polls for MONTHS even though homeboy wasn’t doing any campaigning at all! The Republicans this year did half the work of getting Democrats elected, especially when the whole Todd Akin fiasco occurred just as the campaign had settled into a sort of Jack Johnson v. John Jackson normalcy.

The problem is that the GOP may not get their act together and 2016 will be more howler monkeys and clowns. But they’ll have an even better chance of winning, simply because people get tired of administrations and will want the Republicans to have a go, regardless of who they are.

—PolarisDiB

NIGHTSH​IFT

over 1 year ago

This story is already gaining legs among the right.

http://www.latimes.com/news/politics/la-pn-karl-rove-obama-victory-20121108,0,5630465.story

Another chaotic 4 years is expected, any cooperation from the right will be highly doubtful.

ruby stevens

over 1 year ago

how did he suppress the vote exactly? by saying mean things about romney? karl rove is a joke now

and more jokes from ann coulter, calling romney one of the best presidential candidates the Republicans have ever fielded

howler monkeys and clowns indeed. i almost feel sorry for them. almost

J&K

over 1 year ago

Rove said that Obama had “succeeded by suppressing the vote,” particularly by denigrating “Romney’s character, business acumen, experience.”

Ha ha. Apparently every time Obama criticized Romney it was an act of voter suppression.

More:

He succeeded by suppressing the vote," Rove said in an interview on Fox News with anchor Megyn Kelly on Thursday afternoon, "by saying to people, ‘You may not like who I am and I know you can’t bring yourself to vote for me, but I’m going to paint this other guy as simply a rich guy who only cares about himself.

Convincing people to vote for you as opposed to the other person is not “voter suppression”.

ruby stevens

over 1 year ago

whitepeoplemourningromney.tumblr

i even feel mean for posting this. i think ann coulter is right. women are too compassionate to be voting :P

ruby stevens

over 1 year ago

this is my favorite: sadly realizing the world is too evil for mitt to be president. it’s sad when you live in a world where someone can be too good.

these people are confusing white/black with good/evil again

sigh

i am a little more concerned about domestic terrorism now. these people seem desperate. i think some of them really believe it’s a war for the white race. and that’s why ‘our country of liberty and freedom is in jeopardy’

jeff

over 1 year ago