When Romney thinks he's behind closed doors and he's just telling other people like him how politics really works, the picture he paints is so ugly as to be bordering on dystopic. It's not just about class, but about worth, and legitimacy.
The discussion of "who got it right" has pretty much begun and ended with Nate Silver. I'm a fan of Silver's, but some other names deserve to appear on the honor roll. So here's who I trust more now that the election is over.
Viewed against most other eras in American life, the pace of policy change in the last few years has been incredibly fast. Historians, looking back from more quiescent periods, will marvel at all that we have lived through.
House Democrats got 54,301,095 votes while House Republicans got 53,822,442. That is to say, House Republicans did the equivalent of winning the electoral college while losing the popular vote. That doesn't give them a mandate. But it doesn't mean Obama gets one, either.
A campaign's message isn't some free-floating concept unmoored from reality or strategic thinking. Messages are tied down by circumstance. And the attacks on Mitt Romney's messaging forget why he adopted the message he ultimately did.
Republicans have some tough questions to answer about this election. But if the plan is to try and tell themselves that everything would've worked out if not for that meddling storm, they're not going to end up with very useful answers.
I want you to look at two photographs, one of the crowd at Mitt Romney's concession speech, and one of the crowd at President Obama's victory rally. They show what happened in this election, and what's going to happen to the GOP in coming elections.
President Obama's reelection isn't about hope and change. It's about change. And because Obamacare, Wall Street reform, and tax increases are already law, it's about change that you actually can believe in. Change that's pretty much guaranteed.