Thursday, November 8, 2012

I am not in your Tribe

The bloody remains of a Romney Campaign adviser arrived at Camp Borepatch from Castle Gormogon via Trebuchet mail.  It contained a missive from the Czar of Muscovy:
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.
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:

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.


Rev. Paul said...

That's as good a summary as anything I've seen. Well done, sir.

bluesun said...

So, now, I ask, "Where is the Tea Party?"

New Jovian Thunderbolt said...

I voted for McCain because of Palin.

I didn't vote for any candidate for president at all this time. I wonder how many others thought like me? I wonder if GOP will notice?

The Czar of Muscovy said...


Thanks for addressing my question.

Just a note: there's a BIG misconception that Romney got fewer votes than McCain. The opposite is actually true: the Romney totals you see are from 11pm election night, when the counting stopped.

Final votes are still being counted; the record turnouts across the country indicate that the ho-hum turnout of McCain will be easily surpassed. Indeed, when all final votes are tabulated (I believe just before or just after Thanksgiving in time for the electoral college vote), Romney votes will greatly surpass McCain's total.

Of course, votes are also coming in for Obama; as a result, Obama will still win, but look to see both Obama and Romney totals exceed the current amount by quite a bit.

drjim said...

You're not alone.
At least I feel I'm in with good company....

Anonymous said...

The Republicans haven't figured it out, but conservatives don't really vote on emotional hot button issues, like Gay Marriage, Abortion, etc. Those issues MAY be important to some conservatives, but they aren't the issues that get us out to vote.

We vote on issues that make sense, like economic policy, foreign policy, etc.

Mitt failed to inspire enough people in regards to those issues, and did not target the "are you better off now than you were four years ago?" mentality that was required.


Raptor said...

Good to know it's not just me, Borepatch. I am seriously considering changing my party affiliation. Don't know whether I'll be a Libertarian or a straight Independent, but I know this: I can no longer in good conscience remain a Republican. Because like you said, the Party has left us.

Anonymous said...

Oops, pushed publish accidently. I should have added immigration to that mix of emotional issues above.

Although conservatives don't vote on those issues, the liberals very much do, and when a Republican candidate says something stupid on those issues, the liberal media and politicians jump it and use it like burning brand against all Republicans.

The Republican party as presently constituted is dead as a political force. They either re-invent the party and embrace Hispanics, (who very much have conservative ideas as regards to work, taxes, etc.) or the party is nothing but a shell.


Anonymous said...

Romney purposely ducked issues like Bengahzi, the 22 dead SEALS, open borders, incredible carnage along our southern border, the birth certificate, the fraudulent SSN of Obama, holding Holder accountable, the muslim brotherhood in the Whitehouse and the list of hits goes on and on....


OMMAG said...

This happened in Canada as the Liberals embraced PET (may he rot in hell).

The socialist embraced every policy of the real commie party of Canada ... the NDP and added a huge dose of big government and nurse nanny stateism. The Conservaative party fractured between those who thought they could maintain the status quo and those who understood that it was most important to defend traditional conservative values. As things progressed the old "Progressive" conservatives ended up moving more to the left in a vain effort to appear more mike the former LIberals (who had gone so far left that they became completely socialist)in hold ing the middle ground of political ideology. The problem for those losers (Prog Cons) was that the left had moved so far that the vacuum sucked the PCs way past the true center.

What evolved on the true conservative front was a series of alternative paries. The Reform party found its roots in the western provinces an successfully developed a base strong enough to force the remaining old PCs into joining forces. The result was the Alliance party holding enough seats in government to become the defacto opposition and in the process expand the base accross the fracturing LIberal landscape of the easter regions.

There was also a fracturing of the contentious left wing political groups mostly because of the fact that they are composed of a bunch of single issue ideologues and nutcases but that's a whole other story.

The bottom line is that one path to repairing the conservative political movement is to make a deliberate break from the root of the problem which is the power brokers of the establishment who will not take that principled conservative stand. By doing that conservative voters will have a clear choice and will eventually abandon the unprincipled RINOs and CINOs leaving them without the base they need to survive.

Dig in friend ... it could take decades.

Six said...

Palin 2016.

Jester said...

I agree with you in a large way the party has left us, hence the rise of the Tea Party. If this was the old school R party they would have never allowed any of the things to happen that so angered the tea party.

And yes this should have been a slam dunk year, but as I mentioned here yesterday to your post, people were energized to beat Obama only to some degree. Some people liked the path the coutnry is on and do not see things as being bad enough yet to change horses. Instead of showing how his plan was different from Obama's and attacking Obama's failures he did nothing. People want an aggressive leader.
Oh really, you are gonna take out Obamacare? You can't even attack it in the election!

I also still think the size of the Democrat base is much, much larger than we think. They -all- came out of the woodwork. Republicans got cocky and did not close the deal.

Anonymous said...

May I invite you to cast your eye southwards here to Florida, and considerate upon some data points.

1) Many people stood in line for up to 7 hours during early voting, and almost all of them were Obama voters. How many Romney voters would do that? I think Democratic GOTV beat Republican GOTV here, just like it did in 2008 (and like Republican GOTV beat Democrat GOTV in 2004).

2)This being Florida, they are apparently still counting votes. But the margin between Romney and Obama will apparently be less than 1%, and it's quite possible the margin will be less than the total number of votes cast for the Libertarian and Constitution Parties. (I voted for Johnson.)

3)The GOP dominated state legislature put up a series of amendments to the state Constitution on the ballot. There was a group of amendments that made new or increased old property tax exemptions for seniors, veterans, "first responders", etc.--all nice and feel goody and all guaranteed to screw up the tax code even more than it is now. I think all of those passed. There was another group of amendments that would have implemented some pet ideas of the GOP agendists: lower the tangible tax, restrrict abortions and delete the right of privacy (the state Constitution is more explicit than the federal one on that), allow state funding of religious schools and organizations (now explicitly prohibited by the State Constution), allow the legislature to interfere rather radically with the state court system. None of these got to the 60 percent supermajority required to pass an amendment; almost all of them failed to get even a simple majority. To make sense of the figures, you have to assume that 10 percent of the people who voted for Romney don't like the Republican agenda.

Like you I used to be a Democrat, but being born in Bostom to a family that worshipped the Kennedys, it took me a lot longer to give up on the Democratic Party, and what sparked me was the anti-Semitism I began to encounter among the Left. But I still can't stand the GOP on social issues, foreign policy, and immigration. I've voted LP in the last three presidential cycles, and don't see any reason to think I won't do so again in 2016,


Anonymous said...

Yeah, it was de jevu, all over again. I figured Butterfingers (aka Mitt) was another Bob Dole in the making; and he lived up to my low expectations.
I'm not bitter, I am merely disillusioned: or is that the same thing?