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By now reality based members of the RNC are starting to ask "What now?"

The election is not going to go their way despite spending over a billion dollars.  

What lessons will they take from this and what will they do differently in the next four years?

The first question they will need to answer is why they couldn't beat President Obama?  By any of their measures, this should have been an easy task.  Unemployment is high and underemployment is higher.  Fuel prices are rising and far too many mortgages are still under water.  And of course the 'President' is a Communist/Fascist/Muslim/Kenyan/AngryBlackMan who wants to take your money and use it to pay for abortions, welfare cell phones and teaching your children how to be gay.  How could they not win with all these 'facts'?

The easiest answer is the Candidate.  Willard is just not a very nice guy.  Given a choice, most people will choose the guy they want to have a beer with.  Big Dog was that guy, Bob Dole wasnt.  W was that guy, Al Gore wasn't.  And even the folks who don't want to have a beer with President Obama dont want to be told they should drink.  If the primaries taught us anything its that only about 1/3rd of Republicans are going to vote FOR Mitt.  The other 2/3rds are voting AGAINST President Obama.

The Campaign is the next easy target.  For all of the alleged competence of Mitt as a business man, his campaign has been poorly run.  The announcement of Paul Ryan as VP is a great example.  It was an opportunity for the campaign to set the narrative for a week, to shift media coverage to the message they wanted and seize the high ground.  Yet they waste this opportunity by announcing on a Saturday morning (after letting it leak the night before), just before the closing ceremony of the Olympics (further reminding voters of Rafalka) and on a WWII era battleship (highlighting the tickets lack of military experience and backwards foreign policy view).  These are rookie mistakes that you would expect in a city counsel election, not someone running for President.  

Finally, the Platform.  Here I have to speculate because I dont understand Republican logic but I think they will believe their platform is too moderate.  Mitts recent tack to the middle will be seen as contributing to defeat, the reason his "mittmentum" stalled.  More god, more guns and more (anti) gay will be the answer.  Along with that the attacks on government, unions, immigrants and women will bee seen as winning strategies so expect to see more.

So what is their answer for 2016?  Are you ready for Rick Santorum?  How about Tim Pawlenty?  Had Santorum had enough money he could have beaten Mitt this year and Pawlenty withdrew before he had to answer any probing questions.  Both are sufficiently right of Attila the Hun thought Pawlenty will have to drop his rape exception for abortions.  Other than those two, I think we will see another Herman Cain type - an "outsider" from business.

Having said all this I think Republicans are going to take all the wrong 'lessons' and go the wrong direction - wrong for them but good for us.  The 'problem' with Mitt Romney will be his time as Governor, not his vulture capitalism.  It will not be that he didn't reveal enough of his policies but that he reveled too much.  It will not be that he dismissed 47% of the electorate but that he ever attempted to get more than 50.1%.

Democrats needed Governor Dean to right our ship and put us back on the path to being a national party.  I think Republicans are going to go the opposite direction and attempt to narrow their focus on an even smaller slice of the electorate.  The question for Democrats is "how do we help?"

Originally posted to ksuwildkat on Wed Oct 31, 2012 at 01:17 AM PDT.

Also republished by Community Spotlight.

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Comment Preferences

  •  The lesson they will learn? Spend more. n/t (11+ / 0-)

    O great creator of being grant us one more hour to perform our art and perfect our lives. ::: Jim Morrison :::

    by Kevanlove on Wed Oct 31, 2012 at 01:20:50 AM PDT

  •  they need to go more conservative (10+ / 0-)

    solidify and motivate their base. i know i tremble in fear at the prospect. really. i do. really.

    The cold passion for truth hunts in no pack. -Robinson Jeffers

    by Laurence Lewis on Wed Oct 31, 2012 at 01:22:28 AM PDT

  •  I think they'll splinter. (6+ / 0-)

    The Paul libertarians are convinced that they can form a credible third party if they get rid of social conservatives and without them the party loses their ability to compete nationally.

