First, Florida. Do you think we could learn to hold an election here? Palm Beach County, the largest in the state and home of the infamous butterfly ballot and hanging chads from the 2000 election, still hasn’t finished counting its votes. Not that it really matters. Obama won, and Romney has now conceded Florida, so let’s just get it over with, shall we?
On Thursday, two days after the election, Miami-Dade County finished counting its votes. They blamed the delay on the number of “provisional” and “absentee” ballots they had to count. So says the Supervisor of Elections for that county, who followed it up by saying, “Still, am I embarassed? Yes.” That was entirely refreshing.
Okay, due to Hurricane Sandy, many people in New York and New Jersey had to vote using provisional ballots (for my non-U.S. friends, this means you are voting in a different place from where you are assigned. An absentee ballot is one you mailed in rather than appearing in person). On election day, some people in New York and New Jersey were voting in tents, by flashlight. And they called it. So why hasn’t Florida been able to get it together? There is a simple answer to that: because it wasn’t as close in New York as it is in Florida. It’s dangerous to jump to conclusions. Once it got to a certain level in New York, the rest of the ballots were essentially unnecessary. It isn’t whether Obama won, it’s by how much. Not so in Florida, where we are a tidy microcosm of a divided country.
Much has been made of the fact that this year the Republican Legislature reduced the number of days you could vote early from 14 to 8. Early used to mean two weeks before election day, which was November 6th. And indeed, I’d say it caused problems. Long lines for early voting. I personally waited in line about 45 minutes, which is nothing compared to people who waited in line for 5 or 6 hours. However, again, it’s dangerous to jump to conclusions.
Bill Cotterell, the now-retired political reporter for the Tallahassee Democrat, occasionally writes guest columns. He pointed out the following facts: We’ve known the number of days were going to be reduced for almost a year. While the number of days were reduced, the number of hours were not. The polls were open for 96 hours in both scenarios. (Not really a good argument in my view, but it is a point.)
Yesterday, political writer Paul Flemming had an article in the newspaper headlined “Lord have mercy, Florida voters are sane”. He is referring to the 11 Constitutional Amendments put on the ballot by the (Republican) state Legislature. Only three were approved, and they had to do with tax relief for wounded veterans. low-income seniors, and the surviving spouses of veterans and first responders. As for the rest, Flemming says Florida repudiated the “cynical shenanigans of the Legislature”. He was surprised. Me too. But happily.
Also in yesterday’s newspaper, I learned there is a serious movement afoot to amend the U.S. Constitution to overrule the Citizens United Supreme Court decision. I think this will work.
And now for the Presidential election. There is an amazing amount of hand-wringing and tooth-gnashing going on in the Republican Party. Why did we lose? Also in yesterday’s newspaper there was an editorial by Michael Reagan, son of the late former President Ronald Reagan. Essentially he argues that Republicans today are not “real” conservatives like his father (well,that’s an arguable point), and that the campaign was a mess and focused on the wrong things (okay, no argument there).
One of the things he said was this: “First they tore each other to shreds in a bitter primary, smearing their eventual nominee in debates as a rich, uncaring profiteer who put working people out on the street and shipped their jobs overseas”. Well….?
He more or less concludes with this comment: “But give credit to Obama’s Chicago Gang. They ran a much better campaign–on the ground and in the air. They got out his message of class envy and federal entitlements for all, without any trouble from his toadies in the media [more about toadies in a minute].
Now bigger deficits, higher taxes, and a stagnant economy lie ahead for as far as the eye can see. And socialized medicine–which my father warned was coming to America 50 years ago–is going to soon become a reality via Obamacare.”
Um, no Michael, that’s not quite right. Here’s what the deal is: we are breaking up with the Republican Party. You know that awkward moment when you break up with someone, and you say, “It isn’t you, it’s me”? In this case, it’s you.
What kept puzzling me throughout the election process was how certain conservatives were that they would win. I just couldn’t see it,and thought they were wrong. But I wasn’t certain. Part of it is the tendency of the media to imply that all points of view are equivalent. So fringe ideas get airtime or column space, and you never have a real feel for how many people actually agree or believe in ideas other than your own. Which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It forces you to come to an independent decision. But therefore, I really had no certainty of how the election would go, just an impression.
But there is a group of people who are married to the idea of only listening to other people who agree with them. The people who invented the term “Mainstream Media”. And now we are back to toadies. The media people whose main goal was to keep their watchers/readers happy so they would keep coming back. I leave you with this incredible article from The Atlantic.
AHHHHHHH the anticipated victory lap!
pt, do you really think that’s what I was doing?A victory lap? That was by no means my intent.
You will just have take my word for this, because I don’t know how to prove it, but I take no pleasure in the defeat of my friends. I just think they were wrong, and strangely convinced that they were on the “right side of history”.
