From Maureen Dowd*:
“Who would ever have thought blacks would get out and support the first black president? Who would ever have thought women would shy away from the party of transvaginal probes? Who would ever have thought gays would work against a party that treated them as immoral and subhuman? Who would have ever thought young people would desert a party that ignored science and hectored on social issues? Who would ever have thought Latinos would scorn a party that expected them to finish up their chores and self-deport?”
From Ross Douthat**:
“But if DeMint-style retrenchment was necessary for Republicans, it wasn’t anywhere near sufficient. The conservatism of 2011 and 2012 had a lot to say about the long-term liabilities of the American government but far too little to say about the most immediate anxieties of American citizens, from rising health care costs to stagnating wages to the socioeconomic malaise spreading across the country’s working class. Neither the Reagan legacy nor the current conservative catechism holds the solutions to these problems; they require Republicans to apply their principles more creatively, and think about policy anew.”
What Douthat says is true, but fails to capture the raw ickiness and insanity of the current GOP. He argues that the GOP needs to address our concerns, while Dowd argues more dramatically and more convincingly that the GOP needs to stop grossing us out. Like his own characterization of DeMint, Douthat’s prescription may be necessary, but it sure isn’t sufficient.
* “A Lost Civilization,” NYT
** “The Years of Senator DeMint,” NYT
I read Dowd’s post yesterday and I do think the way she posed that paragraph captured what the Republicans failed to consider. Choices sometimes have unintended consequences – but those choices provided clear unambiguous consequences.
By the time Mitt got to the general, he wasn’t just running with one hand tied behind his back, he was running with a chunk of his brain removed. Part of that was the other GOP primary candidates pushing him to the point where he championed self-deportation, part of it was GOP governors like Bob McDonnell infuriating women. The steady stream of GOP insults to various voting blocks was a drip, drip, drip that became a pro-Obama flood on November 6.