Whistling in the graveyard
GOP leaders nationally and locally are wringing the hands over losing imminently winnable aces, blaming everything from inauthentic candidates to the lack of a conservative enough message.
While it is certainly true that Mitt Romney was as phony as a three dollar bill, the soul-searching has apparently failed to brush up against the reality: The Republican Party in 2012 is the Party of No. It was against Barack Obama, women, gays, immigrants and the 99 percent.
But what was it for?
A party that had different ideas in 1980, enabling the election of Ronald Reagan has refused to see how those ideas -- like cutting taxes on the rich will jump start the economy -- have failed miserably. At the same time, in a desperate search for votes, the party sold its soul to its religious and paranoid wings.
The results? As America continues its inexorable move to a minority-majority nation, embracing people of all races, religions and sexual orientations, Republicans are shrinking into a corner occupied by angry old white men who want the federal government to cut spending but keep its hands of their Medicare.
Let's recall this is a party where one of its top elected officials declared it's No. 1 priority to be the defeat of Barack Hussein Obama. Not ending the wars in Iran and Afghanistan or dealing with the yawning gaps between income and spending caused by their failed supply side fantasy.
And to many on the right, what was Obama's crime? The clues begin with his middle name and his background. Post-racial society that can drop the reins against voting suppression efforts? Hardly.
Leaders of the rightward lurch insist all is fine, all they need is candidates with a backbone:
As Gary L. Bauer, a socially conservative former presidential candidate, told the New York Times:
“America is not demanding a second liberal party."Leaving aside that many on the left believe the nation needs at least one liberal party, the cluelessness is apparent. Obama was as vulnerable to defeat as any incumbent in American history, yet he survived not because of his center-left orientation but because Romney caved to every demands of the hard right and offered no credible alternatives to the "job creator" tax fantasy.
Locally, Scott Brown and Richard Tisei fell victim to the right's overreach. Tisei in particular was a thoughtful moderate running up against a severely damaged Democrat. But it is safe to say the "R" after his name was all that many voters saw.
What Republicans need more than anything else is a good hard look in the mirror. The party has become the home to the Todd Akins and Richard Mourdocks who support rape over women's rights.
It is a party that calls for fiscal sanity while urging the spending of millions of dollars to build a fence along our southern border.
It is a party that ignores the First Amendment protection of religious freedom to call for a version of theocracy at home.
And it is a party with its head in the sand at home and nationally in thinking a move even farther to the right is the answer.