Update: Karl Rove says "not so fast." He believes there's been an error with the Ohio call. Thus, I'm posting this with the fervent hope I'm wrong and get to take it down!
President Obama is to be congratulated. With a stagnant, terrible economy and no record of domestic or foreign policy accomplishment (outside of killing Osama bin Laden), he has won a second term.
I was wrong. I did not believe that Americans would turn out in such numbers to vote to return such a manifestly failed leader to office. I believed that the enthusiasm for Mitt Romney betokened a Republican tide that would bring him into office.
Obviously, there will be an occasion for soul-searching on the part of the GOP. Tonight, just a few preliminary thoughts:
First, it is worth wondering whether the composition of the country has changed. Was there something about this President, in particular, that great numbers of voters found attractive and compellling, or has there been a fundamental shift in the composition of the country? Was his team of community organizers just people of unprecedented and unequalled skill at turning out voters? Have we reached a point where one can just promise to give away enough of other people's money to a critical mass of people that those who take can simply outvote those who produce? And if so, what can be done about it?
Second, it is clear that Republicans have to be more judicious about their Senate nominees -- and nominees like Todd Akin, who cause fundamental damage to their own candidacy and their party's image, have to be honorable enough to step aside. He cost Republicans both his Senate seat and Richard Mourdock's in Indiana (where one can only hope that Richard Lugar and Mitch Daniels -- who did nothing to help -- are satisfied).
Third, it is incredibly important that Republicans find expert communicators who can explain their positions. Retreads like Tommy Thompson and George Allen just aren't going to get the job done.
Fourth, it is time to have a real, constructive discussion about media bias. Obviously, the non-reporting of Benghazi -- and the way the economic disaster Obama wrought has been reported -- has influenced the election's outcome. As I've noted before, I fear that it is so structual -- and the elites who perpetuate it care so little for the opinions of anyone outside their circle -- that there's little that can be done. That being said, shouldn't we talk about it in a serious and constructive way?
Fifth, I hope we will not devolve into the attacks on our losing candidate the way Democrats too often do. Mitt Romney gave his all to the race. He worked his heart out. He is a good man, who ran a good race -- with honor. Unlike John McCain, he actually tried. Whatever our misgivings about any of his strategies, he deserves our thanks.
Finally, we need to find a way to engage constructive Democrats on entitlements. Sensible people (sadly, I fear, the President not among them) understand the fiscal danger the US faces. We have to find a way to hold on for four more years.
In the end, these things are not in our hands, but in God's. Let us all pray tonight that he guides President Obama to wiser action and a humbler heart than we've seen in the past, and that He continues to bless the United States of America.
We will rest awhile, then rise and fight again. Our country is worth it, and we must not let the American experiment fail, and the American dream die.
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