post mortem

So now we know the election results.  It is four more years.

On a more local/regional level Jim Gerlach made it back.  Dan Truitt made it back. It looks like Andy Dinniman made it back.  Tom Smith thankfully won’t be going anywhere.

Republicans in Chester County and across this country are bitterly disappointed this morning.  But as Republicans we only have ourselves to blame.  Too much tea ruins any good party. Period.

That is why.  Political extremism is a turn off.  And in some cases they can’t even vet their candidates.  Look at neighboring Delaware?  Do any of you even realize what happened with a tea party backed candidate there?

In Delaware, tea party and Christine O’Donnell approved Eric Bodenweiser was running for State Senate.  Part of his platform was family values.  One problem? He apparently molested someone once upon a time and they came forward.

What? I can’t make this stuff up:

WOBC: Ex-Del. Candidate Makes Bail on Child Sex Charges

DOVER, Del. (AP/WBOC)- A former state Senate candidate charged with repeatedly molesting a young boy more than two decades ago is out on bail, one day after his arrest.

Fifty-three-year-old Eric Bodenweiser was released Tuesday from Sussex Correctional Institution in Georgetown after posting $250,000 secured bail….After winning the GOP primary, the tea party-backed Bodenweiser suspended his campaign for the 19th District Senate seat Oct. 12….Bodenweiser was a tea party-backed candidate whose supporters included former U.S. Senate candidate Christine O’Donnell. He upset incumbent Sen. Joe Booth in the Republican primary.

Christine O’Donnell of course in her typical delusion called this action politically “motivated and tacky” :

delawareonline: O’Donnell calls Bodenweiser charges “tacky,” politically motivated

Christine O’Donnell told a Sussex County talk radio station Tuesday that the child rape charges filed this week against former state Senate candidate Eric Bodenweiser were an “October surprise” and a “tacky” political move.

Speaking on WGMD 92.7 the 2010 tea party Senate candidate used the term “political weapon” when referring to allegations that Bodenweiser repeatedly raped and sexually abused a 10-year-old neighbor over the course of three years in the late 1980s.

Hear the audio here

But who is Christine O’Donnell other than another tea party candidate who should never have gotten as far as she did but it must have been witchcraft, right?

On come on.  Remember? (See ABC News report from 2010 and listen to her in her own words here)

On Friday, Maher released on his new HBO show, “Real Time,” an unaired clip of O’Donnell admitting to a brief dalliance with witchcraft.

“I dabbled into witchcraft — I never joined a coven. But I did, I did. I dabbled into witchcraft. I hung around people who were doing these things. I’m not making this stuff up. I know what they told me they do,” she said.

“One of my first dates with a witch was on a satanic altar, and I didn’t know it. I mean, there’s little blood there and stuff like that,” she said. “We went to a movie and then had a midnight picnic on a satanic altar.”

And then there was Tom Smith who ran for Senate against Bob Casey (I think Bob Casey is a boob, but it feels good to refer to Smith in the past tense if you have a brain).

Tom Smith in August compared pregnancy from rape as being similar to having a baby out-of-wedlock.  He was trying to distance himself from the legitimate rape comment out of Todd Akin, who was thankfully defeated in Missouri last night. (Listen to the video here of Tom in his own words.)

Tom Smith said in this exchange with a reporter shortly after the Akin story broke:

Smith said Monday at the Pennsylvania Press Club that although he condemns Akin’s comment, he agrees with Akin that abortion should be banned without any exceptions, including for rape and incest victims. Pressed by a reporter on how he would handle a daughter or granddaughter becoming pregnant as a result of rape, Smith said he had already “lived something similar to that” in his family.

“She chose life, and I commend her for that,” he said. “She knew my views. But, fortunately for me, I didn’t have to … she chose the way I thought. Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t rape.”

When a reporter asked Smith to clarify what kind of situation was similar to becoming pregnant from rape, the candidate responded, “Having a baby out of wedlock.”

If Tom Smith was my father, I would have never spoken to him again after those comments I found them so vile and ignorant.  I was embarassed for his daughter.

Why am I pulling up all this Republican unpleasantness?  To prove a point.  The point is simple: big government and political extremism is ruining this country. One party rule doesn’t help either.

Yes I understand the irony that I actually like State Rep. Dan Truitt and he calls himself a tea partier.  He’s a pro-life Catholic and I am a pro-choice Catholic. But the thing about Truitt I actually like is he keeps it local and he does work for his district and he leaves a lot of the Harrisburg pork-perks in Harrisburg.

I will also admit I am new to the area and not a seasoned local, but as is the case with many things political I tend to look at the candidate themself. Truitt and I do not see eye to eye on everything, but I believe him to be genuine and hard-working.  (I read an interesting older blog post on him here.)

Interestingly enough, I actually did meet Bret Binder yesterday.  I had a fairly long conversation with him.  We did disagree over the fully local comment he made while politicking at the East Goshen Farmers Market (which is run by a non-profit the Friends of East Goshen).  We also disagreed over the West Chester Area School District, but I am not going to say the time I spent with him was unpleasant.  He was bright and pleasant and articulate.  He honestly seems to have a lot of involvement with some non-profits and seems devoted to making a difference in Chester County.  So he won’t be doing it from the State House this time around, but my gut says he may be someone to watch.

Now back to a more national stage and discussion.  I heard it bandied about last night that some in the Republican Party wondered if they had not found a candidate that was conservative enough to run for president.  Are you people crazy?  Do you not even see the people of your own party?  Do you think, do you really think most Republicans have an easy time identifying with the candidates you choose?

