2012 Presidential Election Post-Mortem

Erick Erickson of RedState still thinks Republicans lose elections because they are insufficiently conservative:

Compromise? Like hell. We’re going to keep fighting. And we will find someone who actually doesn’t speak conservatism like he learned it from Rosetta Stone last week. For those of you on the left licking your chops thinking this spells doom — the nation just spent $6 billion for the status quo. I’ll take my chances.

The nation did not drift left. It was just unpersuaded Mitt Romney would actually take us right and sure as hell did not know what it would get even if it went with Romney. The next two years will set the vision of a more populist oriented conservatism of which I am excited to play a part. And I think, when the Democrats finally realize the new Democratic coalition is only a Barack Obama coalition, conservatives and the GOP will be ready. (bold mine)

The President after getting four more years.

As one of the most important bellwethers for what activist Republicans are thinking, Erickson is basically saying that his side are going to double down on strictly ideological conservatism. The only problem is that there aren’t that many smart, electable super conservatives out there. Also, the country isn’t nearly as conservative as they seem to think it is. Of course this is the same bozo who had been predicting a Republican landslide for weeks, so, you know, don’t pay too much attention to him.

Jon Cohn at the New Republic argues that Obama does in a fact have a mandate, and one that will only grow over time:

The election also sent a big, powerful message about what it means to be an American. The election of an African-American to the nation’s highest office is old news by now, but it remains remarkable, particularly given the feverish, relentless efforts by conservatives to paint Obama as un-American. And the same goes for Obama’s political coalition. Lazy pundits have fallen into the habit of dismissing Obama’s constituency because it cedes white voters, particularly white men, to Republicans. But Obama’s disproportionately female, disproportionately minority coalition happens to be majority. And it’s getting better. They are no longer the “other.” They are the authentic face of America. (Bold Mine)


It’s worth noting that last night the only issue that conservative pundits would concede is that the Republican Party needs to address its problem getting Latino and Hispanic votes, which is certainly correct, but any party that welcomes Sheriff Joe Arpaio and his ilk into the fold will have trouble expanding that tent. To keep the racist old white folks, you can’t bring in the young brown folks.

It’s also hard to see how the Republican Party picks up more Hispanic voters (outside of reliably conservative Cubans) if they plan on running against the Affordable Healthcare Act, since most Hispanics like Obamacare! 


Salon’s Steve Kornacki, one of the most astute political prognosticators and analysts writing today, has a great rundown of Romney’s political career, how he had to disavow his crowning achievement as Governor of Massachusetts for a chance to be elected president and how his success at passing a comprehensive healthcare law in Massachusetts might be his most enduring legacy:

“RomneyCare didn’t end up propelling him to the nomination in ’08, but it also wasn’t the reason Romney fell short. The speedy and convenient nature of his conversion on cultural issues was the main culprit, engendering profound suspicion on the Christian right. It wasn’t until well after the ’08 race that Romney’s Massachusetts law became toxic within the Republican Party. The reason for this was simple: because Obama embraced it as the model for his own program. From the minute he was elected, resistance to and resentment of Obama became the main motivating force among conservatives. His governing instincts were (and are) pragmatic and incrementalist, but to the right virtually everything he proposed was an assault on freedom and a step toward socialism. And nothing brought out the venom quite like the ACA.” (Bold Mine)


  1. If you wanna hear what the formerly confident conservative soothsayers are saying the morning after, check out Salon’s rundown.
  2. Fire Dog Lake is interested in how a handful of new progressives in the Senate will affect the ideological breakdown of the Congressional Democratic caucus.|
  3. Transit nerds like myself will enjoy this piece on the Northeast Corridor, though I think the author is overstating the decline of the Northeast since it remains the wealthiest and most prosperous part of the country.
  4. Here in Jersey City, Mayor Jerramiah Healy took another hit as his preferred candidate Michelle Massey lost in her bid to hold onto the council seat she was appointed to 10 months ago.