Well. We’ve had three days to absorb the messages and lessons of the 2012 Election—some of us (in fact, a majority of us) are vindicated; others are nursing exploded heads. I give the “exploding heads” crowd generally forty-eight hours to get their shit together and rejoin the human race. Usually that’s enough, with football and weekend activities for a distraction. [I’m willing to grant one tiny subset of the EHs a few days extra—namely, Team Romney—because (Mean Mitt) they had their credit cards cut off before they could get a taxi home or even buy a post-election beer to cry in.]
Anyone old enough to have lived through eight or more US presidential election cycles could pretty accurately guess what a Republican reaction to an Obama re-election would look, smell and sound like, because the same geniuses that came up with supply-side economics, trickle-down theory and preventive war are still calling the shots and winding up the rusty old clockworks that make the GOP tick. For better or worse, those good old boys appear to be more long-lived than their base which is dying off in droves, these days.
Even the gang at The American Conservative, not famous for their funny bones, posted up a number of humorous pre-election predictions of the GOP’s likely reaction to an Obama win. Those “serious conservatives” were not taken in by Unskewed Polls or gut feelings that Republican electoral exuberance would usher in the Age of Romney. The TACs consider themselves “true political conservatives,” Burkean conservatives, not to be mistaken for “movement conservatives.” They suspected that Romney would not win the election for a number of thoughtful and well-articulated reasons. And they were pretty much right on the money. So perhaps the GOP establishment might want to reconnect with them sometime soon.
And the Old Guard Republicans have not let us down. From Karl Rove’s apoplectic meltdown on Fox News’ Election night coverage to hating-for-dollars Rush Limbaugh’s insight that:
It’s just very difficult to beat Santa Claus. People are not going to vote against Santa Claus, especially if the alternative is being your own Santa Claus. He continued that Obama supporters “think the Democrat Party’s gonna punish the people who have unfairly gotten stuff that they shouldn’t have. They got more stuff than other people have stuff and that stuff’s gotta be redistributed.
And let’s not forget The Donald’s twittermanic call to arms for the “torches and pitchforks crowd” . . .
But the hands down winner of this year’s GOP Exploding Head has to be Old Guardian Mary Matalin’s on-air tantrum bound to become a classic.
Comically obvious arch-villain Florida Governor Rick Scott doesn’t understand why you people are so upset about waiting until one o’clock in the morning to cast a ballot and STILL having no official outcome five days later:
“Look, it was a close race. We want to make sure every vote gets counted. Every vote’s important, so I think the secretary did the right thing,” Scott said. “Here’s what people should feel good about: We have a diligent and thorough process, and every vote’s getting counted.”
Here’s what people should feel good about: Even if the Dems tap an Everglades python that has just swallowed a litter of puppies on live TV to run against Scott in 2014, Scott will lose. Here’s what people should feel queasy about: The Florida Democratic Party is dumb enough to blow this opportunity.
Right now, the name being bandied about the most is former GOP Governor Charlie Crist, who got booted out of the Republican primary in favor of Marco Rubio when he ran for US Senate, then switched to independent to take Rubio on and got his ass kicked.
Crist wasn’t an awful governor, and he’s been a stand-up guy for President Obama—ever since Crist realized his former party had turned into a freak show, which just happened to coincide with its rejection of himself. I’m sure he’d be perfectly willing to morph into a Democrat to run against Scott. But in a state where disgust with Republicans is at its highest level in years, maybe we don’t have to settle for a Blue Dog. This ain’t Missouri.
Former Tampa Mayor Pam Iorio, who knows how to handle the clowns at Fox News, was one of the few Supervisors of Elections who didn’t embarrass the state back in 2000. She was an excellent and popular mayor of a key Florida city.
Now she’s speaking out on the still-unfolding 2012 voting debacle. Unlike Crist, Iorio actually is a Democrat. I know it’s crazy, but I’m hoping the Florida Democratic Party will nominate a Democrat to take on Scott.
