Sunday, November 11, 2012

Why the Republicans Really Lost

First of all, thank you to everyone who has been patient with me in these past few weeks.  My good friend, the Anonymous Howard Beale, saved the day by resolving my PC issues.  In return for his excellence, I have offered him free China Buffet for a year.  A round of applause for the man that saved my sanity!

I have taken all of your suggestions into consideration, and I will write on all of the topics suggested to me soon.  But I figured, what better way is there to get back on track than to piss off my conservative readership?  I figure that if I'm not pissing someone off then I'm doing something wrong.

Since the election, I've noticed a considerable amount of articles that usually have some variation of "Why Romney Lost," as the title.  I'm noticing a theme here, and that theme is denial.  Most articles I've read have blamed either money--the idea that Romney didn't have good campaign momentum because of poor fundraising--or low voter turnout on the conservative side.  In typical Jack Camwell fashion, I think they're both wrong.

The problem is hard-core social conservativism.

Let's look at some statistics, shall we?  There was a Gallup poll that conservatives touted as proof that the pro-life movement was gaining momentum.  "For the first time in history, more Americans are pro-life than pro-choice," the poll claimed.  I'm not disputing the poll numbers, but I will dispute the interpretation of the numbers.  I will use myself as an example.

Personally, I am pro-life.  I am not morally okay with abortion.  I think in most cases it's wrong.  If I were a woman, I do not think I could abort my baby (unless I was raped or the baby was going to kill me) and live with myself.  I know a few women who have had abortions and who are of the same mind.  It's a moral line that I cannot personally cross.  However, politically I am pro-choice.  My theory is that many Americans who identify themselves as pro-life feel the same way.

Now, the poll asks the question of whether or not abortion should be legal.  The numbers are a bit misleading in my mind.  According to the poll, over 30% of Americans feel that abortion should be legal in most or all circumstances.  Another 40ish % of Americans believe that abortion should be legal in a few circumstances.  Only 17% of Americans think abortion should be illegal in all cases.

Seventeen percent.  I think someone should have shown those poll numbers before the RNC went off the deep end and adopted "pro-life without exception," as the official Republican Party platform.  They turned off a lot of voters with that nonsense, and those who were in the extreme minority clearly ignored the majority of registered Republicans.

The second big mistake is the whole gay marriage thing.  Right now, a majority of Americans believe that same-sex marriage should be legally recognized, according to Gallup.  Call the poll skewed all you want.  Most people I know--and I know a very diverse group of people--think that gay marriage should be legally recognized.  53% of Americans think it should be legal.

When you break it down by political affiliation, the only thing that really matters to Republicans in this case is the independents.  In 2011, 59% of independent respondants said that they supported the legalization of gay marriage.  How many independents you think are turned on by the GOP's stance on gay marriage?  My guess is that at least 59% of them disagree pretty strongly.

When broken down by age, young people overwhelmingly support gay marriage legalization.  It's no surprised that people over 55 were the ones who disagree with it most.

I for one could not vote Republican this year partly because of the blatant fraud committed in the primaries, but also because of the sharp right turn the party took.  If the Republicans ever want a chance to be in the Whitehouse again, they're going to have to wake up and smell the social evolution.  No, this is not the sign of the degredation of society.  It's a sign of social evolution.  It's a sign that much of the country is finally realizing that the government has no business dictating morality to the people.

The government has no business telling me how to make my life so long as I'm not hurting anyone.  "But what about all the aborted babies, Jack?  They're getting hurt!"  Yeah, well so did a lot of innocent Iraqi children, but the Republicans still beat the war drum pretty loudly when we went in and stomped a mud hole in Sadam's guts.

Stop being hypocritical, Republicans!  Either you believe we should be free to choose and live by our own morality or you don't.  Either you believe that I alone have the power to choose my moral actions or you believe the government should choose for me.

The Republicans lost because the extremists somehow got a hold of the reins.  Don't believe me?  Just look at the poll numbers.  I am sure that I'm not alone in how I felt about the party.


Silverfiddle said...

That this election turned on gay marriage and abortion is preposterous. No polling, surveys or studies show that.

Yes, it motivated Obama's base, but that's it.

Romney lost because 7 million potential GOP voters stayed home

I do agree with you that the GOP needs to figure out what the hell it stands for and then act on its principles.

I am one of those urging a more libertarian message. Gay marriage is here to stay, and the GOP needs to get over it. Either you stand for liberty or you don't.

manapp99 said...

I am with Silver on the libertarian message. Less government in your life means taking no stance on most social issues. Let the people be free to decide even if you personally don't agree with what they chose. I believe that the libertarian message resonates strongly with the youth and even many Democrats. What good liberal would not like the libertarian message of getting our armed forces out of other countries and to quit killing people with drones? The Democratic party doesn't really appeal to liberals either so it is a good time for finding common ground and going for freedom. Liberate yourself from the two party stranglehold on politics and support the Libertarian Party.

