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On the Wednesday following the 2008 election, the strategists of the Republican Party, still licking their wounds from John McCain’s disaster of a Presidential campaign, settled on a singular plan to limit new President Barack Obama to a single term in the White House.
That strategy required the party of the elephant to put aside the best interests of the nation and focus on an obstructionist posture that expanded Congressional gridlock while putting the nation’s future in jeopardy.
Republicans wanted the economy to go to hell. They wanted financial chaos. They wanted a nation plunged into the depths of despair.
They ignored the old Mongolian proverb of “be careful what you wish for because you just might get it.” Their wish of economic and political chaos came true and, on Tuesday, November 6, 2012, the voters struck back — handing Barack Obama a second term and expanding Democratic control in the Senate.
Obama went into the 2012 Presidential election as the weakest incumbent since Jimmy Carter but he was helped by a GOP strategy that put political expediency above the best interests of a country in trouble.
Exit polls revealed that voters didn’t blame Obama for the nation’s problems: They still blamed George W. Bush and the Republican Party.
Those same polls also showed they wanted leaders who didn’t have a cave man attitude towards women or a Klansman’s bigotry towards minorities. In Congressional races, some candidates with outdated opinions about abortion, rape, women’s rights, gay marriage and other issues fell.
Obama didn’t have that great a record to run on but — to the majority of voters — he was a better choice than Mitt Romney. Voters also took a look at some the flakes foisted on the political scene by right-wing extremists and said “no way.” For a change, reason triumphed over freaks.
In Virginia — once a bastion of the Old South — voters said “no thanks” to the racism of former Senator and governor George Allen. Voters in Missouri told Todd Akin to take his troglodyte attitudes towards women and go home. Massachusetts voters sent Scott Brown packing.
How weak was the GOP Presidential ticket this time around? Republican Vice Presidential candidate Paul Ryan couldn’t even deliver his home state of Wisconsin. Romney couldn’t win in states he claimed as home, including Michigan, where his father is still revered or Massachusetts, where he served as governor.
Romney needed Pennsylvania to win the election. He lost. He needed Ohio. Lost there too. Virginia? Another must-have state. No dice.
America is changing but the Grand Old Party — and the key word here is “old” — is too damn dumb and stupid to recognize that change.
From the White House on down, the Democrats who won Tuesday weren’t that great as candidates, incumbents or leaders.
But they were better than the the lackluster Republicans and — the end — that was more than enough for voters.