The waitress nodded to a slender fortyish brunette at the next table and said, ‘This is Gwyn, she’s a Republican’ – then Gwyn leaned across the gap between our two tables and said, ‘Just look at those Democrats, they didn’t win anyone’s hearts or minds this election – all they did was change who voted. If this had been 1980 – if we’d had the same electorate we had them – Romney would have won even bigger than Reagan. Ted Kennedy started us down the road to being a third-world nation with his Immigration Bill in 1965 and now 57% of the immigrants are getting welfare and that’s why Obama won. That’s demographics. Demographics are destiny.’
I nodded politely and thought, You’ve been listening to the howl.
The howl is the voice of Republican radio personalities, TV personalities, book writers and columnists – in fact, Gwyn, saying ‘Demographics are destiny,’ was echoing one of Ann Coulter’s recent columns.
In a way it’s odd: The same pundits who told Gwyn that Romney was sure to win are now howling (and telling her) why Romney lost but she’s never stopped to wonder if they might be wrong a second time. She just joined the howl. In fact, it doesn’t look like Romney lost for one reason – it looks like it took half a dozen reasons floating through the ether and landing at just the right moment in just the right place for Obama to defeat Romney. About the only explanation I haven’t heard from the pundits is, ‘We Republicans screwed up and lost an election we should have won.’ With one exception. Dick Morris. To his unending credit Dick went on television the day after the election and said bluntly, ‘I was dead-wrong.’
Today the howl may be the most powerful force in Republican politics – it sells millions of books every year and draws millions of viewers to cable TV shows every night. But it doesn’t enlighten. Instead it’s left Gwyn ranting about Ted Kennedy stealing the election by introducing a bill forty-seven years ago.