Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Post Election Thoughts

Here are a few "day after" thoughts on the national election results...


  • You lost the Presidential race and you need to move on. Sure, it was close in the popular vote, but you lost that and - more important - were clubbed in the electoral college. Your team has won a lot in the past (Reagan, both Bushes, Congressional majorities for the most part over the last 20 years)...but not now. Obama is the President. He is not a foreigner, a socialist, a communist or the anti-Christ. Cleanse yourself of that baggage. He is the twice elected President of the USA. Accept and move on.
  • You need to re-think how you approach national races. Your strategy of trying to win by maximizing voter turnout in areas you have an advantage (rural/suburban, white, male, older) in hopes that this counterbalances turnout in the cities and among minorities and women? It failed. It might have worked in 2000 or 2004, but the nation is changing demographically. It's becoming a more ethnically diverse and accepting place. Doubling down on right wing policies that appeal to middle age white guys in the countryside ain't cutting it and won't going forward. Reinvent your party and have a shot. Don't and really risk not seeing the White House for quite a while.
  • You need to legitimately work with Democrats to get things done rather than instantly go back to the "party of no" mode to spite Obama and try and set up a R win in 2016. You need to re-define your idea of compromise as something other than demanding the Democrats coming over to do what you want or "no deal." The nation is tired of all that and you are not serving the citizenry by doing that.


  • Go play the lottery right now. Why? You just got REALLY LUCKY. Recognize that Obama's victory is not some sort of massive mandate for his leadership and ideas. You should not gloat. 
  • It's time to get specific. A lot of Obama's campaign - and many Congressional candidates too - was more about not electing the opposition (and wow, the Rs sure put up candidates that were easy to target that way). You did not really run on a clear vision with specific ideas for the next few years. You need to get specific. Set a few clear goals and work to get them done. 
  • You too need to work with the Rs. You need to try and work with conservatives to achieve your clear goals. That should be your default first move. It's the right thing to do and will likely result in more things getting done. also need to know how to put pressure on the Republicans if or when they revert to simply obstructing everything you want to do. Figure out what will motivate them and exploit that. 

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