Capitol Report – Living in the bubble
By State Representative, Leon D. Young
In the wake of President Barack Obama’s convincing reelection earlier this month, a steady stream of Republican pundits, operatives and, even, politicians have begun to emerge giving their perspectives as to why Mitt Romney got his clock cleaned.
Mired in this deafening dim of ridiculous excuses and bogus explanations were the vitriolic comments of two of Wisconsin ’s own: Congressman Paul Ryan and State Senator Alberta Darling. Their inflammatory statements regarding the outcome of the recent presidential election provides a unique insight into their delusional thinking, and should be an insult to most Wisconsin residents.
When queried as to his explanation for the defeat of the Republican presidential ticket, on which he was Mitt Romney’s running mate, Paul Ryan cited the nation’s big cities as the nemesis.
Ryan vehemently stated, “the surprise was some of the turnout, some of the turnout especially in urban areas, which gave president Obama the big margin to win this race.” But, this begs the question: Was Romney and Ryan’s “real surprise” how ineffective their attempts to suppress the vote in Wisconsin, Ohio and Florida proved to be or that their vaunted Get Out The Vote (GOTV) operation failed so miserably?
Equally revealing were the startling pronouncements from State Senator Alberta Darling, who served as one of the state co-chairs for Mitt Romney’s campaign. While giving a TV interview, only days after the election, Senator Darling stated without equivocation that “Mitt Romney could have won the state if Wisconsin ’s voter ID law had been in place for the November 6 election.
But, the reality is this: as many as 300,000 people in the state do not have the forms of ID required under the law and would have a difficult time getting one, and that extensive investigations by Republican and Democrats have found that, VOTER FRAUD IS NOT A PROBLEM IN THE STATE.
Not one, but two Wisconsin judges have struck down the state’s voter ID law as an unconstitutional burden on the right to vote, particularly because on balance the costs of disenfranchising 300,000 people would not be outweighed by “benefits” of stopping a problem that does not exist.
Unfortunately, this political fantasy doesn’t end there. In an attempt to save face, Mitt Romney blamed his overwhelming electoral loss on what he said were big “gifts” that the president had bestowed on loyal Democratic constituencies, including young voters, African Americans and Hispanics. Or, put in other words, thereason that President Obama won was because he promised free stuff to people.
The GOP now finds itself at a real crossroads and must engage in some “honest introspection” as a political party. Throwing Mitt Romney under the bus, as many in his party has done following his latest psychotic rant, gives the GOP a convenient way out – without having to amend anything of political substance.
In truth, the GOP lost the national election because the racial demographics in America are changing, and they find themselves at odds with too many elements of the electorate. If the GOP is going to survive as a viable political alternative, it must first cease its delusional thinking (living in a bubble). And second, the GOP must be willing to broaden its appeal, by advocating for those who comprise the 99 percent – average Americans.