It’s easy to point fingers after a loss and I wouldn’t normally do it, but consider what happened.
Project Orca was supposed to enable poll watchers to record voter names on their smartphones, by listening for names as voters checked in. This would give the campaign real-time turnout data, so they could redirect GOTV resources throughout the day where it was most needed. They recruited 37,000 swing state volunteers for this.
I worked on the Colorado team, and we were called by hundreds (or more) volunteers who couldn’t use the app or the backup phone system. The usernames and passwords were wrong, but the reset password tool didn’t work, and we couldn’t change phone PINs. We were told the problems were limited and asked to project confidence, have people use pencil and paper, and try to submit again later.
Then at 6PM they admitted they had issued the wrong PINs to every volunteer in Colorado, and reissued new PINs (which also didn’t work). Meanwhile, counties where we had hundreds of volunteers, such as Denver Colorado, showed zero volunteers in the system all day, but we weren’t allowed to add them. In one area, the head of the Republican Party plus 10 volunteers were all locked out. The system went down for a half hour during peak voting, but for hundreds or more, it never worked all day. Many of the poll watchers I spoke with were very discouraged. Many members of our phone bank got up and left.
I do not know if the system was totally broken, or if I just saw the worst of it. But I wonder, because they told us all day that most volunteers were submitting just fine, yet admitted at the end that all of Colorado had the wrong PIN’s. They also said the system projected every swing state as pink or red.
Regardless of the specific difficulties, this idea would only help if executed extremely well. Otherwise, those 37,000 swing state volunteers should have been working on GOTV…
Somebody messaged me privately after my email and told me that North Carolina had the same problems—every pin was wrong and not fixed until 6PM—and was also told it was localized to North Carolina.
Once volunteers signed up, they were invited to take part in daily conference calls, but rather than focusing on training, these tended to be cheerleading sessions, with any tactical considerations reduced to answering questions such as would it be OK to wear a red sweatshirt to the polling place. Then there were other minor problems such as this:
On one of the last conference calls (I believe it was on Saturday night), they told us that our packets would be arriving shortly. Now, there seemed to be a fair amount of confusion about what they meant by “packet”. Some people on Twitter were wondering if that meant a packet in the mail or a pdf or what. Finally, my packet arrived at 4PM on Monday afternoon as an emailed 60 page pdf. Nothing came in the mail. Because I was out most of the day, I only got around to seeing it at around 10PM Monday night. So, I sat down and cursed as I would have to print out 60+ pages of instructions and voter rolls on my home printer. Naturally, for reasons I can’t begin to comprehend, my printer would not print in black and white with an empty magenta cartridge (No HP, I will never buy another one of your products ever again). So, at this point I became panicked. I was expected to be at the polls at 6:45AM and nothing was open. I was thankfully able to find a Kinko’s open until 11PM that was able to print it out and bind it for me, but this is not something I should have had to do. They expected 75-80 year old veteran volunteers to print out 60+ pages on their home computers? The night before election day? From what I hear, other people had similar experiences. In fact, many volunteers never received their packets at all.
It got worse:
At 6:30AM on Tuesday, I went to the polls. I was immediately turned away because I didn’t have my poll watcher certificate. Many, many people had this problem. The impression I got was this was taken care of because they had “registered me”. Others were as well. But apparently, I was supposed to go on my own to a Victory Center to pick it up, but that was never communicated properly. Outside of the technical problems, this was the single biggest failure of the operation. They simply didn’t inform people that this was a requirement.
It’s worth giving Ace of Spades the click and reading the rest of Ekdahl’s article if you’re amused by descriptions of extreme ineptitude, but here’s his signoff:
The bitter irony of this entire endeavor was that a supposedly small government candidate gutted the local structure of GOTV efforts in favor of a centralized, faceless organization in a far off place (in this case, their Boston headquarters). Wrap your head around that..
BOSTON—From the moment Mitt Romney stepped off stage Tuesday night, having just delivered a brief concession speech he wrote only that evening, the massive infrastructure surrounding his campaign quickly began to disassemble itself.
