Sunday, September 9, 2012

Republicans begin to grapple with losing

This weekend marks a turning point in this Presidential election. The media narrative that the race is tied is finally giving way to the fact that President Obama is winning.

You want to know how clear that is? Even the Republicans are admitting it.
“Their map has many more routes to victory,” said a top Republican official. Two officials intimately involved in the GOP campaign said Ohio leans clearly in Obama’s favor now, with a high single-digit edge, based on their internal tracking numbers of conservative groups. Romney can still win the presidency if he loses Ohio, but it’s extremely difficult.
The thing is - that's actually their positive spin. Take a look at this electoral map and tell me which blue state Romney is going to turn red. Even with five states still in the toss-up category, once you add Ohio to the rest of the states that are pretty solid for President Obama, he's at 275.

So the reality is - its pretty much time to cue the fat lady to start singing.

Most rational people know this. And so we're beginning to see some Republicans grapple with that. I think its extremely important what narrative develops out of this loss because it is likely to dictate the future of the Republican Party. We all know that they had a choice after 2008 and instead of re-thinking their failed policies they doubled down on teh crazy. So where will they go this time?

As I looked around some conservative sites today, you can see them beginning to struggle with that narrative. But so far, its not encouraging.

Erick Erickson at Red State is still in denial, as are the Breitbarts.

As is is tendency, Bill Kristol blames Romney.

Not surprisingly, Andrew McCarthy at NRO thinks the candidates aren't conservative enough.

But I found John Hinderaker's analysis at Powerline to be the most telling in terms of the current political divide.
On paper, given Obama’s record, this election should be a cakewalk for the Republicans. Why isn’t it? I am afraid the answer may be that the country is closer to the point of no return than most of us believed. With over 100 million Americans receiving federal welfare benefits, millions more going on Social Security disability, and many millions on top of that living on entitlement programs–not to mention enormous numbers of public employees–we may have gotten to the point where the government economy is more important, in the short term, than the real economy...

I am afraid the problem in this year’s race is economic self-interest: we are perilously close to the point where 50% of our population cares more about the money it gets (or expects to get) from government than about the well-being of the nation as a whole.
Mr. Hinderaker is so deeply embedded in his philosophy of greed and selfishness that he is projecting it onto those of us who support things like a social safety net and pubic employee unions. He literally can't comprehend the idea of collective responsibility via citizenship that was the hallmark of President Obama's speech at the convention last week. In the grips of total Randianism, all Hinderaker sees is self-interest.

That, my friends, is why President Obama's speech was so important. It tackled, in a very fundamental way, exactly what this divide is all about.
We, the people — recognize that we have responsibilities as well as rights; that our destinies are bound together; that a freedom which asks only, what's in it for me, a freedom without a commitment to others, a freedom without love or charity or duty or patriotism, is unworthy of our founding ideals, and those who died in their defense.

As citizens, we understand that America is not about what can be done for us. It's about what can be done by us, together through the hard and frustrating but necessary work of self-government. That's what we believe.


  1. The idea that there is something wrong or tragic that disabled people get Federal disability is sick. It's not exactly easy to qualify for SSI, despite what some people seem to think.

    I have a buddy who was just placed on permanent military pension equivalent to his active duty salary. He's not quite 30. I will confess that I for moment, as I'm not financially where I might want to be, thought: gee, wish I could be at a full salary for the rest of my life. I'd be able to meditate hours a day, play lots of music, read at a cafe for hours, even do a little volunteer work.

    Then, I remembered why my buddy is on this disability. For starters, military service ruined his body. He's had multiple surgeries on a leg that allow him to walk but barely. That's not the reason, I suspect, that his payment is what some people would call generous. Rather, war completely ruined his mind. He has a very high level case of PTSD and is often suicidal. I met him through AA and his drinking was from what I gather an attempt to medicate. Obviously, it doesn't work long term and now it's just him and his mind. Government policy did this to him, and they owe him.

    So, I guess I understand why people think disability is like summer vacation. I had the thought flash through my mind. I guess I'm glad that I have the sense to see the selfishness of that thought and move on from it. An able body and (more or less) smoothly functioning mind is the greatest blessing one can have in life. Disability payments do not make up for it.

    1. We're all selfish to some extent. I don't suppose the human race would have survived otherwise.

      But we're also capable of so much more than that!

      As your story demonstrates - we're also able to be compassionate and grateful.

