Six Lessons from the 2012 Election

So after many months, millions of dollars, and thousands of TV hours, the 2012 presidential election is finally over. .

So after many months, millions of dollars, and thousands of TV hours, the 2012 presidential election is finally over. And now the smoke has cleared, the GOP, still reeling from a stunning defeat, is left to lick its wounds.

Some GOP insiders, such as Rush Limbaugh, said before the election that if Obama won it would spell the end of the GOP. This was not the first hyperbolic statement. Glenn Beck also said that Obama's election would mark the end of America and predicted that God was on Romney's side. Oops.

As much as I would like to believe that the GOP is dead, I doubt if they are. They will still be a force in American politics. But if they were smart they would have realized some lessons from this election defeat. And those lessons are:

  • Cut back on the racism and ramp up the diversity. America is already a diverse country, and is on the brink of going majority minority. Obama won 93 percent of the black vote and more than 70 percent of the Latino vote. The Republican party cannot afford to alienate Latino voters, who are the fastest-growing ethnic group. So if the GOP was smart, they would cut back on the immigrant bashing, and start working on some kind of immigration reform program. I doubt if this will happen, because the Republicans have too much invested in what Sen. Lindsay Graham calls "angry white men," If they turn around and say it's time to be nice to those Hispanics, many of the angry white men will simply form a splinter party.  White rage has been the only way that the GOP has managed to get working class Americans to vote against their interests for decades. But that doesn't work when their numbers are rapidly declining. If the GOP was smart, they would start lining up a Latino presidential or vice presidential candidate and many other candidates of color. The key word being if.
  • The right-wing media has lost touch with reality.  As I have said before, the right wing media does a disservice to its viewers by publishing absolute tripe. This is the reason why FOX and Friends is such a joke it is regularly pilloried on "Saturday Night Live." And this is the reason why Donald Trump, who apparently has more money than hair and brains, is regularly allowed to spew his nonsense on FOX News. Talk of revolution, birtherism and calls for the president's transcripts are all game on FOX. The problem is none of this really matters to the public, who are concerned about real issues like global warming, the war in Afghanistan and the economy. The right-wing media was shocked at the results of the election because they have spent too much time indulging in conspiracy theories and not real facts. Let's hope we have seen an end to monstrosities such as "2016: Obama's America" and "Dreams of My Real Father."
  • Don't piss off women. Obama's coalition consists of liberal/moderate white men, minorities, gays and women. (He received 55 percent of the female vote.) And the GOP's far-right, sexist and downright loony candidates just pushed women further into the hands of the Democrats. Women took offense to candidates like Richard Mourdock and Todd Akin, who believe that women should bear the children of their rapists. They also didn't appreciate Mourdock saying children of rape were gifts from God. If the GOP wants to win women over they need to move into the 21st century and make sure their candidates have a working knowledge of the female anatomy.
  • Money isn't everything. Barack Obama was widely outspent by the Romney campaign, but he was able to rely on a combination of whiz-bang technology and good old fashioned elbow grease to carve out a victory.  According to a tweet by Donald Trump, Karl Rove spent about $400 million on the race and still lost. The GOP relied on media advertising, which they had the money to do, but the Obama campaign relied on online and offline campaigning. And that was often more effective, as most people either disbelieve or tune out political adds.
  • Voter suppression didn't work. Voter suppression can only work in a vacuum caused by media silence and a docile Democratic party. That didn't work this time, because in today's media environment, anyone with a cell phone is a journalist and they can upload material and share it with thousands of users in a few seconds. So even if the media was determined not to talk about voter suppression, people still got the story through social media. In addition, the Democratic party was geared up and had an army of lawyers ready to pounce at the first sign of trouble.
  • Listen to Nate Silver. Nate Silver, the New York Times number cruncher, predicted that Obama would win with 300 votes, and that is what happened. This is the third race Silver has accurately predicted. He also predicted 49 out of 50 states in 2008 and that Republicans would win the 2010 Mid-Term elections. Three out of three is pretty good. When Nate speaks, we should all listen.

Now considering these points, the GOP ought to go away and do some soul searching and come up with a new game plan. But I have the feeling it won't heed the lessons of 2012. And as the old saying goes, until you learn your lesson, you are doomed to keep repeating the same mistakes.

