Why Romney Lost, & How Dems Can Keep Winning: Part 1

Most people were surprised by the size of the President’s margin of victory and how quickly the race was called last night.  In one sense, it’s remarkable that a black President trying to right one of the worst recessions in generations who had a horrible first debate and was running against the best financed opponent ever in American politics won. It’s remarkable until you look at the bigger picture.

Obama won in large part because Republican policies and values are just anathema to most Americans. But he also won because voters knew Obama understood them and would put them first. The President was not re-elected on issue X or because voters wanted him to enact policy Y. He was elected because voters rejected Republican solutions and values, and voters trusted the President to figure out the best course forward for our country and do what was right for their families. Here are a few key reasons why:

“The 47%” I could almost end with this and feel I’d answered the question. The reason the 47% comment was so damaging to Romney wasn’t because it was a gaffe but because it was real. He didn’t just dismiss half of America but went on to say that those working parents and struggling students and people working multiple jobs to make ends meet would never take personal responsibility for their lives. He scorned them and demonstrated how little he and his fellow Republicans leaders understand average Americans.

Paul Ryan & Ayn Rand. By picking Paul Ryan and doubling down on his Randian budget that even ultra-conservative Catholic Bishops called “immoral,” Romney showed where his heart really was. Whereas Romney insulted the 47%, Paul Ryan went a step father to say a whopping 60% of Americans were “takers.” Rep. Ryan is a devoted acolyte of Ayn Rand and has a post on his Facebook page saying we need more of her morality in America. This election reminded people that while Ayn Rand is a best-selling author, there is a reason her fan club tends to be limited mostly to teenage boys.

“Focusing your life solely on making a buck shows a certain poverty of ambition. It asks too little of yourself because it’s only when you hitch your wagon to something larger than yourself that you realize your true potential.–Barack Obama” In the same way Romney’s “47%” speaks for itself, so does this quote that was the sole statement on the Obama door hangers I found on my door election day. Despite Romney and the Republican efforts to convince voters they should only care about themselves, America’s greatness comes from the fact that we recognize we all do better when we all do better. Voters rejected Republican selfishness in favor of the clear Democratic vision for the Common Good.

You can’t scare or buy American voters. The Obama campaign apparatus deserves huge kudos for their masterful turnout effort. But they were unquestionably helped by the overt and well-documented efforts by Republicans to keep voters–especially minorities and younger voters–from being able to vote. Republican efforts to prevent early voting, voter ID laws, and normal Republican misinformation and intimidation tactics backfired. But perhaps the biggest surprise of all was the backlash against the hundreds of millions spent by shadow Republican groups funded by wealthy ideologues like the Koch brothers and Sheldon Adelson. Polling and interviews showed voters understood the threat this poses to our democracy and were insulted that these rich tycoons thought they could buy an American election. Rather than suppressing the vote or persuading voters to their side, the backlash against these tactics expanded the vote and gave voters on the fence more of a reason to stick with Obama.

So where do we go from here? Republican values and priorities are out of sync with most of America. But they have also repeatedly shown a willingness to put the good of the country after their desire to score partisan political points. Democrats have to keep building and expanding on our margins and pushing back into the rural and other parts of the country we have won in the past and will need to win again to secure governing majorities in Congress. Tomorrow, I’ll address how Democrats can continue to build on last night and lay the groundwork for a much brighter future.

@SappEric

  • ToronadoBlue

    Eric said: “Obama won in large part because Republican policies and values are just anathema to most Americans.”

    –Maybe an anathema to those who think that 16 trillion in debt is not enough. We’ve got serious fiscal problems and I’m not sure if enough people are taking it seriously. A war on Math will only end badly.

    Eric said: “The President was not re-elected on issue X or because voters wanted him to enact policy Y.”

    –Large numbers of Hispanics are expecting immigration reform. Couple their growing numbers and the decline of working whites gave him a boost.

    Eric said: “the 47% comment was so damaging to Romney wasn’t because it was a gaffe but because it was real.”

    –He admitted that he misspoke and the generosity of his giving of his own money shows that he does care.

    This is what Obama thinks of small town Americans:
    “It’s not surprising, then, they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren’t like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations.”

