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Obama's Victory: So much blame to go around!

The liberal won. Let the name-calling and finger-pointing begin!

After a Seahawks victory, I always check the hometown paper of their opponents to see the reaction — some of my most entertaining reading this season has been found in the newspapers in Green Bay or Minnesota. It's often quite entertaining and illuminating. Various theories are put forth to explain the defeat. Rarely are the Seahawks credited with on-field brilliance; more often the analysis focuses on the failures of the losers, or the dynamics that set up a drubbing — the refs, the coaches, the owners, the NFL, the weather.

So it is with presidential politics. Theories abound about Obama's victory, from the folks that have spent time in the losing locker room.

Unsurprisingly, the media is getting the blame. Over at Fox News, one commentator makes the case that mainstream media stole the election by taking "historical bias to new levels this year, and saved Obama’s presidency in the process." Rich Noyes outlines five ways the media "tipped the scales" to Obama: too much reporting of Romney gaffes, pounding Romney with fact-checking, biased debate moderators — yes, it was Candy Crowley's fault! — a "Benghazi Blackout" and ignoring a bad economy.

That's right, the media hasn't harped on economic negativity during the, what are we calling it, The Great Recession. And how dare the media focus on Romney's misuse of 'facts.' Or his handcrafting of new facts, such as Jeep moving to China.

Rush Limbaugh also blames the media. He's said that the networks conspired with Hurricane Sandy to steal the limelight, then ignored the storm's suffering victims. Sandy wasn't an Act of God, but rather an Act of CNN.

Even master Machiavellian Karl Rove went down fighting his chief ally,  Fox News , by taking them to task on-air for calling Ohio for Obama. Yes, those liberal bastards at Fox have rigged the game, or were simply ignoring the reality of a looming Romney win. Wow. That Rove performance was an outstanding example of biting the media hand that feeds you.

Donald Trump leaps in
to re-enact the great Citizen Kane scene. You remember, when publisher Murdoch . . . I mean Kane . . . has two front pages printed up for election day: "Kane Wins" or "Fraud at Polls." Trump, having backed the loser (that's a direct hit to The Donald's brand), claims that the election is a "sham and a travesty" and calls for "revolution." This guy is all pitchfork, but no followers.

NBC's political analyst Chuck Todd described Obama's victory as a "demographic shellacking" of the Republicans, but the chief spokesperson for the shellacked and well-preserved older America is not going down without a grumpy complaint. Fox's Bill O'Reilly observes that the days of the white man are over in this country. Obama wins because "It’s not a traditional America anymore."

Unless your traditional America is actually the Confederacy. Obama did make an inroad or two, but the white males of the solid South went against him, with the kind of fervor that used to be reserved for presidential candidates like Strom Thurmond and George Wallace.

The resounding right-wing echo chamber simply couldn't conceive of an Obama victory, especially one predicted based on "math" and "science," which I suppose shouldn't be a surprise for a party eager to rule by the Bible and re-litigate the Scope Monkey Trial, and who were eager to tar and feather Nate Silver for his arithmetic.

Sarah Palin was at least honest in popping out of her Wasilla compound to announce that Obama's victory was "perplexing." Reality often is.

Perhaps the best sour grapes explanation for the victory was that Obama won by losing his innocence and becoming what he hates. In short, a Republican operative. Not just any operative, but Karl "Turd Blossom" Rove. In fact, Obama has out-Roved Rove.

In the Washington Examiner, you find this: "[I]n a larger sense, Obama did not win an ideological victory yesterday. He did not get reelected in a landslide like Ronald Reagan in 1984. Instead, he scored an Electoral College victory and what looks like a narrow popular vote win by employing the same sort of tactics he once decried. Karl Rove may be a big loser tonight, but his brand of politics is here to stay."

That's one of those observations that's just designed to make you feel bad that your team won.

This morning, it ain't working.

Go SeaObamaHawks!

Knute Berger is Mossback, Crosscut's chief Northwest native. He also writes the monthly Grey Matters column for Seattle magazine and is a weekly Friday guest on Weekday on KUOW-FM (94.9). His newest book is Pugetopolis: A Mossback Takes On Growth Addicts, Weather Wimps, and the Myth of Seattle Nice, published by Sasquatch Books. In 2011, he was named Writer-in-Residence at the Space Needle and is author of Space Needle, The Spirit of Seattle (2012), the official 50th anniversary history of the tower. You can e-mail him at mossback@crosscut.com.


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Comments:

Posted Thu, Nov 8, 6:54 a.m. Inappropriate

The New York Times reduced it to a phrase: "The Republicans don’t have a Hispanic problem. They have an America problem." http://www.nytimes.com/2012/11/08/opinion/the-republicans-post-election-day.html

lazowska

Posted Thu, Nov 8, 10:01 a.m. Inappropriate

The raw vote totals appear to be 8-10,000,000 fewer nationwide than in 2008 which does suprise me. Obama will be the first incumbent president to be re-elected with fewer total votes than in his first election since George Washington. And, there is a bias, anti-Mormon element that held down Romney's total. It may trace its roots all the way back to the 1838 Hauns Mill, Missouri, massacre of Mormons that followed a Missouri state law that allowed and encouraged tracking down Mormons. Someone should poll 2012 non-voters for their reasons for staying home.

animalal

Posted Mon, Nov 12, 11:26 a.m. Inappropriate

Perhaps the Republican voter suppression efforts backfired. Maybe they prevented apathetic voters from voting and energized the enthusiastic voters to vote.

