between Mitt and Bobby
In other words, Romney confirmed that the guy in that 47 percent video was the real Romney and that he's as big a dick as we thought he was. And now that he's lost, his fellow Republicans are naturally running from him as fast as they can. Take, for example, 2016 hopeful Bobby Jindal:
Asked about the failed GOP nominee’s reported comments on a conference call with donors earlier Wednesday, the incoming chairman of the Republican Governors Association became visibly agitated.So in one corner you've got Romney saying Democrats won because they were bribing specific demographic groups, and in the other corner, you've got Jindal saying Republicans lost because they failed to sell their conservative vision of doing nothing.
“No, I think that’s absolutely wrong,” he said at a press conference that opened the RGA’s post-election meeting here. “Two points on that: One, we have got to stop dividing the American voters. We need to go after 100 percent of the votes, not 53 percent. We need to go after every single vote.
“And, secondly, we need to continue to show how our policies help every voter out there achieve the American Dream, which is to be in the middle class, which is to be able to give their children an opportunity to be able to get a great education. … So, I absolutely reject that notion, that description. I think that’s absolutely wrong.”
Romney's analysis is more offensive, but they are both wrong. The reality is that the things Romney described as "gifts" to specific constituency groups aren't gifts at all. They are examples of government doing what it should be doing: helping Americans. And the reason Democrats won is because in their vision of government, government should help people.
The funny thing is that when it comes down to it, even Jindal agrees, at least with his actions if not his words. When Louisiana was devastated after Hurricane Katrina, he certainly didn't see federal aid as a "gift"—he saw it as the government helping citizens. But now that the government is helping citizens obtain health insurance, Jindal sees it as an outrageous expansion of the state. He's got the political smarts not to use Romney's rhetoric, but his position is every bit as politically untenable as Romney's.
In fact, I'll say this for Romney: He was dead wrong to say President Obama won by bribing specific demographic groups, but at least he implicitly recognized the people want a government that is on their side and actually does stuff. The problem with what Romney said is that he bought into the whole makers versus takers canard and then wrapped it in a layer of racism and sexism.
Jindal won't make that mistake, but if he wins the GOP nomination in 2016 and follows his own advice, he's going to get crushed. Voters may like the notion of less government when you ask them about it as an abstract question, but as the fabled "get your government hands of my Medicare" sign illustrates, when it comes down to it, people don't want less government—they want better government. I'll guarantee you that by 2016, millions of people who voted for Romney will feel just as strongly about preserving Obamacare as they do now about Medicare. And as long as Republicans fail to accept that reality, their political problems are going to keep on getting worse.