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Claire Frémont-Hampton November 11, 2012 at 08:14 PM
They pissed off women, alright. They lost so many of our votes after Limbaugh and others embarrassed themselves with idiotic Archie Bunker comments. All my friends and I, life long Republicans, and we were failed by our own party.
Riesa November 11, 2012 at 11:40 PM
I have some ideas for all Republicans. Keep out all mention of sex on any topic. When old men talk about anyone else's sex lives, no matter if its women or gays, we all think you are a pervert. Try focusing on your own sex life. Maybe it would improve it to the point you don't have enough time to keep thinking about what other people are doing. Period Pay women equal pay, and allow them to make all decisions that have to do with themselves. If your religious values don't include gays, then by all means, don't be gay, or have them as friends. Otherwise, shut up and understand the constitution gives all people equal rights-period. Not just those your religion or the flying monkey on your shoulder gives a green light to. Remember that the Pilgrims didn't go through immigration, either. That the Irish were hated, the Chinese were hated, and you haven't learned a thing if you are still singing that song. Figure out immigration. And stop crying about minorities taking the country in a different direction. They had to deal with your way for over 200 years. Take your turn at not liking it. And don't act superior that you made better choices, for there is just one little word to say- slavery. You can't top that. Keep the FDA, the EPA, etc. You might enjoy job creators dumping toxic waste in your backyard or in your medicine or food, the rest of us have connected brain cells. Get rid of Rush Limbaugh, and his followers.
Ben Mason November 12, 2012 at 07:45 AM
Get the tea party out of the Republican party. that's all.
Clavell Jackson November 12, 2012 at 04:26 PM
@Ben, I agree. I also have no faith the GOP will do the right thing.
RumorMill November 13, 2012 at 12:40 AM
Concord Patch- Joe Sweeny- posted Nov 12, 2012- Message to my fellow Republicans
Gregory Brittain November 13, 2012 at 02:14 AM
Response to 6 lessons, part 1 1. Thank you for your concern for helping Reps win future elections. Dems are like that. Always looking out for other people including their political opponents. 2. Rep GOTV was weak and needs improvement. Why our voters did not turn out is unclear when all polls this year showed greater Rep enthusiasm. 3. 35% of voters self ID’s as conservative. Of those 72% voted for Romney and 17% for Obama. That is totally inexplicable. If only 5% of the 17% voted for Romney, we would have won the popular vote. 4. We should remember that until Hurricane Sandy, Gallup had Romney up by 5% and Rasmussen had Romney up by 4%. [BTW, I am still waiting for the picture of Obama in the situation room on the night of 9/11 when our men in Benghazi were outnumbered, fighting for their lives and pleading for help.]
Gregory Brittain November 13, 2012 at 02:23 AM
Response to 6 lessons, part 2 5. Immigration and Hispanics a) I reject the Dem spin that wanting to enforce our immigration laws is “immigrant bashing.” b) Leaving aside whether amnesty is good policy, especially with 23 million Americans seeking full time work, I seriously question whether chasing the Hispanic vote with amnesty is good political strategy. Obama won 67% of the Hispanic vote against pro amnesty McCain and 71% against Romney. Adding 10-20 million voters who will break at best 60/40 for the Dems and probably 70/30 plus will make the Dems the permanent majority party and make all of America like CA politically. Amnesty would be a fatal political mistake for the Reps. c) Amnesty would also be a fatal mistake for America because it would put far left Dems in control of all of America like CA. d) Again, thank for your concern for helping Reps win elections by adding 10-20 million new Dem voters. e) Regarding Rep Hispanic electeds, have you heard of Marco Rubio, Susana Martinez, Brian Sandoval, John Sanchez or Ted Cruz? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Latino_Republicans f) There are no Dem Hispanic governors and only one Dem Hispanic senator, Robert Mendez of NJ.
Gregory Brittain November 13, 2012 at 02:23 AM