    Both have said things that didn’t come out of their mouths the way they intended it.

    Eric said: “Rep. Ryan is a devoted acolyte of Ayn Rand and has a post on his Facebook page saying we need more of her morality in America.”

    –I don’t know how much Ryan likes Rand and I don’t personally approve of Rand’s atheism. However, Rand’s point of government becoming over burdensome and picking winners and losers does resonate, as well as the point that someone deserves to keep most of what he earns.

    Never the less, I’d lean towards Rand and away from Marx.

    Eric said: “Despite Romney and the Republican efforts to convince voters they should only care about themselves, ..”

    –Wanting to keep the government out of my pockets as much as possible and over regulating my life is not the same thing as only caring for myself. Wanting a better government means caring about my country.

    Eric said: “Voters rejected Republican selfishness in favor of the clear Democratic vision for the Common Good.”

    It was Small Government versus Big Government. Due to the changing dynamics and demographics, the tipping point has been reached and the course is clear. The government is only going to get bigger and more intrusive, requiring more dollars from the wallets.

    As an overpaid and underworked contractor for the federal government with a 6 figure income and excessively great benefits- my pocket book won last night on the backs of the tax payers.

    Eric said: “Republican values and priorities are out of sync with most of America.”

    – ~51% maybe… we still are a divided and polarized nation.

    Eric said: “But they [Republicans] have also repeatedly shown a willingness to put the good of the country after their desire to score partisan political points. ”

    –Eric, you still have that log in your eye. Are you saying that Democrats don’t try to score partisan political points? That’s insulting because neither side is perfect.

    Eric said: ” I’ll address how Democrats can continue to build on last night and lay the groundwork for a much brighter future.”

    –They can start by not booing when the word ‘God’ is reinserted into their platform as well as to understand that people take infringements of their religious liberties personally.

    • Eric Sapp

      Nixon said he “was not a crook.” That did not make it any more true than Romney saying first that he stood by his comments and then that he mispoke only several days later when it became clear how damaging they were. Anyone but the most partisan of apologists watching that video knew exactly what Romney was saying and where that scorn for half of America came from. That is why it was so damaging. What is most mind-boggling to me is that it took several days for Romney and his campaign to recognize the problem.

      • ToronadoBlue

        Eric said: “Nixon said he “was not a crook.””

        –Sort of like saying that you’re pro-life but support policies that aren’t.

        Romney’s personal life and his generosity with his own money shows that he did care about others.

        • Eric Sapp

          Agree about saying you’re pro-life but then supporting policies and parties that aren’t. I actually wrote a blog on that in fact. Maybe you’ve read it? ;)

          • ToronadoBlue

            Actually I have.

            Also posted responses and corrected numerous inaccuracies which still you haven’t been able to refute.

          • ToronadoBlue

            To help you out Eric, I’m reposting a post over there that you still haven’t been able to refute:
            (11/4/12)
            Eric has consistently spread the falsehood that under Republican administrations, abortions go up and under Democrats, abortions go down. When looking at total number abortions, each year of the Bush (Dubya) Administration was lower than every single year of the Clinton administration.

            Compare:
            During the Clinton administration, abortions each year ranged in between 1,313,000 and 1,495,000.

            During the Bush administration, abortions each year ranged in between 1,206,200 and 1,291,000.

            That means there were significantly less abortions under a Republican administration- every single year. But I personally don’t believe this is absolute proof because there many other factors to consider. And to tell you the truth, I believe that one dead aborted child is too many.

            ************
            Eric is correct that Romney is not as pro-life as i’d like and may not have pro-life specific legislation in mind. However it is the Congress who makes the laws with the President signing them and hopefully a Republican congress will pass pro-life legislation for Romney to sign. A lot of this depends on the Democrat opposition.

            With regards to the Supreme Court where Roe V Wade can be overturned, Romney is more likely to nominate a pro-life judge than Obama. As a matter of fact, NARAL- a pro-abortion advocacy group says that Romney is a danger to abortion rights.

            There are some policies that as Christians, we cannot support. I apologize, but to get my point across I feel the need to repeat it. There are some policies, that as Christians, we CANNOT support.

