Saturday, November 10, 2012


The pundits are going to be talking about this election for many years and will probably underscore its significance as the end of an era.  This was the great epiphany for The Republican Party and it initially appears that they may not have gotten the message.  I’ve made it no secret that this life-long Republican voted for Barack Obama and in that Tea Party domain they call the State of Texas, voted for many more Democrats.  I feel no great elation or exhilaration with the Democratic victories, rather a somber relief that Obama’s reelection may allow us the potential to further the work of The People in a much more stable and not so strident and vitriolic environment.  Even with a Romney victory our house would have remained absolutely divided. We have no option – no alternative - now but to sit down and do the work of The People.  That charge is especially directed to an obstructionist Republican House of Representatives who up to now were dedicated only to choreographing Obama’s swan song.

The ability of Congress to do the work of The People is predicated on the realization by the Republicans (real or imagined) that they have to rethink and retool many of their cornerstone planks and contemplate collaboration, negotiation and, if necessary, concession (gads!) for the greater good. They have to understand that a platform that included a gobbledygook of unworkable, fictional numbers from an adamant, profit-driven theorist doesn’t work anymore and (like it or not) has been rejected by a majority of the electorate.  They need to grasp the concept that their mostly dogmatic views are out of line with those of most Americans. The window of opportunity for their current agenda is now lost forever as their base continues to dwindle. If they listen to the Tea Party and (according to some), “try a more conservative approach” again in four years, they will surely lose and probably by an even greater margin. 

Ted Cruz’s absurd appeal to “Restore the Constitution” (which is working just fine, thank you), may play in Texas but probably not anywhere else.  The America the Republicans are “trying to preserve” and revive no longer exists and, at the very least won’t tolerate their rhetoric.  They threw a party and not enough folks showed up.  We have evolved well beyond the northern European model and gone global becoming that which we have always preached – a land of Freedom and Opportunity for all. We crafted the invitation and they came. They are us, we are them and that’s been the American mandate from the start.

The issue now primarily revolves around the economy all within the paradigm of changing demographics and the imperative to meet basic societal needs and far from the Bill O'Reilly (47%) absurd assertion that Obama’s electorate voted for him because, “They expect he will give them stuff.”  I guess that includes me and my Social Security and Medicare benefits paid for with a lifetime of work and financial contributions.
The Republicans ultimately set the stage for a kind of class warfare - a “Them vs. Us” where like a dog with a sock they won’t relent and where ultimately in this changing landscape have become a minority party – and exceedingly so.  If the Republicans and, yes, Democrats don’t “get it” now, then they never will.  Having failed that, they will forever put our Republic in jeopardy.  You don’t have to be a rocket scientist or a student of history to see the markers of the inevitable all around us.

Yet, we still hear the Haley Barbours, Karl Roves, Rush Limbaughs, Bill O’Reillys and others of their ilk state with straight faces that nothing has changed (the lipstick on the above pig) with Barbour incredulously opining that it was only Hurricane Sandy that defeated them. Other Republicans have blamed NJ Governor Chris Christie outright for his post-Hurricane Sandy bi-partisan praise for Obama as the reason Republicans didn’t win the Presidency.

Amazing that the Republican hierarchy would tolerate these behaviors but, wait, they are the party.  Again, we thank Haley, Karl, Rush, Bill and The Donald and their legions for allowing the world to see and experience their absurd and divisive behaviors.  How can we forget Donald Trump who with Obama’s reelection assured, maniacally tweeted that the election was a “total sham and a travesty…We are not a democracy” followed up by, “We can't let this happen. We should march on Washington and stop this travesty.”  In response to Trump’s treasonous rant the distinguished, popular and always incisive NBC News anchor Brian Williams coolly commented, “Donald Trump has driven well past the last exit to relevance and veered into something closer to irresponsible.”  Amen… Sounds like an equally appropriate exit for the Republican Party if they don’t distance themselves from statements like that. They haven’t yet though we note Trump’s tweets have been taken down...Donald, you’re fired!

