Monday, December 24, 2012

In the Weeds

The Boston Globe had a long post mortem on the Romney Campaign. Everybody else has already taken their licks at it and unless your Schadenfreude tank is low I wouldn't recommend it since there is A) nothing new in it and B) it insists on quoting people whose opinions are simply not believable, such as Tagg's statement that his father never really wanted the Presidency. So aside from this instant classic:

Rich Beeson, the Romney political director who co­authored the now-discredited Ohio memo, said that only after the election did he realize what Obama was doing with so much manpower on the ground. Obama had more than 3,000 paid workers nationwide, compared with 500 for Romney, and hundreds of thousands of volunteers.
“Now I know what they were doing with all the staffs and ­offices,” Beeson said. “They were literally creating a one-to-one contact with voters,” something that Romney did not have the staff to match…

there's not much there there.

 But what is really quite gripping is down in the weeds, in the comment section.  I know its nutpicking but its still interesting.  In Mistakes Were Made (But Not By Me) Tavris and Aronson discuss research showing that people misremember who they vote for, or whether they voted at all, in elections where their desired candidate did not win.  Years after an election more people think they voted for the winner than actually did as people try to align their vote with popular opinion. They don't discuss the phenomenon known as "sour grapes" in which people refuse to admit that they voted for a losing candidate but are too close to the event to start fantasizing that they voted for the winner.   Down in the Boston Globe comments we can see a version of that with people who probably did vote for Romney when they thought he might win now disavowing having voted at all when, in retrospect, they discover he lost.  Here's "Dotcomsiren" a self proclaimed "part of the 1 percent:"

DotcomsirenExactly.  As Peter Brimelow, Dick Morris, and Sean Trende have shown, Romney lost the white vote.  He took white voters for granted and they didn't bother to vote.  I should know, I am white and I didn't vote either.  What would have been the point?

"Filibuster Jones" makes a related argument--all voters are fools and knaves and any politician who doesn't treat the that way will be rejected.  Romney's voters, mysteriously being neither fools nor knaves, stayed at home:

FilibusterJonesThe above comment aptly illustrates the operative principal of the Obama campaign: There's a sucker born every minute. 

Shallow, unsophisticated, low information voters who know very little about politics were treated like kings and queens by the President who went on late night talk shows and pushed all the right buttons, relating nicely to the self-obsessed ADD crowd who are all about the cult of personality, who can't be bothered to pay attention to the issues and simply want more and more free stuff. There is no way that Romney, who treated voters like responsible adults, could compete with that.

Also, Romney simply did not get his base out to vote for him. Millions of GOP voters stayed home, unhappy with the options. A moderate candidate, like John McCain was greated with a lukewarm GOP reception on election day.   

DotComSiren repeats her assertion that she and her husband didn't vote

DotcomsirenMitt lost because he spurned the white vote.  All he cared about was the nonexistent "Hispanic vote."  My husband I decided to sit out this election after Mitt hired "Ed Gillespie" to his campaign team.  We don't need Tagg Romney asking for our vote in Spanish, even though we both speak it. Hey, we're white, wealthy, and both have advanced degrees.  But Mitt didn't want our votes, so he didn't get them.

For which she gets one of the all time greatest knockdowns:

JAIL-TIME-4-EVERYONEWhy the quotes around "Ed Gillespie"?

Do you think "Ed Gillespie" is actually George Lopez?

A few other commenters come on and basically argue that they did vote for Romney but it was useless to vote at all in a democratic system that allows any fool to vote and that Obama's destructive capacity would eventually bring down the entire country and they would just stand aside and sigh and say "I told you so."

Its not that I think this is anything new:  I well remember the bumper stickers after the 1972 election--"Don't Blame Me I'm From Massachusetts" but its not that people thought the world was coming to an end but rather than we chose to disassociate ourselves from the crimes that were being committed by Nixon. The apocalyptic gloating you see from the commenters is straight up Fox News Style--that distinctive combination of authoritarian paternalism and weepy victimology. Before the election it was all "Just you wait until Daddy gets home and Romney is elected" and now its all "God will repay" and "the righeteous will get their reward in the afterlife."



Victor said...

Good to see you back here!

As for me, my cup of schadenfreude still runneth over - and will, until the day after President Obama's Inauguration!!! :-)

And almost every one of these angry disaffected Romney voters/supporters-but-non-voters, were also the people who mocked a genuine war hero, John Kerry, with purple band-aids, and were HUUUUUGE fans of W, until the last months of his toxic Keystone Kop mis-administration, when everyone but the very dimmest of bulbs could see that the last 8 years of Conservatism had almost turned us into FusterCluckistan.

And then, because they didn't want to be associated with that idiot, the former President they loved until he put the their precious DOW went down like a guy hunting next to Cheney, they became Independents - until the Tea Party showed up, and the new Know-nothings jumped aboard that corporate endowed 'ship of fools.'

And now that their latest "Great White Dope" has flamed out. in spectacularly inept fashion, they blame "low information voters" - you know, the people who actually KNEW what the issues were, because they (we) followed them, and chose the far better candidate. Is "Low-information" an a-k-a for the non-@$$hole, non-rich, people in this country?

Hey Conservative twits - if we're "low-information," that's still better than no-information - voters, or non-voters - which is what you are, were, and always will be.

Victor said...

Try this one on for some great Schadenfreude:

Uncle Mike said...

My humble anecdote: before the election, I saw a lot of Romney bumper stickers (I live in Orange County, CA). After the election? Not too many at all, but I still see Obama ones.

I like to picture millions of people with razor blades scraping them off the morning after the election. It makes me smile.

Ten Bears said...

For at least a year now, right here on these hallowed halls (dusty tome?), it has been my contentiom we are witnessing The End of the Repubic Party. Others have now joined the fray, any thoughts on that?

Peter said...

@ Ten Bears has been my contentiom we are witnessing The End of the Repubic Party. Others have now joined the fray, any thoughts on that?

Yes, but its going to be long, slow and wearing, with apparent setbacks. There are so many states where the GOBP still controls the state legislature, and therefore hugely gerrymandered congressional districts. While the national (presidential) trend is clear, the GOBP nihilists clearly don't want to govern in any way that traditional politics understands. They are scorched earth all the way, especially in opposition to a ni[clang!] or a woman.

Bulworth said...

" “Now I know what they were doing with all the staffs and ­offices,” Beeson said. “They were literally creating a one-to-one contact with voters,” something that Romney did not have the staff to match… "

I am shedding tears that despite all the Koch millions Team Romney couldn't afford staff.