            For instance, as a Christian, I cannot support a party that wants to legalize pedophilia.
            As a Christian, I cannot support a party that wants to legalize slavery.
            As a Christian, I cannot support a party that wants to legalize banning Christianity.
            As a Christian, I cannot support a party that wants to legalize child prostitution.
            As a Christian, I cannot support a party that wants to legalize restricting my right to worship God as he wants me to.
            The list is short, but there are several clear boundaries that as Christians we shouldn’t support.

            Therefore, if you believe that each child is created in God’s image, then as a Christian, we cannot support a party that wants to terminate it’s existence.

            Romney may not be as pro-life as I’d like. I hope progress will be made in that one day, all unborn babies will be given the equal right to live a life. I doubt I’ll see in my lifetime because I recognize that it is going to be a long road and the devil will have his allies.

            I am reminded that Lincoln, although celebrated as the man who gave the slave his freedom, was also the same who said that the ‘negro’ was not equal to the ‘white’. Although the march for rights was long, God eventually granted a victory.
            Although Romney may not be the perfect choice for giving equal rights to the unborn, I pray that he will be useful in the march for that victory. (11/4/12)

          • Eric

            I know you have tornado…it’s just hard to keep up with all the comments y’all leave. I do try. To your abortion point, Bush came after Clinton. So if the first year of bush’s presidency was was 100k lower than Clinton’s, who gets credit for that? None of bush’s policies had taken effect in that first year and women have to be pregnant for a while before they can get an abortion. So it went down at the very beginning, but then went up after that until democrats took over congress, when it started going back down. So yes, bush’s numbers were lower than Clinton’s but they started lower bc of the impact of Clinton policies. Then bush made the numbers worse again, even if they never got as bad as the numbers Clinton started with when he was taking over from bush’s dad.

          • ToronadoBlue

            Eric,

            If we are going to discount the first year of the presidency and attribute the abortion rate to the predecessor (because of time to implement policies), it still doesn’t show that much difference.

            The first year of Clinton (’93) saw a decline of 33,930 abortions from the previous year. Therefore that means Bush senior could be credited with 3 straight years of decline of total abortions.

            The first year into Bush’s presidency (’01) saw a decline of 22,000 total abortions for which Clinton could be credited with.

            Next, we don’t have national statistics for 2009, but some states have provided data. If we are to attribute the abortion statistics of the first year of the presidency to the predecessor, then you must credit George Dubya Bush again, because almost every state that has data still shows a drop in total abortions in the first year of the Obama administration.

            Keep in mind that the last 6 years of the Clinton’s 8 year presidency, he had to work with a Republican congress and a Republican Senate. So, if you want to credit Clinton (and not Republicans) for a decline in abortions that was ongoing since 1990 (total abortions) and 1983 (abortion rate) — then you must point to a legislation that he got passed over Republican objections. Can you do that?

            On another note, when the Democrats took over the House and Senate in 2006, the abortion total and abortion rate ticked up in 2008. What law did Bush pass in ’07/’08 over Democrat objections that caused that uptick (if you want to blame Bush)? [I have a feeling it has to do with the bursting of the housing bubble in 2008 -just a edumacated guess on my part]

            To be honest, it is really difficult to get the full picture from just plain ol’ numbers because there are soo many factors that affect the abortion rate (pro-life attitudes, economy, jobs, attitudes on contraception, birth rates ). Secondly, sometimes a policy that is implemented will have an affect long after. The results of the Carter admin may still be felt in Bush Senior’s admin, and so on.

            I have made my case that it is not true that abortions rise with Republicans and decline with Democrats. If you have any proof to the contrary, with hard data to back it up, lets hear it.

            ————————

            I’ve posted the below several times, but have yet to hear a reasonable rebuttal from anyone:

            There are some policies that as Christians, we cannot support. I apologize, but to get my point across I feel the need to repeat it. There are some policies, that as Christians, we CANNOT support.