And how about that “rabble of Ole Miss students” who brought dishonor upon The University with their racially motivated, placard burning protest to President Obama’s reelection. There were no riots just a few stupid and probably drunk students.  We have come a long way from the debacle of 1962 and they remind us of an ugly past and behaviors reminiscent of the ignorant sociopaths that ran Mississippi and The South back then.  Those few students disgraced themselves and Ole Miss and have no right to continue any association with The University.  We hope The University can identify every one of them and mete out the appropriate punishment. 

The behavior of those relative few prompted a counter-protest and peace walk where almost 700 students demonstrated against this idiotic display. All this comes after the election and crowning of Courtney Pearson, the first African-American Homecoming Queen in the school’s history.  Sounds like Chancellor Daniel Jones has some work to do… Maybe those students can go work for Donald Trump.  But, back to the adults…OK, you know what we mean.

The Republicans were mostly deep-sixed by the extreme posturing and the absolutely idiotic and insensitive remarks of people like Michele Bachmann or the “dangerously stupid” Todd Akin and the misguided inappropriate offerings of a now discarded and isolated Richard Mourdock.  The latter two probably cost the Republicans the Senate and perhaps even the Presidency. After their incredibly stupid remarks about rape and pregnancy, how could anyone vote for them?  Well, some did and in impressive though insufficient numbers.  Point - If pragmatists and the center of the party can prevail, they can rid themselves of these Neanderthals and embrace a more sensitive agenda that appeals to more than just fat rich old white guys who are fast becoming an anachronism.  OK, let’s restate - many White Guys – fat, skinny, old, young, rich, poor, etc. – not including this writer. 

Results reflect that Romney lost 55% of the Women overall while losing 67% of unmarried Women. Romney lost 71% of the Latinos.  Romney lost 93% of the African-Americans.  Romney lost 73% of Asian-Americans and, frankly, most of the bloc of minority (soon to be majority) voters. Bottom Line: The Republicans did not embrace policies that appealed to a majority of the electorate and failing that – lost the election. The Democrats maintained a much more moderate stance with the above results.

So, while some very public and influential Republicans have convinced themselves that there is nothing wrong with their party or their agenda (Palin is “perplexed”), that they let themselves be seduced by that Mormon guy, damn that hurricane and those unfounded (?) attacks on Romney’s character, ad nauseum, they are not the future of a viable Republican Party.  And all that from some Holier than thou Republicans who patently tried to disenfranchise Democratic leaning voters.  Goes around – comes around

First, the Republicans have to publicly and very quickly admit that what once worked for them is now broke and won’t play anymore.  If they can’t do that then all is lost for the Grand Old Party. They absolutely have to embrace and maintain a more moderate posture that supports realistic and workable core values. The lying and rhetoric has to stop and we as constituents have to hold them to higher standards.  They have to relegate the extreme fringes of their party to their far right domains and fight like Hell to resist any further hijacking. Though they probably won’t admit it, The Republicans won’t win any national elections on the backs of the Evangelical Christians and/or the Tea Party.     

The challenges of the next four years will eclipse even those of the previous four making a purposeful and collaborative, rational approach to government absolutely imperative.  That’s where Mr. Romney and other Republican leaders including House Speaker John Boehner can come in and riding white stallions, be partners in that process.  For Love of Country and for all the right reasons Romney (if he has any credibility or sense of purpose left) can at least try to twist the arms of those Republicans that seem bent on self-destruction and get us back on the right track.  When we realize that (for whatever reason and motivation) he represents almost half of our kicking and screaming electorate, it is nothing short of smart politics and by inclusion, the way to heal the wounds of rejection and tap into some of his good ideas and energy.

Voters have told both parties to forthrightly get on with the business of government.  Democrats need note there is no stunning mandate, rather it’s their clarion call to quickly get on with their work. And do I think that the Republicans received the message and will maturely respond?  No, I don’t.

Then again, aren’t we all happy that Big Bird will continue to be with us a while longer?


Ned Buxton

PS.  Four days after the general election the State of Florida finally announced today that Obama won their 29 Electoral College votes bringing his total to 332 to Romney’s 206.  Obama also won the national popular vote 51% to 48%. Aye, NB

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