Don’t Waste Tears on Obama’s Victory

Take a good look at Barack Obama. He made history yesterday. He apparently became the first U.S. president to win a second term with fewer popular votes than he received the first time.

I say apparently only because the popular-vote totals for the first nine U.S. presidential elections have been lost to history. Since 1820, twelve presidents have been elected to second terms, and only Obama polled worse the second time around.

Everybody on the Right is lamenting Obama’s victory, finding it difficult to believe that American voters could have re-elected someone who presided over a dreadful economy and made innumerable destructive moves in conducting our foreign affairs, of which Benghazi-gate is only the latest.

Rush Limbaugh, in his election recap today, declared that they – meaning society’s  leeches – now outnumber us, the producers. He says that the takers understandably chose to vote for Santa Claus. The nation, he fears, may no longer belong to people with ambition, fortitude, and an independent spirit.

I can understand the dismay. I feel the pain too.  I know that if someone’s team loses the World Series, it doesn’t help much to point out that they lost the final game by only one run.

But really, doesn’t the result of this election look better than the result from 2008? In 2008, Obama beat John McCain by some 10 million votes. This time, based on the preliminary tallies, it looks as though he beat Mitt Romney by fewer than 3 million.

Both parties lost voters this time. Obama’s tally fell a whopping 9 million votes short of his total for 2008. Romney’s total is only about 2 million below McCain’s. The first time, few people really knew Obama. After they got to know him, 13 percent of his supporters walked away. That strikes me as a good sign.
Rather than conclude simply that “they” now outnumber “us,” one could divine instead that we are catching up, and that it might not take much to put us over the top next time. To resume the baseball metaphor, the Republicans rallied impressively in the ninth inning of the final game, but fell just short.

I have been hearing about the imminent death of the Republican party throughout my life. I wasn’t around yet when FDR beat Hoover in 1932, but that was supposed to be the death knell of the GOP. And it did come pretty close, with FDR and Harry Truman winning five consecutive elections. But then came Eisenhower to the rescue.

After the 1964 election, in which Lyndon Johnson absolutely swamped Barry Goldwater, that was supposed to be it for the Republicans. Yet four years later, Richard Nixon became president.

When the same Nixon was forced to resign from office in 1974 because of the Watergate scandal, that was it for the Republicans.  But then, lo and behold, along came Ronald Reagan in 1980.
Bill Clinton’s victories over George Bush the elder and Bob Dole seemed to reveal a Republican party on the ropes, but then Bush the younger won his two terms.

What we can’t predict, particularly when we are as depressed as we are on this morning after, is that large, unexpected developments frequently throw conventional wisdom for a loop.

In 1952, a revered war hero dragged the GOP out of the dumps. In 1968, a GOP candidate capitalized  on his predecessor’s criminal mishandling of the Vietnam situation. In 1980 the GOP rose from the ashes in the wake of the Iran hostage crisis and Jimmy Carter’s demonstrable ineptitude. In 2000 a Republican eked out a victory after his predecessor as President disgraced himself and his office.

With the reelection of Obama, one liberal blogger is speculating that the next Republican president may not have been born yet! A bold prediction, and typical of the Left whenever they win an election.

What will happen next to save the GOP? Don’t ask me, but I am willing to bet that it will.

Author Bio:

Arthur Louis spent more than forty years as a print journalist, with the Philadelphia Inquirer, McGraw-Hill, Fortune magazine and the San Francisco Chronicle, but he is not asking for sympathy. He is the author of two non-fiction books: The Tycoons, and Journalism and Other Atrocities, as well as a novel, The Little Champ. In retirement, he has decided unilaterally that he is a profound political pundit.
Author website: http://bernardgoldberg.com
  • Wmcgraw

    It is not over until God says it is over. Obama, Biden, and Democrats are in open rebellion against God, the Holy Bible, and the Catholic Church. Fr. John Corapi told the story of a young man forced to confession by his mother.  The young man was shacking up with his girl friend. Corapi asked the young man when he was moving out. The young man said he wasn’t moving out. Corapi then said he would pray to God to kick the young man’s behind. Shortly afterward, the young man was in a terrible car accident. Corapi visited the young man in the hospital. The young man’s went wide open. The young man got the message. From that lesson, here is a prayer.
    Heavenly Father in the name of Jesus, I ask you to chastise and humble those people in open and direct rebellion against you, the Holy Bible, and the Catholic Church. That includes the liberal media who actively and directly biased their reporting against Mitt Romney. CBS, NBC, the ED Show, and other media distorted (lied) about Romney. These people are in clear violation of the Word of God. In public statements they made it clear their rebellion against you. I ask they be chastised and humbled in public. Amen

    • davend

      Fr. John Corapi was a charlatan. I hope you didn’t really believe his stories.

