Wednesday, November 07, 2012

NFL Week 10 (and other thoughts)

To anyone who may read this:

Obviously, this is not a happy day for me. I want to sort of forget about politics for a short while, but I do intend to offer some more formal and lengthy thoughts on the Presidential race in the days ahead.

Briefly, while disappointment for my side is unavoidable, the fact of the matter is that the Republican Party is in better shape than it was four years ago today. It is also in better shape than Democrats were immediately after the 2004 election. We can look at the results and realize that most of the country moved to the right since 2008, just not enough.

Mitt Romney would have made one of the greatest Presidents this country has ever known. It is America's loss that he will not get that chance, but the results are the results and we need to accept them. No other Republican in America would have had a better chance of victory in 2012. Nobody. Not even close.

When all is said and done, the difference between him and 270 plus electoral votes will probably be margins of 1-3 percentage points in a maximum of four states. Theoretically, that might all be chalked up to the structural and organizational advantages that an incumbent seeking reelection always has. The Obama team organized in the swing states for four years and that might have made all the difference. The 2016 Democrat nominee will not be an incumbent. A challenging party always has so much of a better chance in an open race.

Democrats should be relieved and happy and Republicans like myself will need to take some time to sort this all out and survey the entire political landscape. The GOP certainly needs to think about how to better brand itself and better appeal itself on some issues in the years ahead. Historically that happens, and parties make adjustments in order to win at the Presidential level, even if the hardliners in the party make a fuss. It is rare for a party to lose the White House after just one term, and that has not happened this year, but it is just as rare in recent decades for a party to hold the White House for any more than two terms.

The 2012 reelection of Barack Obama was primarily not about a victory of ideology, validation for his record, or a mandate for the future. A narrower second term win than an initial victory is something new in Presidential politics and that is quite telling.

Obama's win was mostly about the fact that not enough Americans were willing to cut ties with a figure whose first election was such a great, historical achievement. Obama held just enough of the voters he needed to hold, with the help of the mainstream media and almost all of popular culture, in addition to a well timed hurricane. What happened was not a blanket rejection of Republican policies, but the inability to break the emotional connection that many who voted for Barack Obama in 2008 were still going to have. This was a victory of a persona more than a party or a cause and that person will never be able to run for President again.

Republicans like myself need to do our best to cheer up and realize that the political battles of 2014 and 2016 will hold great promise, if we are willing to work for it, and assuming the Mayans were not correct about the world coming to an end next month.

Today is not a good day, but there is still a United States of America and there is still a Republican Party. Both may have taken some hits recently and may take some more in the future, but both will be endure, worth believing in and fighting to make stronger.

Now, moving on to football, before Democrats move to ban the sport....

Overall Results: 61-71 (46%)

1. Colts (5-3) at Jaguars (1-7)
2. Falcons (8-0) at Saints (3-5)
3. Lions (4-4) at Vikings (5-4)
4. Broncos (5-3) at Panthers (2-6)
5. Chargers (4-4) at Buccaneers (4-4)
6. Titans (3-6) at Dolphins (4-4)
7. Bills (3-5) at Patriots (5-3)
8. Raiders (3-5) at Ravens (6-2)
9. Giants (6-3) at Bengals (3-5)
10. Jets (3-5) at Seahawks (5-4)
11. Rams (3-5) at 49ers (6-2)
12. Cowboys (3-5) at Eagles (3-5)
13. Texans (7-1) at Bears (7-1)
14. Chiefs (1-7) at Steelers (5-3)