Aides taking cabs home late that night got rude awakenings when they found the credit cards linked to the campaign no longer worked.
One of the best things about the Romney campaign post mortem is reading the collective cri du cul emanating from the right-wingers. One interesting feature of their distorted view of the election is the contention that Romney, like his predecessor John McCain, was not conservative enough. Yes, even though paleolithic paleoconservative rape-apologists like Todd Akin and Richard Mourdock lost their senate bids because of their knuckle-dragger comments concerning women’s rights, Mittens somehow lost because he wasn’t regressive enough.
I believe this is the true conservative ticket that can win the White House back for the GOP. Let’s meet the candidates, shall we? Here’s the totally-not-insane presidential candidate, speaking calmly and eloquently about the importance of the separation of Church and State:
Here’s the one-hundred-percent-not-sexually-confused Ted Nugent eruditely discussing the psychosexual implications of the Second Amendment:
How could the GOP fail to capture the all three branches of government with such a dream team at the top of the ticket?
So. It is two days post-election, and while the hangover is gone, I must confess to a certain amount of residual giddy elation over the fact that things still seem to work the way they are designed to work. A living proof that the American idea still works—the idea that we will govern ourselves and we will elect people to represent us as we are—not as a privileged few would like us to be.
In a renewed spirit of bipartisanship, I’m even willing to share my observations of how things went so terribly wrong for Republicans (I won’t even gloat much about the fact that since 2009, I’ve predicted that the GOP was about to “conservative” itself right out of existence).
The clearest failure was that Mitt Romney didn’t run to represent the American people, as they are, he didn’t even seem to have a very good grip on who they are, today, or what they want and need from their union. To be sure, he didn’t even seem very clear on what he, himself wants and needs from that union.
The Republican Party will continue to ignore hard realities at their peril. The further they divorce themselves from real daily life in America and embrace outdated, irrelevant idealogies from the distant past, the closer they lumber toward extinction.
From my perspective, here are some of your mistaken beliefs that will prevent you from ever effectively connecting with the American people of today and the foreseeable future:
Most Americans are strong-willed, level-headed, adaptable people who have worked together, very effectively, to overcome all sorts of adversity, obstacles and plain old bad luck in the past. As such, fear-mongering is not a terribly effective method of persuasion.
Most Americans love facts, technology, education and competing with the world’s great thinkers to further advance intellectual progress. They are put off by denial, magical thinking and deliberate ignorance. They are dismayed by the notion that future generations might, in part, be schooled by idealogues who find proven facts inconvenient or offensive to their personal beliefs using educational materials that are substandard, to satisfy some notion of ideological-correctness.
Most Americans perceive themselves to be inquisitive, independent thinkers capable of deciding for themselves which elected representatives will serve their interests best. They are not mindless zombies being jerked in one direction or another by biased media, requiring a “pundit class” to parse their own political environment and process for them. Most Americans are quite adept at sniffing out bullshit wherever it lurks . . .
Most Americans are proud to be diverse and, at the same time, unified, “to live and let live.” Most Americans are not only rooting for but assisting their fellow Americans’ pursuit of happiness. Most Americans do not feel threatened by differences of race, creed, color or sexual orientation and no amount of baiting will change their minds. Every new immigrant that is assimilated into the American society reaffirms and renews American values—we don’t need politicians to do that for us. We do that ourselves by making room, embracing and helping newcomers succeed. That growth is organic and systemic in American society—politicians’ only job is to stay out of the way and let it happen.
Most Americans love fairness and they perceive Super Pacs, and “dark money” and political “non-profits” and billionaires trying to buy elections as egregiously unfair, distasteful and un-American . . . no matter what the Supreme Court says.
Most Americans love peace and hate sending their children off to war but will do it if the cause is just and the truth is told. Most Americans are proud of their military and happy to support them but don’t necessarily long to have a military whose global footprint is ponderously overbuilt and epicly wasteful.