    But they're zealots so who knows? They may intensify their efforts to control statehouses and Congress because that's where the real clout lies, and megabucks can have have a real impact in state races.

    "The human eye is a wonderful device. With a little effort, it can fail to see even the most glaring injustice." Richard K. Morgan

    by sceptical observer on Wed Oct 31, 2012 at 01:41:13 AM PDT

  •  On a side note; (10+ / 0-)
    ...despite spending over a billion dollars.
    That's the amount they didn't want to spend on that program that would have given job training to veterans.  It's also two Solyndras.
  •  Dissect the media evolution of a lie. (12+ / 0-)

    "A lie goes halfway around the world before the truth ever has a chance to get its pants on."
    What emerged from his election cycle is something not seen at the presidential election level, the totally synthetic, shape-shifting candidate. A candidate who will say anything opportune, and change or discard policies or issues at will.
    Embracing this concept completely is new in high stakes politics, and unless the news media environment undergoes a fundamental transformation, is perhaps the most dangerous takeaway of this election, because the media lie and the media correction affect selective media at different times, if at all, circulating falsehood and truth telling unequally.
    Political institutes will be studying this at length, not necessarily to the betterment of our national dialog.      

  •  Four years from now (8+ / 0-)

    People will be less worried about drinking a beer at a BBQ and the cost of a gallon of gas.  The liberal hoax called "Mother Nature" has clearly had enough of the delusional bullshit.  It's not like droughts are going to become less likely with biz as usual.

    Republicans: Taking the country back ... to the 19th century

    by yet another liberal on Wed Oct 31, 2012 at 07:42:33 AM PDT

  •  Christie 2016 (11+ / 0-)

    Well, I am pretty sure that Chris Christie announced his candidacy yesterday.  Or at least that's what I assume after he refused to do a storm damage photo op with Romney and went on every major network to laud President Obama's leadership and handling of the crisis.

    Now the question is running mate.  My money is on Marco Rubio.

    •  But, remember Charlie Crist (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      I'm surprised I haven't read any comparisons yet.  Crist is now hated by most of the GOP in Florida; he didn't calculate how far to the right the base had gone.  

      I suppose the NJ GOP is more moderate than the FL GOP, but the national GOP is not going to forget this moment.    

      Unless Christie sees something in the GOP tea leaves where a moderate faction will be a rising phoenix within the party.  

      Or, Occam's Razor, Christie simply really, really dislikes Romney.

    •  Optics (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      SeekCa, UniC, Yo Bubba

      It might not be fair but unless Christie loses about 200lbs there is no way he can run and win.  Also, that little TV appearance might as well have been an endorsement of Chairman Mao.  Saying anything good about President Obama is an automatic disqualification to Republican primary voters.

      It is well that war is so terrible -- lest we should grow too fond of it. Robert E. Lee

      by ksuwildkat on Wed Oct 31, 2012 at 10:26:59 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I'm more interested in what (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    papercut, MHB, UniC, ColoTim

    The Dems will learn from this election.  Here in my little  neighborhood it feels like conservatism came out of the closet.  4 years ago we had a total of 6 yard signs displayed in the entire precinct, 3 for McCain, 3 for Obama.  2 weeks ago we had 14 Romney signs, and 4 Obama signs.  This week we had 17 Romney signs on one block alone!  There are now 44 Romney yard signs, and 4 Obama signs in my precinct. It's f*ckin' creepy!  It's also demoralizing.  Yard signs DO win votes when people who don't pay attention, and who tend to treat an election as if it were a sporting event suddenly notice that one team looks like its competing hard and the other doesn't bother to show up.

    •  Where? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      But where are you? I grew up in the Tri-State, lived in FL twice over, and now I'm in a high income suburb of Atlanta.