Portraying Romney as a job killing, profiteering wrecker of the economy is a continuation of the false campaign narrative spun by Axelrod and company. He was an international businessman and as such he delt with international business. Successfully! It’s what investment Capitalists do.
As for breaking up with the Republican party well that is a rather gloating inaccuracy. You realize that Florida is a Republican Government. Do you also realize that 29 States total have Republican Governors (hardly a breakup).
It is really hard to beat Santa when all the little kiddies want their Christmas goodies, especially when 90% of the media kept his image spotless and overlooked the trust and duties of the fourth estate….to inform.
Yes the Republican Party damaged their own candidate, but not without untold dishonesty form the media. Still they could have won if not for the goodie bag Obama had to play with. i.e. citizenship for illegals, no immigration reform, food stamps, AFDC, class warfare and the war on women. Why he got the Jewish vote is totally beyond me, I just don’t get that. Off shore accounts are legal. Romney did pay millions in Taxes. He did not kill anyone’s wife through cancer. But you could find these stories and more through out the media. Yes he was either a liar or a felon, that was a pretty good one…..it stuck!
I have never thought Obama qualified and fit to be President and I see nothing to change my opinion in his first term. I think Romney could have been a much better CEO of America and would have had the chance if not for the media.
‘But there is a group of people who are married to the idea of only listening to other people who agree with them. The people who invented the term “Mainstream Media”. And now we are back to toadies. The media people whose main goal was to keep their watchers/readers happy so they would keep coming back.’ I leave you with this incredible article from The Atlantic
It is really not a defensible debate point that the MSM is not totally biased towards Obama. Their job was to beat Mitch O’Connell and the Republicans back. And they succeeded, but the Republican Party is still around and governing, they just don’t have a bag of toys to buy votes.
> the Republican Party is still around and governing
Yes, but for how much longer? Even Cardenas said that the GOP is too old, too white and too male.
I think the Repubs effort to play the “social” issues card (abortion, gay marriage) over the years has blown up in their face and the Dems need to keep throwing that back in their face election after election.
And it looks like this time Obama will not play the “bi-partisan” fool.
The Bush tax cuts were intended to be temporary. It is the Repubs who are trying to turn them permanent.
I hope Obama let’s them expire and tells the House to give him a middle class tax cut if the GOP really cares about the middle class. And if they do not, hammer that home in 2014. and see what happens.
Fiscal cliff? Bring it on! The polls, which Repubs discount anyway, say that most folks believe it will be the GOP’s fault if it comes. Great political ammo for 2014.
SC For someone as financially conservative as you seem to be I can not understand your apparent caviler attitude towards paying more taxes. Just to be clear my position is that we are still paying way too much in taxes to fund way too much unnecessary government. I think taxes are obscene as I have said before, so all my political thinking is predicated upon cutting government waste and reducing tax rates much lower than they are currently. When pols and liberals cry we must save the world from man I say save it with your money not mine, there is no Santa Claus. If we can’t balance our national budget, we can’t save the world anyway, it is laughing at us one day and begging for handouts the next.
Some years ago I mentioned why I am conservative. It’s not because I read the talking points and they sound good to my feeble mind. It is rather that I have worked in and around government programs for years and I have little respect for the feeble integrity of financial “responsible” people have while administering other peoples money. I have seen first hand that Democrats build their party around giving away “stuff” that gets them elected and reelected, welfare is the prime example. It makes me angry. Government seldom accurately measures the unintended consequences of government interventions.
“the GOP is too old, too white and too male.”
yeah, that’s pretty obvious, but it in no way obligates the future party make up to stay that way. And in no way foreshadows the future, only reflects the shortcomings of the past. Reflect that in the 48 years between 1968-2016 Repubs have held the white house 24 years, 50% of the time. As I recall you chose not to watch the conventions and don’t follow mush of the media so perhaps you are unaware of the emerging numbers of youthful conservatives of color and gender. The party sees the necessity to be more reflective of Americas changing demographics and is reacting.
I think Romney lost because of the Republicans…and because of how he comes across. I think he lost because he promised to repeal Obamacare on Day One. I think what really killed him was the 47% remark. I think he lost for a lot of reasons, but I don’t think it was the media, nor was it Axelrod and company. The latter took the shots Romney and the Republicans left themselves open for.
But in other news, our hometown boy Buster Posey was named MVP of the NL! You and I should stick to baseball instead of politics. Oh never mind, that would be a very unfair advantage for Team PT 🙂
On NPR, I heard Haley Barbour this morning, saying, we haven’t gone away and died. In fact, another state elected a Republican governor, I believe it was North Carolina, which makes 30 states ruled by Republican governors.
“our hometown boy Buster Posey was named MVP” = see the shiny bauble, go and play with it:)