Right about 11:12 p.m. on Nov. 6, 2012, as the first call was made and the other networks would soon follow – one of them quite reluctantly, to their eternal shame and deserved mockery – the postmortems of our latest presidential election began to spill out.
Why did Barack Obama win a second term? Why did Mitt Romney lose? Why did Democrats maintain the Senate, Republicans maintain the House? And how in the world did people, especially in Ohio, maintain their collective sanity under the avalanche of attack ads?
Well, the last answer is that we’re a pretty resilient bunch and can handle just about any kind of punishment, only to be followed by the punishment of two months of holiday shopping ads.
As to the rest, well, the answer is both statistical and practical.
The cold, hard numbers and demographics of this country are turning against the GOP, and they have no one but themselves to blame.
America in 2012 is not the same America of previous generations. It’s more diverse, more accepting of gays and lesbians (as proven by same-sex marriage passing in Maine, Maryland and Washington), and the younger electorate has little time or tolerance for the prejudices of the past.
Despite this, Republicans went out of their way to demean and diminish the first minority president in our history, assailing his political beliefs, questioning where he was born and what God he worshipped, plus other dog whistles, while at the same time railing against any sort of immigration policy that didn’t throw millions out of the country.
The result was predictable. Aside from the 96 percent of African-Americans that went for Obama, Latinos went 72 percent for him, and other minorities followed the same pattern. Not only did they see a president just like him, they saw an opposition bent out of shape because of that very fact and using whatever tools necessary to suppress their vote – which, of course, backfired.