  • Arj127

    Considering the state of the economy, it’s a wonder that he won at all.  It has more to do with the increasingly marginalized Republican message than any great accomplishment on Obama’s part.  The GOP is becoming an irrelevant anachronism with its anti-immigration stance and the social conservatism.  Those twin anchors are sinking the party.

    • Artlouis

       But, then, what do we do? Abandon our principles just to win elections? What does that really accomplish?

      • Arj127

        Examine those principles.  Do you think that an anti immigration policy is sustainable?  I don’t.  Start embracing Latinos.  DO you think that evangelicals are the path to victory?  Nope.  They are a dying force.

        • Artlouis

          I’m not going to say that I support every principle expressed by every Republican, but I am not going to tell them to pretend not to believe whatever it is they believe. Maybe the GOP can win something or other by behaving exactly like the Dems, but what is the point if it’s not really you? As for the evangelicals, I would hate to lose all those votes. They themselves  might refer you to Mark 8:36.

  • Bruce A.

    The takers simply outvoted the makers.   That’s our changing demographics.

    • Artlouis

      When the govt. runs out of money to bribe these people, voting could change.

      • Bruce A.

        Look at Greece, the birthplace of democracy,  We are getting there soon.

  • Patrick

    One thing is for sure. The 2008 demographics are here to stay and Republicans will need to start appealing to Blacks, Hispanics, single women, and younger people if they ever hope to ever win another election. That doesn’t mean they have to compromise every principle they have and become RINOs, but it does mean they can no longer ignore these minority groups because they’ve become the majority group and they have to become a big tent again like they used to be with less emphasis on social issues because they are politic losers for the GOP.

    • Artlouis

       I don’t think it will profit the GOP to become pale imitations of the Dems. As I have indicated, they will need some major outside event, which has eventually always come along. Maybe just a worsening economy — heaven help us.  However, it would be a swell idea to run Rubio next time, for any number of reasons. He is one of the party’s greatest figures.

  • Qoheleth

    “Rather than conclude simply that “they” now outnumber “us,” one could divine instead that we are catching up, and that it might not take much to put us over the top next time.”
    I sincerely hope this is true.  It’s the way I’ve come to think about the election.  It’s true, right now “they” outnumber “us,” but I too see signs that “they” are becoming disillusioned; that they’re beginning to recognize the problems of what Rush refers to as “symbolism over substance.”
    I know that some of those who are most exuberant thinking they won this time around won’t ever twig on how provably awful the president they’ve just elected is, but those who are already drawing away and starting to wonder what they really have to be so happy about may figure it out.
    If we as a country actually survive whole through the next four years, it could be a very interesting 2016.  This time Obama somehow managed to run as a challenger instead of an incumbent.  In 2016, the Dems will have to put up a candidate running on 8 years of real data.  I can’t imagine Hillary is enthusiastic about that.

    • Artlouis

      I wonder if Hillary can even get nominated. She is a nasty creature, trite and obvious, with some heavy baggage from the Benghazi scandal, and look how she has let herself go physically. The fact that she is a woman isn’t going to lure male voters with good vision. Also, you can throw in the fact that by 2016, she would be one of the very oldest presidential candidates in history. 

      If Obama doesn’t heal the economy, then almost anyone picked at random from the GOP A-list could win next time.

  • cmacrider

    Art:  So as I understand your article, you are saying [in part] that these two political parties spent in the order of 2 billion dollars  in a campaign that lasted about 2 years … and they attracted 11 million less voters to the voting booths?  Doesn’t that seem to indicate that neither of these political parties is exactly resonating with the electorate.  Most people, whose intellect is above that of plant life, holds the suspicion that no matter who they vote for .. nothing will change and the endless regulations ,taxes, infringement on freedom, and reduction in social mobility will inexorably continue.   If the Republican’s ever elected a candidate for President who even gave a flickering suggestion that he would end government’s endless growth, reduce taxes … end crony capitalism … reduce the privileges of special interest groups and insist on government by and for the people, he would win in a land slide. 

    I think all he would have to do is send out a mass email to the people … sit at home and get ready for inauguration day.

    • Artlouis

       I like that image, cmac. It makes me think that even I could become president with an email campaign — although I might develop carpal tunnel syndrome. However, Romney tried to get essentially that message across, and it didn’t quite work.

      • cmacrider

        Art:  If there was any weakness in Romney’s campaign, it was his propensity to rely on his political technocrats to craft his message and his image.  In the 1st. debate we finally got to see the “real Romney” as he spoke without a pre-crafted script tested out by various focus groups.  Thereafter the “political experts” got into the picture and decided he would sell to independents by being “reserved”  and thereby look “presidential”.  We all saw how that worked out.