Jack Camwell said...

And how many of those voters stayed home because they felt the GOP had gone off the deep end? How many voters voted Libertarian instead of Republican? How many Republicans voted Democrat?

No, those two issues weren't the turning point, they were just two examples that I chose to expound upon.

The GOP is losing touch with the American people. I probably could have written an entire book on those two examples alone, but I try to keep my articles somewhat manageable in terms of length.

KP said...

You hit a home run here, Jack. Without question, the Dems capitalized on Repubs meddling in social issues and specific comments made by old white men running for office. My two daughters (22 and 25) were repulsed by some of the comments and they consider themselves Christians. In fairness, they ere also repulsed by the left's so called "war on women" crap. The difference is that the Dems gained votes from that crap and the Repubs lost votes.

Everything else came down to a superior ground game from Chicago. They were at it longer and smarter than the Repubs and beat them like a drum when it came to turning out voters.

Silverfiddle said...

@ Jack: how many of those voters stayed home because they felt the GOP had gone off the deep end? How many voters voted Libertarian instead of Republican? How many Republicans voted Democrat?

Good questions.

Current analysis suggests about 7 million stayed home.

An insignificant number voted libertarian. Not enough to mathematically make a difference

Analysis hasn't revealed any GOP crossover to Obama. Did you know he got 9 million votes less than 2008?

Whoever can solve the mystery of the missing 7 million voters and why they stayed home will have the key to the next election.

And Manapp. I am not a Big L libertarian, but a small L one who wishes the GOP would pull their head out a become no more libertarian than the founding fathers.

Anonymous said...

Me and Jackie talk about this all the time. I personally did not vote, and before you go on the attack and slam me, understand my reasons for this.

I am 100% convinced that it doesn't really matter who is president as long as it is a representative of the 2 major parties. They both reek of corporatism and big government.

I tend to agree more with Ron Paul than I do Gary Johnson, but even Gary Johnson would have been orders of magnitude better and have us at least heading in the right direction.

Funny story, my next door neighbor volunteered to let the Obama Campaigners use his house as a staging area to go out and spread the good word. When I was outside one of them came up to me and asked if I would be willing to put an obama-biden sign in my yard. I said no of course, and I was basically told I was part of the problem with this country.

When I told him point blank I was a Libertarian his whole demeanor changed. He just assumed I was a Romney supporter because I didn't support Obama.

Jersey McJones said...

All you hard-core socons just can't face reality. Social conservatism is on the wain. When you look at younger voters, they turned out in droves, and social issues are very important to them. I work with a lot of young people, and though the young men were pretty split, the young women were solidly for Obama and when I would ask them why, it was almost always because they said they fear the socons on abortion, gay marriage, equal rights, etc.

And remember, these young people voting Democratic are very likely to continue to do so, in ever growing numbers, as they get older.

Social conservatism is dying. Good riddance.


Drew said...

The thing about abortion is that making abortion illegal has absolutely no impact on whether or not women get abortions. Making abortion illegal simply causes the abortions to be dangerous.

More importantly, it can be easily shown that the most effective method of reducing abortion rates is to increase access to contraceptives, which social "conservatives" are also against. It's not really about "life" so much as bedroom control. Why the hell the word "conservative" became synonymous with "controlling sex lives" I will never know.

Last night I was hanging out around a fire with a number of my friends, and we were all discussing how nice fiscal conservatism is as a concept, and how depressing it is for legitimate discourse to be wrapped up in social issues that are more or less decided by this point (gay marriage, etc). We'd like to identify as Republican, but we don't hate gay people. Maybe we're part of the problem for not jumping in and changing the party at the source, but honestly there's little incentive to become a part of such a socially negative group.

I guess my point is, "Young person here, voted Democrat because of social issues. Jack +1"

Anonymous said...

Well Jersey, here is the problem the way I see it, and this goes back to what I said.

Being Socially "Liberal" is destructive as hell when it is done recklessly. No I'm not talking about Abortion, that is a no-brainer that government should not be involved. Also a lot of the fundamentalist crap you hear that "being gay is the work of the devil" does not really represent repubs either.

What I am talking about specifically, is spending money for the sake of spending money.

Welfare and social security wouldn't even be an issue if you fixed the underlying problem. Our Economy and it's ravenous consumption. Our reckless spending on everything just because.

Federal minimum healthcare wouldn't be a big deal either if health care was affordable again. They charge what they charge because they can. It's a business.

All the money you could throw at education won't make a difference if the parents, teachers, and students ultimately don't give a shit. Our system is way too big to throw blankets over and declare that this is how it's gonna be. Just look at how much AREA of the country voted for Romney... sure the big populations ended up Obama and that won it for him supposedly if you believe the election isn't rigged, but just look at the sheer difference in physical area, its mindblowing. Discount that all you want, it does mean something. It means that the big cities and the big interests have the sway, and to hell if someone in Nevada doesn't want to buy into federal health care.