2cents

Posted Thu, Nov 8, 10:22 a.m. Inappropriate

White male voter shrinkage.

tom_hyde

Posted Thu, Nov 8, 11:01 a.m. Inappropriate

The bubble that some of these people live in is remarkably opaque and thick. Machiavelli must be rolling over in his grave at the idea of having Rove compared to him.....

Posted Thu, Nov 8, 1:47 p.m. Inappropriate

I think that the vitriol against Nate Silver's work goes well beyond the fact that some people didn't like what he was predicting. The fact that election results can be so formulaic makes people uncomfortable; it seems to suggest that people act in a deterministic manner in the aggregate, suggesting that there is a fundamental lack of choice in the direction that society can go.

Well, we do act in a deterministic manner.

Posted Thu, Nov 8, 3:45 p.m. Inappropriate

I thought the funniest episodes were when the polls were increasingly trending Dem and the TeaPartiers started resorting to what can only be described as faith-based statistics. They seemed to think that "confidence interval" was the length of time it took a con man to steal their watch.

Steve E.

Posted Mon, Nov 12, 7:43 a.m. Inappropriate

What's even funnier today (listen to Peter Overby on NPR) is that the Rovians are saying that the Obama campaign suppressed votes by painting Romney in a way that was so unpalatable to Republican voters!

Posted Thu, Nov 8, 3:55 p.m. Inappropriate

Do you know what they call "the first incumbent president to be re-elected with fewer total votes than in his first election since George Washington"?

Mr. President (lifted from a Daily Kos comment)

Seriously, does anyone think that Obama just squeaked by when he captured 332 electoral votes?

Zeno

Posted Fri, Nov 9, 11:10 a.m. Inappropriate

The lower winning percentage and millions of fewer total votes all add up to "Mr. Lame Duck No Mandate" and "Inheritor-in-Chief" of his first term.

animalal

Posted Fri, Nov 9, 1:24 p.m. Inappropriate

I'm pretty sure the low vote total went both ways. Amazing how many fewer GOP voters there were this time!

Maybe the sense that the ship has been gradually stabilizing (almost wrote righting) since 2009, coupled with general lack of enthusiasm for GOP ideas as well as the messenger...

mhays

Posted Fri, Nov 9, 3:48 p.m. Inappropriate


Looking at the first line under the head--Obama's a liberal?

Lindy

Posted Sat, Nov 10, 9:04 a.m. Inappropriate

GOP uses classic stalker logic: she'd love me if only she could see the "real" me. Either (1) I didn't reveal my true self in a way she could understand, or (2) someone is keeping her from me, or (3) she's just not savvy enough to understand. Somebody, please, tell the GOP... we GET you. We just don't want you because YOU don't get US. Get some help. Maybe we need a new branch of psychiatry dealing specifically with political delusion.

Posted Sat, Nov 10, 2:03 p.m. Inappropriate

Vannamocha says it perfectly.

sarah90

Posted Sat, Nov 10, 2:58 p.m. Inappropriate

I keep hearing Obama is "the first president since xx to win by a smaller margin in his re-election than in his first election." My first response is, so what? But my second response is, false. It hasn't happened recently, but a cursory check shows it happened to FDR, Woodrow Wilson, and even the sainted Abraham Lincoln.

There have only been twelve presidents re-elected to consecutive terms since popular vote tabulations have been kept. And four of them got smaller margins upon re-election.

Posted Sat, Nov 10, 8:35 p.m. Inappropriate

A couple of demographic shifts should worry Obama.

For one, the Republicans recaptured the suburbs which Romney won.

Also, the only income group that voted more for Obama were those making less than $50,000.

And college educated people voted for Romney.

Are those the groups you want to ostracize? Well off middle class voters living in the growing areas that already home to 48% of Americans? What if any "mandate" is that?!

jabailo

Posted Wed, Nov 14, 5:33 p.m. Inappropriate

"And college educated people voted for Romney." Exit polling stats I've seen say Obama won "some college" 49:48, Romney won "college degree" 51:47, and Obama won "postgraduate study" 55:42. You are not reporting the statistics fairly.

Also, I wonder about those stats since urban areas, as usual, voted overwhelmingly for Obama and other Democrats. Where do all those "well off middle class voters" live again? And don't forget that blue states export their federal tax money to red states (just like King County supports Eastern Washington with state taxes). Tell us again where all those 47% leeches live?

louploup

Posted Sun, Nov 11, 9:20 p.m. Inappropriate

Thank god the republicans are lazier than the kids now days. If they had done what they talk about (work) and worked their way down to the "polling booth" in any decient number they could have won. They lost because they are lazier than the rest of us.

Posted Sat, Nov 17, 3:37 a.m. Inappropriate

I don't see President Obama as either innocent or corrupt, but grossly underestimated. Just ask Alice Palmer. A mentor of President Obama way back, on the south side of Chicago, she campaigned for Hilary Clinton in the 2008 election.

I'm not sure where the holding up of right-wing extremists, characters, really, comes from. Radical liberals? If the point is that the Republican party doesn't have any leaders, point taken.

I don't subscribe to the philosophy of either major political parties, but come on, let's raise the bar on the discourse. Donald Trump? Sarah Palin? Rush Limbaugh? They're not leaders. They're not statesmen. They're not even journalists.

Barry Goldwater must be rolling over in his grave.

KarenLee

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