        • Artlouis

           I wish we could have a do-over, this time with Romney attacking Obama’s foreign policy record.  Faint heart never wins fair lady, or the White House.

      • http://www.facebook.com/ladyim2 Sonja T M Thornburg

        romney lost the women’s votes for many reasons,rape issue,equal pay for men and women for equal work just 2 big ones and there are many more

        • artlouis

          Sonja,

          What exactly was the rape issue? I don’t recall that Romney favored rape, and he did favor the right to an abortion after rape.

          As for equal pay for equal work, I haven’t seen the comparisons lately, so perhaps you can tell me whether Obama narrowed the gap in his first term, and if so, how?

  • Brian_Bayless

    GOP needs new blood and not someone with a gimmick tax plan and who panders to the religious portion of the party. I still think that Marco Rubio can work in 2016. He was smart to distance himself from the circus that was the GOP Primary. Christie has charisma but some seem like he is the reason Obama lost.

    “A bold prediction, and typical of the Left whenever they win an election.”

    I hate these generalizations. Look at how some Republicans are handling defeat. Do you really think they would be gracious in victory? Certain behaviors are of all humans, not just Democrats.

    • Artlouis

       The most likely reason the GOP will come back is because a Dem screws up royally: LBJ with Vietnam, Carter with Iran and much else, Clinton with Monica. It could be Obama with Economy II.

      I would guess that Christie is finished, unless he switches parties. I can understand that he had to kiss up to Obama to get the needed help (if in fact it worked), but he went overboard. Obama played him for all he was worth. The photo op was priceless.

      I agree that Rubio is likely to be on the ticket in ’16, top or bottom.

      • Brian_Bayless

        Republicans need a new face that is fiscally responsble AND less socially conservative. Who could that be?

        • Artlouis

          Just a feeling, but Rubio seems the best bet now. Social conservatism is an important part of the party’s ID, and it could be a fatal mistake to mute it. It is what brings a lot of voters to the polls. Paul Ryan could be a viable candidate next time if the economy gets worse. 

          • Patrick

            Sorry, social conservatism won’t be election winners in this new electorate especially with single women and young people. Abortion and gay marriage will now be more election losers than they were ever before and God forbid we have candidates like Michelle Bachmann, Rick Santorum, Todd Atkin, and Richard Murdock who will be too easily caught into the trap of making those social issues “issues”. What I’m saying is the GOP needs to expand its base to include those who may not be as socially conservative as those I listed above.

          • Artlouis

             Obama won by a much smaller margin this time than last, as I pointed out, so I hesitate to panic just yet. In 1964, Barry Goldwater fared so poorly that it was confidently predicted that no one with a conservative agenda would ever stand a chance. Fast forward to 1980! I do agree that any politician who uses the word “rape” in any context is too stupid to run for office. QED

          • Patrick

            It’s true Obama won by a smaller margin this time around, but I’m wondering how you are going to court young people and single women if abortion and gay marriage, for example, continue to become issues. We need more GOP candidates who aren’t so anti abortion and anti gay marriage because those positions are increasingly becoming less and less popular.

          • Artlouis

            If a politician opposes abortion and gay marriage, should he pretend that he favors them, just to win office? Why bother to run if you can’t stand up for your principles?

            As a practical matter, however, it is the states that pass laws regarding gay marriage. The President can only talk about the issue, not do anything about it. And abortion is out of reach, no matter how a President or any governor feels about it, because of the Supreme Court decision.

          • Patrick

             I’m not saying politicians should pretend to be something they’re not, but we need to find GOP candidates who truly are pro-choice and pro-gay marriage. They are out there although the religious right dominates the GOP making it nearly impossible for one to win a primary. The GOP needs to be a more open tent allowing people who may be more socially liberal on issues into the tent. One conservative icon, Barry Goldwater couldn’t even win a Republican primary today because he was socially liberal although fiscally consservative.

          • Artlouis

            If the majority of GOP voters don’t want a candidate because of positions he holds, then he will not be nominated. Too bad for the candidate, but what do we do next? Forbid certain people, like evangelicals, to vote in the primaries so the GOP candidates will be more moderate?

          • Patrick

             We should do what Bernie has suggested and get rid of the strain of anti-gay bigotry that’s currently running through the conservative movement.

          • Arj127

            A politician has to recognize that he hasn’t got a mandate to impose his personal belief system on others.  The Canadian Prime Minister personally opposes abortion and he probably is no fan of same-sex marriage.  However, he’s savvy enough to know that he hasn’t a mandate to impose his belief system on others.  Santorum, Atkin et al don’t understand that.  Therefore, they won’t be helping the Republicans renew themselves if they wish to be relevant in future elections.