Also I find it funny how many people don't acknowledge how much Obama is in bed with the republicans. Both parties are losing their way.

Anonymous said...

Also wanted to throw in there before I forget: a subject that also strikes a nerve with me and dems:


They are so equal they need all these laws, handouts, policies, and systems to benefit and protect their interests.

Men and Women are different. Not different in Worth, but different in function. The sooner we get back to that line of thinking the easier it will be to have real equality.

Silverfiddle said...

More importantly, it can be easily shown that the most effective method of reducing abortion rates is to increase access to contraceptives, which social "conservatives" are also against.

Then why did abortions spike up at the same time the pill became available?

Silverfiddle said...


You will grow into middle age saddled with over 100 grand of public debt. You live in the brokest nation on the planet.

While we squabble over piffles...

(nobody is going to take away birth control or abortions, blacks will continue to be free, gay rights will not be rolled back)

... the looting of our nation continues.

The baby boomers have wrecked the country, and you are going to foot the bill. Young people need to wake up and pull their heads out.

My only consolation is that when I'm an old man I can sit on my front porch smoking my medical marijuana as you Obama hoopla voters, who will be in your 40's with kids, trudge off to work bitching about high taxes, government debt, and how the cultural sewage is destroying your children.

Jersey McJones said...

The country has changed and conservatism is all about resisting change. It's not just personal or civil rights (which are extremely important and it just goes to show how out of touch people like Silver are when they poo-poo those issues), but rather the whole posture and ideology of conservatism.

Young people are not just naive and silly. More than ever, they are informed and aware. They see the PROVEN FAILURE of Supply Side economics, militarism, the War on Drugs (re: violent race/class war), and the anti-science, anti-reason, anti-compromise Right.

This loss is a preview of things to come. These young voters, along with women and minorities, will continue to vote Democratic, and more Left when they get the chance, as time goes by. The "Demographic Time Bomb" has gone off, and the explosion is only going to get bigger. Either conservatism changes, or it will be left in the dust.


Silverfiddle said...

Jersey: What a moronic comment.

What's a proven failure is centrally-planned economy, which is what the progressive statists of all parties have been driving us towards for generations.

This is a particularly moronic and mendacious comment:

"It's not just personal or civil rights (which are extremely important and it just goes to show how out of touch people like Silver are when they poo-poo those issues"

I have never poo poo'd those issues. Personal liberty is extremely important to me. Do you read?

Personal liberty and personal responsibility are the cornerstones to a free society and statist, progressive, one-size-fits-all government is the biggest enemy to our natural rights.

Now, smart guy, once we tax the rich at 90% and gain the government an extra $800 billion per year, how do we cover the rest of the deficit?

Jersey McJones said...


Only in your mind do we have a centrally planned economy. In REALITY (a place all conservatives religiously avoid), we have a consumption-driven economy, which is the main reason Supply Side economics have failed most people - we are a Demand Side economy.

As for the debt and deficits, there are plenty of ways to address these issues, far beyond just raising some taxes. Demilitarization, reining in the police state, investing in things that create growth (as opposed to just whoring for the rich), paying the bills directly rater than just borrowing more and more... there are plenty of things we can do. Conservatives want none of it. And so you will be left in the past.


Silverfiddle said...

It's a matter of degrees, Jersey, and we are moving towards more state control with Obamacare alone.

Silverfiddle said...

Jersey: I do agree with you that our government is running a demand-side economy, and the clear evidence is it doesn't work.

Jersey McJones said...

Silver, again, get real. The government is not "running" consumption and the ACA will not control healthcare.

We have been a consumption driven country for a long, long time now, and ironically, if you study history you'll learn that private moneyed interests since the early 19th century worked to make us so. The unbalanced consumption economy was created by and for and of the private sector.

How that was sustainable has to do with our tremendous growth in the 20th century. It truly was the American Century and will probably always be understood as such by historians. That historic growth was spurred by massive government works, from WWII to the GI Bill to Social Security to the Interstate Highways to NASA to the NIH and CDC and on and on. That part of the equation is neutral to the argument that government controlled the growth. It simply allowed it to happen.

Unfunded wars, arbitrary, ideologically-driven tax and regulatory policy, constant borrowing, free trade; these are causing the rise in the debt and deficits, and they're also tipping the consumption cart - and if that happens, we're in real trouble.

Personally, I see that coming. When? I don't know. But if consumption rates increases slow down or even shrink on a permanent basis, it will only be an indicator that we were negligent in our responsibility to continue real growth.


Jack Camwell said...


