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Rich writes: "For all the hand-wringing about Washington's chronic dysfunction and lack of bipartisanship, it may be the wholesale denial of reality by the opposition and its fellow travelers that is the biggest obstacle to our country moving forward under a much-empowered Barack Obama in his second term. If truth can't command a mandate, no one can."

Frank Rich. (photo: NYT)
Frank Rich. (photo: NYT)

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-113 # wantrealdemocracy 2012-11-10 09:55
All of us are in 'fantasy land' if we believe there is any difference between the aims of the Democratic party and the Republican party. These two corporately financed political parties have the same agenda---to serve the plutocracy. Our fantasy land will soon be full of wars, cuts in domestic programs, economic depression and hard times for working people---very hard times. We shall be serfs in a neo feudalism unless we, in these troubled times, rise up in rebellion. Our pain and suffering will not be a fantasy.
+76 # rockieball 2012-11-10 11:25
I think you have it wrong. your fantasy land would have full of wars, cut in domestic programs, economic depression and hard times for working people (if their were any left), if Romney/Ryan had won. Like the article says the GOP (Grumpy Old Party) or COP (Corporate Owned Party) or OWPP (Old White People's Party), live in this wonder Disneyland and Leave it to Beaver World that has only ever existed in their own mind.
+36 # Billy Bob 2012-11-10 14:10
GOP=Grandstandi ng Oil Prostitutes
+5 # CL38 2012-11-12 00:19
...and Greedy 1% Prostitutes
+1 # JH Gordon 2012-11-10 11:27
You're right, wantrealdemocra cy, you should consider getting on board with the Justice Party. The other alternatives like the Greens and the Independents haven't made a significant difference in decades. The Justice Party is new and fresh and approaching the political process from a different paradigm. It's not just a party, it's becoming a movement.

You're right, right now Dems are gloating and Repubs are grousing and who cares? The real deal is we're still being dealt out. We're still looking at forced austerity and a police state because the Pentagon and intelligence community is a big black hole and a very big buyer of MI complex toys for Wall Street profiteers who don't care how much of other people's blood they spill or how many old people starve.

We should be demanding public servants instead of bought and paid for politicians. We should be holding up our Constitution and Bill of Rights and yelling at our public employes that the document is their job description.

We're tired of politicians telling us Washington is broken. They're almost as proud of it as your new puppy crapping on the carpet.

We need to get the private and corporate money out of politics and federally fund elections so YOU can run for office and have a chance. The old-line political families (read dynasties) need to go (read Bush).

Rocky Anderson in '16. It we can't break em' we can at least bend em' a bunch.
JH Gordon
+23 # Billy Bob 2012-11-10 14:09
Why not have Rocky Anderson PRIMARY in the Democratic Party in 2016 so he has a chance of winning? If he's uncorruptable it shouldn't be a problem. Maybe he can reform the party. If you want him to be PRESIDENT Anderson, and not just perenial complainer Anderson, it's the only logical course of action.

Standing on the outside looking in will never win elections or help fix the problem. It's like screaming at an auto mechanic. Not gonna fix the car.
+9 # KittatinyHawk 2012-11-10 19:08
All third party people must start now not wait til the Primary 2016 but that is what they do.
Right now with how Boner is talking, I would suggest Independent and third party get off their butts now start getting candidates out in the field....That is if they are serious. Too many I met were elitists, cocktail party talking of their Agendas. But push came to shove, never out in Public shaking hands, getting involved.
People should get to know the Candidates, see them with their sleeves up. Otherwise they are just another Politician
+1 # Laurenceofberk 2012-11-11 20:58
Hi JH,

None of our 3rd parties will be able to compete against the big money until we create vibrant social movements. A new labor movement to match the '30's CIO, co-ops, radical neighborhood and student movements are just a few examples.

Very few people LIVE in political parties. We live in neighborhoods, jobs, schools and churches etc. If we can organize people to co-operate where they live - and improve lives, THEN we might be able to create a mass political party.
+62 # bingers 2012-11-10 11:28
Typical wingnut response. Democrats aren't perfect by a long shot, because of the necessity of raising huge amounts of cash to eat back the satanic forces of conservatism, but there is absolutely no eqivalency between the parties.

Republicans raised 3 times the amount of Democratic money because all the anti-democracy corrupt scum are Republican donors.

