Bless you, Mitt Romney. Please keep doing conference calls with your donors. An annual reunion isn't nearly enough, I think to stay really connected you should do conference calls once a week. And please, get out there on the speaking circuit, the country needs to hear your voice. A lot. When it comes to the 2016 Presidential race, I don’t care whether you endorse someone in the primary fight, but it would be so great for you to go out and campaign for the nominee. Maybe you and George W. Bush could hit the road together, doing a barnstorming bus tour through the swing states. If we’re really lucky, the nominee will be Paul Ryan.
I want to say 2 things about the whole Social Darwinist, “makers and takers”, Ayn Rand-style selfishness is a virtue/generosity weakens society, 47% of you (and especially you blacks and Hispanics and young women who want your contraceptives) are dependent leeches philosophy. The first is that it is clear that the Republicans really believe it. Whenever they don’t think anyone except their wealthy donors are paying attention, they lay it all out there, are very open about it. This is their core philosophy, their core values that we’re talking about here.
The second point is that the American people fundamentally reject those values. The nadir of Romney’s bid for the Presidency, the absolute low point when after things had been close so long it looked like we might be headed for an Obama blowout victory, was in the days after the release of the 47% video. Had Obama pressed that point in the first debate, we might have even had that blowout. The only reason Romney came as close as he did was his etch-a-sketch move to the middle, when he explicitly rejected the 47% values.
It’s not just African-Americans and Hispanics and young people who reject those ideas either. You might have noticed the swing states of Iowa and NH who voted for Obama. IA, PA, and FL- 3 states with the oldest populations in the country- went for the President. Mostly white Minnesota, which came surprisingly close to going for Bush in 2004 and where Romney spent money advertising went easily for Obama. Mostly white Maine, which has been a swing state in many past Presidential elections, wasn’t even close this year, including the more rural and Republican congressional district. This isn’t just demographics, folks: most Americans reject these kinds of ideas and values. If Romney had run openly on them, he would have been destroyed. By pretending to reject them he made the election closer, but he couldn’t hide his values entirely because his and Ryan’s budget reek of those kind of Ayn Randian values.
Central to the Republican defeat, in fact, was the tax and budget debate. Having embraced the Ryan budget, and then picked the author of it to be his running mate, they had to try and defend it but failed miserably. It was an incredibly extreme document from start to finish, weaning all those dependent seniors, children, veterans, disabled, and poor off of the public “teat” so that they wouldn’t be victims and dependent on government, and using all the money (literally all of it cut from those programs) to give massive new tax breaks to the wealthy on top of what they already have. And the more people learned about that budget, and the values behind it, the more they disliked it.
Having that values and budget issue out there hurt Republican Senate candidates badly as well. Charismatic, popular, moderate voting and sounding Scott Brown lost to Elizabeth Warren in part because of sticking to the Republican philosophy of not taxing the wealthy. The popular former Governor of Wisconsin lost to Tammy Baldwin in part because of having to defend that philosophy. House members in conservative Western states Montana and South Dakota were dragged down in their Senate races by the Ryan budget albatross hanging around their necks.
The American people in this election heard the generosity-breeds-dependency philosophy, and they heard Barack Obama and Elizabeth Warren and other Democrats say that we are all in this together, that we are our brothers’ and sisters’ keepers, that we need to lift each other up. We won, convincingly, in spite of a tough economy and all the wealthy donor money spent us against.
So, Mitt- and Paul Ryan too!- stay out there in the debate, please. Keep giving speeches, keep doing conference calls, write some op-eds. Tell us some more about all the gifts Barack Obama is giving us undeserving types. Never stop speaking out, brothers Mitt and Paul. And Democrats will keep winning elections, as long as they fight for all those people Mitt and Paul like to mock.