Wednesday, November 7, 2012


     Heaven forbid!!!!
     Before we leave this most expensive presidential campaign in history, a few thoughts from a self avowed political junkie-who got paid to cover politics. (Talk about larceny!)
      Lot of people are saying the GOP needs to "reform" or change, to shift away from being a party dominated by whites, males, conservatives and the wealthy.  I'm not sure I buy those descriptions as being the complete sum total of the party.  But if it is true, the party ran a very close race as it is.  Charles Krauthammer says instead the GOP needs to look to a younger generation of itself, particularly to younger governors or members of the senate.
      Aside from Jon Huntsman the other GOP candidates were extremists, flawed, whackos or unqualified.  Romney won in a court of dunces.  In truth he was a north eastern moderate who had to play to a party that is in the grip of a right wing, some of whom border on zealots.  Old line republicans were not in evidence and frankly some held their heads down in shame.  
      The Republican party needs to do a few things.  Throw off the control of social issue, right wing, moralizing and/or tea party extremists.  It needs to move toward an historic moderate position where it could tolerate candidates as liberal as Nixon, Reagan, Dole and even Eisenhower. Many of the current crop of Republicans would dispute the policies of their own historic leadership. Just as Romney did with his own previous Massachusetts record. The GOP "base" is too far right. Let the right wing go start their own third party movement.  The GOP needs to come to grips with the changing demographic of America.  More about that in a moment.
      The Obama machine and the Democratic leadership has been terribly shortsighted.  Yes re-electing the president was paramount, but should not have been their only interest.  The Democrats, and even the Republicans, should both begin to rebuild national parties.  Today the association is only nominal and temporary. National, grass roots based organizations should exist to hear local needs, respond to those issues, demand accountability, train and vet future candidates for state legislatures and federal office.  Think of how much better off Obama would be if the Democrats controlled the House.  Strong national parties, engaged in finding and funding strong candidates for the House are a lot healthier for this Republic than the big money of Super Pacs and special interests who now control who has the money and ultimately who gets elected.  Those interests are beholden only to themselves.  
     Parties worked historically.  But now if you've got enough money, a good organization and pollster you can declare yourself whatever you say you are and run, and may get elected. To a large extent Obama is a case in point. So, the newly reelected President should preside over helping his party to rebuild a true national party.  
     The President needs to bang Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid on the head, repeatedly, until they are ready to put partisan politics behind national need. (I mean the head banging figuratively, at least for Pelosi)
      The Democrats need to hear what millions of voters think.  People don't like taxes.  Some of us understand that taxes are in fact necessary, but with bullies and simple minded people like Howard Jarvis doing their stupid oath taking, there is a lot of work to be done before Americans understand the relationship between accountability, accounting, needs, revenue and strategic planning. This nation faces critical financial issues that need something more than we've seen in the past 12 years.
      The first trick Obama needs to clear is how to move forward-truly building a structure that will embrace the House Republicans and bring them to cooperation, or to bulldoze over them.  Here again, if his guru David Axlerod had been more forward thinking the campaign would have rolled in a flood of House Democrats. Instead he faces a Republican majority who spent the last two years doing a dance of insanity and obfuscation.  This nation needs genuine problem solving.  That would be problem solving ahead of political advantage.
      So someone needs to take Mitch McConnell to a heavy metal funk bar, dose him on some mind altering elixir and turn him into a roadie for 50 Cent until he cries uncle. The Senate filibuster rule needs to change.  
      John Boehner should be chained to a stake like a dog and spend a week in a Mississippi shack eating gruel and watching how people in poverty struggle to stay alive.
      I don't know how Obama is going to transverse the perils that led us to gridlock, but he is the Chief Executive and he needs to evince a leadership that will lead to a new way of doing the nation's business. But it takes the other side willing to help.
      The 2014 mid term could/should be a Democratic priority. They need to find a way to win the house and hold the Senate.
       African American, Latino, women  and young voters are the apparent alliance that put Obama back into the White House.  Republicans-how does that picture jive with your party?  Truth is Latino voters will continue to play a powerful role in American politics.  There are pockets of the nation where the Asian voting patterns hold power.
        Many women have made it abundantly clear that their bodies, their health and their well being are theirs and that politicians who don't understand may not get their vote. I am not implying that women vote only on such issues, but some do.
      It is healthy for all Americans that more women will now serve in the Senate.  Again it is matter of perspective.
Don't be surprised to see the 2016 field fill with Latino faces of both parties.  
      Voter fraud and cheating is as old as the Republic. Still is wrong and this year we saw evidence of voter suppression.  A political operative pal sent this along to demonstrate. BEWARE-this might make you laugh. But it might also make you think.  Now there's a good start for the next cycle.  Thinking.

