Join Date: Apr 2007
My Ride: 2001 M3 Coupe
And conservatives tend to be more faith-based in their thinking than fact based? I'd rather live in the moment than the past but prefer most to look forwards.
Yes, GWB did get two terms, once selected, once elected, and perhaps akin to Clinton, probably only won, errrr, prevailed in 2000 because of Nader. Also, GOP presidents have only won by a majority of votes (50%+) once out of the past six elections there is not as much of a GOP popular mandate as you might imply.
Yes, had the GOP placed a better candidate, a MUCH better candidate, on the ticket in 2012, they would have prevailed, but that's sort of self-evident in the abstract and says little about the reality of the GOP. The problem was that the GOP didn't have, much less place on the ticket, a stronger candidate. Also, I think it somewhat deflective to conveniently blame the candidate and not the policies and platform he and his party ran on and quite clearly elucidated through hundreds of millions of $s of ads and campaigning. This also ignores the strong demographic trends and headwinds facing the GOP in the future. Do recall, too, that Dems also picked up in both the Senate and the House, so it wasn't just Romney who did poorly.
As for "core values" of the American populace, they don't seem to align quite so closely with the GOPs as the GOP would like to believe. Yes, America has gone through a more conservative swing in the past 20-30 years, at least in some measures, but I think people, and especially future voters, have become disenchanted with the results and the current extremism as expressed by today's GOP and are swinging back the other way, most strongly in social issues but also in financial, economic and role-of-government issues.
In social issues too, America is trending relentlessly more liberal over time, even during this presumably more conservative era of the past 2-3 decades. Acceptance of gay rights, as an example, has been ascendant to the point where majorities now favor gay marriage equality. This is especially true for younger, and thus, future voters. Probably the one area where people do want a much smaller role and say of government is in impinging in their private lives and choices, being much more eager to get it out of their bedrooms than out of the boardrooms. This seems quite counter to the GOP of late, which has seemed almost eager to meddle in the most private and personal aspects of individuals lives - their sexuality, reproductive and personal relationships - while shunning even the slightest interference in the affairs of corporations and the public marketplace/economy.
Supply-side trickle-down economics has certainly lost its luster after 2008 and as more and more people realize that only a small, rarefied sliver at the top of the economic food chain actually substantially benefitted over the past 20-30 years. While generally for a free market, the essentially unconstrained, free-for-all market of recent GOP policy has really left a sour taste in many/most people's mouth's. Perhaps the only other major institution held in similarly high disdain as Congress (particularly the GOP part of it by the way) would be that icon of unfettered capitalism, Wall Street.
As for tax levels and role of government, I think while in the abstract, people would of course like lower taxes and need government less (and be thinner, smarter and more good looking too). In reality, the views are more complex and people don't look at these things with the ideological simplicity, linearity and rigidity expressed by today's GOP. As mentioned, Obama and Romney clearly articulated their economic positions in their campaigning and we know which guy, and thus, which views, prevailed. Recent polling, too, seems to indicate that Americans take a more nuanced and complex view of these economic issues than is currently propounded by the GOP.