by Nikhil Dyundi
There is an old adage that oppositions do not win elections, governments lose them. Clearly, there is a lot of truth in this; after all, it is only the government that can actually do things. The administration has the record to be judged.
But let us be in no doubt about what happened yesterday: yes president Obama won, but more than anything else, the Republicans lost. They lost, not only the presidency but failed to retake the senate in a year when both should have been a lock.
They achieved this improbable feat because of one simple fact: their base is batshit insane.
As a result, no vaguely competitive candidate stepped forward for the presidential nomination, leaving them with the weakest representative in decades. Electable, centrist senate incumbents and prospective candidates were brushed aside to make way for a variety of fruitloops who couldn’t stop talking about rape.
It’s hard for US journalists to report the underlying problem with the Republicans.
A mix of natural timidity combined with some genuine fear of the wrath of the wingnut trolls mean most broadcast and print media in the US opt to split the difference between the parties and report the situation as if both are equally culpable for the nation’s ills. As if this were politics as normal.
It’s not. For the past twenty years the Republican party has been headed hard right and they have now got to a point where nothing is normal.
The evidence of humanity’s evolution, the laws of biology when it comes to rape, even basic arithmetic that says you can’t lavishly increase defence spending while cutting taxes and expect the deficit to go down – all are disputed by the mainstream Republican party.
The lunatics are running the asylum and after last night, they are going to get really, really mad. Because part of being a lunatic is not understanding why people disagree with you. The crazies know they are right, so the only explanation for losing an election is that the undiluted purity of the message was not communicated to the electorate.
The compromisers interfered with the good word and confused the voters. The liberal mainstream media (boo, hiss) deliberately distorted the Republican platform to help get their guy back into the Whitehouse.
For the Republican base, the conclusion will be simple: the candidate was the problem. Romney wasn’t forceful or clear enough about his conservative values. The liberal media were always in the tank for the Democrats, what was needed was someone who could cut through the bias to the voters.
The prescription for future candidates, presidential or otherwise, will be equally simple: they need candidates who will shout louder, both ideologically and literally. Only through the power of righteous shouting will the Republicans overcome the naysayers and liberal unbelievers to save America.
For the health of American politics, it would have been better if the Republicans had picked Rick Santorum as their candidate, or indeed anyone authentically of the right. A Goldwater level defeat would have been the type of unequivocal judgement that might, just might, have shocked enough of the Republican party back to its senses.
But Romney? He gives the crazies a scapegoat.
For the next four years, expect even more extreme policies, madder candidates and, if at all possible, less co-operation in Congress. For anyone interested in American politics, best get some ear plugs, the Republican noise machine is about to turn the amp up to 11.
Nikhil Dyundi is a registered Democrat and a political consultant