In 2010 the RNCC raised 32 million to defeat Alan Grayson who had the unfortunate task of telling the hard truth about the Republicans. They dropped tons of money against him again, but after 2 years of scumpublican antics in the House, Grayson, with far less cash, beat the bejabbers out of the twit they stupidly put in office in 2010.
+19 # Billy Bob 2012-11-10 11:44
If there's no difference between the two parties, what do you plan to do about it?
-13 # Sweet Pea 2012-11-10 12:59
It seems that we have had a choice of Tweedle-dee or Tweedle-dumber. I'm getting tired of not having much of a choice in our elections. More importantly, over the last 20 or more years, I have noticed that we are importing almost everything from other countries. What little we do produce here has most of the profit going to the top of the corporations.
Most of our goods and produce comes from other countries. We are "buying" ourselves right out of our jobs.
+7 # dovelane1 2012-11-10 13:55
We are not only buying ourselves out of jobs, we are breeding ourselves into more competiton, and out of jobs.

Our immigration policies, or lack of them, probably are a factor as well.

We have a lot of work to do.
+16 # Billy Bob 2012-11-10 14:05
Step one is to complain about it. It's good to pay attention and know what the problem is.

Step two through one hundred are the steps not being taken to actually do something about it. Politicians do what they're told. ALL OF THEM DO. What we need to do is make our voice be as bold and consequential as rush limpo and the Kock brothers.

Time to get creative.

Time to get involved.

This can't be done on the internet alone.
+8 # KittatinyHawk 2012-11-10 19:17
Excellent. No one wants to do anything. Most people do not even go to their local meetings...that is where one starts...Local
+7 # KittatinyHawk 2012-11-10 19:15
Walmarters, Asian cars/trucks, we already bought our way out of jobs....this just didn't happen this past year. We have been destroying jobs since ReaGun...that means everyone.
When was the last time people demanded American Made? I do all the time. I was affected in my business. I used to buy China made crafts not for cheap but they made them well, Now their flowers, crafts have hit rock bottom, not to mention what is in those flowers etc, toys. They have taken over making our products but they do not make them well, we buy crap from China...I do not see anyone stopping.
I saw mention of Walmart Workers here...I see Walmart Parking lots filled. Why?
You have choice in your elections, there was plenty of choices. I had at least 4 choices in Senators, Treasurer, etc. I had choice in Pres or the Right to write one in. No one forces anyone to just vote D or R...
+10 # unitedwestand 2012-11-10 23:39
I'm sick and tired of parties like the Green Party showing up every four years ONLY and expect our support. Why aren't they during the four years of an administration are actively growing their base? I should expect a daily email from them asking me to support, attend, or donate to one of their actions. How can I support a third party if their platform or existence I don't remember for four years?

I don't think that our last choice was "Twedle-dee or Tweedle-Dumber" it was the smartest choice.
+41 # ruttaro 2012-11-10 12:17
Although your characterizatio n of both parties as being corporately financed is partially and disturbingly true, the Democrats were able to raise much more money from grass root supporters to match the super pacs. Still, we need to get all money out of politics. Where I disagree with you is with a hidden assumption in your argument: that the Democratic Party, like the Republican Party cannot be changed. And here you are wrong because the two are not the same in that respect. The Democratic Party contains the structures for grass roots change that is lacking in the Republican Party. Whatever thoe aims are today, the Democrats have enough dissenters and diversity to challenge and change. The difference is the Repugs can't split away from the lunatics on the right and until they do,the party is condemned to Fantasyland. Noonan writes that what she observes seems to contradict empirical data, therefore the data must be wrong.Like the rest of the party believers, hers is a wish, like a child with closed eyes hoping that since he can't see the scary thing, it can't see him. Well, I can stand in my yard all day and watch the sun rise in the East and set in the West and conclude the sun revolves around the Earth because I observed it and I was standing still. This is exactly the mind-set of the right wing. Ignore the facts, ignore the data, ignore science because it is telling them something that does not square with what they see...or wish to see.
+11 # tclose 2012-11-10 12:40
wantreal - you are as far away from reality as Frank Rich describes for the GOP. While it is true that both the Dems and GOP have to raise big cash to be elected given our election process, the Dems are far and way more oriented to human values, progressive policy, and the interests of the 99% of us.

Perfect the Dems are not, but to compare them in the same breath to the GOP is a huge exaggeration. What is needed is to give the Dems more of a mandate to change the electoral process (e.g Citizens United), and to defend progressive policy in the meantime.
+22 # Gordon K 2012-11-10 17:30
[quote name="wantreald emocracy"]All of us are in 'fantasy land' if we believe there is any difference between the aims of the Democratic party and the Republican party. These two corporately financed political parties have the same agenda---to serve the plutocracy...

