Republicans Can't Face Post-Election Reality

Conservatives can't blame the Republican Party's entire tough election on their presidential candidate.

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In this Oct. 11, 2011, photo, Mitt Romney makes his point during a Republican presidential debate at Dartmouth College in Hanover, N.H.
In this Oct. 11, 2011, photo, Mitt Romney makes his point during a Republican presidential debate at Dartmouth College in Hanover, N.H.

The Nile is not a river in Egypt; it's the post-election operating principle for Republicans and conservatives. Rather than face reality many Republicans would rather stick their heads in the sand and complain about the voters. In his political thriller Julius Caesar, Shakespeare wrote "The fault, dear Brutus, is not in the stars, but in ourselves that we are underlings." If Republicans want to get on track, they need to take a hard look at themselves and not blame everything on Mitt Romney.

Many conservatives and Republicans share Romney's disdain for voters. I like to watch the Fox News Channel when things go badly for Republicans, so I've been watching the Fox News Channel a lot lately. I enjoy hearing the excuses that their commentators make for the GOP. The spin out of GOP-TV is that President Barack Obama won because voters are stupid, selfish, or sinful. Now, there's a winning campaign message for you. Conservative columnist George Will said Sunday on ABC that the Republican Party must "quit despising the American people." I knew that if I waited long enough, I would agree with Will on something.

[See a collection of political cartoons on the Republican Party.]

The national GOP candidates have also their heads deep into the sand.

Mitt Romney jumped in immediately after Election Day to remind the public of just how clueless he is. He blamed Barack Obama for his loss. Romney told big money donors that he lost because of the president's "gifts" to young people, blacks, and Hispanics. Most people think that the things that Romney described as gifts are just basic human rights. One of these "gifts" was ending deportation for people who came to the United States as children with undocumented parents. President Obama ended the deportation because he believed the U.S. government should not punish children for their parents' mistakes. Voters do not share the GOP's hostility to immigrants. Data from the national Election Day exit survey indicated that two thirds (65 percent) of the voters want to create a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants while only a quarter (28 percent) of the voters felt that the government should deport them.

[See a collection of political cartoons on immigration.]

Romney's running mate is just as clueless. Rep. Paul Ryan said that the election was not rejection of GOP tax policies. He was wrong. The former GOP vice presidential candidate apparently didn't read the national exit poll that showed that that almost half (47 percent) of the voters want to raise taxes on Americans who live in households where the total annual income is over $250,000. A small group (13 percent) of voters want to raise everyone's taxes and only a third (35 percent) of the electorate oppose any tax increase.

If all else fails, blame the weather. I have seen or heard a few GOP pundits say that Hurricane Sandy blew Mitt Romney off course. If Republicans believe that it was Sandy that took the wind out of Romney's sails, they face a long winding road back to the White House.

To be fair some conservatives got it. Both Sean Hannity and Charles Krauthammer endorsed amnesty for undocumented workers after the election results rolled in. Good for them, they are realistic enough to fear the impact that a growing Latino population will have on the future of the GOP.

[Read the U.S. News Debate: Should Congress Pass the Senate's Tax Plan?]

But some of the solutions that conservatives have offered aren't particularly constructive. One of our readers @MaltaSiege suggested that "all liberals should hang themselves." I assume that includes me. Just to be sure I got the message, Mal was kind enough to include a picture of a noose. Even if we had enough rope to hang ourselves, I don't think the 62 million Americans who voted for Barack Obama want to leave this earthly coil now that they re-elected a president who wants to eliminate tax breaks for billionaires and who will fight to allow people to marry anyone they choose without government interference.

Not all our readers appreciate my thoughts on the condition of the GOP and the conservative movement. Years ago, I told a female friend that I had finally figured out what makes women tick. My friend replied in horror, "What do you know about women, you're a man?" I replied "We're all people, aren't we?" Well, some of you may resent my comments about Republicans, since I'm a Democrat. But we're all Americans, aren't we?

  • Read Peter Fenn: Don't Get Cocky, Democrats, the GOP's Not Dead Yet
  • Read Mary Kate Cary: Romney's 'Gifts' Comment Opens the Door for GOP Governors
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