|Photo from http://www.whitehouse.gov/about/presidents/barackobama|
As soon as the first reports were indicating results in Obama's favour, disbelief was afoot. Once the right-wing outlet FOX News made the call, its very own Karl Rove (widely formerly recognized as "The Brain" behind President George W. Bush) questioned what he was being told. "I’d be very cautious about intruding into the process", said a rather apprehensive and agitated Rove. His colleagues, normally on the same page, were aghast. After all, it was all but over. Barack Obama would continue as the 44th President of the United States.
The dust began to settle the right admitted defeat. What next? Now, it was time to explain it. It was time to explain why Obama won, or rather, why he "won". According to Karl Rove, along a laundry list of similar explanations, Obama's victory was primarily made possible by "suppressing the vote". That's a mighty big accusation, to say that the president was somehow involved in stopping people from voting. How does Rove explain that? He says that he suppressed the vote by convincing people to vote for him, rather than the "other guy".
Rove was by no means the only person on that bandwagon of bewilderment. Nearly a month after the election, Tea Party idol, Judson Phillips, has asserted that there is one "final chance to stop Barack Obama" from becoming president, incorrectly citing the 12th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution as a method of convincing some states to refuse to meet the quorum of two-thirds.
Conservative comedian and front man, Rush Limbaugh said that Obama wooed the voters with gifts, referring to him as "Santa Claus", saying that United States is "a nation of children". That does not exactly scream "patriotism". Eric Bolling, of The Five, a conservative opinion program, often disguised as news, asserted that "people voted to continue to get free stuff". Bill O'Reilly said that half of us feel "entitled to things". Mitt Romney, the man who lost, stated himself that Obama promised "extraordinary gifts" and worked "very aggressively" to turn people out to vote. Even former speaker of the House, Newt Gingrich , an avid Romney supporter, called that statement "nuts". Romney's pick for VP, Paul Ryan, actually blamed it on people turning out to vote in "urban areas". What is odd about Ryan's statement is that it is widely known that population centers almost always tend to lean Democratic. That in mind, whether Ryan was using the word "urban" to describe something geographic, or as demographic dog whistle, one can only speculate.
The list of similar excuses goes on and on. They all boil down to one thing. They all say that the reason Obama won is because he convinced people, however it was, to vote for him, and that they did vote. He won because of democracy; that is what these conservatives are upset about - democracy. Who knows how they plan on using that message to their advantage?