But it's not really that simple. There are differences. The Repubs have a theocratic agenda; the Dems do not. The Repubs reject climate science; the Dems do not. The Repubs are anti-choice; the Dems are pro-choice. The Repubs consistently nominate reactionaries to the judicial bench; the Dems do not. Obama's drone attacks are appalling, but he's reduced our military activity in Iraq, and resisted pressure to attack Iran (so far, at least). Romney would have been far worse.

The Dems betray their populist image all too often, but the Repubs are a religio-fascist nightmare, for the most part. Until preference voting and/or proportional representation replace(s) our winner-take-all elections, we'll be stuck with the lesser of two evils. That's currently the Dems. Sad, but true.
0 # KittatinyHawk 2012-11-10 19:04
Only because people like you do not organize for Change.
+64 # humanmancalvin 2012-11-10 10:39
wantrealdemocra cy & people of his ilk still cannot get over the fact that the majority of American voters have decided that Obama & his philosophy is the way to go & that the Tea Baggers have to go.
Truly cannot wait for the temporarily silent crazies to renew their fantasy efforts to smear the POTUS. 2014 is the time to rid this country of the last vestige of elected officials that rode the crazy wave & are still busy trying to undermine this country. Give em hell Mr. President & do not back down, we have your back.
+14 # bingers 2012-11-10 11:30
Quoting humanmancalvin:
wantrealdemocracy & people of his ilk still cannot get over the fact that the majority of American voters have decided that Obama & his philosophy is the way to go & that the Tea Baggers have to go.
Truly cannot wait for the temporarily silent crazies to renew their fantasy efforts to smear the POTUS. 2014 is the time to rid this country of the last vestige of elected officials that rode the crazy wave & are still busy trying to undermine this country. Give em hell Mr. President & do not back down, we have your back.

If he actually wanted real democracy he'd be a Democrat. Republicans want tyranny, or at least oligarchy.
+43 # tswhiskers 2012-11-10 10:41
The REp. Party have been in Never Never Land since the 1970's and still don't want to grow up. Too bad for them, not so bad for the country. As long as the party refuses to come back to Reality and continues to hype their severely conservative platform, the Dems and the country can get on with inclusive governance and real financial reform. I believe that with Obama and then Hillary in 2016 we can recover from the fiasco that is Republican governing. Fortunately Obama seems almost fierce in his refusal to give in too much to the Reps. It is my hope that the Tea Party will gradually die a quiet death by virtue of its own craziness; it has already begun with the defeat of Alan West. The American public has woken up at last to the extremism of GOP politics. I think the elections of 2014 and 2016 should be very interesting if the public has at last learned a lesson from the election of 2012.
+32 # bingers 2012-11-10 11:32
Something not widely reported is that despite winning 239 seats vs the Dems 197 in the house, the Dems got more than a half million more votes. Gerrymandering at its' most destructive!
+53 # johnjwinters 2012-11-10 10:52
A brilliant distillation of the GOP's current state. How do you defeat unreality when so many voters are ready to buy in? Reality is difficult and often ugly. That's the appeal of fantasy, and Obama's challenge going forward is unenviable at best. That's a fact.
+5 # PGreen 2012-11-10 12:48
In general, support principles and issues, rather than the mythology of a person. Endorse policies that help and fight policies which hurt. "Come together," as the song says. When our two-party election demands a choice, avoid the worst of the major candidates.
Alternative media support, campaign finance reform, (ending Citizens United,) voter accessibility reform, and a number of other issues will promote democracy.
-9 # Douglas Jack 2012-11-10 11:15
Thumbs up to wantrealdemocra cy & it shows up as a minus. There are so many dimensions absent in Rich's analysis for the USA such as verifiable election process & technology, media ownership. I agree how Romney references himself to unverified facts such as misinterpretati on of Ahmadinejad's 2006 statement on democracy for Israel & Palestine or his fantasy treatments of the supposed opinions of Palestinians, Arabs, Latin America. Romney builds violent policy based upon unrelated fantasy.

There's lack of media consideration for 'dialectics' or 'facts / perspectives from both or all sides evenly', a crucial minimum standard, which barely 1% of journalists live up to. Its frightening to witness how whole populations rely on corporate media & don't check facts. Why aren't all of us 'vetting' information with alternative perspectives?

