With the re-election of President Obama, some Republicans are having real trouble accepting it.
Birther-millionaire Donald Trump sent out a remarkable series of tweets:
And Republican strategist Karl Rove questioned Fox News’ call for Obama in Ohio.
Rove staged a live TV mutiny. He insisted that the Ohio call had been premature and then forced Fox’s Megan Kelly to make an SNL like walk through the Fox building and confront the network’s official number counters with Rove’s objections.
There’s no doubt — it’s painful to lose.
In this case, it may be especially painful because Republican office-holders and activists had repeatedly said that Obama and his policies were broadly unpopular.
Yet they were not.
Obama’s budget priorities were always more consistent with what Americans want: a tax structure closer to what existed under Bill Clinton and through the post-war period and the American government we have built, with its major programs for health and retirement security, as well as its regulatory structure and other programs.
In the aftermath, look for Republican attempts to interpret the election as unconnected from the fundamental policy choices that were put before the American people. This will occur because they will not want to accept that the Romney-Ryan approach is highly unpopular.
It’s true that part of why Romney-Ryan lost was also because they could not appeal to the quickest growing portion of the public — our Hispanic population. They also have problems on social issues, particularly with young voters and women.
To be competitive in future presidential elections, the Republican party will have to change.
If this is to happen, they will have to grapple with the Tea Party faction that has so influenced their party. If not for the Tea Party, Romney would have run a different campaign.
And if not for the Tea Party, various Senate races would have turned out differently. In fact, the Senate will be more progressive in 2013 than it was in 2012.
At the same time, the House remains in Republican hands, giving those House leaders a difficult situation in balancing different demands — keeping their base while figuring out how to be more broadly popular.