          • Artlouis

             I think you must mean Akin. Anyway, Santorum wasn’t nominated. Romney is anti-abortion, for the most part, but I never got the impression that he was planning to “impose” that view on anyone, and legally he would have been powerless to do so. This election was not about abortion, it was about the economy, which was bad enough to make the race much closer than in 2008, but the incumbent won, which usually happens when the incumbent runs. I find it encouraging that Romney came fairly close, and I look forward to someone like Rubio doing even better next time. Really, who do the Dems have for 2016? Mrs. Clinton, Bonehead Biden? They can bray all they want about how wonderful abortions are, but I can’t see them winning.

      • Arj127

        Clinton would have beaten every Republican in 2000, if he was allowed to run. He had and still has the highest approval rating of any living president.

        • Artlouis

           In 2000 he was a national laughing-stock, and this probably helped Bush win. Maybe he could win an election today, when everyone seems to have forgotten what a sleazy character he is.

          • Arj127

            That’s revisionist history.  Bush won thanks to the Supreme Court and a screwed up voting system in Florida. He lost the popular vote and in a true democracy where one person one vote is the rule, he would have lost the 2000 election.  I suggest that you check the stats on Wikipedia. If you distrust that source, go look at the source material from which it was derived. 

            The link is :http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Approval_rating

          • Artlouis

            I’m afraid you are drifting away from the point. We were discussing whether Clinton could have won in 2000. I maintain that he was a drag on the Dems in 2000, because of the Lewinsky scandal.

            It is true that Bush didn’t win the popular vote, but he did better than Dole did in 1996, and I believe the Dems have the sleazeball Clinton to blame at least partly for that.

            Now, of course, Clinton is Mr. Elder Statesman.  This sort of thing does happen in politics if you wait long enough. Look at Teddy Kennedy, who probably should have been tried for  manslaughter in 1969, and who died four decades later as Saint Teddy.

          • Arj127

            The Lewinsky scandal was old news and it didn’t translate to Gore.  Gore ran a weak campaign.

          • Arj127

            It is noteworthy that when Clinton left office he had an approval rating as high or higher than when he became President in 1993. In the last 40 years, only Reagan had a similar approval rating at the end of his terms.

          • Artlouis

             I still remember that episode during the Democratic National Convention of 2000, when the two nominees, Gore and Lieberman, ostentatiously kissed their wives  onstage. Everyone could see that they were trying to patch over Clinton’s foul behavior, that they were trying to show that not every Democratic leader cheats on his wife. (Of course we  have since been given reason to doubt Gore’s marital integrity).   

            I don’t know you, of course, but it doesn’t speak well for you that you are defending this joker. Look at the speech he gave near the end of this year’s campaign, telling people that they shouldn’t vote for someone like Romney, who lies. This from a guy who lied from Day One about Monica, then perjured himself under oath, and lost his law license. Has there ever been a bigger phony in the White House?

          • Arj127

            I’m not defending Clinton’s character.  I am simply pointing out that the Lewinski scandal wasn’t relevant to his performance as President.  By the simple metric of whether people were better off after his term than at the beginning, he was successful.  

            There are immoral people all over the place.  The people who should be most concerned about Clinton’s behaviour are his wife and daughter – not us.  What about Republican marital cheats?  Will you call them out too?

          • Artlouis

            This is off the point again. Clinton’s time in office was good economically, but he had a lot of help from a Republican Congress.  I am saying that this man who lied under oath and was impeached would not have fared well in a 2000 election bid, because of the issue of character (or lack of it).   You introduced the subject and you disagree. Fine.

            Just today we have learned that David Petraeus, who has sometimes been mentioned as presidential material, is resigning from the CIA because he had an extramarital affair. Just wait and see how far the Petraeus candidacy will go now, even though you no doubt will insist that it is none of our business.

            Clinton’s affair with Monica was no worse than comical until he made it the public’s business by lying, lying, lying, including under oath. Then the public had every right to send him packing, and nearly did.

          • Arj127

            At least he ahd the decency to resign.  How about that paragon of virtue?  Gingrich.

          • Artlouis

             What does Gingrich have to do with any of this?

            “You’re one too” is never a satisfactory response

        • Nancysrios

          You stupid Clinton-Obamaa lovers; you can’t see that you all have been had.  We all lose with socialists         (yes, I said socailists), ruling this country. Clinton raised taxes while he said “I feel your pain”.  Just because you think Obama is cool, you can’t see he has weakened our country.  I wish people like you could spend time in a socialistic country.  Wise Up!