            For instance, as a Christian, I cannot support a party that wants to legalize pedophilia.
            As a Christian, I cannot support a party that wants to legalize slavery.
            As a Christian, I cannot support a party that wants to ban Christianity.
            As a Christian, I cannot support a party that wants to legalize child prostitution.
            As a Christian, I cannot support a party that wants to infringe on my religious rights.
            The list is short, but there are several clear boundaries that as Christians we shouldn’t support.

            Therefore, if you believe that each child is created in God’s image, then as a Christian, we cannot support a party that wants to allow the option to kill them needlessly.

        • pat

          You realize that much of Romney’s “generosity” is the 10% he is expected to give to his church. Which is OK for him and for his church. But we must keep our definitions accurate.

      • ToronadoBlue

        Just to add to the comments:
        I personally don’t believe either Romney (47%) or Obama (bitter clingers) intended their comments to be insulting but rather off the cuff remarks that came out in a bad way. And even Obama attempted to explain away the comments at first before eventually ‘regretting’ them. However, Romney did say the next day that he wished he said it in a different way.

        My personal feeling is that neither politician wanted to admit wrong doing as their allies jumped into damage control mode to defend the comments. Furthermore, because neither intended to insult anyone, backtracking on the comments could give the appearance that they were, but then got caught.

    • Ralph

      The 16 trillion dollar deficit is real. 12 trillion was during Republican administrations. Of the remaining 4 trillion, 1 trillion was interest on the 12 trillion. 2 trillion was to pay for two Republican wars. Please explain how a Republican can fix this by cutting taxes.

      The American public is not as dumb as the Republicans assume. They looked at every ‘fact’ you listed and said that they don’t want a part of it. The Republicans ran on take back America and they did….from far right. I know it has taken about a 150 years for the South to get over they lost. So, it will take time for you.

      • ToronadoBlue

        Ralph,

        I’ll be honest with you, the more I read about the deficits and trying to tack who is at fault the more confused I get because there is soo much more than meets the eye behind the statistics. I believe that there is a lot of blame to go around.

        The US debt when Obama took office was approximately $10.5T, give or take a few pennies and is now in the $16.2. According to the estimate on the US Debt clock, it looks like it will be in the $22.6T range by this time in 4 years. We’ve got a big problem on our hands.

        Ralph “Please explain how a Republican can fix this by cutting taxes.”
        Raising taxes can only go so far. From what I’ve read from a couple of sources, even taxing the rich at 100% would barely be a third of the annual deficit. Furthermore increasing taxes does hamper growth.

        Additionally, I’m an overpaid government contractor making an extreme amount of money for doing very little. I can assure you, that government is extremely wasteful. Deficit reduction is going to have to involve cuts in spending at the federal level.

        Ralph ” I know it has taken about a 150 years for the South to get over they lost. So, it will take time for you.”

        Don’t know what this has to do with the South, never the less my roots came from Maryland at the time. But you do have a point, for those concerned by pro-life issues, the rise of secularism and leftism, the reelection for Obama shows where our nation’s destiny is heading.

  • Frank

    It’s very important to remember half the country voted against Obama. At least half of our country is intelligent.

    • Eric Sapp

      Yes Frank, and at least half are willing to take personal responsibility for their lives. We get it…and please keep that rhetoric up b/c it helps make it more clear to the majority of Americans what Republicans think of them and how little they understand and value them. Whether it’s Democrats losing or Republicans, it is NEVER the voters’ fault.

      • Frank

        Well we do get want we deserve. Considering Obama has been been a terrible president and still got reelected….

        • Ralph

          There were four businessmen who became president in the last 100 years. They were the four worse presidents in the last 100 years…Harding, Hoover, Carter and W. The last two were governors. Why would you think it would be different this time?

          Tax cuts were tried six times in the last 40 years to raise revenue and reduce unemployment and failed. Why would you think that it would be different this time?

          I would argue that W was a worse president. Why did you vote to reelect him?

          • Frank

            I didn’t first of all. Second of all Obama was an utter failure the first four years and unless he changes he will be a failure the next four years. Sadly we all will suffer for it.

            As I have said before I predict the GOP will get mostly what it wants because that what the country wants. Everything else was simply a distraction.

