Post Mortems

by Pejman Yousefzadeh on November 7, 2012

One thing that impresses me in the aftermath of last night is how quickly the right is moving past the denial, anger and bargaining phases, and thinking about how best to fight back. Various writers are working on an action plan which, if enacted, will help bring about a renaissance of the center-right faster than most pundits might expect.

  • Jennifer Rubin quite rightly points out that when it comes to same sex marriage, the horse has left the barn. If the GOP wants to win future elections, it is going to have to learn to think differently about the marriage issue. There is no other way to put it.
  • Rob Long is right to point out the mistakes that the right made in approaching the election. Too many on the right spent way the heck too much time attacking Nate Silver, the media, and ethnic minorities, and far too little time thinking up ways to win back the country (as opposed to taking back the country; a distinction Rob properly makes). It’s one thing to call out instances of media bias; I’ve done that in the past, I will do that in the future, and from time to time, one has to work the refs. But the media is what it is, and nothing is going to change that. We have to find a way to work around that obstacle, and one way to do it–again, this is a point Rob makes–is to stop devoting as much attention to outfits like Fox News as we have on the past. We have to find out what is playing in the rest of the media market, if only to anticipate the other side’s arguments better and to sharpen our own. If we want to beat the other side in elections, we have to first beat them in debates. And how are we going to be able to beat them in debates if we don’t know what they are saying in the first place?
  • Also, the sheer act of getting back on our feet and fighting again will help.
  • More good points found here. I don’t believe that abortion is a “dead issue,” but I certainly believe that we have to figure out better ways to make our arguments when it comes to the issue. And recruiting non-Nobel Prize contenders like Todd Akin and Richard Mourdock ain’t gonna help the cause.
  • Finally, I take John Yoo’s point that turnout matters. But that doesn’t mean that demographics don’t. Sometimes, the turnout machine fails. When that happens, you still need to have a strong demographic foundation to back up your march to electoral victory. We didn’t have that this year. And look what happened.

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