      Guess what? It's so over the top with angry conservative that it's simple depressing and disturbing. Many of us who put up Obama signs last time around have not because of the harassment, stealing of yard signs, and threats last time around. Interestingly enough, there were countless McCain signs last time and while the Mittens signs have started to appear, they are nowhere near the concentration of what they were in '08.

    •  In my little NE FL town (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ColoTim, Yo Bubba

      I split my volunteer time between Obama campaign and local Democratic Party HQ.

      At Democratic Party HQ we sell Obama yard signs for $5.00 (considered a campaign donation). There is a slow but steady stream of signs being sold.

      We were fretting over the sudden profusion of Romney signs showing up until we found out that local Romney HQ is giving them away for free, as many as you want.

    •  Republicans (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ranton, Yo Bubba, SeekCa, RUNDOWN

      are more likely to be "in your face" with their politics and assume everyone is a jerk like them.  Republicans I know of aren't shy about bitching about Obama the minute they meet you and never hide their politics.  

      Most democrats aren't nearly as crude.  Also, many tend to keep their politics more to themselves, especially if they are in an environment where they (perceive that they) are outnumbered by belligerent wingnuts.  

      Finally, I do think all the gun talk, hatred, and general craziness of modern republicans has had a major chilling effect for democrats.  We're still willing to speak out when we have some anonymity, but a lot of dems are nervous about outwardly identifying support for Obama in their yards where all the crazies can see.  I'm definitely in that boat....I don't have yard signs--partially because I don't know how much they actually matter, partially because I don't want to invite the ire of anonymous right-wing lunatics.  When I used to display political bumper stickers, I was harassed on occasion.  Who needs to listen to RWNJs any more than we already do???

  •  I'm not so sure (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Stude Dude, ksuwildkat, ColoTim, sharman

    Romney was tanking before he etch-a-sketched.  Reality based Rs will know this.

    His numbers dramatically improved when he pretended to be moderate.

    So they'll want somebody the base trusts to be ACTUALLY conservative who is also able to PRETEND to be moderate.

    And who swing voters think is ACTUALLY moderate while PRETENDING to be conservative.

    They almost got their man with Mitt.  He lied and flip flopped about everything and nearly won.  Get somebody a little better at that, who is less obvious about it, back him with a billion bucks (remember, for the backers, even a billion is chump change if they divide it up).

    I like Chris Christie for this role.  He can trump working with Obama right now to "prove" he is "really" moderate where the tea party knows he's actually one of them.

    •  But what about the Primaries? (0+ / 0-)

      The problem for Republicans is the primaries where any candidate who doesnt proclaim that abortion should be illegal and guns free cant make.  The lesson true believers like Santorum learned is that they need to hammer away about "true" beliefs and they will use "Newly Moderate Mitt" as the tool to do it.  Is that what you REALLY believe or are you like Mitt.  Are you going to cave in to appease like Mitt or are you going to be a proud Wingnutt?

      It is well that war is so terrible -- lest we should grow too fond of it. Robert E. Lee

      by ksuwildkat on Wed Oct 31, 2012 at 10:34:39 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  For a real world example (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ColoTim, ranton, Yo Bubba

        watch any statewide election in California. To win the Republican primary you must check all the wack job boxes with a vengeance. They jump up and down touting their next more ridiculous position. The winner comes out of the primary utterly incapable of appealing to the moderates and independents that they need to overtake the Democratic base.

        Without his name recognition and the special election Schwarzenegger never would have been elected. He certainly couldn't have run in a Republican primary and won versus the McClintocks and the other crazies.

        This looks to be the new National model to me. You can't go that far right to win the primaries and swing back to pick up moderates in the general election without looking like Romney - completely insincere and utterly lacking in core beliefs.

    •  That is what the Koch Bros have been grooming (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      their perceived "Stud" Ryan for because, you just know, the women-folk find weightlifting soooo appealing.  

      The man is slimy and could do voice-overs for the Smurfs!  

