Political Animal


November 04, 2012 1:03 PM Election 2012: the G.O.P. whining begins

By Kathleen Geier

In less than 48 hours, Election Day will be here. And while quite a few leading lights of the G.O.P. continue desperatelyspinning the fantastic delusion of a Romney landslide, the smell of their flopsweat is unmistakable, and getting stronger by the minute. According to Nate Silver, the probability of Obama winning has risen to 85%. 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:

— Wah! It’s Sandy’s fault!! The polls are indicating that in the wake of Hurricane Sandy, Obama’s approval numbers have gotten a boost. Haley Barbour, Karl Rove, and Romney campaign operatives are spinning the fiction that Hurricane Sandy stalled Romney’s momentum. That’s impossible, Romney never had “momentum” to begin with. The other problem with this argument is the assumption that Barack Obama had somehow benefited unfairly from the storm. But it was by no means certain that Obama would handle the crisis well, and be rightly credited for performance. We all saw how the disastrous response of the Bush administration to Katrina caused severe political damage to George W. Bush, from which he never recovered.

And if part of the reason why the storm may have helped Obama is that voters know that Democrats tend to respond more generously and more competently to victims of natural disasters, what of it? No one forced Mitt Romney to say, as he did during the primaries, that he would get rid of FEMA. Holding him accountable for such statements is only fair. Voters know that Republicans want to slash funding and/or privatize agencies like FEMA; it’s an important part of their anti-government agenda. It is certainly the voters’ privilege to reject these ideas by voting against them.

— 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

It does seem obvious that the Republicans are deliberately running up the popular vote. Whether that’s trying to discredit Obama by ensuring the narrowest of victories, or even a loss, in the popular vote; or whether they’re simply trying to make it close enough to steal, who knows. Whatever the case, Republican vote suppression shenanigans continue apace.

— Speaking of which … their final, and most desperate excuse will be that Obama has stolen the election. This claim aids the conservative project in several ways: it casts a shadow over the legitimacy of Obama’s presidency, it diverts attention from their own vote suppression efforts, and in a pinch, it enables them to weaken and possibly destroy some of the left-wing activist groups engaged in GOTV campaigns. (Case in point: ACORN). Well-played, indeed!

And now, back to your regularly scheduled G.O.P. whinefest and precriminations fiesta!

Kathleen Geier is a writer and public policy researcher who lives in Chicago. She blogs at Inequality Matters. Find her on Twitter: @Kathy_Gee


  • Robert Waldmann on November 04, 2012 3:04 PM:

    "Wah! It’s Sandy’s fault!!" Ask Mourdock if this means Obama's re-election was God's will. While you're at it ask Pat Robertson and (assuming he has an immortal soul) Jerry Falwell.

    Seems to me that, just sticking to anatomical terrain, you think "the heartland" means "the penisland" or more exactly "the whitepenisland" (I almost wrote the english speaking white penisland and now will have nightmares of white penises speaking to me in English -- and the blame is all shared equally by you and Sandy).

    Isn't "a penis holder" getting a bit personal ? Some guys just pull it out of their pants and let it dangle while pissing. Or do you mean not just for plumbing purposes but also uh entertainment. You're not suggesting that we are all wankers are you ? I mean maybe we are all wankers, but it's still not polite to assume that.

  • bleh on November 04, 2012 3:20 PM:

    Wah! It’s Sandy’s fault!!

    Well of course it is. The environment has a known liberal bias.

  • punaise on November 04, 2012 3:29 PM:

    "flopsweat". I'm not even sure what that means, but it sounds so right!

  • c u n d gulag on November 04, 2012 3:33 PM:

    GOP POV!

    It's NEVER the fault of Conservatism!
    It's either that people, or the elements, or reality, that FAIL Conservatism!!!

    It was feckin' Hurricane Sandy's fault!
    It was Chris Christie's fault!
    It was Obama's fault!
    it was Mitt's fault!
    It was The New Black Panthers fault!
    It was the fault of voter fraud!
    It was the fault of ACORN!
    It was Ike's fault!
    It was FDR's fault!
    It was Teddy Roosevelt's fault!
    It was Lincoln's fault!
    It was the Hessian's fault, for not fighting hard enough!
    It was the Age of Enlightenment's fault!
    It was the Reformation's fault!
    It was the Reniassance's fault!
    It was the damn Athenian's FECKIN' fault!


  • Anonymous on November 04, 2012 3:34 PM:

    We are going to hear whining, and we are going to hear threats. If you hear a threat against the president, call it in:


    And comments that question the validity of the election may fall into the category of threats.