Perhaps it was not your intent, but your first response to my article indicated that you believe social issues were not a big deal in this election. Perhaps both Jersey and myself misunderstood where you were coming from on that one.

Also, demand side economy is not a government thing. Society has gone that way without the government's help.


In re of your comment "conservatives want none of it," I'll disagree with that on some parts. Conservatives don't seem to want to cut the defense budget, I'll give you that. But they've been beating the ballanced budget drum for quite some time.

The Democrats seem to think that a reduction in spending increases counts as a budget cut--and worse, they got a lot of nimrods to buy into that.

The problem I have with Democrats right now is that they insist on pissing away money and not investing it wisely, and the problem I have with Republicans is that they just want to cut every social service without doing anything helpful to replace it.

Yes, we can make real budget cuts, but we can also do it without telling low income families, the poor, and the disabled to piss off and go die.

There are easy concessions to make on both sides--it's just that neither side is willing to do it for fear of losing votes.

Silverfiddle said...

Jersey: The stimulus didn't work. We're limping along at near zero growth. That's Keynesianism/Demand Side Economics.

The reelection of Obama was not about gay marriage and abortion. Those issues motivated his base, but it did not persuade anyone not already in his camp, at least not in a statistically meaningful way.

If you have a link to some analysis that says otherwise, I am open to changing my mind.

I'll leave you two like-minded gentlemen with a few facts and a few links.

* When government is spending 24% of GDP it is indeed driving the economy (perhaps into a ditch)

Now, the budget:

$ Defense is 20% of the budget. Too high I'll agree, but what would you cut? And how much would it save?

$ Social Security is 20%,

$ Medicare, Medicaid and CHIP is 21%,

$ Safety Net Programs 13%

$Interest 6%, which ironically, will balloon if the economy ever takes off

That leaves a little over 20% of discretionary spending.

We could zero out the DoD and veterans programs and we would still run annual deficits.

What say you?

Jack Camwell said...

Demand side economics was started in the Reagan administration, as much as they like to call it supply side.

It was in the 80s that Americans were really pushed to start living beyond their means, and it was in the 80s that America started to become a predominantly consumer nation. What say you to that?

I'm not saying that we shouldn't make cuts to entitlements. What I am saying is that if we make cuts to entitlement spending, then we need to have a plan in place to make sure that we're not leaving people out in the cold.

How about a welfare program that actually focuses on helping people work towards self-sufficiency? The Republican response is "fuck 'em. They're all lazy douchebags anyway."

As far as the defense budget, do we really need stealth destroyers? Really?! I'm not saying we should cut all R&D, but we need to reign it in somehow. When we spend 10 years fighting two wars, and only suffer 20,000 casualties between the wars while inflicting STAGGERING casualties on our enemies, I think we can sit back and say we're doing pretty well for ourselves in terms of military technology.

Even our most out of date navy combat vessel is vastly superior to anything else in the world.

I will say this again: social issues played a bigger part than you're willing to admit, Silver. There are a surprising number of people who are fiscally conservative but socially liberal--especially among younger voters.

In my mind, there were two options. A nation in which we are free to choose how to live our lives, but we've got a fucked up economy; or a nation in which we might have a balanced budget by 2020, but the government tells our women that they can't choose whether or not to have an abortion, and where gay people are denied the equal right of their unions being recognized by the government.

It's a choice between a pile of bullshit and a shit sandwich. I chose neither, and instead went for a bag of potato chips (Gary Johnson). Not exactly fine dining, but it sure beats eating feces.

Jersey McJones said...

Jack and Silver, Reagan accepted demand side reality, but he certainly leaned toward supply, and you can't seriously argue that.

Really, you can't seriously argue that we haven't gone that way ever since. You may say Obama or Clinton were "statists" and "socialists" when really they weren't.

Face this paradoxically simple reality: We are a massive empire. Wrap your heads around that, then think of all the little fixes you could imagine. It's time to end the empire.


Jack Camwell said...

I think you missed my point, Jersey. SIlver says that the government is to blame for this demand side economics.

I'm saying that the consumer economy of today started during the Reagan administration--a time that Conservatives hail as a period of small government.

Silverfiddle said...

If you don't think government policy and government making up 25% of GDP drives the economy, you don't understand economics.

Mortgage tax deductions?

This started with Reagan?


Credit existed long before 1980

We do agree that Reagan bought into the Keynesian model.

As for the social stuff. Yes, there were people out there stupid enough to think Romney enjoyed not only firing men, but killing their wives as well, and had plans to take their contraception away and to force their raped daughter to carry that baby to term.

Then you have people like Drew. He knew all that was Obama propaganda bullshit, but he pulled the lever for him anyway. That's not rational, but he will be around to face the consequences of his decision, and that's all we can ask for I guess...

Silverfiddle said...

Here's a good article I agree with. "Supply Side" is a political pejorative that has no real meaning.

It all requires government policy