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Politics : View from the Center and Left -- Ignore unavailable to you. Want to Upgrade?

To: Win Smith who wrote (206880)11/4/2012 12:44:04 AM
From: Win Smith  Respond to of 517424
And If the GOP Doesn't Win, What Then?

[ A followup of sorts from Fallows on the predelegitimization front. I have my own little personal fantasy about what ought to happen to the professionally apoplectic right and their mindless teabagger brethren, thanks to the Brothers Grimm:

"The devil has told you that! The devil has told you that," cried the little man, and in his anger he plunged his right foot so deep into the earth that his whole leg went in, and then in rage he pulled at his left leg so hard with both hands that he tore himself in two.

But being a reality-based community kind of guy, I imagine we'll just have to live with another 2 years at least of idiotic obstructionism and lunatic conspiracy ranting about Obama bringing in the black helicopters and blue helmets to round up all Real Americans . A guy can hope, though. Anyway, here's Fallows: ]

Nobody knows what's going to happen on Tuesday. (11pm Saturday update: But watching a completely-losing-his-voice Bill Clinton do a barnburner in his intro for Barack Obama in Virginia, I'm seeing an episode of Democratic "momentum.") (And nice line in return from Obama just now: "The only Clinton workin' harder than him is our Secretary of State.")

But let's do a thought experiment and assume that current probabilities hold. That would mean that Barack Obama is re-elected; the Romney-Ryan ticket is defeated; and even as the Republicans begin assessing their promising next tier of Christie-Rubio-Jindal-maybe Ryan-maybe Jeb-Bush candidates for 2016, they confront two discouraging realities. One is not having been able to beat a marginally popular president during a time of widespread economic distress. The other is seeing several big demographic blocs -- Latinos, blacks, women -- moving away from them.

What then? We're getting ahead of ourselves, but as a distraction here are several messages from readers. First, from someone in the aviation world:
Presuming Mr. Obama does indeed win, I think the more interesting question is what will the Republican party do to regroup?...

The question in my mind is "is this the end of the Karl Rove Party?" He pioneered the strategy of shifting the party right to get an energized "base," also shifting it toward the new Know-Nothings they've become. [JF note: Rove and GWB also were careful to try to include Latinos as part of a new GOP big tent. That worked for them in Texas but has not lasted with their Tea Party-era, Tancredo-toned successors, which could prove one of the party's lasting vulnerabilities.]

It hasn't won. Laura Ingraham's "if the GOP can't beat Obama with this economy, shut it down" strikes me as unintentionally prophetic. The economy is now improving, Obama will never run again, and demographic trends are certainly against the current Republican message. What will the Republicans do?

The existence of the Tea Party faction makes this a nasty problem -- any attempt by Republicans to pivot toward the mainstream will cost them factional challenges, perhaps third-party rightist candidates on the ballot.
Extending the last argument, a reader in Pennsylvania writes:
I can't pretend to know what motivates folks like Karl Rove, but I can say with certainty, as a Democratic committeeperson here in suburban Philly, that one thing that does motivate the Democratic ground game here in Pennsylvania is the sense that an Obama victory and some key US Senate victories for Democrats could lead to the splitting apart of the Republican Party, with a possible 3rd Party movement on the right getting legs.

As Democrats we see that possible development as an obvious opening for us to pick up more Democratic victories down ballot in the next two or three elections here in PA and also in some red states. This "long term" perspective is a very tangible motivator as we all participate in GOTV efforts here in PA over the next 3 days.

On a final note, in the midst of all the challenges facing America right now, any long drawn out effort to delegitimize Obama victory through Congress, in particular, will, in my humble opinion, only benefit Democrats in the mid-terms.
And from a reader in California:
As we come down to the wire, I sticking with my premise/intuition that 1972 will repeat in 2012.

The only doubt is whether the Dems can regain enough seats to take the house. [JF note: I am chary of predictions, but this seems very unlikely to me.] Otherwise, Obama wins well and the Senate holds, and gains a few, like Elizabeth Warren. [JF: pickups, like Warren over Brown, seem plausible at this point; net Democratic gains in the Senate a much longer shot.]

From all that I've read, the moderate middle (i.e. that which is not counted as the base) will mostly go to Obama. That may not include older white men, but women and minorities will more than make up for them. This despite Republican efforts to disenfranchise as many Democratic voters as possible by jiggering state voting rules.

It's not that I have some special knowledge that others don't. But I've voted in every election but one since 1968, and what stands out strongly in my memory are what I call, for lack of better term, the extremist years, when one party leaned far much in one direction, which for the moderate middle was too far away from them.
Obviously, and unendurably, the "who looks good for the 2016 race???" speculation will rev up before we have even recovered from this cycle. I am explicitly not trying to get into next-candidate thinking on either side. But the next identity of the Republican party is what a lot of people will be wrestling with, no matter how things go in three days. (And now, back to checking out that Virginia rally.)

To: Win Smith who wrote (206880)11/4/2012 8:53:13 AM
From: Sam  Respond to of 517424
Sadly, I imagine this means that if Obama is reelected, the GOP will just double down on Obama hatred as a way of life.

Unhappily, it may come to that. The wingers are already talking about impeachment--Banghazi has become in their minds an impeachable offense, "choosing to let four American heroes die" without defending them. For, allegedly, political reasons. Of course, they were also waxing indignant over the fact that General Ham, commander of the African Command, resigned over the fact that he was told to stand down instead of sending help to the Benghazi heroes; unfortunately for them, Ham never actually resigned and hasn't confirmed their story in any way, but that, they say, is because he is a true soldier who won't speak ill of his superiors, they "know" that their story about Obama's cowardice and political calculations is correct. They know all this because-- they know him, they know his motivations, they know "he lies," they know everything. They don't need for General Ham to speak up, they see his body language. They don't need any more facts themselves, they only need confirmation in order to prove it all to the zombies who have been mesmerized by Obama or who hate America or who are envious of the rich.

If they can impeach a guy over a blow job and then lying about it in a kangaroo court, they can impeach a guy over Benghazi, and feel all virtuous and righteous inside.

They are unhinged.

To: Win Smith who wrote (206880)11/4/2012 4:06:57 PM
From: Cogito  Read Replies (1) | Respond to of 517424
Fox News has received several complaints from voters who say they voted on touch-screen voting machines -- only when they tried to select Mitt Romney, the machine indicated they had chosen President Obama. The voters in question realized the error and were able to cast ballots for their actual choice.
So let me get this straight. In Ohio, where the voting machines are made and programmed by a company that has contributed heavily to Romney, and where the Republicans control the electoral process, the machines are mysteriously switching votes from Romney to Obama? This is what Fox News is reporting?

I'd love to hear their theory explaining who is behind this nefarious plot, and how they've managed to accomplish this sleight of hand.