Almost from the moment Obama was elected four years ago, the GOP plotted his removal and treated him with a contempt that was nothing short of astonishing. But they also counted on a bottomed-out economy to stay that way long enough to regain all the levers of power.
Rooting for failure didn’t work. Steady job growth has returned, sparked by a controversial bailout of the automobile industry that worked out quite well. All the other economic indicators, from housing prices to consumer confidence, are heading in the right direction.
In the face of those facts, or despite them, Republicans nominated Romney, a candidate who wanted Detroit to go bankrupt, railed against the 47 percent behind closed doors and had polices that could generously be described as a moving target, including a total repudiation of the health-care plan he implemented in Massachusetts that was a model for Obama’s Affordable Care Act.
At the same time, having reclaimed the House in 2010, the Tea Party-fueled GOP true believers though it was a bright idea to have more of those types in Senate races, folks who saw terms like “compromise” and “middle ground” as blasphemy.
Enter Todd Akin, and Richard Mourdock, and other Senate and House candidates who gave us delightful views on rape that were out of place in the 19th century, much less the 21st. They lost.
In the post-Citizens United world of unlimited money flowing into campaigns, the billionaires, organized by Karl Rove, targeted Ohio’s Sherrod Brown with $40 million worth of ads, and got beat anyway. Then Wall Street got behind Scott Brown in Massachusetts, desperate to keep Elizabeth Warren out of Ted Kennedy’s old Senate seat. But Warren won, too, and she could be headed for bigger things.
Yet the biggest excuse that you’ve heard from the GOP and their Fox News broadcast arm was that Superstorm Sandy swung the election toward Obama.