We admit we were giddy watching Republican strategist Karl Rove on the Fox News Channel on election night frantically claiming that the network’s calling the election for President Obama was premature because votes in Ohio had not been counted. Listening to Rove was sort of like listening to the devil trying to convince you to bring a fur coat to hell. Is this the same Karl Rove who was part of the GOP cabal that manipulated the 2000 election and got conservatives on the U.S. Supreme Court to hand George W. Bush an unearned victory? Karma paid a visit to the Fox News Channel studios and beat the hell out of Mr. Rove on election night.
It was that type of night. For the most part, President Obama’s victory left the Fox News Channel looking pretty stupid. Let’s face it; Rupert Murdoch’s conservative squawk box and the GOP’s media arm did everything possible to rile up Republicans to vote for Mitt Romney. Even its pathetic morning show “Fox and Friends” was simply an extension of the Republican campaign, mixing morning chatter with consistent attacks upon the President. You could put a mannequin in place of host Steve Doocy and get a more intelligent conversation than what the show’s three hosts offer up each morning. True to form, “Fox and Friends” found a way to dumb down further with its childish post-election analysis the morning after the President’s victory. Despite polluting the airwaves for four years the Fox News cesspool – Bill O’Reilly, Sean Hannity, Lou Dobbs and Neal Cavuto – were unsuccessful in their attempt to hijack the election. We do give credit to Fox News election night anchor Shepard Smith for speaking honestly about the Republican Party’s racial blind spot in the wake of the utter abandonment of the party by voters of color.
The electoral map that was giving Rove fits last night is the same map that his party constructed to try to preserve white hegemony. It was the Republicans undying devotion to a “southern strategy” the GOP built upon Jim Crow era fears and modern day racism that ultimately sunk the party’s presidential fortunes. Yes, the vote was close in Florida, Virginia and Ohio but those margins are only going to grow and in twenty years they will be insurmountable if the Republican Party continues its present course. The same southern states that Republicans have relied upon are changing. There is an influx of Latinos and an African-American population returning to the south in reverse migration from the north. These numbers are only projected to grow, and the white birth rate is in decline. Once you include the Asian-American population, there is a formidable voting bloc that the Republican Party has cast as the enemy.
Speaking of Karma, we can’t help but think of President George H. Bush who faced a Democratic campaign in 1992 that made “It’s the economy, Stupid,” its rallying cry. Ironically, that same sentiment beat Mitt Romney who thought he had the economic upper hand and could incite voter wrath against President Obama. What he failed to take into account is that the coalition that supported the President remembered George W. Bush and did not hold President Obama responsible for the mess he inherited from his predecessor. Then there was the undeniable fact that many people feel the economy is improving, albeit slowly, and recent data suggests there is reason to be more optimistic. Romney wanted anger, voters wanted truth and hope. They opted for a President they believe is competent, capable and compassionate, and speaks truthfully to the challenges our nation faces in the coming years.
There was also something particularly telling about Mitt Romney’s decision to only write a “victory speech,” unwilling to even fathom the possibility of losing. While some would claim that to be confidence, we see it more as arrogance. His political epitaph will reference miscalculation and missed opportunity. Rather than end the campaign gracefully, Romney held up the President’s rightful declaration of victory because the Republican candidate had been too full of himself to write a concession speech. We also thought his solitary figure on the stage, without the usual Romney clan in tow, was both insulting and revealing. Throughout the campaign Romney spoke often of the importance of family but at a time when he should have been gracious, his family was nowhere to be seen; joining the stage after he delivered his remarks. It was insulting to the nation, the President and the First Family. It was another one of those moments when Karma was ever present. It was always about Mitt and his presence on stage alone put his six year quest for the presidency in proper perspective.
Despite all the supposed post-election soul searching by Republican insiders, we will not hold our breath that change will come anytime soon to the GOP. It is a party in denial and on life support.