It was reasonable to hope in the post-election days that we could all enjoy a period of Pax Americana. You know. A quiet moment with a good book, a Rick Steves segment on Tuscany, a football telecast uninterrupted by a barrage of meaningless political commercials.
But then pundits , without taking a breath, leap forward with the names of Hillary Clinton or Republican heirless-apparents like Bobby Jindal, Paul Ryan, Marco Rubio and John Kasich and we’re up to our ears in what-might-have-beens, what could-have-beens and what should-have beens – and what might-bes.
Ryan, who didn’t even carry his hometown on Election Day, explained the Republican disaster this way: Too many people voted for Obama in the urban areas. An astonishing insight for a guy whose loyalists are now saying he’s perfect presidential material. Honest. Don’t clip and save.
In Ohio, which the GOP front office truly believed was a safe bet to lead their man to the White House, life goes on, as it did before election day. I”m not referring to the three Cleveland precincts in which Mitt didn’t get a single vote thanks to the 47 per centers that he left out of his winning equation. Rather, it turned out that Secretary of State Jon Husted’s Sisyphean game plan to shrink the turnout among profiled Democratic voters failed – not only for Romney’s chances but his own political future.
As recently as Wednesday, there were published reports of a Federal judge’s outrage over Husted’s sneaky effort to change the voting system on the Friday evening before the election.
Friday evening? It is a truism in politics that if you want to assure yourself the least coverage, do it in the hours leading to the week end, when already pinched newspaper staffs are shorthanded and TV is not incined to bother with details.
This particular Husted directive inserting new voting system rules was thumped by U.S. District Judge Algenon Marbley, who called it “surreptitious” and a “flagrant violation of a state election law” aimed at disfranchising voters. In more direct language, I’d say the court knew a con game when it saw one.
To no one’s surprise, the Husted shock troops moved in quickly , as they have throughout his repeated intrusions that have been rejected in the courts, and asserted that they are only trying to eliminate fraud. They should look into the mirror.
Still, Ohio’s Republicans leaders have not given up on other plans to pamper the right-wing base that led to Romney’s defeat. In the legislature, you can count on the the elected GOP reps to keep pushing for an end to any sort of public funding of Planned Parenthood - a persistent Gothic tale that emerged in a shower of ignorance during the presidential campaign. Have we forgotten the public pain the Komen Foundation suffered as it first withdrew its support from Planned Parenthood when a hard-right woman moved into an influential position with Komen. Faced with a deluge of withdrawals of public support , Komen, widely respected for its efforts against women’s diseases, changed its mind.
Well, Gov. Kasich is now ready to seek reelection in 2014, anti-public union baggage and all.
Maybe it’s finally time, in the darkness of its narrow mission, the GOP America should listen to one of its own, Gov. Bobby Jindal, who rose from the ashes of last Tuesday’s national defeat, to urge Republicans to “stop being the stupid party”.
For once, I didn’t have to say it.
Update: The Ohio House Health & Aging Committee voted 11-9 today to move the bill to defund Planned Parenthood to a floor vote.