When they lost both the House and Senate in 2006, it was to be expected because of a combination of overreaching (i.e. Terri Schiavo), presidential incompetence (i.e. Hurricane Katrina), and scandals (i.e. Mark Foley and Larry Craig).
They didn’t even have a chance in 2008 because of the tsunami known as the election of Barack Obama.
In 2010, thanks to tea party hysteria done in part by conservative activists and Fox News, they recouped big time.
But on Tuesday they learned that the wins of 2010 was not meant as a road paved to give them ultimate victory in 2012. Instead, it was meant to pave the way to their ultimate defeat and embarrassment.
There is no light at the end of the tunnel for the Republican Party after Tuesday, no bright side to their utter humiliation, very little for them to desperately grasp as even a small salve of victory to ease the ache of their public humiliation.
Granted, they retained ownership of the House of Representatives, but now the House is in such a shambles that it is almost unmanageable for Boehner, leaving Obama with a better hand than he had before.
The controversial Michele Bachmann managed to eek out a victory in spite of Tuesday’s shellacking by the smallest of points, but no one can point that out as a victory. Bachmann’s Congressional career right now is like the last broken survivor of a brutal and bloody massacre,who has managed to drag itself to Republican national headquarters where it is now on life support and will be for quite a while.
Former Rep. Allen West is still on the battlefield of Tuesday’s election oblivious to the the fact that it’s over, kicking over dead bodies and daring them to fight. The only answer he receives besides the eerie silence which comes with the aftermath of a battle is the loud echo of his voice hoarse with insanity and rage. West is no longer a Congressman. Rather, he has descended into the guise of a madman, much like the protagonist at the end of the movie Aguirre, the Wrath of God who talked about how he would conquer the world as the raft he was floating on slowly sank to the bottom of the lake.
Meanwhile, Karl Rove, the $360 million man and the architect of Bush’s 2004 election victory quickly became the man with the sword. Several swords, in fact no doubt given to him by the millionaires and billionaires who donated to his American Crossroads group in hopes that he would commit some form of seppuku after Tuesday’s election. And to make matters worse, Rove, in front of millions of viewers had a meltdown so catastrophic that even the folks at Fox News had to calm him down.
Okay, that is an exaggeration. I don’t think his disputing of the network calling the election for Obama meets the criteria of hysteria. However, we know how history is when it comes to these things. It’s much more fun to repeat the exaggeration than the truth, which leads me to embrace the following conclusion:
Somewhere, when he is alone and sure no one is watching, Sen. John McCain – whose presidential aspirations were destroyed in in 2000 because of a rumor campaign initiated by Rove – is laughing his ass off.
So why did it happen? What led Republicans down this path of total political annihilation. I’m sure that there will be a lot of spin, but allow me to throw my three cents in.
1. An unofficial coalition between African-Americans, women, and Latinos played a huge part. African-Americans were doubly angry after viewing for four years President Obama be maligned, disrespected, and given the extreme cold shoulder by Republicans who then blamed him for the effects of their refusal to work with him. And they personalized every slight. Women were angry because of the comments made by several Republicans and legislation pushed by the Republican Party as a whole which seemed to reduce them to either inhuman, unfeeling baby-making machines or sluts. Latinos weren’t angry more than scared by the schizophrenic tone the Republican Party took towards them. One one hand, Republicans wanted to attract Latino voters. But then on the other, they couldn’t stop saying words like “illegals” and denying good immigration policy. No doubt the Latino community viewed teaming up with Republican Party was akin to getting into a bad relationship in which your partner slaps the taste out of your mouth and then five minutes later says he loves you.
2. If there was one word which describes the Republican Party these last four years, then that word has to be tacky. Tacky, tacky, tacky. It’s one thing to not cooperate with the President in hopes that he fails. It’s one thing to assemble an obscene amount of money to make him lose the election. And it’s one thing to undermine the President in general by way of think tanks and a propaganda network (i.e. Fox News). But it’s something totally different to do it in public in front of millions of people and brag about it. Whatever happened to style? Whatever happened to finesse? If you are going to commit questionable and underhanded tactics, it’s best not to do it in public.
3. If one more pundit complains about how President Obama went from the 2008 theme of “hope and change,” I’m seriously going to go nuts. It’s naive to think that this man, after four years of fighting for his political life with a party determined to destroy his presidential legacy, would continue to channel Pollyanna. What happened is that Obama grew. More importantly, he grew fangs and claws and assembled a re-election team which annihilated Romney even before the summer was over. Now usually, when a politician does they, he/she would be seen as a master campaigner. However, since it’s Obama, pundits are disappointed that he supposedly stooped so low. I personally like it and wish that he would do it more often.
But we all know what’s going to happen next. For the next few weeks, the Republican Party will do a lot of needless soul searching until someone from the far right conservative branch, be it Rush Limbaugh or Tony Perkins, spins a stupid line that the Republican lost because they weren’t conservative enough. And like mindless sheep, Republicans will fall for that line.
And we will begin the dance all over again knowing that the conclusion will be the Republican Party will eventually wind up yet again with electoral egg on its face.