      Robber Baron "ReTHUGisms": John D. Rockefeller -"The way to make money is to buy when blood is running in the streets"; Jay Gould -"I can hire one half of the working class to kill the other half."

      by ranton on Wed Oct 31, 2012 at 05:06:21 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I wouldn't count on an O victory. Read the (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    OWCH, UniC, ranton, RUNDOWN

    typical Washpost comment lately? OBUMMER is only out for himself. OBOZO is the Worst. President. EVAH. LIBS are stupid and deserve to spend their useless lives at hard labor. Gang members will vote for Obama, all right, but no one else will. Etc., etc., etc. Appalling hate, malice, and willful ignorance.

  •  They arent a particularly creative bunch. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RUNDOWN, UniC, ColoTim

    They tend to keep doing things over and over again expecting, and often getting, different results.

    The gop wont implode. They wont moderate. They wont acknowledge their problems, which would be a first step. No.

    The bunch will continue their tack to the far right. They will simply attempt to better control their messages. That is, dont tell the truth about your positions. Only speak openly to the rabid rabble and even then do so in code.

    The bunch will blame their candidate for being inadequate, blame Obama for stealing the election and fooling voters and blame murkia for being easily bamboozled.

    The gops attempts to rat fuck the system will intensify. All manners in which voters can be disenfranchised will be pursued.

    The strategy: what actions can be taken, with the least amount of actual position changing, that yeilds to best result for the 1%ers. More of say one thing, do another.

  •  It's what we learned (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ksuwildkat, RUNDOWN, ranton

    That the Republicans can and will win elections as long as no one runs against them. I voted a straight Dem ticket and had to review my ballot so that I could make sure that I voted for the Greens in races since there were no Dems running. We should contest each and every race in each and every election.

    That you have to vote every time, no matter how small, remember Sarah Palin's first win.  

    That lying works on people who want a reason to not vote for someone but comes across as what it is to people who were really looking at the election in a critical way.

    That the Republican brand has taken a huge hit. When  TX Republicans vote for Obama because they no longer consider themselves welcome in their party, that's an issue.  

    •  Dead on (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ColoTim, ranton

      In Colorado I was shocked at how many races were going to be Republican wins because there was no Democrat to vote for.  We need to run someone, anyone in every race.

      It is well that war is so terrible -- lest we should grow too fond of it. Robert E. Lee

      by ksuwildkat on Wed Oct 31, 2012 at 10:37:58 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Two predictions (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MHB, RUNDOWN, ColoTim

    1. The civil war within the GOP, which is already simmering, will come to a full boil.  It will be between Republicans merely interested in screwing the poor and succoring the rich, and Republicans interested in that AND in destroying the planet, reducing women to child-bearing chattle, and declaring anyone who doesn't fit their narrow definition of "traditional" a second-class citizen.  

    I doubt the GOP will actually split into two parties--in our two-party system it would be collective suicide.  But there will be some brawling for sure.

    Prediction #2. Popcorn sales will skyrocket in the blue states.

    Barack Obama is not a secret socialist class warrior who wants to redistribute wealth in America. But I'll still vote for him, anyway.

    by looty on Wed Oct 31, 2012 at 08:55:48 AM PDT

  •  Hell, I don't want them to become crazier. (8+ / 0-)

    I suspect that is what will happen at first.  Rush Limbaugh will be the first one out of the gate to say it was Romney's fault for being too moderate to really oppose the president, and what an awful shame it is they didn't nominate a crazy Sarah Palin type.  And oh yeah, Paul Ryan is the new great white hope of the Republican Party.

    But that's bad for us, for the country.  I WANT to have two sane parties, not one insane party, and one party too scared of the crazy people to lead.  That's what we have right now.  

    I pray for the Republicans to become sane again.

    •  We don't have time to wait for RWers to "heal" (0+ / 0-)

      ...especially since their ideology is so inflexible & their hatred so violent that they seem to be building toward some sort of racial/religious civil war as their end-game.