With both sides being indoctrinated by media monologues for war, the only revolution which we can start from is local mutual-aid. We all need a foundation from which to rebuild. Humanity's worldwide 'Indigenous' (Latin = 'self-generatin g') ancestors & First Nations here understood the importance of mutual-aid, embedding: 1) multihome living for female/male intergeneration al collaboration & 2) welcoming inclusive participation with universal progressive ownership in specialized Production Societies.
+8 # Billy Bob 2012-11-10 14:00
If you want a more accurate depiction of "thumb counts" refresh the page before voting. It's still possible that others will cancel your vote at the same time.
+25 # Billy Bob 2012-11-10 11:22
I'd like it if more people on the left would realize that the President is not a dictator and can't actually have anything he wishes, even if it was a campaign promise.

We (AND I MYSELF) willfully handed the GOP the House in 2010 to punish the Democrats for inaction. The stupidity of my logic was that I failed to take into account the 2010 census.

Now, the republicans have an inordinate amount of power due to gerrymandering. More people voted for the Democratic Party than the republican party in the House. But due to gerrymandering, the republican party still have a lot more seats. This is unlikely to change within the next 10 years or so.

I'm sorry, but the fact is that the House is equal to the Senate and the White House in this process. We can't fix that by just bitching.

Additionally, the legislature legislates. Presidents don't. The veto pen is all they have. That pen hasn't been used enough by Obama. Then again, vetoing legislation that includes provision HE NEEDS would be political suicide - UNLESS you're a republican President.

If you want to place the blame on people, place it on Senate and House Democrats AND, on the conservative media, and on all of us.

President Obama isn't better than we are. He's also not worse.
+12 # PGreen 2012-11-10 12:32
It isn't a question of better or worse except in an election, which is now over. In this last election, Obama was clearly preferred to Romney by the public. Obama was also deemed acceptable-- if not preferable-- to a large percentage of Wall Street, as indicated by their financial support of him. The next task for concerned citizens is to support the president in ways that serve the public interest, such as a more progressive tax structure, allowance for state single-payer implementation in the affordable care act, environmental policies, etc. Likewise we should oppose the president on oligarchical issues he has spearheaded, such as drone strikes, new wars, civil liberties assaults, (think Bradley Manning,) and reductions in safety net entitlements. (This last is still undefined.)
We have fended off the Gorgons by reelecting Obama. but it remains to be seen how much progress we will get from it. Six billion in election expenditures may leave us right where we were-- though thankfully not worse off.
+2 # kyzipster 2012-11-12 06:40
Good points, but I think we can push him to be a bit more like FDR and stand his ground despite the power of the House and the filibuster BS in the Senate, the times call for it. Hopefully this election will give him the courage.

On every single issue he's facing, the majority of voters are on his side. SS & Medicare, the environment, the middle class, the tax code, you name it. A majority may hate Obamacare but that's because it's too conservative, a solid majority wants some sort of solution from the government and they spoke loud and clear in this election.
+20 # Smokey 2012-11-10 11:25
A few words about the French aristocrats
may summarize the situation.... "They have learned nothing and they have forgotten nothing."

Excuses? Fantasy thinking?

Republicans will note that most of the Tea Party representatives in the House were reelected... Obama's support declined in some places, including among the African-America n voters.... Beyond that, it will be said that Hurricane Sandy gave Obama an advantage. And Romney was a Mormon and a Massachusetts liberal who failed as a candidate for the Tea Party. Blah, blah, blah.

Brace yourself for four difficult years.
The conservatives are still as wild and crazy as they were six months ago.
+4 # KittatinyHawk 2012-11-10 19:28
The Disgrace is African Americans voting Romney...guess they just do not get it...Republican s would enslave them again and still do not let blacks vote in many places in South...Explain any votes to Republicans?
A Black Republican is basically still a slave yes man. or woman which is worse.
+47 # Reductio Ad Absurdum 2012-11-10 11:39
The article states:

"This was the election in which even George Will (who predicted a 321 Electoral College win for Romney) surrendered to the cult of the talk-radio base and drank the Kool-Aid without realizing it had been laced with political cyanide."

And what price will Will have to pay for his gross cluelessness? Nothing. He'll continue to be paid for spreading his pseudo-intellec tual inanity on national television.

With respect to mandates, Frank cites 2001's very close results but should also have mentioned Obama's besting of W. Bush's 2004 win (SOURCE: GOOGLE):

W. Bush: 62,028,285 votes — 50.7%

Kerry: 59,028,109 votes 48.3%

Electoral College :286 to 251

Obama : 61,673,819 votes — 51%

Romney: 58,482,030 votes —48%

Electoral College: 303 to 206

In 2004, the rightwing said W. Bush had a mandate, and Bush said he "had political capital and he was going to use it."

