GOP won the election because they've invested in winning. They spend more money on think tanks, legislative groups, media and everything then the democrats - and a lot of this money is focused on winning elections. They invest in political infrastructure designed to win on a long term basis. The Democrats do not.
Look at the political landscape - the GOP is winning gubernatorial, legislative and judicial elections in blue states. They won in Massachusetts and Maryland and now control governorships in Wisconsin, Illinois, New Jersey, Ohio, Michigan, Maryland Massachusetts! Whereas we won in no red states. They control the legislature in Maine, North Caroline, etc. They are claiming local judgeships. Alec is pushing comprehensive change around the country.
And, we, in return, call out how unfair it is that they are doing this! That Walker is anti-union. That Alec is anti democracy. All true but really ineffective. I've worked in DC as a progressive for a long time and what you see here is a stark difference with how the two sides treat their political talent. The young GOPers have many options for political careers while the Dem staffers do not. This is becaue the big money does not fund political organizations on our side (really) with the exception of some PACs. There is a not a myriad of political foundations - like on the other side - where you can have your living expense covered so you can organize, right books, push the ball forward.
The GOP also invests in media - big time. Do you think the Washington Free Beacon mades money or the other many GOP outlets? Most of them - like Washington Times - do not. On our side the liberal blogsphere has largely disappered. We are left with the wonderful Daily Kos (thanks to Markos and the great community). Otherwise, Digby, Atrios, and other bloggers have disapppeared because they can't make a living at doing progressive media. Josh Marshall has turned TPM into a click farm (that pushes anti Obama stories when needed). There's nothing wrong with him doing that but there is something wrong with the lack of foresight from the big money guys to build and sustain a media corps that has the Dems back. Now, there really is no way to counter Fox. Media Matters has essential no traffic and no influence. It's strategy of calling out Fox doesn't work because there is no one to amplify it. There is no one calling out the so called MSM any more for taking up the GOP click bait. They have the field largely to them selves. The other refs - like the NYT - are running scared. The Washington Post functions as a Republican paper. The GOP can make up stories - via Fox - and we have no way to counter this. This is because they have invested in building this system.
Right now, I see things getting worse, much worse, before they get better. Our big hope is demographics and organizing. But we have almost no investment in long term political infrastruture. The longer we wait to do this, the harder it is going to be to catch up.
I really hope our oligarchs wake up and realize that if they want progressive government, they are going to need to invest in it. We can no longer hope that having the right argument and the right side is going to carry the day.
I think Barack is a terrific policy president but an awful political leader. But, he faces an incredibly difficult political landscape. The deck is heavily stacked against him. Clinton - if she actually survived as the favorite over the next two years - is going face even worse problems. She is going to have to move to the center to try and keep what little remains of the "unbiased" media with her (as progressive media really no longer has the ability to break stories).
I too hope that the demographics will save us, that the GOP will consume it self through internal fighting, that people (in Kansas and elsewhere) will realize that big business is not their business but hope is not a high percentage strategy. I would prefer that we take a hard look at the data and start building a political infrastructure that can win. Yes, we have less $ on our side but we have the better story (and the people). We can win if do the hard work of waking up and doing what it takes to really play the game to win.