Friday, September 14, 2012

Well Excuse Me!

The election is still 7 weeks away, and much can change.  At this point, the tracking polls indicate that Obama has a better and more likely path to victory in November than Romney, but again, I no longer trust polls.  There are too many of them, the questions are often biased towards a preferred answer or the analysis of the results is biased towards a preferred answer.  

For example, if I was asked if the country was headed in the right direction, I might answer no.  This would be interpreted as an obstacle to Obama’s reelection, when the fact of the matter is that I think the country is headed in the wrong direction because of Republican GAINS in recent years.  My poll response may not be interpreted correctly.

But I digress.  While I am not certain of the President’s reelection, conservatives are planning their excuses now in the event Romney loses, and that, my Republican friends, is a bad sign.  Once you start planning your excuses, a death spiral begins.  Funding starts to get diverted to other election battles perceived to be more winnable.  Competitors for the 2016 nomination start to distance themselves in subtle ways from the current candidate.  Pundits blast Romney’s campaign movements so they can position themselves to be able to say “I told you so” later.  It will help them sell more books.  

It can get ugly fast.  Remember, 75% of Republicans wanted a different nominee during the primaries, so searching for political cover early should not be a big surprise.  But the exercise can become self-fulfilling if they are not careful.

The excuses that are being auditioned by the Right include:

Voter Fraud – Republicans have spent the better part of two years enacting strict voter ID laws that on the surface would seem to be designed to insure the elimination of in-person voter fraud.  Of course, as has been well documented, this is a solution in search of a problem because in-person voter fraud has not been shown to be widespread or even likely, and is in fact a terribly inefficient way to steal an election.  What the voter ID laws have accomplished is to make voting more difficult and therefore less likely for those groups that historically support the Democrats.  Should Romney lose, (the myth of) voter fraud will be blamed, and this will only encourage more laws to be placed on the books in time for the GOP’s next bite at the apple in 2016.  “If we had even stricter voter ID laws, Obama couldn’t have stolen this election from us!”

Racism – Those pesky Democratic racists will be blamed for Romney’s loss.  Obama gave his base (aka ‘welfare recipients’ according to Mitt Romney) ‘free money’ without the inconvenience of work, and that base votes for Obama by 102%.  Had Obama not played the race card by waiving the welfare work requirements, Romney would have won.  He had his henchman, Biden, talk about the GOP putting blacks in “chains”, after all.  This is the most twisted of all the possible excuses, but it will be the excuse that sells the most conservative incendiary books in 2013.  The excuse will be “Obama pandered to blacks and Latinos to stoke racial animus against whites.”

Not severely conservative enough – The pundits on the Right are actively trotting this excuse out today.  This is Limbaugh’s and Sarah Palin’s favorite excuse and they are not afraid to use it.   This will soon be the narrative of choice for 2016 possibilities like Rick Santorum, Donald Trump and Todd Akin.  If Romney quit bending to the liberal media in order to sound more reasonable, he would have won.  “By his actions, Romney tried to apologize to independents for his conservative views, and we won’t make that mistake in 2016!”

Too nice – Sarah Palin and Bill O’Reilly are pushing this line.  Sarah, who was essentially banned from the GOP convention in Tampa and certainly has her own axe to grind with the “establishment”, said on Fox News that Mitt should be calling Barack names, like “incompetent” and “socialist”.  Without a full schoolyard, immature, naming calling filled attack, how could Romney have had any hope of winning against the Anti-Christ?  “To beat Satan, you need to fight dirty!” 

Disband the Electoral College! – Liberals tried this one when Al Gore won the popular vote but lost the Supreme Court vote.  If you look at a map of the country, we will be told in mid-November, Romney lost the election even though there is more red on the map than blue.  That’s not fair and clearly illustrates that the will of the people is not being heard.  Anyone can see that the nation is mostly red, and therefore favors Romney, and except for that prehistoric Electoral College, Romney would be President.  Of course, this flies in the face of Founding Father infallibility, and large red states without residents should not count as much as small blue states that are heavily populated, but the picture of the map will speak a thousand words to the GOP base.  “The system was rigged against us!”

The Media – Now that Fox News has Obama up 48-43 among likely voters, this one should be out the window but that is wishful thinking.  This excuse will begin to ramp up quickly over the next few weeks.  Obama gets easy questions.  The media never talks about Romney’s charitable giving.  Fast and Furious would be on the front page every day in every newspaper if Bush were President.  Losers always blame the media; winners never thank the media.

The list of excuses will grow as we get closer to November 6th and they will collectively serve one purpose: to build the case for an illegitimate Presidency.  Since Obama’s victory cannot be because the majority of Americans believe his policies, his character and his accomplishments make him the better choice than Mitt Romney, it has to be something else.  Anything else.

“Now I know why tigers eat their young.”

UPDATE:  Conservative Gary Bauer of the Family Research Council must be reading my stuff.  At the Values Voter Summit in DC today, he trotted out 2 of the excuses I mentioned above - Obama will be reelected by welfare recipients (code for 'blacks') AND by massive voter fraud!  Classic!

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