  • Joe Friday on November 04, 2012 3:37 PM:


    Matthew Dowd on ABC's 'THIS WEEK':

    "There was no 'Romney momentum' after that first debate ... the race went to where it was and it's stayed there for three weeks."


    As to the "penis-holder" brouhaha, I ain't gettin' involved.

  • mudwall jackson on November 04, 2012 3:58 PM:

    let's not gloat yet. it ain't over until the mendacious one concedes, after all.

    but hopefully wednesday morning we'll all be entertained by the creative excuses that will come from the right. if obama wins, it will be everyone's fault but their own, of course. i doubt that there will be even the 15 minutes of soul searching that followed the 2008 election.

    in the meantime, vote and get your friends, family neighbors, complete strangers to the polls ... captcha suggests drivers-taxi

  • Nancy Cadet on November 04, 2012 4:02 PM:

    Yes, hurricane relief: the Obama administration bought all those votes for ten gallons of free gas, provided by the dept. of Defense. of course, that bright idea had to be abandoned rather quickly. Free gas started causing more social turmoil in NY & NJ than those danged Obama phones!

  • mudwall jackson on November 04, 2012 4:04 PM:

    jon marshall at tpm had an interesting theory as to why the republicans are spending so much money: they've got and they can't give back. plus, there are ties between the campaign and pacs and the advertising agencies that prepare the lies and handle the buys so its in their interests financially speaking to spend every last dime if they can. doesn't matter what effect it has on the election, they win either way.

  • Fess on November 04, 2012 5:00 PM:

    "Penis-holder" sounds a lot like priesthood holder, in fact they may be the same thing. In the Mormon church a priesthood holder is pretty much any male who has passed his 13th birthday. Theologically, this makes a pimply 15 year old the spiritual superior of his non-penis holding mother. Mom should be listening to him as a moral authority. A priesthood holder who is an A-1 marital shit still wears the pants in the family and is judged to be the person the put-upon wife must always listen to and obey. Mitt and friends think that's the way the world should be.

    Cripes! Where's that "You Don't Own Me" video?

  • Fess on November 04, 2012 5:07 PM:

    P.S. That's Josh Marshall at TPM. He did theorize about why the super pacs are dumping money by the wheelbarrow full in done-deal locations. I do not believe that he suggested that there are ties between the campaigns and the PACs, because that relationship would be illegal, and it would be foolish to say so without pretty clear evidence. Even if we suspect it, a responsible blogger wouldn't state it as fact without concrete back-up.

  • Ben on November 04, 2012 5:27 PM:

    I'll go on record now and predict that Mitt won't concede this election. He will just let it play out until the certification process declares the president the winner. This will help fire up the masses for 4 years of obstruction and the 2016 election.

  • biggerbox on November 04, 2012 5:36 PM:

    Clearly, superstorm Sandy was God's vote in the election, and His way of telling us that we should cut the crap and re-elect Obama already.

    I, for one, am not willing to provoke God's wrath further. Look what happened when we didn't give Obama enough of an early lead. The Lord will probably open up the Yellowstone super-volcano if Mitt gets elected.

    It's in the Bible, people.

  • James E. Powell on November 04, 2012 5:40 PM:

    My bold prediction:

    The presidential election will not be as close as the poll aggregates would have us believe. Obama/Biden will win Ohio and Virginia by wider margins than indicated in the polls. Also, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and Iowa will not be close.

    The poll publishers are shaving Obama/Biden's lead because of caution and because they are under a steady rain of right-wing fireballs, some of which are coming through their ad sales departments.

    The 'likely voter' screens will be shown to have missed significant parts of the electorate. Those parts will be overwhelmingly Obama/Biden voters.

  • Hue and Cry-baby on November 04, 2012 5:49 PM:

    Funny you should say "whining"-- just returned from South Bend having watched the University of Pittsburgh play Notre Dame--where the officials literally took away the game from the Pgh. Panthers with *really bad calls*--and what a long, cold-a$$ game anyway (3 overtimes)----
    I get home, only to unwind and watch officals and referees in the Giants-Pittsburgh Steelers game similarly steal the game early on with *bad calls* as the 2nd quarter winds down.

    But as I rummage thru the Sunday paper, I find this gem politically:


    Loved the capcha--incnity Publius,

  • TCinLA on November 04, 2012 6:42 PM:

    I mean maybe we are all wankers, but it's still not polite to assume that.

    Nah, she was talking about Republicans. Wanking off is the closest to sex they ever get with someone who's doing it because they actually like the guy. (Of course, all the Republican Jews are doing it with someone who hates them.)

    "Waaaah! Mommy! They beated us and used bad words! Waaah! Mommy!"

