Bottom Line on Immigration Reform

From “Immigration reform heads for slow death,” Mike Allen and Jim VendeHei, Politico:

“Republicans walked away from their 2012 debacle hell-bent on fixing their problems with Hispanics. Now, they appear hell-bent on making them worse.

“In private conversations, top Republicans on Capitol Hill now predict comprehensive immigration reform will die a slow, months-long death in the House. Like with background checks for gun buyers, the conventional wisdom that the party would never kill immigration reform, and risk further alienating Hispanic voters, was always wrong — and ignored the reality that most House Republicans are white conservatives representing mostly white districts.

“These members, and the vast majority of their voters, couldn’t care less whether Marco Rubio, Bill O’Reilly and Karl Rove say this is smart politics and policy.”

So we see the conflict between the GOP winning the House and winning the Senate and the White House.  For now, that conflict is nowhere near getting solved.  Fine with me…
The calculation after 2012 from national strategists like Rove was that the GOP couldn’t waiver on abortion.  In fact, the famous post-mortem the RNC did on the election doesn’t even mention abortion.  The plan was to continue to throw women under the bus and try to bring Hispanics on board, thinking that wouldn’t cost them the Evangelicals the way any moderation on abortion would.  So now there’s really no plan.

Your Friday Laugh

Go to Karl Rove’s web site, http://www.rove.com/election.

It still has a big map up with all the states colored red and blue (mostly red), showing Karl’s prediction that Mitt will get 285 electoral votes and Obama will get 253.

You’d think Karl would have had that taken down as soon as the Fox News “decision desk” told him and all of America (ok, all the Fox News viewers) that he was full of shit.

How can Karl not have minions?  All evil geniuses have minions.

Karl Rove Really Needs To Be Committed

Rove went on Fox News to say that Obama “succeeded by suppressing the vote.”

Yes, that explains all the GOP-driven Voter ID laws, decreased early voting, and excruciatingly long lines in heavily Dem/minority areas.  The people who waited in line six or seven hours weren’t rich white guys voting for Romney.  I will be forever grateful to those who stuck it out despite Karl’s best efforts to stick it to them.

By Their Own Logic

Karl Rove has a piece up in the WSJ blaming Hurricane Sandy for stopping Mitt’s Big Mo and giving us four more of the Kenyan Muslim Socialist.  As I pointed out in a post yesterday, Nate Silver established pre-Sandy that Mitt’s momentum had already stopped.

This is a big problem for Rove because he talked a lot of zillionaires into supporting his Crossroads and Crossroads GPS, and he threw their millions down the toilet in what really should have been a slam dunk for the GOP, not just to win the WH, but the Senate as well.  So his  “evil genius” reputation is at stake (well, it’s still half right), and he’s tap dancing pretty strenuously.

But as the GOP tries to blame Sandy for their shitty candidate and party, let’s follow their logic to its end.

Back at the time of Katrina, the religious nuts said it was God’s punishment for the gays and the abortions.

So if God sent Sandy just before the election, and Mitt would have won without Sandy, doesn’t that mean, um, that God wanted Obama to win?

It’s Interesting…

It’s interesting that on anything related to science (climate change, whether people are born gay, whether a fertilized egg is a person), the GOP  insists on imposing  fundamentalist Christian views on everyone.

But when it comes to economic policy, they have turned to an atheist — Ayn Rand — who preached unregulated capitalism, an unfettered free market that is as extreme to many of us as the GOP’s theocratic policies.

That’s why I don’t understand today’s GOP bravado that Mitt was a lousy candidate, but Paul Ryan will do just great in 2016.  He’s with Todd Akin and Richard Mourdock on abortion, and with Rand on economics.  He’s the personification of what lost last night.

Karl Rove says that this country is still center right.  Even if that’s the case, his party is not center right, it is now far, far right.  As the GOP has moved more to the right, the Dems have not moved equally left, so they are now the more centrist  — and saner-seeming — party.

I would say this is a centrist country, that tilts left or right depending on the issue and how far each party is from the center.  If politics in America is played between the 20-yard lines, the GOP is out in the parking lot, with very few young or female or minority folks at its sad little tailgate party.

 

First Thoughts on the Election

I was pretty confident we’d won yesterday afternoon PST when I saw that early exit polls showed that 52% of voters believed Mitt’s policies favor the rich.  At that point, I knew it didn’t matter if we were looking at an electorate like 2004 or 2008 or 2010 (which was causing dispute about the accuracy of the polls), all that mattered was that more than half of them felt this way.  I believed that single finding was disastrous, and I didn’t see how Mitt could survive.