So why is the right now saying Obama has no mandate? Because, as the article's examples repeatedly indicate, they invent their own reality to fit their ideology — a very childlike refusal to perceive the real world and even more evidence they are unfit to lead.
+13 # Doubter 2012-11-10 13:42
"And what price will Will have to pay for his gross cluelessness? Nothing."
Easy prediction: All the rightwing nuts mentioned in the article will retain their writing desks and salaries and continue to spew garbage as if nothing had happened.
+8 # bingers 2012-11-10 13:46
Not childlike, childish.
+4 # KittatinyHawk 2012-11-10 19:27
Electoral I believe is now up around 339 Florida is OB World

Thanks Florida You are getting smarter.
+17 # SwanSong 2012-11-10 11:41
With the exception of one line this article exposed many symptoms without identifying the root cause. This line glanced at that cause: "Since 9/11, often but not always under the right’s aegis, truth has been destabilized in America."

Is it possible that the reason truth has been so destabilized since 9/11 is that we've collectively bought into a false reality? Given the evolution from truthiness from the late 90s ("Depends on what the meaning of "is" is") to the utter disregard for facts displayed in this election, how can we afford not to question whether we've been living under a false reality since 9/11/01?

Here's my own personal experience on this topic. The morning of 9/11/01 I was on a subway in Chicago. I overheard two women talking about the attack and then heard one of them say the towers had collapsed. I immediately interjected to inform them that skyscrapers are built to withstand massive impacts and do just collapse. In my mind the reality that was just presented to me was not logical. Despite this, I allowed myself to buy into the narrative and decided it was better to just move on with life. In the last couple of years I have reconsidered this line of thinking. I believe my gut reaction, which was and is shared by millions of others, was correct.

We cannot expect to recover from a mass psychosis if we do not confront the cause.
+9 # Lolanne 2012-11-10 13:01
Quoting SwanSong:
. . . Is it possible that the reason truth has been so destabilized since 9/11 is that we've collectively bought into a false reality? . . .
We cannot expect to recover from a mass psychosis if we do not confront the cause.

I think you make an excellent point, SwanSong. 9/11 has never made sense to me, either, and although I'm not a wild-eyed conspiracy nut, I do not for one minute believe we have been told anything approximating the truth about it. But the whole country was paralyzed with shock and fear in the immediate aftermath of 9/11. Seems to me that made us ripe for brain-washing, and that's exactly what we got from bushco. Mass psychosis indeed.

I suspect it would open many, many eyes if the REAL truth of 9/11 came out. Where oh where are the investigative reporters who could uncover it?
+3 # freedoverseas 2012-11-12 07:33
Maybe not only reporters, but scientists will lead this truth-finding. An important group I consider are the engineers investigating the unreal scenarios of especially bulding 7
But reporters are on the forefront, too. This very readersupported news, or its earlier parallel were responses to turn the desperation of post-911 into action. I guess that Romney also lost because of grassroots acts like informing fast and wide via new media, judicial groups on the alert and voter rights initiatives who would immediately jump on any irregularities. There were numerous attempts to steal the election again, but this time they could be nipped in the bud.
+31 # tbcrawford 2012-11-10 11:44
Tragically, the conservatives have been extremely successful since the 1970s when they started stealth planning the demise of everything established for the common good: Social security, public education, banking restrictions, breakdown of EPA, FDA, USDA and a warning about the military industrial complex. What we have seen in the past few years is the blind optimism on Citizen United steroids that the time has arrived to capitalize on this effect the take-over of democracy by the oligarchy. Obama's election provided an unexpected opportunity to use racism to further their nefarious cause. It is the 99% who have been in Never-Never land, but we are finally, slowly beginning to wake up. I only hope it's not too late.
+39 # ganymede 2012-11-10 12:15
I think the likes of Frank Rich, Nate Silver, Paul Krugman, Stewart/Colbert , Michael Moore and many, many other progressive/lib eral writers and activists deserve a huge thanks from all of us for thrir unrelenting focus on truth and reality. 2012 will hopefully be the watershed for how low our country has sunk and the beginning of an American renewal. I still can't get over how so many Americans have allowed themselves to be brainwashed by their trashy, meglomanical rightwing leaders. Future historians will undoubtedly see things more clearly as they chronical the Presidency of one of our greatest Presidents, Barak Hussein Obama.
+3 # ProDemocracy 2012-11-12 12:45
So beautifully stated, ganymede. Just want to add my thanks to these stellar examples of humanity who have sense and principles, and use their voices on behalf of us all!
+8 # Lennie 2012-11-10 12:23
Frank Rich for President.
+20 # reiverpacific 2012-11-10 12:23
What has always blown my mind is the utter gross vacuity, stupidity and transparent insincerity of every Rethug candidate since -well, since I came here in the mid-late 70's and how they have cajoled and fooled an ever more fragmented and disengaged populace for the most powerful and potentially destructive job in the world.
Most of them wouldn't have made it past the bye-election phase in most "civilized" nations.
The Owner-media are doing their jobs well.
+31 # lisamoskow 2012-11-10 12:33
Excellent article.

