Monday, October 1, 2012

The Post-Election World: A Real Turning Point

We want Romney to lose, but it's these guys we want sidelined.
I like this article by Michael Tomasky detailing what might transpire if Barack Obama didn't just beat Mitt Romney but trounced him. It's premature, I know, even if I'm optimistic of a sizable Democratic win in a few weeks. This is dangerous, maybe, but delightful. Tomasky sez:
First, a marvelously amusing recriminations war among Republicans and conservatives about what happened, and it will result in the conservative movement marginalizing itself from mainstream America even further. It will start with arguments over political strategy. Romney was a squish. Romney ran too far right. Ryan was a bad choice. Ryan was a great choice but he wasn’t allowed to be Ryan. We should have gone with Santorum. We should have gone with Newt. Even Herman Cain would have done better (someone will say it!).
The more entertaining part of this feud will not be tactical but philosophical, and already I feel great joy in anticipation of the certainty that they’ll reach exactly the wrong conclusion. That is, Romney will have lost, if he loses, because the extreme right wing led him around by the nose and ruined him with swing voters, but those same people who charted his demise will argue that he wasn’t a true conservative. And within conservative ranks, they’ll win!
Part of the solution?
Tomasky goes on to say that aside from the disarray the conservative movement (read Tea Party movement, as Republicans have evolved into faux conservatives) will find itself in -- or perhaps because of it -- Republicans will have to play ball with Barack Obama or risk being further marginalized, both by the media and in future elections.

Beyond this anticipatory glee -- warning, not so fast! -- a post-election world after a major Republican defeat amounts to both a bullet dodged and a real corner turned. South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham put it best when he said, "We're not generating enough angry white guys to stay in business for the long term." A sound thrashing sends them packing all the more.

Read Diane Roberts in The Guardian to get a fuller picture.

Look, then, at the new reality:
  • The chances are better that Medicare and Social Security, as well as other parts of the safety net such as Medicaid, unemployment insurance and food stamps, will be preserved intact.
  • Increased taxes -- at first on the rich and then across the board when the economy permits -- will be included in any fix to long-term budget-deficit woes.
  • Grover Norquist will be effectively out of business. Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Glenn Beck, Sarah Palin, and Fox News won't, but they'll be preaching to an increasingly isolated choir. They may actually have the effect of shrinking what's left of the Republican Party as the circular firing squad, long a Democratic tradition, gets underway in the aftermath of the Tea Party spanking.
  • Parliamentary procedures in the Senate, such as the filibuster, will finally get reformed as the Democratic majority comes to realize that the 60-vote threshold is not what the founding fathers had in mind. How this happens I'm not sure. I need to examine what this entails. But it's possible that the Republicans will facilitate it on the grounds that someday they may make a comeback and would love to pass bills with 51 votes when it's their turn again.
  • If Obamacare gets fully enacted -- and I don't expect Republican governors to actually resist money from Washington to prove a point that might end their careers -- people will begin to see what it's got for them, just in time for the 2014 elections, leading, one would hope, to the Democrats retaking the House. Nice.
  • We'll end our involvement in Afghanistan and not get involved in another prolonged war for possibly another generation. Good. We might even begin to shrink our highly bloated defense budget. Example: We have eleven aircraft carriers, the rest of the world has ten? Please.
More of him, less of him? Not a difficult question.
In the end, the real consequence will be the  possible demise of the Republican Party itself and perhaps an emergence of a Conservative Party, one that will have to rebuild its image and its agenda into something that might appeal to a larger constituency than angry white guys. I'm a white guy, and I've often been angry, but that combination is not what makes me tick. And neither should it be the defining ethos of a political party that actually wants to govern in a post-angry-white-guy world, you know, the one with all the women, blacks, Hispanics, gays, and the rest of the whole, freaking, increasingly non-white-guy world.

Intelligent, incisive. What's not to like?
At first it might feel foreign, dudes, but you'll get used to it. I have, and it's not as scary as you think. I know, it's tough having to give up your bullying, domineering ways. But don't think of it as the end of the world. Think of it as a realignment. Less Rush Limbaugh, more Rachel Maddow, something like that. That sounds like an improvement, no? It does to me.


  1. If only half of this comes true, I will be happy. And yes, what is not to like about Rachel. She makes me look forward to every day.