Most Americans believe in group effort, cooperation and compromise to achieve the common good. As recent polls will attest, they are disgusted by obstructionism, intransigence, bullying and hostage-taking.
Most Americans voted for Barack Obama. Most Americans did not vote for the Republican agenda. Most Americans will not support Republican candidates in the next mid-term elections if Republicans don’t change radically and quickly.
In addition to civic duty, I’m willing to admit that part of the reason that I voted for Barack Obama was revenge. That was the last small, petty bit of silliness that the Romney campaign dragged around to the must-win states that they didn’t win—an offhand remark from Obama: “Voting is the best revenge!” Naturally, because this is what a flailing campaign does, they tried to construe this as something other than the obvious point:
You vote against Romney and move on. Don’t hate—just win.
I’m not as chill as the President is. I like winning, and I like that we did. But I still have some bad feelings, so let me sum up more ways in which it is revenge, and not just because “living well is the best revenge.” (Which I will always hear in Ivana Trump’s voice, interestingly.)
You also vote because the bastards don’t want you to, and together we work on doing what we need to do. You look at the disenfranchisement, the long lines, the attempts to end early voting, the robocalls and leaflets that gave wrong election dates and the negative ads not designed to make people vote for a given candidate—but to make them give up their franchise in despair. You look at all that undemocratic fuckery and you have to vote. You have to try and change it. You have to believe that we can do better; but more than that, we have to do it together.
And for Obama’s part, he has to keep the faith with us that we put in him—and his victory speech is long on the promise that he will keep that faith. But here’s a thing he doesn’t have to worry about now—re-election. His mandate is that he did get re-elected this time. He has four more years. It’s all he’ll get. So this “why doesn’t he make a big friendly bipartisan gesture” talk I’m hearing?
Boehner and McConnell can fold that noise up into all sharp corners and sit on it until 2014. If they want to continue to be obstructionist, that’s fine—but the next referendum is on them. And voting is the best revenge.
I thought witnessing the Great PUMA Tantrum of Aught-Eight in real time was fun, but it turns out that was just the bagged crudité tray before the grand schadenfreude banquet that is the Colossal Wingnut Bed-Shitting of 2012. Good times!
But among all the very many reasons to be happy today, one of my favorite things is the stunning progress we’ve made on LGBT equality, symbolized by a few of last night’s election results. NOM has a sad today, and that’s a Good Thing. They used to crow about their “36-0” record, and to give the devil their due, they were remarkably successful in advancing the cause of bigotry and defacing various state constitutions with anti-gay graffiti.
That streak is broken. Marriage equality won in Maine, Maryland and Minnesota (and maybe Washington state too). Tammy Baldwin is the first openly gay senator elected in US history.
This particular moral arc of the universe has been bending toward justice for a long time, thanks to the brave and tireless efforts of millions of people over decades. And although it has bent more sharply recently, we still have a long way to go.
But is there any doubt that having a sitting president come out in favor of marriage equality made a difference? Is there any doubt that President Obama’s successful drive to repeal Don’t Ask Don’t Tell changed things?
Thank you, President Barack Obama. Well done, sir.
I am a person who has spent most of my life speaking, writing or communicating in some fashion or other, for both business and pleasure. Although age has gradually enhanced my discretion, diplomacy and ability to keep my mouth tightly shut at critical moments, I am rarely at a loss for words.
Today, however, I am truly at a loss to describe the intensity of my emotions in the wake of President Obama’s re-election. The only analogy that I can come up with is that this feeling must be similar to what patients afflicted with long-term, debilitating illnesses feel when they are fully restored by “miraculous” cures.
Apparently, I have been suffering for quite a long time (at least since the 2010 midterm elections) from an insidious political disillusion that progressed, by stages, through despair, anger, bitterness and finally built to a campaign-year fever of cynicism that threatened to pull me under, into a relapse of my “post-Nixon” apolitical angst.