Also it points out how right-wing our media has become. To depict the prez race as being super close does serve the interests of theatre, but it is wasting time we need to deal with REAL problems.

Canada would not allow Murdock into their market because they have a law that the media cannot lie.

Why not us?
+4 # KittatinyHawk 2012-11-10 19:32
Media has become a low rent tabloid that you see as you are checking our.
Journalism...I do not know it they teach this anymore... I see it in Liberal, Freedom Presses, Occassional Foreign but over all it is opinions or buy out/black out news
+8 # motamanx 2012-11-10 12:39
Frank Rich is so right; especially about the pundits that tripped so badly over their own dreams of success, which were based on their own dreams of hoped for success.
+8 # Rich Austin 2012-11-10 13:23
Part I

Look...the conserves will meet in their enclave on “C” Street , hold hands, utter a fanatical religious mantra or two and thereafter claim they are doing God’s work. If God was a hedge fund manager or a corporatist, or another species of Milton Friedman sociopath they would be correct. Alas, that isn’t the way it works. But hey! Not to worry. All will be forgotten and forgiven. As John Steinbeck once said, "Socialism never took root in America because the poor see themselves not as an exploited proletariat but as temporarily embarrassed millionaires." They will be forgotten because too many American’s have bought into the notion that by scapegoating those on the lower rungs of the economic ladder their lot in life will improve. Believe me, some chump driving a dusty, rickety, broken down 1956 pick-up with a George Wallace bumper sticker is repeating the right-wing nonsense that we’re a nation of “makers and takers”. (In a perverse manner that is true. Corporate chieftains, investors, pundits and politicians produce zilch. It is the working class that produces all wealth.)
+8 # Rich Austin 2012-11-10 13:27
Part II

Who gets hurt in a recession? Only working class folks. The wealthy entered the current connived slump rich and they will emerge rich. Only working class people will have suffered. But then what happens? Well, true to our battered person syndrome persona we blame the disadvantaged for our problems. We call them takers. We pretend we’re not being exploited...hec k, we’re just temporarily embarrassed millionaires. Someday our ship will come in providing we remain true to the richest 2% who have so deftly honed the skill of divide and conquer corporate governance.

Frederick Douglas wrote, “Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never”. Understanding that simple reality will free us from the bondage of delusion and the prison of division and give us the strength to demand justice.

We must organize! We must organize into unions. We must organize ourselves and become neighborhood activists. We must recognize that it is us versus the richest 2%. We must recognize they do not follow the laws of charity and brotherhood. The dollar, mark, rupee, peso, euro, pound, yaun, and yen are their gods and the source of the unconscionable power they use to retain their authoritarian dominance. They are exploiters because the god they worship on “C” Street says its ok.

We must show them that it is not ok with us.
+17 # Cassandra2012 2012-11-10 15:17
First we must not buy into Rovian framing of the language/terms.
These are NOT "conservatives" (what exactly are they really 'conserving'?) Rather, they are right wing RADICAL [as in tearing up by the ROOTS] extremists and fanatics.
+9 # KittatinyHawk 2012-11-10 19:33
Taliban of America...GOP, but esp TP
+15 # Bill Clements 2012-11-10 13:29
This is a brilliant article, Mr. Rich! What a masterful summation of the GOP! I've seen nothing else that comes close.

