To the GOP, It’s As If We Didn’t Have an Election

According the WSJ*, when John Boehner told the President on December 13 that now he wanted the deal they’d been negotiating in the summer of 2011, the President stated the obvious:  “You missed your opportunity on that.”

I think this exchange reveals what’s going on with the GOP.  They see the 2012 election as a simple return to the status quo, billions spent on essentially nothing, with the President still in the White House, the Democrats still in control of the Senate, and the Republicans still in control of the House.  Things of course would have been better for them if Mitt had won and even better if Mitt had won and they’d taken the Senate, but they don’t really see the election as a victory for the Democrats.

The way the GOP looks at it, they didn’t win, but they didn’t really lose either.  From their perspective, they had an opportunity to win on November 6, but the President really didn’t have that opportunity.

This, of course, is delusional.  The country got to weigh in and choose, and they chose Mr. Obama.  But for gerrymandering of congressional districts, the Democrats would have retaken the House.  In the summer of 2011, no one knew how the election of 2012 would go.  But the Obama that Mr. Boehner, his House, and his party face now is not the Obama of 2011.  The Obama of December 2012 is a leader with a mandate.

Thus far, the fiscal cliff negotiations have revealed a GOP unwilling to face the fact that elections have consequences — whether or not they win.

*  “How ‘Cliff’ Talks Hit the Wall,” Patrick O’Connor and Peter Nicholas

9 comments on “To the GOP, It’s As If We Didn’t Have an Election

  1. FLPatriot says:

    Unfortunately for America the November elections did give us a return to the status quo. We have the same “do nothing” senate and “silent majority” house with an uncompromising President. Nothing of significant will be taken care of until 2014 when either the GOP will take the Senate, the Dems will take the House or (the more likely case of) another status quo election. The first two events would get things going in one direction or another and the third event would be a stall tactic by Americans until the 2016 election.

    The fact is that the President got fewer votes this time, fewer electoral points and no mandate from Americans. American voters did not vote for either party to make any changes from the quagmire of the last 4 years. And that is the sad state of American politics.

    • But if Mitt had won, you would have said Americans were sending a big message in rejecting Obama, much as the country did in choosing Reagan over Carter in 1980. So why wasn’t re-electing Obama also a big message? I believe it was.
      As for Obama’s unwillingness to compromise, check out my next post that isn’t my opinion, it’s GOP media guru Mark McKinnon’s. McKinnon’s no left winger.

    • FLPatriot says:

      If an incumbent president is not re-elected it would be a clear message that people did not like the job he did. I would be behind an Obama mandate if the Democrats would have won the house majority, but they didn’t and that is why I feel this was a status quo election. The house is the biggest temperature gauge of the country and with the GOP still in the majority that tells me that the majority of the country is still not behind this President’s policies. If he was doing that great of a job the house would have flipped back to the Dems.

      GOP guru Mark McKinnon? Never heard of him, but I look forward to reading your posts.

      • McKinnon worked for both W and McCain at a very senior level.
        But for the gerrymandering, the House would have flipped. House Dem candidates got more votes. I know Dems gerrymander too, but this most recent gerrymandering was done by the GOP, and they are reaping its benefits. If the country wasn’t behind O, Mitt would have won.

      • FLPatriot says:

        I live in Florida, a GOP controlled state congress, and in a district that was represented by a Republican. With the new districts drawn my district was gerrymandered in favor of Democrats and a Dem won, but by a smaller margin than expected.

        I would also point out that fewer people voted for Obama this time around than the last and more voted for Mitt than McCann. Obama won for several reasons and one contributing factor is apathy. 92 million Americans of voting age stayed home because they felt their vote was useless, apathy won this election for the incumbent.

      • Turnout was strong, relatively speaking. We always have a huge number who, sadly, don’t vote in presidential elections. Obama’s victory was solid, both in popular vote and electoral votes.

      • Dems got 56 million votes for the House, while the GOP got 55 million. This is the first time since 1996 that the party with more votes won’t control the House.

      • FLPatriot says:

        2012 Obama 62,611,250 votes with 332 electoral
        2012 Romney 59,134,475 votes with 206 electoral

        2008 Obama 69,456,897 votes with 365 electoral
        2008 McCain 59,934,814 votes with 173 electoral

        So as you can see 6,845,647 fewer people voted for Obama this year than in 2008 and Romney won 33 more electoral votes with less than a million fewer votes than McCain. In fact, Obama won against McCain by nearly 10 million votes and only beat Romney by 3.5 million. You would think if his policies where so popular he would have gotten a larger margin of victory.

        That is not a strong turnout. In fact, turnout was worst than it was in 2008 and 2004 and only slightly higher than 2000. Apathy is setting in across America, and it makes me weep for the future of my country.

        As for your stats for the house votes, very interesting. It is sad that Dems can get a popular vote majority and still be in the minority of representatives. What I think that shows is that the Dems are only getting support in higher population cities (where welfare participation rates are higher and unemployment is higher) and less support in the vast number of low population rural areas that have a higher employment rate and less dependency on government welfare.

      • Dems absolutely have an advantage in cities (which hurts them in getting House seats, a lot of wasted votes), but cities also have a lot of highly-educated and high-income voters.
        It’s not surprising that fewer people would turn out for a re-election than an election. There was enormous anger against Bush in 2008 that carried over to McCain, people really wanted to send a message to “Throw the bums out.” “Stay the course” is never as exciting and won’t generate as many votes.
        The fact that O won with the economy still so bad and unemployment still so high tells me that people were both expressing confidence in him and understanding that such a terrible economic meltdown would take more than one term to fix and also rejecting the policies Romney and Ryan were offering.
        For some, I’m sure it was the lesser of two evils, and that wasn’t enough to motivate them to come out and vote. But I really think Mitt got all the votes he was going to get — all the Obama haters came out.

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