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Massachusetts Liberal

Observations on politics, the media and life in Massachusetts and beyond from the left side of the road.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Uncivil war

For as man with a lot of houses, Mitt Romney sure seems like someone without a political home.

Romney's former friends are casting him off like so much stale cheese after his latest -- and probably last widely broadcast -- verbal misstep in which he analyzed the reasons for his decisive loss to Barack Obama.

In the words of one headline writer: GOP returns Mitt Romney:gifts".

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, an Indian-American, let loose with a well-targeted broadside:
“We have got to stop dividing the American voters. We need to go after 100 percent of the votes, not 53 percent,” Jindal said in Las Vegas at a meeting of the Republican Governors Association, which Romney once led and used to raise his national profile. “We need to go after every single vote.”
 Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, a hero to the right for his attacks on collective bargaining, clearly focused on the messenger too:
“It’s not that our beliefs are wrong. We’re not doing an effective enough job articulating those beliefs.”
Sorry but no.

It's quite true the GOP fielded a flawed candidate in Romney, he of homes with car elevators and a 13 percent tax rate. But the fact remains he was the best of an incredibly flawed field that included Newt Gingrich, Michele Bachmann, Rick Santorum, Rick Perry and, ahem, Donald Trump.

And this is the same party who fielded a "hey you kids, get off my lawn" standard bearer in 2008, someone who also failed to successfully perform the 180-degree flip required for a candidate to appeal to the Republican base and the vast majority of the electorate.

The last two Republicans who won the Oval Office used words like "kinder," "gentler" and "compassionate." Those are not GOP core beliefs any more, certainly not as they are represented by their candidates for president -- and by the policies favored by their congressional leaders, including House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, the party's newest front-runner.

To quote a controversial line from the 2008 race, "you can put lipstick on a pig, but it's still a pig."

Jindal comes closer to the mark than any one of his GOP colleagues when he acknowledges the GOP's war on the 47 percent. That's a more candid assessment of its beliefs than Walker.

Given the GOP tradition of awarding the the next nomination to a standard bearer who was first runner-up in came in the previous round, that means Walker's Wisconsin teammate and Ayn Rand acolyte Ryan is next up. And that means the GOP is likely to continue its war on the majority of America.

But to offer another 2008 quote, we can hope for change.

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