    • ToronadoBlue

      Hey Frank,
      You and I agree on a lot of things, such as pro-life positions, that Obama hasn’t done a good job to deserve re-election, and that this blog is propaganda for Democrats.

      God bless ya, but I have to disagree on the ‘intelligence’ remark.

      Even though I disagree extremely with people on the other side and can be sharp with comments to them, I do believe that there are good people on both sides of the aisle. It’s easy to get carried away about politics, but have your aim on educating and providing good solid points of view. You may not convince the person that you trading comments with, but someone who may stumble across these comments could be persuadable.

      Lets remember the example of our Lord and Savior. Keep the faith and fight on, Brother!

      • Frank

        I agree ToronadoBlue but I will say this… too many were not intelligent enough to see through the Democratic rhetoric. The majority of the country has thought Obama did not do a good job in the first four years yet still voted him in again because they believed the lies and mischaracterizations coming from the lying Obama machine. Shameful!

        • ToronadoBlue

          Frank,
          I understand the frustration… Keep in mind that propaganda is very powerful and sometimes it takes a lot of pointing out things so that people can see beyond it. People don’t realize when they’ve been fed half-truths. I didn’t when I was a democrat.

          For instance, when we married, my wife was ultra-liberal immigrant who had volunteered for Bill Clinton. She came from a liberal socialist country with a media that was anti-conservative, anti-Reagan, and anti-Bush. She was fed one sided and biased opinions all of her life. It wasn’t till she met the wonderful and handsome me :-) , that she began to understand that the media didn’t tell the whole truth. Now she is more conservative than me in many areas because she learned the facts on the ‘other side of the coin’.

          Another example when I had a high school friend of our family visit from another country, she was an ultra-liberal decrying the Republican policies. She told me that she wanted to move here one day and go to college and make changes. When I explained to her that she would have a harder time going to college here, she goes ‘What?”.
          I then taught her about racial preferences in Universities for black and hispanic students. Since she was Asian her grades would have to be significantly higher than other students. I still remember the look on her face. She goes, ‘Well that isn’t fair!” I then said, “Welcome to the Republican Party”.

          Another example, we’ve all heard the propaganda that Bill Clinton decreased the abortion rate and George W Bush increased it. I took it at face value because I didn’t take the time to research it. There was even an article the other day by a Catholic theologian saying the Clinton reduced it by 30% and Bush increased it.

          Well, the facts didn’t agree. Clinton decreased the abortion rate by 2.8% of all pregnancies and Bush continued the decrease by another 2.2%. Furthermore, the rate was decreasing since 1983, well before Clinton.

          If you have facts contrary to propaganda, use it. If something is true against our side, admit it. Understand that people when faced with facts that they can’t counter, will more often than not, dig in and double down. It’s hard for people to admit that they are wrong while arguing.

          The important thing to remember is that propaganda will never go away. It is a very effective tool. Use facts, strong and logical arguments, and keep the example of Christ. The changing of hearts and attitudes are not going to be on our terms. Keep the faith!

  • Sus

    Fact Check – This is President Obama’s complete quote regarding small towns.

    Obama (April 6): You go into some of these small towns in Pennsylvania, and like a lot of small towns in the Midwest, the jobs have been gone now for 25 years and nothing’s replaced them. And they fell through the Clinton Administration, and the Bush Administration, and each successive administration has said that somehow these communities are gonna regenerate and they have not. And it’s not surprising then they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren’t like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations.

    • Frank

      And the disingenuousness continues…..

      Obama tried to scare the country about Romney and succeeded. Of course a hypocrite would never admit that fact.

      • Frank

        Sorry the above was not in response to Sus but a response to Eric’s rhetoric.

      • Sus

        Romney wasn’t trying to scare Ohioans by saying Jeep was moving their operations to China?

    • ToronadoBlue

      @ Sus: “Fact Check – This is President Obama’s complete quote regarding small towns….. And it’s not surprising then they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren’t like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations.”

      This came out of Obama’s mouth and it was insulting . If people can say that talk of a ‘Food-stamp President’ is a dog whistle for racial politics, I then can take the above statement as a dog-whistle politics against people like me.

