My analysis starts with the stunning news that Mitt Romney received 3 Million fewer Republican votes than John McCain did in 2008. Let me say that once again so that it can sink in:What do you make of a crazy idea that a portion of Obama's literally incredible re-election was a repudiation of Republicans. Not formally, as in "I voted for Obama to teach the Republicans not to take my vote for granted," but "The Republicans are too disorganized; I'm voting for Obama."It's pretty clear that everything the GOP thought they had, they lacked. Like you, I was expecting a decisive Romney win and even a GOP capture of the Senate. I based that all, like you did, on logic, math, and reason. This election was pure chaos, and chaos won. And I don't think Obama expected it--I think both the GOP and the Democrats were shocked at the result.
Mitt Romney received 3 Million fewer Republican votes than John McCain did. And that wasn't running against the fresh, HopenChange 2008 reach-across-the-aisle Obama, this was running against the Class Warfare Obama. They couldn't turn out their base, and as a result lost their chance to sweep the Senate; down-race Republicans lost in unexpectedly large numbers because the base stayed home.
I didn't see that coming, but probably should have. You see, I used to be a Democrat.
The first election where I could vote was 1976, and I voted straight (D). I even served (briefly) on the local Democratic Party county committee. I voted mostly (D) for the next several elections until Michael Dukakis finally made me realize that the Democrat Party wasn't what it had once been. Scoop Jackson was gone, Ed Muskie was gone, indeed, "my kind" of Democrat was disappearing fast from the party. I never bought into the idea that Bill Clinton was anything but a liar, even back in 1992. Paul Tsongas (perhaps "my kind" of Democrat) had it right when he said that Clinton was an unusually good liar.
I'm certainly not the first to say it, but I don't think I left the Party, I think it left me. From 1988 or so, I started voting increasingly (R). In fact, I found myself voting pretty much a straight Republican ballot. Until this year.
Regular readers know that I've never much liked Romney. I was surprised to see that 3 Million Republican voters agreed with me. I never saw that coming, but should have. I thought that people's visceral dislike of Obama's policies would, in Paladin't immortal words, make turkeys fly:
I didn't leave the Republican Party, it left me. It looks like it's running away even fast, what with Boehner saying that new taxes are all groovy and everything, just let us go along to get along. Ooooh kaaaay then.
I don't think that I'm alone, and think that this is at the heart of the GOP's problem. Now, I'm not much of a joiner, but if they can't sell their product to McCain voters, they are in a deep, deep pit of fail. I expected the energy of the 2010 Tea Party rebellion, and Romney and the GOP establishment demonstrated a spectacular competence in eliminating that in its entirety.
As God is my witness, I really thought that turkeys could fly. Didn't turn out that way. I guess that's why they call it the Stupid Party.
UPDATE 8 November 2012 15:43: Word:
So good luck in 2016, Republicans. You had this one in the bag, high unemployment, an annual deficit of a trillion dollars, Fast’n'Furious, Benghazi, bailouts, Obamacare. All you had to do was find a conservative that could rally the people to vote and it would have been a cakewalk. I suspect you don’t believe that, and that you will try to go even more liberal in an effort to gather votes that you cannot get, throwing away the core voters that want conservative, responsible government.Epic, epic political fail. In other words, I didn't leave their Tribe, they left me. I'm not the only one, not by a long shot.