The Aftermath of Mitt Romney and President Obama presidential campaign.
It’s always the first rule of thumb when climbing out of any hole.
It’s a timeless lesson a bumbling Republican Party can’t seem to grasp these days, as its own members’ political incompetence and stunning shortsightedness continue to make life difficult and threaten the GOP’s future as a viable political organization.
Less than a week removed from a thumping in the presidential election with President Barack Obama’s resounding defeat of former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney, Republicans were busy becoming their own worst enemy once more, showcasing the same tired, narrow-minded antics that have cost them two consecutive bids at the White House.
Romney’s misbegotten comments attributing Obama’s victory to “gifts” doled out to minorities, women and young people were eerily reminiscent of the now-infamous “47 percent” remarks he made earlier this year that essentially asserted that nearly half the country was a bunch of mooching free loaders.
Not only were the former Massachusetts governor’s observations offensive, but they were factually incorrect as well. Romney failed to carry a number of overwhelmingly White states such as Vermont, New Hampshire or Iowa, not to mention the many more diverse ones. And never mind that legislation such as the Affordable Health Care Act applied to all Americans, not just minority groups. Or any self-perspective about the role of his own muddled campaign or ever-shifting positions on everything from abortion to health care may have had in his Electoral College beat down.
And don’t even get me started on the overall lack of intelligence or dearth of political savvy needed to make such asinine comments on a conference call while just assuming there would be no reporters around to hear it.
Either way, it wasn’t exactly the message the GOP hierarchy wanted leading the news cycle after spending most of the dark days immediately following the election talking about the need to diversify in the face of the nation’s fast-changing demographics if the party is to ever be a national factor again.
Not surprisingly, a number of high-profile Republicans like Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez and others wasted no time in repudiating Romney’s statement in the hopes of containing the fallout and sending the failed presidential candidate away for good into obscurity. Of course, Jindal, among others, has a vested interest in doing so because of his own presidential aspirations, perhaps in 2016. But at least he is smart enough to understand that alienating as many different key voting constituencies as possible with absolutely no regard to the consequences is hardly sound political strategy.
But Romney is hardly alone in the alternate reality in which so many Republicans prefer to live these days. Threats this week by Republican senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham to block any possible Obama nomination of Susan Rice as secretary of state were laughable.
Sure, the political version of Beavis and Buthead can hold out on the Senate’s arcane filibuster rules to stifle any possible Rice nomination for a while.
But at what cost to the Republican Party?
Not only would such a move further paint the GOP as the obstructionist “Party of No,” one whose sole mission is to thwart the president at every turn regardless of what that means for the nation as a whole.
But, more ominously for Republicans, it would also cement their non-inclusive image that sent record numbers of Latinos, African-Americans, women and young people to the Democratic camp during this past election.
Just imagine the sight of a bunch of crusty, old, White men berating a vibrant and extremely intelligent Black woman on national television and how that would go over.
Not so well, I’m guessing.
The GOP might be wise to heed Jindal’s advice from earlier this week and finally stop being “the party of stupid.”
By; John Hollis