Friday, November 16, 2012

CORRECTION: What Money Can't Buy

Apologies dear readers and tip of the hat to eagle eye Eli Blake who noticed a data error in a longer earlier version of this column:

What Money Can’t Buy

As a recently defeated candidate for public office, few people may consider my advice sound, but here goes anyway. 

Hey Mohave County Republican Party: Congratulations on your recent victory. I remember another victory you guys had back in 2004--an embattled president facing a challenge from a controversial politician out of Massachusetts, a divided nation. In the end, though, a decisive victory of more than three million votes and a re-elected president who took that margin and claimed it was a mandate. “I have earned some political capital and I aim to spend it!” George Bush then launched into a program that totally ignored the wishes of the half of the electorate to kowtow to his perpetually shrinking, but none the less, rabid base. Welcome to 2012, that rabid base of yours has shrunk nationally to below the 50% mark. Now, don’t you hope that Dems’ donkeys are more gracious than your sorry donkeys have been?

Don’t get me wrong. The Mohave County Republican Party can be indisputably proud of their accomplishments this round. We are clearly the reddest county in the state. You guys thunderously won virtually every local and state elective office and got Romney 70% of the vote. Only two states turned out such numbers, Wild West Wyoming and, small wonder, Romney loving Utah. In fact only ten states nationally went red by 60+%. Metro area counties like Maricopa and Pinal weren’t even greater than 60%. Four counties entirely refused your Tea Party and went over to the blue side. College counties Pima and Coconino both backed Obama. He took two-thirds of the Apache County vote and, a whopping 68% of Santa Cruz County.

So, Mohave County Republican Party, job well done. Now shut up and learn to listen before your party demographically goes the way of the Dixiecrats and other such red-meat eating dinosaurs.  A three million vote margin is a mandate. Your team just lost the presidency in more than half the states, lost seats in Congress in general, lost your supermajority in PHX, and lost more than half of the state’s Congressional seats.  AND, it’s the fifth time in the last six presidential elections that Dems earned more votes.  If ever a presidential election could have simply been bought, this surely should have been it. If ever there was a president who has been demonized, vilified, it has been Barack Obama. And it did no good.

Turns out the American public also does not actually honestly desire a massive repudiation of Obamacare. We actually honestly do care about caring about people. You know how the Right always say, “The law’s the law”?  Well, the law’s the law. The Affordable Care Act passed. It’s the law. Shut up about it. Get used to the ACA and stop wasting state money on losing litigation trying to battle a program that, while compromised, has more strengths than weaknesses.

Know what else? There is no rich man’s tax cut worth giving up my son’s education over, or my mother’s healthcare, just sayin’. No tax cut ever built a highway, taught a child, or stopped a criminal, just sayin’. Also Cannabis is going to legal someday. Women want birth control, not rapists’ babies, and same sex marriage won on the ballot. Face it: if you really have to worry about the sex in someone’s else marriage, that means you are not having enough of your own.

But seriously, while your numbers and sheer orneriness might give you guys the west side of the state home-team advantage for now, the politics of race and rights and money are slipping away from you. The angrier old white men get about losing their will to stem the tide of time, the more rapidly their dominance will slide. In California they even voted to raise their own taxes. Less than 30% of the public are still willing to register Republican. And you know what they say about Californians: they keep moving to Arizona.

--mikel weisser writes from the left coast of AZ and was a 2012 primary candidate for US House of Representatives

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