But this morning is a new day that I face with renewed vigor, renewed faith in humanity and America, and renewed hope for a better future for my child and his family. This is not because I believe that Barack Obama is some sort of political demigod. Over the past four years I have often disagreed with the President and his reactions to the exigencies of leading a highly polarized, partisan government. I have been disappointed, exasperated and, at times, bewildered by Obama’s actions but, in the end, Obama’s final words to Wisconsin voters resonated deeply in me:
Wisconsin, you know me by now. You may not agree with every decision I’ve made—you know, Michelle doesn’t either. You may be frustrated at the pace of change. I promise you, so am I sometimes. But you know that I say what I mean and I mean what I say. You know where I stand, you know what I believe, you know I tell the truth… So when I say, Wisconsin, that I know what real change looks like, you’ve got cause to believe me because you’ve seen me fight for it, you’ve seen me deliver it, you’ve seen the scars on me to prove it, you’ve seen the gray hairs on my head to show you what it means to fight for change.
I believe in Barack Obama and I believe in the America that relected him, the America that, through their pain, valiantly spoke truth to power and, in a unified voice said that, against all odds, no amount of money, no amount of intimidation, no amount of disinformation and demagoguery can deter us from constantly striving to create “a more perfect union.”
And how are we feeling this morning? Never mind. You could have a thumping headache and Mitt Romney for president.
Have an open thread to share those schadenfreudy thrills, late results, and reactions till somebody else who knows how to drive this thing and is feeling less fragile than I am gets it together to put up a post.
Here we go either liveblogging or openly thready, somewhat off-kilter, as your hostess is a hurricane refugee hanging with Strange in PA, and your host is napping until CNN stops telling us to ignore their own exit polls (“It’s too early!”).
In the late-election frenzy with only some ten hours of queuing to go, in a fit of preemptive footstamping spite, some of the Borg have their sights firmly trained on the REAL enemy—the messenger, Nate Silver—with the upcoming launch by “a team of GOP techies” of the blockbuster website Nate Silver Wrong!
It’s been slow to catch on so far, just about the only place embracing it at the moment being Free Republic, where the stakes are clear:
Not only is NAte finished but we can forever show that PPP, ABC, CBS, WaPo,CNN, NYT, Huffpo, Politico , Kos, DU , etc are wrong.
We will win much more than the WH.
It would be the end of the DNC’s MSM’s campaign arm.
posted on 06 November 2012 07:24:39 by NoLibZone (If the black experience is about being hated, I know more about it than Whoppi does I’m a Republican)
I love that some geek dweeb without a clue is going to help take down the Dem establishment and turn chicago into a smoking heap. Wonder how they’ll reward him when it’s over? Muslim beheading?
With less than two nailbiting hours before the site goes fully live, you can fill the time by following the excitable @natesilverwrong as he flirts with Dick Morris, or searching the #natesilverwrong hashtag, which was trending heavily with four whole tweets at time of writing, or visit Nate Silver Wrong on Facebook, which currently has 21 “likes.”
Or, I don’t know, have a catnap before tonight, go vote, make some GOTV calls ...
The Pinellas County, FL (St. Pete, Clearwater, etc.) Supervisor of Elections accidentally sent out a robocall this morning to hundreds—possibly thousands—of voters informing them that they have until 7 PM tomorrow to vote. Only, the message was supposed to be sent yesterday, when “tomorrow” would have been otherwise known as today.
The Supervisor of Elections in Pinellas County is a Republican. In 2008, the county went 54% for President Obama and 45% for Senator McCain. But I’m sure that’s just a coincidence and that the robocall was an honest mistake…
This post isn’t really intended to be a troll of you fine Roasters—clearly, I wouldn’t seriously suggest a literal endorsement of Les Mittserables in the least, but I did want to expand on Betty’s “How Low Will they Go?” post and especially Big Bad Bald Bastard’s comment regarding David Frum’s actual endorsement of a person who, to the very best I can estimate, we have only about a 47% chance of guessing at any time how he will act on any given issue. That’s well within a practical margin of error of a coin flip, no? That makes him the Schroedinger’s Candidate for the purposes of this election—and if one of our economic problems is uncertainty, I don’t like the looks of Mitt for either our short-term or our long-term problems.
