Wow, just wow. The fundamentals dictated that no President could possibly overcome all that was going on in this country. The economy, 23 million unemployed, Benghazi and the rest of the Middle East, the coming fiscal cliff all should have led to a complete dismissal of The One. The fact that Mitt was competent even if not inspiring should have given hope that the USS Economy could finally be steered out of the shallow waters and once again prowling the oceans at full speed.
Instead, we get more of the same. Which was really the biggest reason I thought that Obama would lose. When people went to vote, would they ask themselves if this is as good as it gets, or can it be better? Unfortunately, it seems to be that they think that this is as good as it gets. And with his reelection, I guess this is as good as it gets.
But there are some fundamentals that can be learned from this election. First, go negative early and often. Keep hammering your opponent even if it's not the truth. The low information voter seems to be especially susceptible to the first message that hits him or her. Do not allow any accusation to go unchallenged. What would have happened if Mitt had responded to Obama, "Mr. President, you said that I was against government assistance to the auto companies. You either retract it right now or show yourself for the liar that you really are." Pretty disrespectful, but certainly merited. In fact, probably the most iconic moments of irony had to be Bill Clinton
asking if we really wanted a President who lied to us. Apparently so.
Structurally, the Libertarian Party has to go. Republicans are going to have to work to include them, since they are a drain on votes for their candidates. If you add the 29k votes for Cox to Denny's total, Denny wins. Same with Rick Hill, who only needed half the Libertarian candidate's votes to win. Republicans can try and ostracize the Libertarian Party, but that's just like wrestling with a pig, the pig likes it and you get dirty. It wouldn't take that much to bring libertarians into the party, since both agree on the principles of limited government and fiscal responsibility. The problem is always the social conservative movement of the Republicans. Not to say that they aren't vital and valid, but you are never going to get anywhere with a libertarian by arguing that his principles on limited government have to be sacrificed in the name of a war on drugs or whatever. At the same time, libertarians have to be made abundantly clear that pulling votes from Republicans just elects Democrats. So, while the Libertarian may feel the Republican is not pure enough, he gets the Democrat elected who is completely antithetical to his beliefs. Half a loaf and all that.
Going forward, we have to address the concerns of the low information voter instead of ignoring them. The Democrats took full advantage of these people in order to get elected. Who are they? The ones who believe that Mitt Romney was going to take abortion away, or only cared about the rich. Now, Romney never really addressed abortion because the reality is that the big problem was the economy. If he had just asked the rhetorical question "If we allowed abortion on demand until the fetus graduates from High School or turned 18, which ever occurred later, how would that change the economy?" it would have pointed out the absurdity of the whole issue. But it certainly turned a lot of women voters. Second, Mitt should have addressed the rich issue by pointing out that right now if you implemented Obama's tax increases, you would fund the deficit, not the debt for about four days. The problem is the spending, not the taxes.
The whole rich versus poor thing is a fools errand. We become forced to fight on the battleground of their choosing. We should be pointing out instead that government is the problem. What if Mitt had been saying that Obama wants to bankrupt Social Security in order to keep paying Planned Parenthood, or that Medicare payments were reduced to the point that no doctor will take Medicare because of the low reimbursement rates in order to transfer "green money" to Obama's political contributers.
In fact, the Republicans miss the biggest easy target that the Democrats can never successfully defend. Every year, Sen. Coburn comes out with a list of government waste. Why are we raising taxes when we have so much waste? Most people would agree that it is better to get rid of government waste than to raise taxes, but Republicans just don't seem as interested in presenting the issue. Using a modified version of Malthus, doubling of the size of government results in an exponential growth in government failures and mismanagement. That is where the Republicans need to concentrate. Democrats would be running from fire to fire trying to put out the stupid stuff that the government does.
Yesterday was a loss. Today is the first day of the new fight. Let's fight smart.