COLUMN: A post-election guide to losing

Published: Thursday, November 8, 2012 at 02:36 PM.

As one of the apparently three Democrats in Walton County, I wanted to “reach across the aisle” and help my Republican brethren cope with the results of the 2012 presidential election. Believe me, I know about losing. I am a member of the party of Carter, Mondale, and Dukakis! Here are a few things I have learned from my party losing a dozen or so recent elections:

1. The sun will come out tomorrow. One truism of elections is that your candidate is never as good as you hope he or she will be, and their candidate is never as bad as you think they are going to be. Obama will be fine. Despite what you heard during the campaign, he is not going to take your guns, make your sister have an abortion, or raise the Kenyan flag over the White House. He is very cautious and conservative, something that drives us Democrats nuts.

2. Very little will change. We went into the election season with a Democratic president, Republican House, and Democratic Senate. Six billion dollars were spent on TV ads telling you what morons and crooks their opponents were. We came out of the election with a Democratic president, Republican House, and Democratic Senate. Roughly 59 million people voted for Obama, 57 million people for Mitt. Unfortunately, I think you would have gotten about the same results if it had been Obama’s dog vs. Mitt’s shoes. We all have chosen our “team” and very little changes us (certainly not the facts, data, evidence, thinking, etc.)

3. We are more alike than we are different. I got this one from Obama’s acceptance speech. It was stunningly good – too bad it came on at 2:30 in the morning. I kept thinking, “Where has this eloquent, inspirational guy been? I have not seen this guy since Denver in 2008.” Maybe that explains why Obama was such an inept loser as a candidate — he spent all his time on the acceptance speech that nobody saw! Anyway, he pointed out a number of areas where there is clear bipartisan support including improving our educational system, election reform, tax code reform, and reducing the deficit. There are definitely things that can be done that would please everyone. Get together and do them!

Now, on the other side of this, you Republicans need to do a little self-reflecting. You had an incredibly vulnerable president and you could not win. In most other Western countries, the incumbent leader lost because of the poor economy (which also should give you a hint about how much the president really has to do with the economy).

You had a weak candidate. I understand — I am from the party of Kerry, and Gore, and Dukakis! Remember that everyone hated Mitt coming out of the primaries. However, he was less objectionable than Newt, Herman Cain, and that crazy nut job from Texas who did not believe in science. Romney was weak and he still managed to make it close.

Now, unfortunately for you, if you do not make a few changes you are going to lose the next dozen elections. But we need you. We need smart Republicans. Nobody wants the Democrats in charge of everything and the same goes for the Republicans. That is a prescription for getting a lot of dumb ideas passed. We need gridlock and arguing and filibuster. The less our leaders can do, the better off we are. Here are a few ideas to get you guys to 270 in the upcoming elections. Don’t worry, it is not an MSNBC list. I got a couple of these from George W. Bush. Remember him?

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