Wanted: One Soul, One Victory Tour Bus

President Obama and family, celebrating victory.

By Bob Gaydos

After watching hours of election returns, skipping from channel to channel trying to get the latest results as quickly as possible, I have three lasting impressions:

  • Fox News consistently beat everyone else in calling states for a candidate (usually Barack Obama) and signaling a bad night for Mitt Romney. They called Pennsylvania and Ohio for the president while the other, “more reliable,” networks played it safe.
  • The “expert” talking heads spent an inordinate amount of time talking about the coming debate over the “soul” of the Republican Party. Again, Fox was out front.
  • Obama delivered a victory speech that came close to being classified as a “barn-burner.”

I don’t expect to watch much of Fox again, so I’ll chalk its surprisingly professional performance up to an anomaly and move on to the other observations.

For starters, will someone please define what they mean by the “soul” of the Republican Party? A party whose presidential candidate told Hispanic aliens to “self-deport” and dismissed 47 percent of the country as not his concern? A party that would deny gays and lesbians the rights guaranteed to all Americans? A party committed in its platform to denying women the right to an abortion under any circumstances? A party dominated by aging white men whose favorite pastime seems to be figuring ways to keep other kinds of people from voting? A party focused on maintaining every tax break possible for wealthy Americans, but making it tougher for college students to get loans? A party that treats science as a theory and global warming as a myth? A party that requires its ultimate presidential candidate to lie his way through primary campaigns in order to capture the votes of the whack job far right that dominated those campaigns, then backtrack on all those positions once he enters the general campaign and has to attract normal voters and then re-backtrack to some of the early positions in order to hang on to the Tea Partiers, ultimately leading millions of Americans to conclude he’s a liar?

That party? If there’s a soul in there, it must be in pretty sorry shape. Besides, just who is going to have this debate over the GOP’s soul? No elected Republican or party official said anything during the campaign about the GOP’s glaring position outside the mainstream of American thought on virtually every social issue or the fact that ever-increasing numbers of Latinos, blacks, gays, women and young people identified with Obama and the Democratic Party and that those are constituencies who are voting in ever-increasing numbers while old, white men are just getting older.

Who in the GOP will dare to defy Karl Rove, whose genius has now been trumped twice by Obama? Or Rush Limbaugh and the cadre of media blowhards that riled so many Americans up against Obama with a litany of half-truths and outright lies? Is there a leader in the GOP that dares to say the Tea Party, which cost the GOP several Senate seats as well, has no clothes, or at least no influence with a majority of Americans? The talking heads kept saying this debate was coming, but no one offered a name.

My advice to the Republicans who are fed up with the last two elections is to form a new party starting with all the sensible Republicans who have left the party.

Which brings me to Obama’s rousing 2 a.m. call to action. After the obligatory thank you’s to campaign workers and a promise to meet with leaders of all parties to end the Washington gridlock, and thanking supporters for their votes, he harkened back to a message delivered by another Democratic president 50 years ago.

“But that doesn’t mean your work is done‘” he said. “The role of citizen in our democracy does not end with your vote. America’s never been about what can be done for us. It’s about what can be done by us, together, through the hard and frustrating, but necessary work of self-government.”

John F. Kennedy’s, “Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country” was more dramatic, but it had already been used. Obama’s message, however, was the same — you, the people need to be more involved. If you don’t like the way things are being done, change it. The election is not the end; it’s the beginning.

A reporter covering Obama said the president did plan to try to work with Republicans, but also intended to take his message directly to the people, to take his show on the road, so to speak.

The talking heads all said it would never work. But they were still convinced Republicans — who lost the election — were going to sit down and have a heart-to-heart over their party’s soul.

I suggest a search party.


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11 Responses to “Wanted: One Soul, One Victory Tour Bus”

  1. LeeAgain Says:

    Well done, Bob. Good piece of writing. And wasn’t that acceptance speech glorious?

  2. Randy Hurst Says:

    Wow, Bob! Did you nail it down to the floor! I wish I could have said it myself and two, no, four, no twelve years ago! Wouldn’t it have been “special” if a search party was sent out then?

  3. KeLeMi Says:

    FOX did it right, not far right?

  4. Marshall Rubin Says:

    Bob, right-on! The G.O.P. by its very definition exists solely to enhance corporations at the expense of all others. They will reach out to those they ignored, i.e. blacks, Latinos, gays..but only with the aim of converting them to the same greed-mongering philosophy that defines the Republicans. So forget about any attempts to “reform” the Republican Party. The only solution is for the gradual eradication of the party. Once that happens it will be interesting to see what arises to replace them.

  5. Jeffrey Says:

    Marshall, that’s a scary line “what arises to replace them.”


  6. Carole Howard Says:

    Yes, yes, I couldn’t agree more with your definition of the alleged “soul” of the Republican party. And yet. 48% of the voters voted for them anyway. Huh? I will never never understand that. Let’s hope your definition becomes clearer and clearer to those who, unbelievably, didn’t get it this time around.

  7. Idrea Says:

    “LIKE!” 🙂

  8. Jo Galante Cicale Says:

    I’ve been equally bewildered about where the moderate Republicans are hiding. They share culpability on their parties transformation to a party with no credibility that Americans have now resoundingly rejected. Better for us progressives!

  9. evelyn gaylor Says:

    Great article Bob- you nailed it! Evelyn

  10. Marshall Rubin Says:

    Years ago, after Nixon won his first term by a landslide, noted conservative, Bill Buckley was asked if that huge loss would stifle the liberals. “Oh, no,” he replied. “They’ll be back!” I think that constructive conservatism is needed to provide a balance against left-leaning extremism. But today’s GOP is totally berserk. Hopefully its demise will give rise to a responsible conservative movement .
    Remember, a moving car needs an engine to go forward, but brakes are also needed to prevent a crash!

  11. Joe Henry Says:

    Reminds of a quote of an old Roman: “The fates lead him who will; him who won’t they drag.” Until the Republican Party figures out that the issue of Hispanic aliens within our border must be properly and humanly addressed, that they can’t dismiss 47 percent of the country as not their concern, that they can’t deny gays and lesbians the rights guaranteed to all Americans, that they can’t deny women the right to an abortion under any circumstances, that they can’t keep other kinds of people from voting, that they can’t maintain every tax break possible for wealthy Americans, that they can’t treat science as a theory and global warming as a myth we’re just going to have to keep towing them along and remember that we can’t let burden cause us to lose faith.

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