Guest Commentary: What (Republicans) did Wrong in November


What Went Wrong in November? – Janice L. Mathis

I listened to various Republican pundits flagellate themselves today.  They are looking for ways to retake the Senate and the White House in 2016.  To find their way back to majority, they are searching in desperation for what went wrong in November 2012, permitting the re-election of Barack H. Obama.  Their prescriptions are as numerous as their pundits, and range from the thoughtful to the ridiculous.

  1.  They failed to micro-target their base voters
  2. They failed to tell the stories of government over-reach, thus failing to make the point that government is bad for you
  3. Mitt Romney was too stiff
  4. Americans don’t get married often enough or stay married long enough
  5. They were unable to shake the perception that George Bush caused the Great Recession and that Mitt Romney promised more of the same
  6. Innovation and independent thinking is discouraged by Republicans
  7. Americans are more government dependent on government than ever
  8. Fiscal restraint and austerity are unpleasant to most Americans
  9. Most Americans live with debt and see it as a normal part of life, refusing to be frightened by the U.S. debt
  10. Unmarried women see the government as their domestic partner
  11. Obama and Co. fabricated a War on Women
  12. Republicans relied too much on robo-calls and telephone ads and not enough on the ground game

It is not enough that Republicans still have a stranglehold on the U.S. House of Representatives, control a majority of Governorships and state houses. They want it all.  And they want it in 2016.

Tellingly, the two panel discussions I watched were segregated by gender.  The women’s panel came on C-Span at 6:00 a.m.  The men’s panel aired at 10:00 a.m.    No blacks were on either panel.  No Asians were on either panel.  A sole Latina represented half the country.  None of the panelists mentioned these facts.

None of the panelists cited Republican efforts to suppress the vote.  The one minority group panelist, a Latina, raised the question of voter suppression, but the female panelists did not directly respond to her question.

One woman panelist scoffed at the idea that Obama thinks our ideas of liberty, freedom and justice are what tie us together as a nation.  Until they understand Americans better, Republicans will have a hard time re-taking the White House.

Meanwhile, we need to micro-target Governor’s races and state legislatures in 2014.