Conservatives Can’t Win at the Negotiating Table What They Lost at the Ballot Box

I have heard in the media that the US federal government begins a partial shutdown, the first in 17 years,  after the two houses of Congress fail to agree a new budget. My comment on this is that one possible explanation is that there are some individuals from the Republican side who simply undermine the legetimacy of OBAMA as a legitimate leader.The article by Robert Schlesinger clearly demonstrated to me that the Republicans cann’t achieve what they lost at the Ballot Box. My hunch is that Republicans who cheered their leaders’ decision Monday night to hold fast on trying to weaken President Barack Obama’s health care law through budget negotiations even in the face of a government shutdown may soon come to regret their decision.

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The final, final results from the 2012 presidential election  are now in. While we already knew President Obama won (and the House certified  that result today when it tallied the electoral votes), it’s worth revisiting  the final totals and reminding ourselves of one important fact: It wasn’t  particularly close. Sure the election was widely expected to be a nail-biter,  but it  wasn’t. But in the days and weeks afterward you still heard the   occasional GOPer insist that it was—see Texas Rep. Jeb Hensarling last month  saying it was a tight, 51-49 race, for example.

[See a collection of political cartoons on the Republican Party.]

Here are some final stats about Obama’s victory, courtesy of  Bloomberg’s Greg Giroux:

  • Obama got 51.1 percent of the popular vote to  Mitt Romney’s 47.2  percent, a four point margin. (Let’s all pause for a moment  and savor  the fact that history will show that Romney won … 47 percent.) That’s  a  wider margin than George W. Bush won by in 2004 (51-48), when pundits  on the  right like Charles Krauthammer declared that he had earned a mandate.
  • That makes Obama the first president to crack 51  percent two elections in a row since  Dwight Eisenhower more than a half-century ago. (Sorry,  conservatives,  Ronald Reagan only reached 50.75 percent in 1980.)
  • Obama won 26 states and the District of  Columbia, piling up 332  electoral votes. You can think of it another way: There  is no state in  Obama’s column which would have swung the election to Romney had  he won  it. In other words, if Romney had pulled a stunning upset and won   California’s 55 electoral votes … he’d still have lost.
  • There were only four especially close states in  the 2012  election. Only Florida, North Carolina, Ohio, and Virginia were  decided  by less than 5 percentage points. (Note: Romney won one of them, North   Carolina; had he swept those four states … he’d have still lost the  election as  Obama totaled 272 electoral votes in the rest of the  country.) Four is the  smallest number of close states in a presidential  election since Reagan  trounced Walter Mondale nearly 30 years ago.

[Read the U.S. News Debate: Does Barack Obama Have a Mandate?]

So no matter how you slice or dice the election results,  this was  not a close race. It wasn’t a landslide, but it wasn’t a coin flip. The  voters selected Obama and his vision over Romney and his, and they did  it  decisively. And you can layer onto that the fact that, against all  expectations,  Democrats picked up seats in the U.S. Senate and also in the U.S.  House. And while the GOP did retain control of the House, nearly 1.4 million  more people  voted for Democratic House candidates than for Republicans. 1.4   million—remember that figure the next time someone says Americans voted  for  divided government last year. All of which brings me to a great point that the Maddow  Blog’s Steve  Benen made yesterday. He noted that South Carolina GOP Sen. Lindsey  Graham vowed that the upcoming fiscal fights, over raising the debt   ceiling at the end of February and over funding the government a few  weeks  later, would be “one hell of a contest about the direction and  vision of this  country.”

[See a collection of political cartoons on Congress.]

Benen writes:

…what Graham and too many of his allies seem to forget is  that we already had “one hell of a contest about the direction and  the vision of this country.” It was a little something called “the 2012 election  cycle,” and though Graham may not have liked the results, his side lost. Memories can be short in DC, but for at least a year,  voters were  told the 2012 election would be the most spectacularly important, history-changing, life-setting election any of us have ever seen… Election Day 2012, in other words, was for all the  marbles. It was  the big one. The whole enchilada was on the line. The results  would set  the direction of the country for a generation, so it was time to pull   out all the stops and fight  like there’s no tomorrow—because for the  losers,  there probably wouldn’t be one.

[See 2012: The Year in Cartoons.]

Obama won. Republicans lost. And, again, it wasn’t  especially close. So it is not only tiresome but more than a little  undemocratic for  conservatives to suggest that, having lost at the ballot box, they  should be able to dictate the direction and vision of the country at the   negotiating table.

Corrected on 1/9/13: An earlier version of this blog post mischaracterized how many presidents in the last 50 years have gotten more than 51 percent of the vote. President Obama became the first president since Eisenhower to get at least 51 percent of the vote twice in a row.

Source: From http://www.usnews.com January 4, 2013 Read the Original Article here.

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