So it’s over. 50% of the country is celebrating and the other 50% is trying to figure out what the hell happened. Let the campaign analysis begin. Mittens lost. Did Obama out campaign him? Did his own party blow it for him? Was it Sandy’s fault? Christie’s fault? The flag pin’s fault? My fault? Mitt was so close. He was never close really. I guess it depends who you ask and who you want to believe.
The one thing we can all agree on as a nation is the whole campaign system is broken. The good news is it goes well with our broken economy. Kinda like the shoes matching the belt. The reality is it isn’t changing anytime soon. So here is my big take-away from this whole thing.
A very strong and direct message was sent to the Pro-Life Movement yesterday. Now that this election is over, I feel like I can lay it all out here. See, we all know what Akin said. I think he never really believed that the female body had a way of “shutting the whole thing down” when it came to pregnancy. I believe extreme Pro-Life candidates like Aiken who said OUTRAGEOUS things about women’s reproductive systems were really saying, “I am pro-life in all cases even rape and incest.” They just didn’t have the real guts to lay it out so concretely.
Instead of just saying that, they knew that it would be highly unpopular with moderate Americans. So they started tap dancing to try to cover-up these extreme views. In fact, there was more tap dancing around this than the talent portion of the Miss Glitter Pageant of Toddlers and Tiaras. The more they danced the worse it got. By that time you had statements like Akin’s and Mourdock’s who had just justify pregnancy somehow so they blamed God or excuse me, said pregnancy from rape was what “God intended”.
What once was a movement that seemed unstoppable, the Pro-Life movement, suddenly came to an abrupt stop or at the very least hit an enormous speed bump. It wasn’t that people reacted to how stupid these statements were and didn’t vote for these candidates. That conclusion is far too simplistic. I believe there was also a reaction to the intent of the statement – the statement being abortion in all circumstances, even in times of incest and rape was unacceptable. The American people stopped this type of candidate. To be perfectly clear, I’m not saying the American people all became pro-choice and everyone now has a Planned Parenthood bumper sticker on their car, but they certainly sent a strong message that pro-life in all circumstances regardless of how the pregnancy occurred did not appeal to them.
As I sit in KS, or as Fox News abbreviated it last night – KA – the hub of Pro-Life extremism, I sit satisfied that what used to be the unstoppable Pro-Life movement finally received a strong message from their own party. There are limits. The American voter has limits. Abortion in all circumstances is not something the American people ultimately believe in. Abortion in times of rape and incest and in times when the mother’s life is at risk is something the American people find acceptable. Akin’s loss was more about his intention behind his stupid statement and not just based on his statement alone.
Time will tell if the GOP will take this message to heart and really try to change things before 2016. I have some ideas about changing the whole campaign system. For example – the primaries? That process sucks if you are the running against an incumbent. Lengthening the presidential term. Four years isn’t enough. Look at how long FDR had to get us out of the Great Depression. Don’t get me started on the Electoral College. Somebody in charge of this stuff give me a ring if you want some ideas.
In the meantime, the campaign is over….now what? Ping-pong anyone?