Thursday, November 8, 2012

Post-election wrap-up--immigration, moderates, and rape babies

With the exception of Floridum (and since I used to live there, I can call it that), all the votes are counted.  Barack Obama is president.  The Senate is majority-Democrat.  Todd Akin and Richard Mourdock are not Senators.  Gay marriage and medical marijuana are now the law in several states.  And the MSM just got caught up with the rest of the world in discovering that the GOP--particularly the Tea Party--is very out of touch.
Mitt Romney was very popular--with older, white males.  However, with younger voters, women, and minorities, he had little support.  And there are now more of us than the older Americans.  (It didn't help that he teamed up with Paul Ryan, who wanted to gut Medicare for everyone under 55.)  Our family was proof of that divide.  Builder voted for Romney, but I voted for Obama.
Herein lies the problem.  The GOP has ostensibly been taken over by a bat-guano crazy group known as the Tea Party.  Ostensibly started as a revolt against higher taxes and a "spread of socialism," the agenda has been co-opted by religious fundamentalists, Quiverfull X-tians, and the John Birch Society.  Now, their platform is as follows--Abortion: Bad, under all circumstances, including rape and incest.  Contraception: Bad--too similar to abortion.  Immigration: Bad--they steal jobs.  Separation of church and state: Bad--must fight for "Jaee-sus!"  Gay marriage: Bad--"cause the Bible tells me so!"  Social safety net: Bad--everyone must be self-sufficient, and I'll be DAMNED if you raise MY taxes to pay for these parasites!
Herein lies the problem--thanks to the 15th, 19th, 24th and 26th amendments, women and minorities have the vote.  Women don't like having the government cutting social programs while worrying about what's in their uterus--whether it be a baby or an IUD (and don't kid yourself--most of the women using contraceptives are married).  People whose skin isn't lily-white (particularly Hispanics) worry about discrimination and false arrest from those who can't be bothered to differentiate between illegals (who can be as white as Romney) and people of Hispanic origin (who may have lived here longer than Washington).
And then there's the pro-life crowd.
As divided as the rest of the GOP, the pro-life crowd has gone from "abortion is wrong" to "anything that MIGHT prevent a fertilized zygote from growing into a baby is wrong under all circumstances."  In other words, they went into what was once sacred territory--rape babies and contraception.  There are those who are personally opposed to abortion but they are pro-birth-control (can't have an abortion if you're not pregnant).  And as for rape babies, there is a certain level of sociopathy in demanding that a rape victim carry a reminder of the assault to term.  However, both Todd Akin and Richard Mourdock (as well as Paul Ryan) wanted to outlaw abortion in cases of rape.  And we don't need to look that far back in this campaign to remember Rush Limbaugh's attack on Sandra Fluke for lobbying to have her insurance cover her contraceptives.
Meanwhile, GOP candidates have another problem--campaign positions have a longer life span.  Remember John Kerry?  Within the span of 2004, he went from Vietnam War Hero to "Flip-Flop Kerry."  His inconsistencies lost him the election.  Similarly, Mitt Romney decided to be as pro-self-sufficiency, pro-rich-people, and pro-life as possible to get the Tea Party nutcase Republican nomination.  Then, he had to backpedal to appeal to the nation, which is far more moderate.  However, since soundbytes live forever as social network memes (and travel faster than the speed of sound), he came off as meaning nothing he said.  His choice of running mate did not help.  Thus was the Massachusetts Moderate turned into the Tea Party Talking Head.

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