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Mitt Romney Finally Gives Reasons For His Defeat

November 16, 2012

From The New Yorker.

Anyway, back to the election, which I lost for three reasons. First, my  opponent—and I give him a lot of credit for this—displayed a better grasp of  arithmetic than we did. While I was out there talking about the trees in  Michigan and singing “America the Beautiful,” he and his campaign were  assiduously putting together a political coalition that would get them to fifty  per cent. When the minority vote is nearly thirty per cent of the electorate,  and you get four in five minority votes, you only need to attract about a third  of the other voters. In successfully reaching out to women, gays, and young  voters, the President could afford to cede to us most of the white male vote,  and it didn’t matter. (In places like Ohio and Michigan, he did pretty well in  appealing to those voters, too.)

Second, the President and his party delivered for its core supporters—not  just financially but also in a larger sense. To some extent, of course, politics  is a transactions-based business: the main reason political parties exist is to  defend the interests of their supporters. In offering a route to citizenship for  the children of illegal immigrants; in restructuring the student-loan program on  terms favorable to the debtors; in introducing heavily subsidized health-care  coverage for the near-poor and for hard-working middle-class families—some of  whom are minorities; in coming out in favor of gay marriage; even in insisting  that, under the terms of his health-care reform, insurance plans cover  contraception—the President provided concrete benefits for the groups that  supported him in 2008.

But it wasn’t just a quid pro quo. Successful political parties aren’t just  machines that deliver material benefits to their base. They are also about  values—values that engender a sense of belonging and optimism among the voters,  values which reflect what’s happening in the country. In embracing Hispanics,  Asians, blacks, young voters, gays, and women, especially single women, the  President signalled to these voters not only that he is on their side but that  he believes they represent the future of the country, which, in demographic  terms, they do. For decades, we Republicans have claimed to represent the real  America, but increasingly we are the party of the past. That has to change. In  needlessly alienating the groups that are growing fastest, we are cutting our  own throats.

Third, and let’s be honest here, when it came to campaigning, the other side  cleaned our clock. It was patently clear on Election Day, when their carefully  targeted get-out-the-vote operations produced turnouts in many heavily  Democratic areas that matched those of 2008. It was clear in their early-voting  efforts, which gave them unassailable leads in places like Ohio and Nevada. And  it was clear from the get-go in their messaging, which tried—and, to a large  extent succeeded—in portraying me as a tax-dodging, job-slaying rich doofus—or,  as Grover Norquist put it, a “poopy head.”


  1. Solly permalink
    November 16, 2012 11:34 PM

    I wonder if future Republican candidates for any high office will pay attention to Mittens and Tommy not being willing to release their tax returns. It just played into the story line that they were fixin’ to rig the tax system even more for the top 1-2%. Remember Tommy in that commercial squealing “No! No! What part of no don’t you understand.” And Mittens saying he’s not releasing his tax return before 2010 (gee Mitt, afraid of the 2008 and 2009 returns?) and that he paid “alot” of tax, and what he owed, but not one dollar more. Then, when he released his 2011 return in October, he didn’t claim millions in (charitable) deductions, because that would have reduced his taxes even further under 14%. And the contrast to his dad who released 12 years of returns when he prepared to run for president, “because it’s the right thing to do,” was stark. And neither Lyin’ Paul Ryan nor any other potential VP candidate would say how many years they had to submit TO Mittens to be considered for VP. Isn’t that a little hypocritical? You require your potential running mate to submit a reported 10 years of returns, but the American people don’t deserve to see yours? I also wonder if the Republicans are sorry they put a hold on Elisabeth Warren as director of the Consumer Protection Bureau. Want that one back Mitch?

  2. PattiLynn_ permalink
    November 16, 2012 1:01 PM

    Yeah, well, guess *money can’t buy me love* applies to Mitt.
    I wish he’d just go away and sulk somewhere in silence.

    * thx to Sir Paul for the lyrics.

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