A wholesale denial of reality. I'm reminded of Bill O'Reily sadly opining, post-election, that it's "not a traditional America anymore." Such a palpable and painful sense of loss for an America that they like to believe used to be.
+5 # PGreen 2012-11-10 13:59
This is a good article, but Rich should articulate the source of the delusions. It is relatively easy (though not without risk to establishment standing) to say that the Right was way off base, but less easy to explain it. The Republican party and right-wing media (to some extent, all establishment media) are following the money. The media frames the range of acceptable argument within a context acceptable to the prominent individuals and organizations that finance them-- so no matter which way you look at issues, the elite will not be threatened. When this is impossible, they rely on ridicule, distortion and exclusion.
After following this (capitalist) paradigm for a long time, the handlers and praetorians of the oligarchs-- such as the Republican party and FOX news-- personally invalidate what does not fit, not simply to promote the model. This is not so impossible, because they are selected (in part) by their sympathy for this model.
Next question: how will the oligarchical paradigm be tweaked so that it maintains support for the ascendency of the rich, but is more acceptable to everyone else? Or will they simply double down and attempt to ensnare even more people in the same delusions?
I wonder if we will see a huge reframing of social issues, along with a refusal to acknowledge that the Right ever saw them differently? Possibly a Randian/liberta rian emphasis?
+8 # hilo 2012-11-10 14:03
Thanks, Mr. Rich, from me as well. I'm posting on Facebook in the hopes that those who haven't caught up with RSN will read it there and get with the program of great opinion pieces on the state of the nation.
+3 # Bill Clements 2012-11-11 11:29
Yes, I, too, posted this article to my Facebook page and sent the link to a number of friends, who themselves have sent it on to a number of their friends.
+12 # tm7devils 2012-11-10 14:18
Thank you, Mr. Rich! This is probably the best, fact based take on this election, and the people involved, ever written.
I personally would award you, without qualm, the Pulitzer Prize for journalism based on this one piece alone.
One could only hope that you are in good health and are able to continue writing in like manner for many years to come.
+5 # Zarrakan 2012-11-10 15:59
Reality and Republicans don't mix. TAKE AMERICA BACK VOTE DEMOCRAT! What the Republicans want is the complete destruction/sub jugation of anyone who is not a RICH WHITE YOUNG STRAIGHT CHRISTIAN MAN. Unemployment will do nothing but increase wherever Republicans have power. I made a video about unemployment, and how we can fix it. It’s at my YouTube channel Zarrakan, and here’s the name:
2012 6 5 ZOC Job Pyramid
Watch it, share it, and join the fight against those who want to kill all of us with destructive social policies.
+8 # Billy Bob 2012-11-10 16:41
I think it's worth noting that at least one of the reasons things have gotten so out of hand (i.e. where a total and complete liar can almost be elected) is that we no longer have Walter Cronkite and people like him.

There was a time when the news was a filter. It took its job seriously and took people (even the electorate) to task for b.s. It challenged us. It told us things we didn't want to hear and we had no choice but to listen because we had no place to hide from it on the internet where we could be comforted by people of like minds.

That's all gone now, due in part to cable, due to a general lack of integrity in current living generations (of people below 80 years old), due to marketing and micro-targeting , due to mental laziness, due to an overworked (even though intellectually lazy) populace, due to an overriding shallowness and superficiality of anything presented by the mass media - AND BY THE INTERNET.

BUT, the also internet represents the potential undoing of some of this. YouTube is the enemy of the conservative right. If you want to know what Mitt thought two weeks ago - YouTube will remind you. If you wanted older proof of his inconsistency - YouTube. It's hard to argue with old film footage. YouTube also haunted McCain and Palin in '08.
+6 # DerHermanator 2012-11-10 17:10
If the GOP were to focus on governing instead of whatever it is they're focussing on, we might return to our much prized 2-party system - otherwise the Dustbin of History's salivating maw awaits.
+12 # PrinceDarrell 2012-11-10 17:32
Your article echoes my comments on another RSN post..taibbis about the attitudes of the GOP. Conservative values have merit. But this lala land policies... apparently, the fact the keynesian policies, and government driving an economy pulled us out of the great depression doesn't matter. Tax cuts increase revenue, which, a simple look at the numbers tells a different story. Global warming isnt happening even though its 60 degrees in November. These people are delusional and stubborn. And yes, it is definitely holding up US progress
+3 # Eldon J. Bloedorn 2012-11-10 23:03
Will the GOP really accept reality or just find another "flavor of the month?"
+7 # TomDegan 2012-11-11 02:08
When Frank Rich speaks I listen.

It really was a sweet thing to watch the utter implosion of the right wing this week. The GOP can no longer count upon the votes of old and bitter, sexually frustrated white men to put them over the top.

MESSAGE TO MY FELLOW WHITE PEOPLE: Someday in the not-too-distant future, we won't be in the majority anymore. In fact that day will come within the lifespan of most of you who are now reading this. I know this must be a bitter pill for some of you to swallow - but that's the way it is and there's nothing we can do to alter the unalterable . There has been such an insane, mass hissy-fit over the fact that, for the first time in history, a black family is living in the family quarters (as opposed to the servants quarters) of the White House. Honestly, we really need to get a grip here, folks.

