Friday, November 23, 2012

"Bush hangover", religion doom GOP White House bid

Welcome to Tony Island blog!

Well, it's been a few weeks since the presidential election so I thought now would be a good time to post some thoughts on it all.

If you listened solely to conservative talk shows, you got the feeling that momentum was on Romney's side, especially after the first debate which he handled masterfully. Things got dicey in the remaining two debates as Mr Obama came out swinging and a bit snarky. Another momentum obstacle was Hurricane Sandy. I was afraid that this would give the President an edge and I think it did. He showed himself to be presidential more or less. Governor Christie's warming up to the President also helped.

I'm not sure those points actually are what did Romney in though. For that, I think we can point to two big issues - Bush and religion. I think the Democrats were able to successfully link Romney to Bush (as Republicans linked Mondale to Carter in 1984) and make Romney the second coming of Bush. While I don't believe this would have been true (Romney was far more successful than Bush in business), the electorate thought otherwise.

Another rarely mentioned point was religion. Romney's Mormon religion posed a problem for Conservative Christians, many of whom don't believe that Mormons are Christians. I think this held them back from pulling the lever for Romney. As a matter of fact, I think they actually sat out this election cycle as the overall voting numbers and percentage are down from 2008. While Christian Conservatives may not have been enough to push Romney over the top by themselves, I certainly think it would have helped.

But there's more to this pie than two slices. Another two slices are the Democrats skill in dividing the electorate and Obama's race card. We must congratulate the Democrats on successfully dividing the electorate into little pieces. From birth control to abortion, the Democrats used the majority women's vote and hammered Republicans from all sides. While Republicans have been against abortion in their party platform for years, the Democrats successfully used the issue to scare millions of women. Neither party would be able to overturn Roe vs. Wade on its own nor would they as it's a HUGE money maker for them. The Republicans held control of Congress for 6 years while Bush was in office and yet abortion is as available as ever. Birth control is a private matter and no national Republican candidate was calling for its elimination or control, yet Democrats used this naked lie to get out the vote. It was amazing how a college student's testimony to Congress back in the spring was masterfully used in the fall elections.

With absolutely no agenda for moving America "forward" (despite the campaign slogan), the Democrats trotted out the old chestnuts of women's rights, minority rights and senior citizens. The all-white, all-rich Republican ticket didn't stand a chance.

Another salvo to the Republicans was Obama's race. Blacks voted upward of 90+% for Obama. No amount of pandering was going to change those numbers significantly.

Despite all that, Romney actually gained electoral votes over McCain and depending on which vote totals you use, came within earshot of McCain's totals or actually above them.

The Republican party isn't dead yet. There's work to do to straighten the ship, but it can be done.

Share your thoughts on why Romney lost in the comment section below.

Thanks for reading Tony Island blog and please come back again!

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