   Well done complements to John King of CNN and Chuck Todd of NBC for their masterful work with touch screens that help crunch and illustrate the returns in last night's coverage. It was a great blend of interpretative journalism and technology.  
    See you down the trail.


  1. Tom,I truly think it is too late for the Republican Party. It is no longer the party of Lincoln it is the party of Calhoun. As my mother used to say, "you are judged by the people you hang around with" and to remain viable since Nixon they have had to add group after group of crazy people to just break even.

    The Democratic Party is now just to the right of the Republican Party of Eisenhower.

    Our country has huge challenges ahead and the Republicans have no interest in those challenges. Cantor is waiting to shive Boehner, Mitch McConnell is already challenging the President and wingers are calling Governor Christie from New Jersey a "fat, blowhard turncoat." They have no leadership anymore, zero, nada, nothing.

    Did you know that 50,000 Latinos turn 18 every month? (And they don't consider Cubans their brothers or sisters.)

  2. I agree with so much of what you say but I wonder if what you describe is humanly possible. I'm an optimist but Obama is only human and he needs help to tackle all of the issues you've outlined. It's a wonder anyone wants this thankless job.

  3. Your analysis is extremely one sided. I'm a dark-skinned female who disagrees with the right's social issues but with the left's fiscal issues even more so and am forced to vote with the "old white, wealthy, males.' I'm not insane, a dunce, a bully, simple minded nor one of the women who "do" vote only on abortion/contraception issues. I would never suggest that any democrat be chained to a stake like a dog. As a 'person of poverty' while growing up and in my young adult years, I actually do know and care about how people struggle to stay alive because I did so and without government support. But I learned that the collectivist ideology has and will continue to destroy the world's most prosperous country as it has all the social democracies in Europe. We should be frightened at the prospect, not calling for more of the same. Obama has demonized Romney unfairly and the press was complicit. I believe Romney to be a decent and caring individual with sensible ideas that could have, would have created jobs and lifted more people out of poverty than you will see in the next 4 years. Dems controlling the house, senate and the WH is not something that would bring the country together but divide it further. Witness the first 2 years of Obama's administration. CBO estimates $20 trillion in debt before long. Is this not mind-boggling? What are we doing to our children? A different perspective from Maryann

    1. Maryann-
      I hope you and frequent readers know that I don't really propose banging Pelosi and Reid over the head, nor the stated actions for Boehner and McConnell, no matter how good it might be for them! Speaking large, poetically, bombastically.
      But I am very serious about the GOP need to widen back to its more centrist view for a base, their need and the Democrats as well, to accommodate the demographic reality of America. Quite serious about the Obama administrations ability to hear what voters think about budget control and taxes. Very serious as well about the need to return to a true party structure that is in place and operating in neighborhoods and across congressional districts. That, to my way of thinking, can make politicians more observant of constituent needs, thoughts, desires and feelings.

  4. Tom, one thing that you didn't touch on was the Supreme Court and the impact that Obama will have in appointments - if the Senate can ever see fit to confirm anyone.