Thursday, November 15, 2012

A Question Of Math

I am so glad that I have a DVR that allows me to back-up on live television. I was quite sure I had misunderstood that story this morning, but even on second hearing it was the same. Can you believe the unapologetic duplicity of the statements that Mr. Romney made to his supporters this week!? He seems to be completely unaware of how inanely disingenuous he is being.

 In finding a way to explain his loss to the people who bankrolled his endeavors did he admit defeat of the repeated use of questionable talking points? …the dependence on debunked economic theory? …or how about dependence on pandering to the small-minded prejudices the xenophobic masses who fear a president who doesn't "look like an American?"

No! His excuse was nothing so direct. Mr. Romney blamed his defeat on the president's buying the votes of the special interests. He blamed his lack of success on the Dream Act, Obamacare, and progressive programs that help the poor and the homeless. This seems on the face of it to be a strange and disconnected way of thinking, but carry it through to its logical end and you will see that it is even worse than dishonest, it is delusional. Can he not see that what is in play here is not some unusual and covert strategy; it is – at its very core – the same strategy he used, the winner simply "pandered" (if you want to call it that) to a much broader audience.

Really, Mitt, really!? What happened last Tuesday was not a mystery, it was not magic, it was Math! The president espoused policies that were popular with the masses. Healthcare, jobs, etc. You promised to codify in law religious beliefs of a small minority and give HUGE amounts of money to people who are already rich. That made the president slightly popular with LOTS of people and you HUGELY popular with a few people. It's Math, Mitt – Pure and simple!

The Republican course of action, once again, was to promise huge tax breaks to the wealthiest minority of the country; offer draconian reductions of basic human rights for women, immigrants, and minorities; and to make the long discredited claim that it is because the reason we have been in a hiring funk for the last six years is that the regulations that protect our food, air, and water make it hard for a good, altruistic, corporation fear for its financial future and prevent business expansion.

C'mon, Mitt! If you truly believe this, you are not being honest. Not with yourself or your supporters. Or perhaps you are just REALLY bad at arithmetic. There are far more people who benefit from the very programs you want to cut and the policies you abhor. If you want to call the difference in policy between the president and yourself "pandering," or "political pay-off" then please, at least phrase the results of both campaigns in the same terms. Don't claim that "He" was pandering. He just pandered to a more populace base.

At least your running mate was honest about it. In the Washington Post, Paul Ryan explained the reason he failed to carry even his home town in the presidential race because he was "Ryan the Republican" and not "Paul the Hometown Guy." He failed to live-up to his personal convictions, joined the vitriolic campaign based on (at best) half-truth, and promising unpopular policies based on unfounded economics.

That is why you lost, by the way. You pandered to a shrinking base of voters, promising them things that could do no good whatsoever to the masses. You lost because, to quote Lindsey Graham: "[you were] not generating enough angry white guys to stay in business for the long term." It is the new political reality. The majority of the US is a group of people who don't look like you. Unless the Republicans can return to their core principles of fiscal restraint you are doomed join the Edsel and the Ice Box as things people remember but don't really miss. And, by the way, spending BILLIONS of dollars on an ELECTION does not show fiscal restraint! If you’re going to spend that much money getting elected – most of it from secret rich donors, we have to wonder what you're going to owe them afterward.

Wherever you are today I hope that you will not try blaming your bad decisions on the actions of others.

Don Bergquist – November 15, 2012 – Lakewood, Colorado, USA

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