The Republicans are completely in thrall to their whackaloon base. Romney had to tack so far to the right to get the nomination that he could never credibly come back left enough to even get in the vicinity of the center. And make no mistake. Romney was the best option of the lot. The closest guy to a right-centrist they had was Jon Huntsman, the former Governor of Utah and Obama Administration Ambassador to China. To everyone who is not a Utah citizen or political junkie, he was Jon Who?
The fact that Romney really doesn’t like anybody who wasn’t born with a silver bar up his ass really played well into our hands. The 47% video confirmed to those of us who had been watching intently for two years what we thought Romney really felt. He then went and did several speeches where he basically disavowed himself, and some idiots began to feel better about him, but after the election when he had nothing to lose, he let his freak flag fly again and confirmed that yes, he really does believe that stuff and that yes, he really does despise the people he sought to lead. Those of us who have conservative friends still also got to see a lot of them agree with him, with comments like “I just wish I lived in a country where people wanted to work for their own stuff.” I live in Oklahoma. I saw a LOT of that shit in my Facebook feed in the last several days.
Well, of course with Romney being as done as last Christmas’ ham, all of the wannabe right centrists jumped all over his statements and attacked (curious that they were all apparently suffereing from laryngitis a week before, but I digress.) Well, that shit won’t work. The hard base controls the party apparatus, and they won’t let it go until they’re forced out. The lesson that the Republican party will take from this debacle is that they weren’t conservative enough. Romney lost not because he was an asshole, but because he didn’t have the conviction of a real conservative. he lost because he tried to split the difference, with the tack to the center in the first debate and the etch-a-sketch moments that pervaded his campaign. If he only believed, and showed that he believed in conservative principles, we’d be talking about President-Elect Romney right now. That’s what they’ll tell themselves. That’s the lesson they’ll learn, especially with the fact that they kept the House of Representatives. It wasn’t the gerrymandering that saved the (reduced) House majority. It was the purity of vision of the House Republicans.
Well, good. I want them to learn that about 2012. The sooner they learn that lesson the better. This is going to be just like the liberals in the Democratic party in the early and mid-eighties. They’ll tack hard to their base, make noises about how if they’ed only gotten out their base, they’d have won. Hell, they’re already telling themselves that very thing. I’ve already seen stories about how over a million registered Republicans stayed home, and if only they’d have voted… I’m just old enough to remember that liberals were saying the same thing about black Americans in 1980, and again in 1984. As far as the purity argument goes, that one’s straight out of history too. Remember that Carter was primaried from the left in 1979/1980 by Teddy Kennedy. Turned out that was the least of Carter’s problems. And Reagan won with 50.7% of the popular vote (yes, I remember John Anderson, but add his total to Carter’s and you still get President Reagan,) he took a massive landslide of electoral votes that made his mandate look bigger than it was. Obama won with a higher percentage of the pop vote, but didn’t get anywhere near as many EVs.
As all BSG fans know, this has happened before, and it will happen again. Enjoy the ride. I figure we’ve got about two election cycles before the Republicans are a rump party that can’t even mount a credible alternative, and then five or six election cycles before they start to come back, but another five or six before they or a new version of them are in a position to take over again and declare (as they did in the 80s and as we’ve been doing all week) that their opposition is dying and is completely beholden to their base…