    2. Beautifully said. War has damaged or destroyed so many of our young - the least we can do is take care of them now that the damage is done. I know there are some people who use trickery or dirty doctors to get on SSI, but the vast majority of the people receiving it just couldn't make it otherwise and I, for one, cannot envision a world where we would just throw anyone away.

  2. Hmm.. let's see, "welfare dependency." That includes all the people on social security, medicare, medicaid, etc. Get rid of it, and let them ... die quietly ... on their own. After all, doesn't everyone have a few million saved up for their retirements?

    1. And that's exactly why they're losing.

      Welfare may still register as a dog whistle word with a few folks, but most of us would rather not see old and disabled people "die quietly...on their own."

  3. "...and tell me which blue state Romney is going to turn red."



    YEAAAAAAAAA....Move 4 votes across. Take that you librul, pinko, com ....ummmmmmm

    Never Mind.

    1. To be honest, I expect they'll be shooting for Wisconsin.

      But that still would require running the table on all the toss-ups.

  4. In all seriousness, I think THIS map is probably the most accurate. The only quibble I would have is Virginia.

    I hope I'm better at predicting than I was in 2010.

    1. That also lines up well with Nate Silver's projections where the most likely outcome of electoral votes is 332.

      I'm going out on a limb and saying Obama also wins North Carolina - that takes it to 347.

      BooMan goes even further.

  5. Be prepared for several weeks of rage, profanity, and typing in all capitals. They're not going to take this well, especially since most of them have been convinced they're winning -- and they think Obama is practically evil incarnate.

    Unfortunately losing will not jolt the Republicans back to sanity. They'll just decide Romney lost because he was too moderate, and go even more bonkers.

    He literally can't comprehend the idea of collective responsibility via citizenship

    I have a secure job with good health insurance, but I wouldn't mind paying a few percent more in taxes so we could have, say, a real national health system that covered everybody. But I'll be damned if I'll pay more taxes so multi-millionaires who already pay a lower rate than I do can get more tax breaks.

    The idea that only people on benefits vote for leftist parties is a hardy perennial on the right, unfortunately.

  6. 100 million on welfare?!

  7. The thing that frosts me is that they call Social Security and Medicare "entitlements". I actually saw a conservative media organization state that, if we do away with Social Security and Medicare, we can use that money to pay for Wars. They don't seem to understand that if Social security and Medicare cease to exist, people will no longer pay that money into the government, and the financial situation of the government remains just as it is today. By calling it an entitlement, the idea that the money can be used for other things has become accepted fact. I personally will sue the government if they try to deduct Social Security and Medicare from my check if they do away with those programs. I'm sure my lawsuit would turn into a class action suit with everybody demanding their money!

  8. I love it but I don't want Democrats to get complacent. We have to get out there and VOTE!!!!

  9. Maybe the real reason Republicans aren't winning is that Romney is the wrong candidate for these times.

  10. Do NOT make the mistake of thinking this election is in the bag. The President needs EVERY vote. Obama supporters MUST show up at the polls, and it would help if they voted a straight Democratic ticket.

    Do NOT allow complacency into your thinking. The fat lady does not sing until November 7th.

    1. That's an important thing to keep in mind. No matter how good things look, we can't afford complacency.

      One good sign -- I've read that immediately after the end of Obama's DNC speech, there was a surge in internet searches on the phrase "register to vote".

  11. We're on the same team Candi.

    Knowing we're winning has no impact whatsoever on complacency. It actually motivates a lot of us.

  12. Seriously, I'm seeing exactly zero evidence of complacency on the part of Democrats. People have seen what the Tea party is capable of and they are scared to death that the tea people will take over this country. Nobody is taking the President's reelection for granted, least of all OFA.

  13. The issue of government support, or a government based economy is so much more complicated than SS, or Medicare, or entitlements. Read the September 17th issue of Time Magazine. Micahel Grunwald lays out the many hundreds of ways average Americans, rich, poor, in between are deopendent on the government to subsidize, support or provide things in their daily lives that they take for granted. So this conservative narrative about deppendency on government as some sort of failing, or a national weakness that is counter to the free market is total BS. All of them, all of us, all of the so called private businesses advocates, and the businesses themselves, WE ALL rely on government in ways that are essential. The dishonesty of the conservative and Republican narrative is what creates this false conflict over this very cold, hard reality.