While I'd be more than happy to see the electoral college go by the wayside and candidates have to campaign in all fifty states instead of only focusing on a few swing states, I'm already really tired of hearing the talking heads in the media talk about what a tragedy a split between the two would be this time around, when there was no concern whatsoever when Bush did the same when the Supreme Court handed him his first presidential election back in 2000.
Here's more on that from Kathleen Geier at The Washington Monthly -- Election 2012: the G.O.P. whining begins:
So it’s not surprisingly that some Republican leaders are already switching gears; in anticipation of a Romney loss, they are already looking for ways to discredit an Obama victory. Here are some of the most popular excuses you’ll be hearing: [...]
— Another popular argument to try to discredit the president: hey, Obama may be “the choice of Hispanics, African-Americans, single women and highly educated urban whites,” but that’s not Amurka, buddy! Everyone knows that Amurka is white people. ‘Specially white people who are dudes. Oh, and of course, rich people! The notion non-whites, the poor, urban dwellers, and unmarried women are second-class citizens whose votes shouldn’t count is straight-up racism and sexism of the most despicable kind. Obama’s detractors will use prettied up phrases — they’ll say he didn’t win over “middle America” or (as per Atrios) “the heartland,” but what they mean is that the votes of those who don’t have white skin or possess a penis, or a piece of paper that legally connects them to a penis-holder, should not count. This argument is of course shameful and beneath contempt. and anyone who makes it should immediately be called on it.
— Another excuse they are cooking up seems to be the argument that if Obama doesn’t win the popular vote by a large margin, it doesn’t count. Funny, but when one of their own lost the popular vote in 2000 yet was appointed to the presidency by the Supreme Court, they had the chutzpah not only to treat his victory as 100% kosher, but to try to brand it as a mandate to boot! Clearly, though, we’re supposed to flush that recent example down the memory hole.
Here's Bob Schieffer and David Gergen doing just that on this Sunday's Face the Nation:
SCHIEFFER: Let me just say, David Gergen, I think the worst of all worlds would be if one of the candidates won the popular vote and other won the electoral college.
GERGEN: I agree. I agree. That's what's happened very rarely in our history
SCHIEFFER: But do you see any possibility that could happen this time?
GERGEN: Theoretically, absolutely. We're in a situation now, where Romney, in several polls is either tied or ahead in the national vote, yet he's behind in the electoral college. So yes, Charlie Cook thinks there's a one in three chance of doing that.
But I think it goes to this question of governing. To me the question no longer has been not who is going to the win, but can the winner govern? Can the winner get us out of this mess that we're in and get the grand bargain and do the other kind of things that need to ignite this country.
And the fact is, as it's narrowed down, it's gotten so close, I think governing becomes harder. I thought at one point Obama could break out of this thing and win a big victory, in which case he'd have a lot of leverage. And I thought at one point Romney could potentially break out.
Now I think neither person is going -- I don't think the winner is going to have a mandate. I don't think winner is going to have a clear mandate. We're really going to have a country that remains bitterly and closely divided and it's tough to govern.
The reason we've had a country that's "tough to govern" is because of the unprecedented amount of obstruction from Republicans who cared more about making President Obama a one term president than whether they were doing harm to our country and to our economy. We're not going to hear that out of the beltway Villagers who have to pretend that all things and all sides are equal at all times though. The "worst of all worlds" is that we have a media that allows it to continue and lies about how they're conducting their business in order to help dumb down the electorate that doesn't pay enough attention to politics. Sadly, I don't see any hope of that changing in the near future. These media companies need to be broken up yesterday.
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