Moderation.  The Republican Party needs to embrace it’s middle ground again. Those are the candidates which are successful.

Take Jim Gerlach as an example.  I actually know him and his wife, and I got to know them yes through activism and political involvement in my former home community of Lower Merion Township.  I can tell you for a fact that when Jim had Lower Merion as part of his district, he had a LOT of crossover votes.  There were a lot of Democrats who voted for him because he was a moderate.  He also has incredibly good constituent services who don’t see political parties when constituents call: they see people it is their pleasure to help.  And no, I did not like some of what I heard Jim saying this time around, so I hope he goes back to being the moderate I really feel him to be.

A quick segue into something I learned about the part of Chester County East Goshen is in yesterday at the poll.  Apparently every time there is a census performed the congressional district gets a do over? WHY? I know it to be true because when I first moved here my congressman was Pat Meehan.  Then when I saw Jim Gerlach at East Goshen Day I found out he was my congressman. I learned yesterday that this back and forth is almost like some weird tradition.   I will freely admit I don’t understand the whims of redistricting except it is politically motivated.

Now back to the rest of the politics of politics.

The Republican party needs to have a come to Jesus talk with itself.  Because the Republican party that got Reagan and even both Georges elected no longer exists. No party is perfect, but the Republicans keep losing because they do not have enough candidates that the average person can identify with. Period. And when you have candidates who are very wealthy men speaking to seniors who depend on things like Medicare and Social Security and they say they will blow it all to smithereens but these now terrified senior citizen will be o.k. what do you think will happen?

When you have a freak about gay marriage, which let’s get real at the end of the day will it hurt you personally as a heterosexual what do you think will happen? (the answer is no it won’t hurt you.)

And the tired tried but true of being dumb enough to keep a woman’s right to choose in campaigns. You know what?  Keep that on the platform, keep on losing elections.  It is pretty much that simple.  You have these zealots who are caveman-like in their views on women.  Maybe some women won’t tell you it is offensive when candidates are off hand about women who are violated or have babies out of wedlock, but I bet if you ask those same women questions about that in the privacy of their own home, you will get a different answer.  At the end of the day, it is a sensitive, complex topic that is more personal choice than anything so it doesn’t belong on pulpits, in political platforms, or in mock election discussions for elementary and middle schoolers.

We are a fractured nation.  We are in a recession not seen since the Great Depression, so can we maybe admit we might kinda sorta be in one? Politically we are all at loggerheads with one and other.  And at the end of the day I said it before in this post and I will say it again, big government AND political extremism are ruining this country.

Politically, there is enough room for all of us.  But the hateful rhetoric from BOTH sides needs to stop.  One good thing about it being November 7th is for the first time in months it is 8 a.m. and I have not had a political robo or live solicitation call.

Four, almost five years ago I met Michelle Obama in a small group setting of about fifty people (and a couple hundred media).  I really liked her.  I  do believe the President has the courage of his convictions, but meaning no disrespect I have felt like he has been led around by the party machine to which he belongs as opposed to leading.   This country needs to be led, and not by the behind the scenes machinations of political parties and puppet masters.

As for Romney, truthfully I think if he had chosen a different, more moderate vice presidential candidate there may have been a different outcome.  But I think like McCain he made a huge mistake and pandered to a group of people who do not represent the perspectives of the average Republican, or individual.

The Republican party needs to get back to basics. Less tea.

From local politics to Harrisburg to Washington DC we need a balance in politics.  We need things like meaningful healthcare reform, which means reforming the insurance companies not just layers and layers of rules and regulations that totally confuses us every time we want to go to the doctor.

We also need certain social issues taken out of the everyday vernacular of American politics and OFF political platforms. Roe v. Wade needs to stop being some weird warped political drinking game.  After all, what happend to those who wish to undo it? THEY LOSE.

And most importantly, those of us who are in the middle who are average people just trying to live good lives and make our own way need to be heard.  We aren’t the movers and shakers writing big campaign checks, we are just the people elected officials are supposed to serve. And who aren’t supposed to feel victimized by government.

Well the die has been cast on election 2012.

Thank you for stopping by my blog today.  I realize that I am probably not the kind of Republican some will understand.  But the thing is this, I actually do try to think about this stuff and make my own informed decisions.  Politically speaking we can’t unring the bell, we can only move forward.

Have a good day all, and enjoy the lack of robo calls.

4 thoughts on “post mortem

  1. As always, a most professional journalistic analysis by my favorite blogger. Ask Tom Smith how that “Tea Party thing” worked for him! Also maybe a good thing that Kane got in. Might keep some of the H’burg GOP honest. Mix is always good for checks and balances. (except West Vincent)

  2. Enjoyed your article – truly refreshing. We are not of the same “party”, but it’s amazing how similar we are on many issues. One analyst on CNN this morning summed it up in a nutshell.. the country has spoken…the majority don’t want a “Mad Men” President in a “Modern Family” age. Not as eloquent as YOUR words of course, but it resonated. Will we see eye-to-eye on all the issues? Probably not. But you’ll always earn my respect – as you’re ALWAYS engaging!

      • I ALWAYS read what you write (and photograph) 🙂
        So happy that your blog came to me via another friend….
        You’re a gifted writer (& photofrapher), and I truly appreciate your content, opinions and style!

Comments are closed.