Tuning in to Fox News Channel the last few days has been a live action dramatic portrayal of the Kübler-Ross “The Five Stages of Grief”. The best episode was of course the pilot on election night, in which alleged political genius Karl Rove frantically rushed about denying his own channel’s election call. Rove burned through nearly $400 million supporting congressional candidates and of course Mitt Romney. Rove lost virtually every race he tossed money into.
I imagine he feels something like Le Chiffre at the end of “Casino Royale”…
Billionaires don’t become billionaires without leaving a few skeletons in their wake. Is Rove’s political career the next addition to that vast and lonesome graveyard? We can only hope.
The most shocking effect of the echo chamber is not how easily it tricked conservatives who refuse to ever watch, read or listen to anything else. The shock comes from how easily the echo chamber tricked everyone else. I was sweating on election night and I’m over-informed on presidential politics and had spent months predicting that Obama would win.
I still thought President Obama would win when I left the GOTV beat on election night and went to my nearest television. I thought he would win, but I also thought it would be close. This election was not close. This election was over before it started.
Obama won a majority of the electorate. He won by a larger margin than George W. Bush in 2004. He CRUSHED Mitt Romney in the Electoral College. More importantly, if not for the absurd (and often racially-motivated) shift among white men away from him, the president won a sweeping mandate from every other demographic group.
The election was not close. And these elections will not get any closer in the future so long as conservatives remain locked in their information loop. Karl Rove, Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Ann Coulter, Laura Ingram, and Bill O’Reilly have spent most of the time since the election talking about it was rigged, stolen, or wielded away from them.
They are willing to placate minorities, and they believe they have enough Spanish last names on their bench to win votes. The strategy for 2014 and beyond is “Marco Rubio”. That’s it.
Oh, Sean Hannity has begrudgingly accepted that Republicans must move forward with amnesty for people who are American in everything but paperwork. Not that they ought to move forward, that they have to.
Inside the conservative echo chamber women voted for President Obama not because of policies or the economy. They voted because of “free birth control”. Mitt Romney claimed for months that these social issues were not important, that American women cared about the economy not their physical sovereignty.
Everyone in the conservative media agreed: “yeah it’s not about rights, it’s about debt and the future”.
After a crushing election defeat the conservative media wing is suddenly scandalized that women voted for the social issues instead of the economic ones. The fact is women voted on both issues. President Obama was an arguably better choice on the economy and the only rationally acceptable choice on rights.
When one side is a deal breaker on something so important, it shouldn’t be a big surprise that they lose the election. But in the conservative bubble it isn’t just surprising, it is shocking and possibly revealing of the end of America as we know it.