Election 2012 Over; Will Lessons Learned Fade as Quickly as the Scars?

The 2012 elections were stressful and trying for those on both sides of the political spectrum, but it’s easy to see why nobody had it worse than Brian K. White, the editor of Glossy News.

After all, I did have 62-articles to edit on election day alone, and I followed this thing so passionately I would have named my first born after it had the timing been different.

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So here’s what we actually learned from the 2012 election cycle:

There Really Is a Democratic Majority…

There was a lot of talk about over sampling of Democrats, but it turned out the polls were dead spot on. I haven’t seen this pointed out yet, but Democrats won the popular vote in 5 of the last 6 elections.

Only Bush in 2004 took more popular votes than any Democratic candidate going all the way back to Bush senior in 1988. Demographics have indeed shifted, and the conservative movement is on the ropes.

Billionaires Have Deep Pockets…

We know that clowns like Sheldon Adelson have money to throw around (despite his wealth increasing more under Obama than any other billionaire), but the bottom line is that SuperPACs have a cash tap on deep-pocketed millionaires and billionaires. The Citizens United decision gave them an unfair advantage in the election, but as you’ll see in my next point, it wasn’t enough to tip the scales.

Citizens United Isn’t the End of the World…

For all the anonymous, and possibly illegal cash, that poured in, it wasn’t enough to buy the election. In the end, democracy won, and it did it by the voice of the people, who often gave as little as $5 to help their side win.

Attack Ads Aren’t the End of the World…

The 2012 campaign season was the most negative of all in modern American history, but it didn’t help. The positive messages were those that had the most resounding success.

You can’t tell 917 lies…

To call Mitt Romney a liar, as President Obama never did, would be generous. He wasn’t merely a liar, he was the lyingest liar of liars since the history of lying began.

Mitt Romney had his flip-flops and Etch-a-Sketch moments a’ plenty, but that doesn’t speak even remotely to his mendacious nature. He was a consumate, unabashed, joyful liar. He lied about little things, big things, and things he’d already been told to his face were lies. If he had won it would be a vindication for campaigns of shameless lies, but he was rebuked.

During the course of the campaign, one blogger sought to catch some of his more egregious lies. This is by no means a comprehensive list (it’s only the work of a single man), but he did catch 917 lies from Mitt Romney during the campaign. You can argue some of them are hyperbole, puffery, or exaggeration, but the bottom line is that he lied, lied, lied some more, and when he ran out of time, kept on lying.

This election, if nothing else, was a vindication for the notion of truth.

Religion Doesn’t Matter…

It was worried early on that Gov. Romney’s Mormon faith might work against him, but at the end of the day Billy Graham removed Mormonism from his list of cults and the evangelicals rallied around Romney in support. What didn’t happen, however, was Mormons overwhelmingly voting for him.

In fact, fewer Mormons voted for Romney than Bush, and Bush wasn’t even a Mormon. Hell, he was barely Christian, so why this disconnect? We can speculate it might be the lies, the stances on social issues, or merely shifts in demographics or voter turnout, but the bottom line is that his faith, while it didn’t take away from his victory, also did nothing to contribute to it.

The Ground Game is where it’s at…

Gov. Romney had an “innovative” poll tracking system he called “ORCA” which was supposed to monitor the votes on the ground, but it was a miserable failure. It wasn’t properly tested, none of the foot soldiers had training on it, and on the big day it crashed and burned. Meanwhile, President Obama had a well-organized, bottom-up organization, with thousands of attorneys volunteering at polling stations around the country.

At the end of the day Barack Obama got more butts off the couch to vote for him, and those votes count 1-1 as valuable as those who are ‘extremely passionate’ about voting for… whoever, I’m guessing Mitt Romney or Gary Johnson… or Virgil Goode. Doesn’t matter, the votes went for Obama.


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