By the end of the campaign, Mitt reminded me more and more of Sarah Palin.  I know the contrast between a guy with two advanced Harvard degrees and a complete ignoramus is stark, but when I listened to him, he spoke in the same “word salad” we got in 2008 and still get from her.  Palin’s word salad comes from not knowing anything about policy, while Mitt’s comes from not wanting to be specific about policy.  The cause is different, but the effect from both is a complete lack of confidence in their ability to lead.

Even when we thought Mitt was taking a stand on something — like supporting an abortion exception for the health of the woman or promising to keep Obamacare’s coverage for pre-existing conditions — his campaign walked it back almost immediately.  The only time he spoke from the heart was when he thought we couldn’t hear him, when he railed against the 47% percent.

Palin’s lack of a “there there” comes from lack of knowledge, Mitt’s from a lack of courage.

When someone comes across as fearful and nervous while talking about the most basic of domestic issues, as Mitt does, you inevitably wonder how this guy could be commander in chief, how he could deal with Putin if he can’t deal with cuddly Bret Baier.

So he seemed tough as nails in a bad way — when it came to killing jobs at Bain — but then also wimpy, when you’d want him to be tough.

We kept hearing that Mitt was a terrible candidate for the GOP, which was true.  It’s galling to hear someone who pays 14% in taxes talk about cutting Medicaid to poor kids and the elderly in nursing homes.  A “soak the poor” message is never appealing, especially to women, but never more so than when presented by a man worth hundreds of millions of dollars who doesn’t pay his fair share and wants to cut taxes on the rich even more.

But more than a terrible candidate for one party, Mitt is a terrible politician.  He is stiff and awkward, and can’t convey warmth or empathy.  He’s cursed with that nervous laugh and obnoxious smirk.    That’s a bi-partisan problem, one we saw with Al Gore and John Kerry.  He went into politics to finish what George Romney started, but, like many men who follow in their father’s footsteps out of a sense of obligation, he lacked his dad’s innate talent for the profession.

When we fail, we tend to make excuses and to blame others.  I hope that, as Mitt licks his wounds, he doesn’t think he lost because he’s a Mormon.  I really don’t think voters cared.  I also hope he doesn’t think we rejected him out of jealousy and resentment because he’s rich.  That’s not how or who we are.  It was the cluelessness and out-of-touchness he displayed as a result of that wealth, an inability to put himself in our shoes.  You can be rich (many, many politicians are) and still have charisma and connect with people.  Forty-four years after his assassination, it is easy for me to picture Bobby Kennedy radiating compassion as he campaigned, I see that toothy grin, those rolled-up shirtsleeves as his arms reached back in the crowd.  Was it real or fake?  I have no idea.  All that mattered was his ability to do it.

Speaking of failure and making excuses, the GOP should not blame their defeat just on Mitt.  I picture Mitt and his party as two drowning men, desperately clinging to each other and dragging each other down to their deaths.  If Mitt was a terrible candidate, he was also leading a terrible party.  Mitt oozed slickness and smarminess, but his party oozed craziness and extremism.  Todd Akin and Richard Mourdock helped take Mitt down with them.

The GOP should blame Mitt, and he should blame them.  There is plenty of blame to go around.

There is also plenty of hypocrisy that needs to be replaced with humility.  Last night on Fox News, Karl Rove shamelessly accused the President of being the one refusing to compromise and of calling his opponents unAmerican.   It is to laugh.  Sure you can get away with that on Fox, but you can’t win an election just with the Fox faithful.  The rest of us know our rubber from our glue.

And Here Comes the Money

Following up on his endorsement of Todd “Legitimate Rape” Akin,  SC Senator Jim DeMint is now putting his (or his Tea Party group’s) money where his mouth is.  DeMint’s Senate Conservative Fund just promised Akin $300,000.

Keep your eye on the money as the GOP now turns its back on its turning its back on Akin.  If DeMint’s in, Preibus and Rove won’t be far behind.

After six weeks of suffering the GOP’s “punishment,” Akin will bask in six weeks of their passion to gain control of the Senate.

The extremists in the Middle East chant, “Death to America!”  To me, giving power to idiots like Akin represents a death to the America I love.  We are dying from within.