The Washington Post

Robinson and readers on next GOP moves

The election results of last week (wow, feels like longer ago than that) should provoke some sleepless nights and self-reflection for the Republican Party, writes Eugene Robinson in his column today. He sees some party spokespersons ready to admit that — Newt Gingrich, to be precise — but many who aren’t willing to accept that the election results mean they will have to change to adapt to the electorate.

In the 3,500 comments on Robinson’s column, PostScript noticed that those willing to accept that the Republican Party needs to change all had something in common: They all seem very happy President Obama was reelected. Likewise, those who did not believe the Republican Party needs to change all seemed to be unhappy President Obama was reelected. PostScript is hesitant to draw any conclusions about this unscientific data, but the comments at least reflect a GOP not interested in listening to either Robinson or Gingrich.

In fact, PostScript found one person who seems not to be a Republican but still doesn’t think the Republicans need to be listening or changing:


It’s been ten days, okay? I’m sure the GOP will figure out something but it sure isn’t going to be in ten days and it certainly won’t be because a hard line liberal is chastising them. You think they’re going to listen to you?

Well, that was the idea, yes. But why, after this election, shouldn’t the GOP be “listening” and changing?

wwitk2010 doesn’t think the election actually proved anything:

The Republicans holding the House are the closest approximation of a popular-vote democracy that American has. That’s why they are still there. Had the actual will of the American people been reflected on November 6, the numbers would have been very close indeed.

You were supposed to have such a lock on the White House, your president was supposed to be so great and so universally admired, that re-election would have been a massive landslide, a slam-dunk.

But we put up a 65 year-old middle-of-the-road rich guy and still got 58 million votes to your 61 million. This was a victory in a way — and we Republicans and conservatives have recognized that by changing from the Old Guard to the New Guard, we will be back — big time.

We’re very happy with our future prospects, Mr. Robinson.

Spencer99 echoes that:

Republicans won the biggest turnaround election in US history in 2010 as a direct result of Obamacare and our deficit. In 2012 the issues were far more complex. It is ludicrous to suggest that there is a mandate for higher taxes and more deficit spending.

McSuibhne says losing an election happens all the time, and it doesn’t always prompt huge changes in a party:

Did the Democrats fold their tent, when, for instance, Walter Mondale lost all but two states to Reagan?

I agree that Republicans need to articulate their message better and get rid of the knuckle dragging hard-right fringe, but I didn’t see democrats kicking their hard-left fringe contingent out of the party in 1984, yet they came back in 1992.

drluggit thinks the election was about identity politics, not ideology:

No, I think Republicans get it quite clearly. The folks who still don’t get it is the liberal wing of the Democratic party. When polled, the majority of folks who voted for the president still don’t share his or his party’s values. It’s shocking really, but the effect of guilting minorities into voting with their tribe seems to be the only successful mechanism that Democrats employed. So, Eugene, perhaps you should rethink your strawman.

It is, as Smokey said, 10 days out, and our commenters aren’t necessarily reflective of the larger Republican population, but there’s enough dissent here to prove a problem for Gingrich’s plans — possibly one of the things he’s thinking about rethinking.


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