posted at 11/9/2012 12:13 AM EST
Most women do not like old men telling them what they can and can not do with their bodies. You may disagree with the prochoice position, but the fact remains that the mindset and attitudes that often go along with the "prolife" advocates really gets under the skin of a lot of women- left and right. The whole birth control insurance coverage thing is another issue the Republicans tried to turn into a "we're not for making birth control illegal, so what's the issue here?" position, but again they missed the point and alienated a lot of single and quitea few married women as well. It's easy for men to say "make them pay for it", but then when these women start having unwanted babies, who is first in line to say "cut off funding for food stamps, pre-K education, and other safety nets"? You guessed it: the party that just lost. (Also, do you know the lifetime cost of birth control? If you are a man, probably not, and if you are a man, you probably don't care either, afterall, it's not you that gets pregnant.)
It didn't help to have a few Republican candidates say out loud what many believe in silence, and that mistrust of true intentions is what scared the living bejesus out of many of Obama-voting women. Paul Ryan supported a national personhood law. Their lame attempt at suggesting that Roe vs Wade will not be overthrown if Romney is elected was just that: lame. Now, I hear extremists blaming Obama for scaring women into thinking Abortion will be made illegal, when it wouldn't have been. Well, Romney came right out and said he'd do anything he could, including nominating supreme court justices, to overthrow Roe vs Wade. Can't have it both ways, guys.
His Planned Parenthood closing position also awoke a monster. Women know there is no way they could trust a bunch of old geezers to replace the services PP provided while cutting and gutting programs left and right. Just look what's happening here in Texas. It's a joke. Theclinic phone numbers given to women that supposedly are taking the place of PP are not even women's clinics, are duplicates, or are hundreds of miles away.
The fact remains: aging white men are a shrinking population for obvious reasons. Latinos are turning 18 at a rate of 600,000 per year. That's 2.4 million added to the numbers for 2016. "Self-deportation" is not going to win over any of them. Voting against the DREAM ACT isn't either, but we all know Jeb Bush can never win the Republican nomination due mainly to his open views on immigration.
Too many doors are closed to tight, and having to tact so far to the right to get nominated, makes every candidate that tacts back to the center after winning the Republican nomination look like a flip-flopper, a liar, or an untrustworthy person. I know, I know, McCain and Romney were "centrists", but if the party really thinks they can win by nominating a true right wing conservative that believe in the whole 2012 Republican platform, they are kidding themselves. There just aren't enough votes to make that happen on a national scale.
Try reading the Republican platform, and ask yourself if you really believe it opens doors to women, Latinos, Blacks, and working class women.
The Republicans had to hide this during the campaign, back off of many of these positions, and label many of these beliefs as fringe or extremists, when they never tried to change the language in the convention. In fact, Ryan and Romney are just as extreme as Akin, Murdock and others, if not more so. Denying it (Romney) or staying silent (Ryan) didn't fool most voters, and instead, it further promoted the idea that these guys were hiding what they truly believed, and once elected, they'd move hard right in a flash. Right or wrong, that was the obvious expectation of many a voter.
Perhaps the biggest factor in Romney's loss was the "47%" comment. It's hard to wiggle out of that statement. It worsened the impression of Romney's aloofness, elitism, and sense that he just doesn't even know what it's like to be the working poor. I'm not even sure Romney even knows now, that many of those 47% work more than 1 job or are disabled, in the military, or retired (and living off their own money invested in SS not on handouts).
I also think Romney did not sell the idea that his economic plan was any better than 4 more years of Obama's. Right or wrong, he just wasn't convincing enough. Not giving the specifics just added to the personna of aloofness and secrecy. Itwas painful to watch Ryan have to stiffle himself over and over. The soup kitchen fiasco basically sent Ryan into exhile over the last few weeks of the campaign.
Sandy put the icing on the cake, ended the momentum, and sealed the deal for the Big O. Christie made his push for 2016 moderates and independents, just as he did with his convention speech that was more about him than Mitt. The party is fractured at the national level. But, powerful at the local and state levels that ensures the districts are alligned enough to keep them in the majority of the House for many years to come. At least they have one thing looking good now and into 2014 and beyond.
There will be some serious soul-searching, finger-pointing, and divisiveness going on within the Republican party over the next year or so, but I just can't see them moving to placate the growing demographics without alienating their base and foundations of philosophy.
Interesting days are coming soon,