g) BTW, Obama awarded Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor to Dolores Huerta, who said “Our tema, our theme will be: Republicans hate Latinos, OK? Republicans hate Latinos.” http://www.theblaze.com/stories/presidential-medal-of-freedom-awarded-to-republican-bashing-chavez-admirer-dolores-huerta/ 1) Dolores Huerta is an “honorary chair” of the Democratic Socialists of America.” 2) Dolores Huerta also said: “They have 20,000 Cuban doctors that are coming to Venezuela. They are setting up these neighborhoods with factories and jobs for the people and the medical clinics and their co-op right there in every single neighborhood in Venezuela. Now, we are the richest country in the world, right? So, why can’t we do that here in the United States?”
Gregory Brittain November 13, 2012 at 02:23 AM
Response to 6 lessons, part 3 6. I reject your claim there is any racism on the Rep/conservative side. The Dems divide and try to appeal to voters based on racial and ethnic loyalty. Reps and conservatives try to appeal to voters based on our principles and policies, albeit unsuccessfully. 7. Abortion a) Two Rep candidates said stupid things. When a Dem says something stupid it is ignored or soon forgotten. b) A majority of Americans are pro life. A majority of American believe abortion, killing unborn children, should be legal only in cases of rape, incest and when necessary to save the life of the mother, or favor more restrictive rules. c) Most Reps are pro life. This is a matter of principle, and we will not change. Polls and elections do not determine right and wrong. d) Obama is so extreme on abortion that he favors allowing doctors to kill babies who are born alive after a failed abortion. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gwFIEprF_9Y 8. Women a) The “war on women” was a fabricated issue to avoid talking about Obama’s terrible economic record. b) We believe Sandra Fluke can buy her own birth control pills at $9.00 per month. c) Women who work in the Obama White House generally earn less than men -- about 18 percent less. http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2012/10/19/women-in-obama-white-house-earn-less-than-men-amid-equal-pay-debate/#ixzz2ByI9JnQ3
Gregory Brittain November 13, 2012 at 02:24 AM
d) “This place would be in court for a hostile workplace,” former White House communications director Anita Dunn is quoted as saying. “Because it actually fit all of the classic legal requirements for a genuinely hostile workplace to women.” http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Journalism/2012/10/17/Romney-binders-full-of-women e) Obama’s own head of the Council of Economic Advisors said that at the White House she, “felt like a piece of meat.”
Gregory Brittain November 13, 2012 at 02:24 AM
Response to 6 lessons, part 4 9. Money a) Obama had a huge money advantage over McCain. b) With super PACS like American Crossroads, we had rough equivalence in money. Obviously, Romney lost. However, what would have happened without the $400 Million American Crossroads spent on ads? c) Romney raised money with controls to prevent foreign contributions. Obama did not in 2008 or 2012. 10. There was no voter suppression or attempted voter suppression on our side. Whether there was voter fraud on the Dem side, stay tuned. According to the Columbus Dispatch, “More than one out of every five registered Ohio voters is probably ineligible to vote.” http://www.dispatch.com/content/stories/local/2012/09/16/voter-rolls-in-ohio-are-bloated-experts-say.html 11. Fox News trounced the other cable news networks and is sometime competitive with the broadcast networks. MSMs are advocates for the Dems. a) Fox News covers “real” issues more fair and balanced than the MSM. b) No conservative or Rep should watch, read, listen or subscribe to MSM. It is like getting your news from the Dem party and it is like contributing to the Dem party.
Gregory Brittain November 13, 2012 at 02:24 AM
Response to 6 lessons, part 5 12. Unfortunately, America has not seen the end of “2016.” Obama was reelected. He has 4 years to downsize and “fundamentally transform” America. “Barack Obama's boast, on the eve of the election of 2008 — ‘We are five days away from fundamentally transforming the United States of America" — can now be carried out, without fear of ever having to face the voters again.’” Thomas Sowell http://news.investors.com/ibd-editorials-on-the-right/111212-633144-romney-lost-because-he-didnt-scrutinize-obama-vision.htm?p=2 13. Selecting good candidates is important. We need better GOTV. We need to explain better how and why conservatism works and liberalism does not. We should always be looking for better strategy and tactics. 14. Engaging, albeit belatedly, the culture war the Left has been waging for 50+ years is essential. [I wrote on this earlier.] 15. Conservatives should not be Dems lite and should not join the Dems in taking America down the path of Socialism, decline and decay, albeit more slowly than the Dems. If the voters want to continue on the path of Socialism, decline and decay, they can keep voting for Dems. In this regard, California will provide an important object lesson for the rest of America.
