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Out of Left Field | Commentary by Charlie Vignola
| Monday, Dec 10, 2012

It’s been a month since Barack Obama was re-elected president, despite how utterly convinced all of my Republican friends were that it would never happen.  In retrospect, I really should have made more bets on the outcome, as I’d be on easy street right now.

In the post-mortem, lots of different reasons have been proffered: Romney wasn’t conservative enough (because Rick Santorum or Newt Gingrich would have stood a better chance of being elected?); Hurricane Sandy blunted Romney’s momentum from the first debate (which was statistically gone by the time the hurricane hit). The biggest consensus among conservatives for why Obama won was basically a re-run of Romney’s infamous “47 percent” argument: People just wanted “gifts,” so they voted for the guy offering more of them.

But what this excuse always conveniently leaves out is that Romney was offering plenty of “gifts” to the people who voted for him, as well.  It’s just that Romney’s gifts were much more extravagant.

If you voted for Romney, oil and gas companies would have looked forward to gifts such as tens of billions in subsidies that they don’t need and didn’t deserve, as well as Romney killing subsidies for their biggest competition – clean energy companies – thus slanting the markets even further in their favor.

Not only that, but with Romney taking the teeth out of the Environmental Protection Agency, energy companies would have made even more money since they’d no longer have to worry about cleaning up their pollution – which, as we all know, doesn’t contribute to global warming, since that’s just a hoax anyway.

Wealthy people who voted for Romney would have received gifts in the form of another generous income tax cut that would have been the equivalent of giving them an annual 20-percent raise without having to grow their businesses or create even one new job.

That’s not all.  If you were a millionaire or billionaire, you would have been able to leave your entire fortune tax-free to your heirs, since Romney intended to get rid of the estate tax.  Oh, and that dividend money that rich folks like Romney live on?  They’d make even more money, since dividend taxes would be slashed, as well.

Christmas would have come early for religious extremists, as Romney would have done everything possible to ensure that women lost their reproductive freedoms.  So, all you teenagers who accidentally got pregnant?  Under Romney, you’d be on the hook for the $300,000 it costs to raise a child until age 17, and don’t expect any extra help from government social programs because we’d be be slashing those, too, to pay for all those goodies for the “makers.”

Social conservatives would also look forward to having the Constitution rewritten to enshrine bigotry by depriving gay Americans of marriage equality, thus relegating an entire class of people to second-class status and guaranteeing that they were legally perceived as abnormal.

Finally, Romney would grant conservatives one of the biggest gifts of all by appointing a few more hard-right justices to the Supreme Court, shifting the balance of power for a generation and allowing the GOP to roll back affirmative action, voters’ rights laws, protections for working Americans, and rendering democracy even more vulnerable to corporate takeover with further decisions like Citizens United.

You have to admit that those are some pretty good gifts, right?  A little more epic in scope than food stamps and unemployment insurance.

Fortunately for the majority of Americans, none of that shall come to pass.  On Nov. 6, 2012, 4.5 million more voters chose Obama than Romney.  Conservatives insist that’s not that big of a victory.  Oh, really?  That’s 45 Super Bowl stadiums full of people more.  Sounds pretty big to me.

Obama doesn’t have a mandate, say disgruntled conservatives.  Oh, really?  He won by 332 electoral votes. That’s 126 more electoral votes than Romney.  In 2004, Bush claimed he had a mandate after winning by just one state.  Sorry, but Republicans don’t get to redefine “mandate” just because they’ve lost the popular vote five out of the last six presidential election cycles.

My best advice to the GOP: Stop coming up with excuses for why your guy lost. More people rejected him and his policies; that’s why he lost. Give up on trying to brand Obama as a socialist. It’s a losing strategy and nobody cares. Start getting used to real political compromise, or it’s going to be a long four years.

 

Charlie Vignola describes himself as a former College Republican turned Liberal Democrat.  A resident of the Santa Clarita Valley since 1999, he works in the motion picture industry and loves his wife and kids.

 

 

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