But let’s seriously examine what a Romney presidency really means in a situation where the US Congress is likewise GOP-controlled, supposing that people actually did knuckle under and vote for Count Mittula out of a kind of Stockholm Syndrome:
The Teabaggers already have progress tied up in the basement, and if we don’t vote for Romney, they’ll start beating it with wet ropes! Or dry ropes! Or copies of Atlas Shrugged! It could get ugly! Oh noes!
I’m not in the mood to negotiate with hostage-takers just yet (what do I look like, the Reagan Administration?) Now, if you were to ask me, this would actually be more of a stellar argument against having a GOP-controlled anything. I would vote for Obama to particularly spite those bastards, and vote against any Republican just on the general principle that you can’t do me like that. After all, there are some GOP Senate candidates that are actually advertising on the hopes of Obama having coat tails, and a divided government becoming the hot, bipartisan thing. Fuck all that. (Actually, as a Smark going back a handful of years, screw a bunch of Linda McMahon.) Even if you don’t love Obama—I’d say the best thing is for people to vote for Democrats because Republicans in charge of the House have seriously sucked. Their suckage is not about a failure of the White House. Their suckage is about thinking legislating ladyparts creates jobs because Jesus. Mitt Romney is not the guy who can fix that. Why? Because he at least half the time pretends to believe it—if he doesn’t actually believe it. It’s hard to say.
So what is left for the people who want to endorse Romney to rely on? His business acumen? Seriously? As if that creates jobs! It didn’t when he was governor of Massachusetts and it’s dubious that it did when he was CEO of Bain. His job was to make money as the Bainiac-in-Chief, and as the Head Manager in Charge of The People’s Republic of “Taxamachusetts” (where he earned the title Governor FeeFee) he didn’t exactly earn plenty of points for either bipartisanship or fiscal awesomeness. Actually, in his only elected position, his veteoes were overruled by the majority Democratic state legislature more often than not, (No wonder he spent the half of his term that he spent thinking about being a part of the 2008 GOP presidential primary instead of being MA Governor bad-mouthing Massachusetts altogether, amirite?) And then there’s his record on civil rights. Which is so bad compared to what he promised when he ran for MA Senate against liberal lion Ted Kennedy, you know?
See, despite the wishful thinking of the Log Cabin Republicans, Mitt would be a garbage disaster for LGBT* people, because he gave money to NOM, for one thing. and he didn’t realize that gay couples might want to raise families for another. If anyone thinks he would stand up against bullies against LGBT folks, well, he’s okay with acknowledging the LGBT folks, except for the B and the T . Or really being, you know, helpful towards them. (What can I personally say about that? Um, as a former teen who is bisexual and was bullied, I can from experience say more education and acknowledgement about and of bisexuality might be helpful.) And I don’t think you need to read “binders full” about women to know he doesn’t stand in your corner if you are a feminist. Or just a woman, in general.
So what it comes down to, for me, is that, even leaving aside all Obama’s accomplishments and the ways in which (understanding foreign policy, macroeconomics, not being a mouthbreathing tool amongst other nations’ leaders) he’s simply superior, Romney is manifestly not the guy for the job. A serial lying bigoted know-little can’t understand why the job is even important, let along behave is if it was something more than the penultimate Big Deal on his CV. So I am manifestly not endorsing Mitt Romney. Not to talk up Obama, which I could, forever! But to point out that whenever I see someone who supports Romney, I think so much less of that person. Uck. Him. Such a lying sack. After the Election—good riddance!
Romney is telling voters that it’s a nice little country they’ve got there, and it would be a shame if something were to, you know, happen to it. Ryan told an evangelical group founded by uber-crook Ralph Reid that the president’s policies undermine “Judeo-Christian” values.
What other whoppers will they lob before the day is out? Perhaps we can gauge their desperation by how close they come to screeching about a Mandingo eating their baby…