RumorMill November 13, 2012 at 03:50 AM
Concord Patch-Joe Sweeney-posted Nov 12, 2012- Message to my fellow Republicans
Jack November 13, 2012 at 06:07 PM
Must not be much work for attorneys in Redlands. This posting of facts and links, even just from right wing opinion spots, is quite time intensive. The economy hit you pretty hard, didn't it? Try insurance, that always keeps moving.
Jack November 13, 2012 at 06:10 PM
Did you catch Trump's tweet about Karl Rove's spending? Priceless. GOP trying to out the Tea Party, and the Tea Party is trying to out the establishment. I don't know about you, but the next few years of entertainment is wrapped up. Invest in popcorn, and sit back and enjoy.
Gregory Brittain November 13, 2012 at 06:45 PM
After 4 more years of Obama and 4 more years of Dem government in CA, we will see whether you are laughing or crying.
Jack November 13, 2012 at 07:20 PM
Gee Greg, considering how diversified my portfolio is, with Roth and Traditional IRAs, brokerage investments, in Fidelity, Vanguard, and T. Rowe Price, no matter what goes up or down I'm still seeing profit every year. Been working the same job over 30 years, with profit sharing and pension all funded. House is paid for, kid's educations paid for, and car's paid for. White, married, Protestant, and not one member of my family ever took a handout of any kind. Still voted for Obama. Why? Because of those three things I am, which spell out fortunate. If I am asked to pay more in taxes to help the less fortunate, I consider it my duty under God to do so. Those who would rather squeeze a camel through the needle's eye are free to do so. We differ in our judgement of downfall.
Gregory Brittain November 15, 2012 at 01:02 AM
Don’t say we didn’t warn you, #6 “Private Sector Troubled, Bailing Out After Obama Win” “The National Manufacturers Association forecasts 6 million layoffs and an 11% unemployment rate as a result of Obama's pending tax hikes and regulatory siege.” “Boston Scientific is laying off 1,400 and moving manufacturing to China.” “Business spending has fallen in the third quarter for the first time in more than a year, dropping from a 19% annual rate a year ago to a 1.3% rate, according to the Boston Globe. The logical consequence of this is layoffs.” http://news.investors.com/ibd-editorials/111212-633201-with-obama-victory-the-private-sector-is-voting-with-its-feet.htm
Susan November 15, 2012 at 01:07 AM
Oh Gregy, Lash La Rue, etc, please spend some time with your wife and clients. They miss you.
Gregory Brittain November 15, 2012 at 01:09 AM
Don’t say we didn’t warn you, #7 “More Great Movements in Socialized Medicine The United States will require at least 52,000 more family doctors in the year 2025 to keep up with the growing and increasingly older U.S. population, a new study found," reports ABC News: The predictions also reflect the passage of the Affordable Care Act--a change that will expand health insurance coverage to an additional 38 million Americans… "It's pretty tough to convince medical students to go into primary care," said Dr. Lee Green, chair of Family Medicine at the University of Alberta, who was not involved with the study… "[Patients] won't be able to see a primary care physician hardly," he said. "Primary care will be past saturated with wait times longer and will not accept any new patients. There will be an increase in hospitalizations and increase in death rates for basic preventable things like hypertension that was not managed adequately."” http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887323551004578119161093885242.html?mod=djemBestOfTheWeb_h
Gregory Brittain November 15, 2012 at 01:13 AM
Don’t say we didn’t warn you, #8 “In October 2012 alone, the budget deficit jumped $120 billion. October is the first month of the fiscal year. That number was $6 billion higher than economists’ forecasts, and a full $22 billion higher than in 2011.” http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Government/2012/11/13/Obama-fiscal-cliff-October-$120B
Gregory Brittain November 15, 2012 at 06:01 AM
Thank you for the advice Suzy "Zedong." It is of course non responsive to the post.
Bopifas November 15, 2012 at 10:26 PM
The sky is falling!


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