About two years ago when the republican primaries were beginning, I thought that the democrats would have no problem in 2012. This is because the party was split in two, main stream republicans and the tea party. I assumed that the tea party would be great for democrats because now the republican party is divided and they are battling amongst themselves. In the case of Tuesday's presidential election, I was wrong. Tuesday's election was extremely close and in the days leading up to the election the polls were dead even.
While the presidential election was close, there were several tea party "darlings" who were defeated in congressional elections. With the defeat of Mitt Romney and other republicans in congress, the party must now figure out how to move forward. They must come up with a better game plan for the mid-term elections in 2014 and the election in 2016. John Boehner (if he remains speaker) must try to manage the party better this time around.
We have kept the status quo with republicans holding on to the house, democrats keeping control of the senate, and President Obama being reelected. So what is next for republicans? Many right wingers are in a state of uproar over Obama's reelection. Rush Limbaugh today raised the question about how to court these minority voters asking if we should just open up our boarders to people or start handing out birth control to gain the support of these key demographics. The answer to me is quite simple for both sides. Do not be so radical. When Romney first started the nomination process, he first needed to gain the support of the far right and the rising tea party members. As the election grew closer, he needed to come more to the center hence the over used liberal phrase "moderate Mitt." By appealing more to moderates, his popularity started to grow especially among independent voters. This is no coincidence. When candidates such as Todd Akin and Richard Murdock open their mouths and start to display their radical views, namely regarding women, it turns off voters.
What will come of the tea party now? According to the Huffington Post, of 16 tea party candidates, only four won congressional seats. This is a stark contrast to their rapid rise during the 2010 mid-term elections. The GOP must realize that in order to appeal to middle income families, they must gravitate more to the center. One of the reasons Romney faired so well after he won the nomination was that he was able to transform into a more moderate, likable, and relatable candidate. This is what made the presidential election so close despite my preconceived notions of the divided republican party a few years ago and leading up to November 6, 2012.
There is no question that Americans are sick of the obstructionism and deadlock in congress right now. Both sides need to learn how to work together to serve those who elected them. Republicans must realize now that their tea party fantasy and experiment was a failure and they must regroup. They must go back to legislating rather than going after issues of abortion and gay rights. They must not hold the American people hostage like they did two summers ago with the debt ceiling crisis. They must not hold out for their way or the highway on certain issues. Life is about compromise and I think that everyone in congress should learn how to make this work.