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Frankfurter Rundschau, Germany

They Still Don’t Get It

By Daniel Haufler

Translated By Ron Argentati

9 November 2012

Edited by Gillian Palmer


Germany - Frankfurter Rundschau - Original Article (German)

America is changing and there's no helping any politician who doesn't understand that; he'll never win another election. But instead of accepting the new reality, conservatives choose to blame Hurricane Sandy for Obama's victory.

Oh my God — they still don't get it. After their election defeat, Republicans are still carrying on as if they had won and therefore have a popular mandate for their demand to lower taxes.

Even Mitch McConnell and John Boehner, the leading congressional Republicans, apparently slept right through Obama's victory. The following day they dared only oppose Obama incrementally in their rhetoric. These reality deniers said only that Obama's win didn't constitute a mandate for raising taxes.

They not only seem to have slept through the president's message, they apparently missed the fact that the Republicans had to swallow a bitter defeat across the electoral board, clearly losing not only the presidency but Senate seats (something they had clearly not expected) as well as in the House of Representatives. Had they not gerrymandered congressional district maps in their favor, they probably would have lost their majority in the House as well. None of the candidates they backed for the Senate — including incumbents — was able to win the female vote, the largest and hence most important minority. And a number of states legalized same-sex marriage as well.

Republicans? Hello? The country is changing! If you sleep through that you may as well lie down and die because you'll never be elected to anything again.

Did the Hurricane Help Obama Win?

No, rather than accept the new reality conservatives insist on blaming Hurricane Sandy for Obama's success. Talk on the street yesterday was rampant that Romney's ascent had been thwarted by that nasty old storm and that's why he lost the election. Of course, that had nothing at all to do with reality, as all the surveys were showing that the momentum Romney had gained via his first debate victory had long since peaked. But it spared the losers from having to answer embarrassing questions. Plus, it serves as a plausible explanation to those people who might ask why more than $1 billion in donations to Romney's campaign wasn't enough to get Obama out of the White House.

Does that work? The conservative super PACs — above all Karl Rove's super PACs — supported Romney and the Republican candidates for Congress to the tune of more than $400 million. And not a single one of them won. On the contrary, even in landlocked states far from the east coast, where not even a gentle breeze stirred up by Sandy could be felt, they still never had a ghost of a chance. That should be enough to make even the most hardcore conservative stop and think. There are only a few quiet voices of moderation among Republicans willing to talk about socio-political subjects like immigration (Latino votes!) or abortion (women's votes!).

Republicans are facing a painful process of renewal that could mean a division in their party, or perhaps even the marginalization of it. The ramifications of this defeat can't be predicted as long as the party continues to deny it ever happened. In so doing, they damage not only themselves but the chances for any possible changes in the system to allow meaningful legislation to happen. One can only hope the conservatives finally wake up for America's sake. The sun is shining in many places in America this morning and it has nothing at all to do with climate change.



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