President Obama Has A Mandate

I hate to break it to you folks still in denial, but President Obama HAS a mandate.

332 electoral votes is a huge win by any standard. As of this writing, he also won the popular vote by about 3.5 million, for a 51-48% win over Mitt Romney.

But the right wing media machine started – even before Ohio was called – to sow the seeds of doubt regarding this mandate.  Even in defeat, they were already laying the foundation for gridlock.  Their mission was simple and overt in 2008, deny President Obama’s reelection by obstruction.  Now, they want to deny him a mandate and a legacy, by making him a “lame duck” from day one.

Already, their pundits are resorting to minimizing a very decisive reelection.  An attempt to quash any talk of a mandate, using phrases like “balance of power unchanged”.

Technically it is unchanged.  But the Democrats strengthened their hold on the Senate by two seats.  In the House? They likely made a small gain as well.  So technically, the Democrats were up all around on November 6th – and yet – no mandate?

Remember, George W. Bush narrowly “won” the Electoral College in 2000 and lost the popular vote – but the GOP insisted he had a mandate. When he was reelected in 2004, he won 286 electoral votes with a popular vote margin of 3 million and he famously said:

“I earned capital in the campaign, political capital, and now I intend to spend it. It is my style. That’s what happened in the — after the 2000 election, I earned some capital. I’ve earned capital in this election — and I’m going to spend it for what I told the people I’d spend it on”

With President Obama’s victory numbers so much better, why the different assessment of a mandate and political capital now?

As Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan proved during this past campaign, facts are irrelevant and inconvenient.  When confronted with them, the new GOP recoils and doubles down on deceit.  Look at the shameless attacks on statistician Nate Silver.  His numbers were spot on.  Absolutely remarkable.  But they attacked him for being partisan.

Yes, the GOP and their media thinks a sober assessment of polls and numbers are partisan, just as they think facts are partisan and inconvenient. (As I have said here before, facts are non-partisan.)

This group of politicians and their media have been proven completely wrong and exposed as out of touch with reality.  This not only puts them in an awkward position, but leads to some rather desperate reactions:

  • Appearing with John King on CNN, Tea Party Express Chairman Amy Kremer expressed complete contempt in a hate filled assessment of the election results and refused to even consider the need for an increase in tax revenue in the next budget.  She focused instead on calling President Obama the most divisive president ever.
  • Donald Trump tweeted the need for a revolution.  He said the Electoral College had to be abolished, while thinking that Mr. Romney was winning the popular vote. (The President won the popular vote, and even if he had not, see Bush 2000)
  • George Will, Jennifer Rubin, Charles Krauthammer and many others in the right wing media spent weeks writing what ended up being false campaign propaganda in an attempt to sway your thinking.  They were either lying or are incompetent as journalists.  I suggest reading them in the future only for entertainment purposes.

Any student of human nature will tell you that you can learn all you need to know about a person by observing their actions over a period of time.

Applying this same principle, we can easily discern all we need to about the current crop of right wing media contributors and their political masters in the GOP.

And the results are very telling indeed.