      Our strategy must be to defeat those kinds of destructive influences by out-organizing the haters to to point where we drive them back to the fringes of society where they belong — & we need to do it NOW.

  •  GOP agenda starting on Nov 7: (14+ / 0-)

    1) go apeshit on Obama
    2) go apeshit on Reid
    3) lick wounds, go more apeshit about polls
    4) go apeshit on liberalism in general
    5) go apeshit on survivalism culture (guns, etc)

    sometimes I'm not so much afraid of Obama losing, it's what the far right will do when he wins. Some very unstable individuals out there.

  •  a lot of blame is going to be thrown (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    at governor of New Jersey. If only he gave Mitt Romney the opportunity to demonstrate his presidential aura.  If only he didn't allow the Kenyan from campaigning right after Sandy. Etc.

    That, and all the hand wringing about the millions of "illegals" voting.

    These capitalists generally act harmoniously and in concert, to fleece the people... -Abraham Lincoln

    by HugoDog on Wed Oct 31, 2012 at 09:28:46 AM PDT

    •  I blame the gays (0+ / 0-)

      The gays brought down the hurricane wrath of god, as we all know.  Said hurricane was supposed to be Obama's Katrina, Fox and Friends told us so.  Then that damn Christie had to go and get all gay on us, big ole embarassing crush on Obama.  And now, hurricane Sandy is this unfair advantage for Obama, totally unfair.  all because of the gays

  •  actually, i think they're setting up their base (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MHB, ColoTim, ranton, Yo Bubba

    (intentionally or not, i dunno) for a huge 'stolen election' meme.  its got me a smidge worried because there are definitely some who subscribe to Palin's "Don't retreat, reload!" ethos who will be deluded enough to 'do something' they think will bring 'Murica back to its roots.

    to republicans rape is "God's will" but homosexuality is somehow a "choice". republican yahweh is a dick.

    by bnasley on Wed Oct 31, 2012 at 09:36:49 AM PDT

  •  Haven't seen the last of the Huckster. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ksuwildkat, ranton

    My prediction:
    Mike Huckabee in 2016, back with a vengeance.

    The Huckster may be a vile, dishonest, dog-whistling Elmer Gantry, but he's not stupid. He has more smarts in his little finger than G.W. Bush, and more charisma in his ear wax than Mittens has on a good day.

    My suspicion is that the Huckster licked his finger and put it in the wind, and realized that the Republicans were fucked this time around by a combination of their own blatant stupidity and the sharp political instincts of Barack Obama. He decided to lay low, rake in some wingnut welfare, and wait for the next cycle.

    •  yes....... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ranton, Kansas Born

      and the good thing is that he will have years worth of stupid things said on Fox to use come General Election time.

      You are right about him being smart.  During the 2008 run he probably had the best foreign policy platform of any of the candidates.  

      It is well that war is so terrible -- lest we should grow too fond of it. Robert E. Lee

      by ksuwildkat on Wed Oct 31, 2012 at 10:43:33 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Please stop counting our chickens. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Stude Dude, RUNDOWN

    They haven't hatched yet.

    To keep our faces turned toward change, and behave as free spirits in the presence of fate--that is strength undefeatable. (Helen Keller)

    by kareylou on Wed Oct 31, 2012 at 09:53:53 AM PDT

  •  Darn. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dave in Northridge, Kansas Born

    And here I was hoping they'd realize that they can't UTTERLY fuck the country over and expect the cheery, ignorant, low-information voters (and press) to forget all about it in four years.

    I think that Sandy has been a godsend.  Every other report on Sandy just HAS to mention Katrina, and every time people remember Katrina they get to remember that the name of utter incompetence in office is REPUBLICAN.

  •  Seriously (5+ / 0-)

    The only "what now" to ask yourself is "What can I do now to get Obama elected?" because otherwise you may be asking "What will I do when President-Elect Romney is sworn in?"

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