Hard to believe we still have some precincts counting votes, a week after the election, while other precincts are able to count 100% (and sometimes more!) of their registered voters the night of the election. Stuffing ballot boxes in the cities is a tradition dating back at least to Tammany Hall.
So even though the final final numbers aren’t in, some things are clear. BHO was not able to match his turnout from last time, as predicted; but the GOP did even worse! Not only were we not up, it looks like we won’t even match McCain’s gotv. Astounding. They’ll be analyzing that for a while, but it sounds like at least one cause is the gotv computer system in Boston crashed the day of the election. Nice.
So they’re down 9M or so votes, we’re down 3M or so. Plug that into the model and you get the results.
A word to all you unemployed 23 year olds who bought the hope-change-unity schtick back in ’08: I hope this has taught you a thing or two about American politics. BHO won by dumping hundreds of millions in negative ads in swing states over the summer, and dividing the country in Nixonian fashion. Very nice. He knows well the dark arts of public persuasion. Maybe next time we could skip the creepy cult of personality stuff, eh? It’s unbecoming a free people – leave it for the banana republics and totalitarian regimes.
If I were the GOP leadership, the first bill I’d pass would be one that eliminates the “Bush tax cuts” for everyone making $250K and above. Then I’d ask the president for his plans to address the remaining $1T annual deficit. He’s got to raise taxes significantly on a bunch of people he’d promised he wouldn’t, or cut spending. Or both. Time for leadership.
It sure feels as though we just took another lurch towards being just another left/liberal class-riven secular social democracy. Maybe we’ll “fundamentally transform” into Europe; more likely, the aforementioned banana republic.
Jonathan Last has a more optimistic take at The Weekly Standard. Discussing what others have termed the “Bizzaro 2004” election, he writes:
In many respects, the 2012 election played out as a close cousin of the 2004 contest. A vulnerable incumbent president in a bad political environment faced a weak challenger who lacked a core ideology and who articulated no clear vision for the country. In both campaigns the challenger chose to present himself as a default choice, rather than an insurgent. In both campaigns the president pursued a base-turnout strategy. And in both years the president won, by a margin of victory just around 2.4 percentage points…
The point of all this isn’t to suggest that Republicans are on the cusp of a resurgence or to argue that all politics is cyclical. Both, or neither, of those things might be true. Rather, it’s a reminder that the future is uncertain. In 2004 Democrats believed that the culture of America had irrevocably changed. Then came the housing bubble, the financial collapse, and Barack Obama. Events happen, individuals matter, and the first lessons learned are rarely helpful. Or right.