The 2008 and 2012 campaigns had at least one thing in common: neither of the GOP candidates defended themselves against the (often) spurious attacks fired off by the Obama Team: John McCain was accused of, among other things, being a punching bag for Obama; Mitt Romney did slightly better in this regard, but was still far from effective against Obama's slings and arrows, particularly in the second and third debates.
Something the GOP needs to learn (and I say this with a heavy heart) is that when your opponent fights dirty, you have to be willing to get your hands dirty as well; being 'gentlemanly' and crying 'unfair conduct' gets you nowhere but dead.
Secondly, I noticed the counts of the number of voters for both sides. According to the sources I found, Obama got fewer votes Tuesday than he did in 2008, and Romney got fewer votes than McCain did (see here for one example, here for others). Of course, there are varied explanations for this, but one theme seems to predominate: 'They aren't substantially different, policy-wise', which, IMO, is a load of manure; what I see, specifically on the GOP side, is that people looked at Romney, saw McCain 2, and decided, 'Nuts to it, they gave us another candidate I don't want'.
At least, that's what I was feeling when I pulled the lever on Tuesday; I'm probably not alone. Voter ID can take a back-seat in the 'disenfranchisement' bus to 'the choices suck', IMO.
So what can we do about it? It's not like there weren't good candidates on our side when the starting gun went off; bit by bit the good candidates (IMO, again) were knocked off, some by Democrat dirty tricks, some by (and I hate to say it) GOP distaste for anything other than the ever-popular (to the GOP elites) 'moderate' Republican. And by the way, you can read 'moderate' as 'manipulable by the GOP elites', if you'd like).
Well, here's what I'm planning on doing; this is my own idea - if you don't like it or don't feel you can do it, more power to you: this is what I'm planning on doing.
First, I'm adopting the title of P. J. O'Rourke's book, Don't Vote It Just Encourages the Bastards. That title is oh, so true, as far as I'm concerned. The GOp can't seem to wrap their heads around the fact that if they give us a candidate we don't like, and that's the only choice we have, we vote for that guy (or gal) because we will not vote for the opposition no matter the cost. But our votes just reinforce their foolish idea that we want moderate candidates, when truth be told, we want somebody other than the squish who made it to the top of the heap.
Second (and this hinges on number 1 up there), is that I'm adopting (in part) something from Mark Steyn's recent column at NRO. Here's the important part:
So Washington cannot be saved from itself. For the moment, tend to your state, and county, town and school district, and demonstrate the virtues of responsible self-government at the local level. Americans as a whole have joined the rest of the Western world in voting themselves a lifestyle they are not willing to earn.I'm going to concentrate on city, county, and state elections; when the midterms come up, if we've got a squish for Senator or Representative, I won't be voting for him or her, period. Same goes for the national election: if the GOP gives us a squish, I won't vote, plain and simple.
And before you start screaming that 'no vote means a vote for the opposition', let me tell you that I know that. I'm also of the very strong opinion that until the GOP gets it through their thick skulls that we will not accept a squish anymore, they will continue to give them to us. Perhaps, just perhaps (and this may be the biggest pipe-dream ever), if the Democrat candidate for the 2016 election won, and in analyzing the votes they discover that the Democrat pulled in 60 million votes and the GOP squish pulled in a measly 15 or 20 million, it might (again, I say 'might') make them wonder just exactly what the hell happened, and maybe (just maybe), they'd start listening to the analysts who would (hopefully) be saying, 'Voters didn't turn out for our candidate because they didn't like him/her and they made you aware of that from the get-go!'
Like I said, this is how I'm going to do it from now on. Personally, I don't care if you like or dislike what I plan, but I'm sick and tired of encouraging the bastards who keep handing us jellyfish and telling us it's swordfish.