Take Two

Now that the election is over, and President Obama has returned to Washington to try to turn all the rhetoric about working together into something real, Republicans and talking heads (especially the conservative ones whose predictions seemed to be based entirely on wishful thinking and perhaps the desire for some last-minute fundraising) are obsessing about how Mitt Romney managed to lose this election.

They are criticizing everything from his campaign to his pedigree. If only the campaign had been better (How exactly was it supposed to have been better?) or the candidate a little poorer (Most presidents are rich. Who else could afford the luxury of putting their lives and incomes on hold, as so many do?), then the result might have been different. If only the media hadn't sat on stories about the mistakes made in Libya (Was anyone in this election voting based on Libya?), if only Super-Storm Sandy had come a week earlier or 10 days later (Is God really a Democrat?), things might have been different.

Maybe the problem is the Republican Party, and not Romney or the media or Mother Nature. Maybe the problem is that a party that demonizes immigrants as if this were still 1980, that turns off women and gays and lesbians and their families because of its positions on social issues (choice, gays, even contraception, even rape) cannot put together a solid majority in a changing America, a problem that will get worse over time, not better. Maybe the problem is that the nominating process forces electable candidates (the Massachusetts Romney) into unelectable flip-floppers. Maybe the problem, certainly at the Senate level, is a stunning lack of pragmatism that leads to the nomination of candidates who can be beaten instead of those who can't lose (hello, Richard Lugar).

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