      I personally don’t believe either Romney or Obama intended their comments to be insulting but rather off the cuff remarks that came out in a bad way. And even Obama attempted to explain away the comments at first before eventually ‘regretting’ them.

    • Eric

      Well said and good point.

  • Larry the Cucumber

    @ Eric Sapp,
    In Hosanna-Tabors vs. EEOC, Obama’s lawyers argued before the Supreme Court that churches don’t have the freedom to hire and fire ministers in accordance with core tenets of their faith without government interference. All nine justices rejected that argument, including Obama’s own appointees, calling it an extreme position. On this matter, do you agree with Obama, or with Kagan, Sotomayor, and the other seven justices?
    Now, in Tyndale House vs. Sebelius, Obama’s lawyers are arguing that Bible publishers are secular organizations, and thus have no religious freedom. Do you support that argument? Absent a court injunction, in less than two months, Tyndale House will have to pay almost $9.5 million in fines every year to follow their Christian faith. In the spirit of cross-partisan dialogue, these are two specific examples of concerns from “across the aisle.”

    • Eric Sapp

      Larry, I’m not familiar with either case and am reticent to comment on a summary of legal positions in obscure court cases. On the broader topic though, I have said that the Obama administration blew the rollout and framing of the contraception rule. It’s overall a good policy that will dramatically reduce abortions. So anyone who says Life should come first should unquestionably support it. But the original rule was a mistake, and then when it was quickly fixed, they botched the explanation of the fix and were in such a rush to fix it that it wasn’t a clean fix. That has led to a lot of the confusion and mess sense. But with both the original rule and the fix, neither were binding and both were proposed rules with a window before implementation to allow for adjustments and correction that would ensure maximum protection for religious liberty and for life and women’s health. Those conversations are on-going, and I’m pretty sure we’ll end up with a good and workable solution when the rules go into effect…and I’m absolutely sure that when they go into effect, we’ll see a significant drop in unwanted pregnancies and abortions.

      • Frank

        “Obscure court cases” translates to “Gee you are right and I was wrong but refuse to admit it.”

        • Eric Sapp

          Sigh…Frank, sometimes you can get tiresome with the negatively. I meant what I said. I’ve never heard of those cases and do not have the time or legal abilities to look them up and determine what is being argued by whom and why. My background is legislative, not judicial. So I didn’t want to address those specifics, but I hardly dodged the question. Did you read my actual comment? I was assuming Larry’s point had something to do with the religious freedom issue and did agree that it was handled poorly by the Obama administration. I think there is time to fix it and that it will be, but they blew the initial policy and then the follow-up politics on that one. It’ll be a more fruitful conversation (and you’ll do your side more credit) if you don’t just attack all the time but actually listen and try to respond.

      • Larry the Cucumber
        • Sundown

          Actually, the details of that court case make your case all that much worse. It basically involved a religious school firing a woman for having a disability. Is that something that you want to stand behind?

          • Larry the Cucumber

            Not so. The Supreme Court’s ruling states why Perich was fired: “As grounds for termination, the letter cited Perich’s ‘insubordination and disruptive behavior,’ as well as the damage she had done to her ‘working relationship’ with the school by ‘threatening to take legal action.’” More to the Court’s point: “An order reinstating Perich as a called teacher would have plainly violated the Church’s freedom under the Religion Clauses to select its own ministers.”

  • terri

    I consider myself the most average of the average American voter. Single mom, two kids, trying to work two jobs to make ends meet. I think that’s what Republicans don’t understand. The average American is no longer a white male breadwinner. I voted for Obama because I feel he’s more in touch with what and who America is today. Also, the Iraq war was always in the back of my mind and I for one would never take the chance of voting for anyone who would likely get us into another war like Bush did.

    • Frank

      Would you like to be that we will enter another war in the next four years?

      Remember Obama just followed along with Bush policies on Iraq and Afghanistan. So sorry you believed the lies. We all will pay for it.

  • Pingback: Why Romney Lost, & How Dems Can Keep Winning: Part 1 | 1 Vote LEFT

  • http://www.buyjordansretro11.com/ Jordan Retro 11

    Actually, the details of that court case make your case all that much worse.


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