  • TCinLA on November 04, 2012 6:46 PM:

    I loooove the smell of Republican flopsweat in the morning! It smells like VICTORY!

  • exlibra on November 04, 2012 6:49 PM:

    Obama’s detractors will [...] say he didn’t win over “middle America” [...] -- Kathleen Geier

    I believe the correct term is "muddled America", with a "u", not an "i".

    Craptcha agrees, saying "elemosp described" my spelling is correct.

  • Hue and Cry on November 04, 2012 7:08 PM:

    Joe Scarborough must've called off on Friday for his Morning Joe propaganda extraganaza, fair haired Mika took over, liberals abounded... it was much less stressful, and I would assume (a$$ and me) that that just about tells us the election is lost for Republicans....
    just joking....
    ... unless the repugs steal the thing, we have it....

    What is it with capcha, again--
    reedseho satisfies

  • mary on November 04, 2012 7:19 PM:

    Those parts will be overwhelmingly Obama/Biden voters.

  • bad Jim on November 04, 2012 7:23 PM:

    Outside of the South, the Democrats split the white vote. White Southerners provide the bulk of Republican voters, and the rest of us old white Democrats resent being lumped in with them.

  • SecularAnimist on November 04, 2012 7:26 PM:

    Kathleen Geier wrote: "... whether they’re simply trying to make it close enough to steal, who knows ..."

    Who knows? Who the hell DOESN'T KNOW except for "sensible liberal" bloggers?

    OF COURSE the GOP is trying to get close enough to steal the election.

    That's how Bush and Cheney seized power in the bloodless coup of 2000, and that's how Bush and Cheney stayed in power in 2004.

    Stealing elections is THE ONLY WAY that Republicans can get their hands on the presidency.

    And their efforts at voter disenfranchisement and election fraud this year are nationwide, and dwarf their successful theft of the Florida election in 2000 and the Ohio election in 2004.

    And it is by no means clear that they won't succeed.

  • Bo on November 04, 2012 7:29 PM:

    BREAKING NEWS!!!!! This just in:

    Pat Robertson told his flock that Hurricane Sandy is God's punishment of the GOPers and teabaggRs for nominating a Mormon, lying SOB, homophobe, trickle-down economist, bait-and-switch scam artist. God has cast his/her vote. We can all go home now. Either the election is over or the world is about to end. I can't figure out which it is.

    Oh, wait, here's another clue to the answer . . . Captcha = penis holder. Coincidence? I think not.

  • Hue and Cry Foul on November 04, 2012 7:34 PM:

    Having lived in South Carolina, I can say southerners
    relentlessly vote Republican, in spite of their own poorer interests. And wealthy Floridian relatives email me regularly with incendiary diction against the president. Invective. Written castigation. Bitter and ruined harangue. Attempts at direct authority.

    oooh---Captcha: Ryan choohtl

  • mudwall jackson on November 04, 2012 7:46 PM:


    1. thanks for the correction on JOSH marshall

    2. the connections marshall was referring to are between the ad agencies and political consultants AND the pacs and campaigns, which actually makes perfect sense. especially the pacs. in other words, the people who are running the campaigns and pacs have a financial interest in making sure the money gets spent even if regardless of whether it helps their cause or candidate.

  • T2 on November 04, 2012 8:03 PM:

    The fact is that a large percent of white male Americans will vote for Romney just because he is white and Obama is, well, half-white. And for that reason alone. Not such a good reason, huh? Maybe we are not what we'd like to think we are. Or maybe we are.

  • The Spoiler on November 04, 2012 9:30 PM:

    Starting to see prime time Romney campaign ads in North Texas TV market...

    That means they are incredibly worried, or they are trying to run the score up in red states to try and win the popular vote.

    I'm betting the latter...

    The Spoiler

  • MelanieN on November 04, 2012 9:45 PM:

    So now they are saying if Obama wins it's because of Sandy? According to religious right logic, that means God intervened directly, as only He can, to make sure Obama gets re-elected. Absolutely no doubt about it. Add to that the fact that God (again by religious right logic) dumped on the last two Republican National Conventions. Wouldn't you think they would get the message? What do they think God is trying to tell them?

  • David Martin on November 04, 2012 11:37 PM:

    Nate Silver (abbetted by the likes of Sam Wang) threw the election with biased, lying statistics that discouraged Republican voters.

  • Old Uncle Dave on November 05, 2012 2:11 AM:

    The best comments will be coming after the election when the right wing wackadoodles claim Romney lost because he wasn't "conservative" enough.

  • Jim on November 05, 2012 10:57 AM:

    Well,if Sandy was God's will, what does that say about who he favors?