Tom Degan
+7 # USA2012??? 2012-11-11 05:53
Wow, 57,000,000 voters voted for Mitt Romney. To do so for a man with such a questionable character and history should make the masses shutter: "Yet some 57 million Americans took him seriously enough to drag themselves to the polls and vote for a duplicitous cipher."

If people are that desperate to vote for such a blatantly obvious demagogue really means that their ripe for manipulation on a grand scale if the effort is marketed well enough.

"In the end times people would rather believe a lie than to believe the truth: we're in seriously deep trouble folks!!!
+3 # Billy Bob 2012-11-11 08:39
The country has 340,000,000 people. The lesson could also be read as "liberals still don't vote", or "too many people aren't paying attention enough to vote".
+4 # Bill Clements 2012-11-11 11:42
Watch this and get back to me. We have to acknowledge and admit that America is full of people like these who were interviewed at a Romney rally recently. The level of bigotry and ignorance is truly jaw-dropping.
+2 # GGmaw 2012-11-12 05:55
Could the 57,000,000 million who voted for Romney just be influenced too much by the media that is owned and influenced by conservatives? The media that reports myths and lies as alternatives to the truth? The American people are ignorant - it is not easy to find the truth of anything.
+7 # CL38 2012-11-11 14:11
There are two ideas that popped out when I read this article.

One is Mary Matalan’s description of Obama as a “a political narcissistic sociopath.” This is exactly how I would describe the 'evolution' (devolution) of the Republican Party over the last 3 decades. The GOP has morphed into a party of political narcissistic sociopaths who parrot lies, ignore facts and reinvent reality. How Republicans are consciously choosing to reinvent the message sent by the majority of voters on November 6th AGAINST Republican 'policies'.

I agree with Frank. The right has no intention of changing Republican policies or reinventing itself with the truth. Their astounding level of mendacity (the new norm for the right), and unabashedly unashamed efforts to steal and buy the election will continue.

Romney was clumsy, obvious and decidedly unlikable. He let the cat out of the bag so many times. Given Republican's response to O's re-election, the right is continuing down the same path. What it will do is find candidates who can lull people into thinking they truly have something new to offer.

The right will take their hate, rage and bitterness underground. They’ll work to develop ways to refine and finesse their message. They’ll reinvent themselves by lacing its bitter venom with a delicate filigree of sugar coating to make it an easier pill for the public to swallow.
+1 # AMLLLLL 2012-11-11 19:04
No matter who the next clown~car candidate is (Jon Huntsman, this does not mean you) they still have to carry the standard that is, by its existence, flawed. Mary Matalin was certainly influenced by her husband, who was a strong Hillary supporter in the last Dem primary, but what's Noonan's excuse? I've always thought of her as, well, not a 'boob'. Maybe we should harken back to her earlier opinions of Romney; maybe SHE should. As much as the more 'intellectual' pundits, that is, the ones who got their rabies vaccinations, did not talk about Romney in glowing terms, they all lined up under the GOP banner in the end. Loyalty is one of their most cherished facets, despite the growing evidence, despite the earlier descriptions of what turned out to be Grover Nordquist's perfect candidate; "someone with just enough working digits to sign what we put in front of him." ~ Be careful what you wish for, GOP.
+2 # chicagoflygirls 2012-11-12 13:38
Some of these guys should be leaving the Republican party.
+3 # RobLewis 2012-11-11 16:09
Among the many instant classics this election has produced, my favorite may be Peggy Noonan's "It would be irresponsible not to speculate."

As much as anything else, this election was about actual facts and data (Nate Silver) vs. "feelings" and "gut sense" (Noonan and Scarborough and the rest). Guess what: science won.

This is of course profoundly threatening to the pundits, who fear losing what little relevancy they still have.

A challenge to the Villagers: how about justifying your existence by taking a stand for truth, and swearing off your bad habits of false balance ("Views differ on shape of planet.") and false equivalence ("Both sides are equally guilty.").

Are you up to it? Nah, I didn't think so.
+3 # ProDemocracy 2012-11-11 18:11
I simply want to thank Frank Rich for this wonderful opportunity for sensible discourse about what is of the utmost importance to our country. I think it would be very productive for each of us to examine our real motives for our way of being in the world. If we choose to add something positive, then we should get busy doing that. If all we have to offer is a discordant cacophany of confusion and ill will, then I think we should reexamine our whole reason for being and perhaps consider taking a vow of silence...
+4 # AMLLLLL 2012-11-11 18:44
Thanks Frank Rich for your insightful and clear post mortem. I believe the world is changing and the GOP is not keeping up. They don't seem to like brown people; they just want their votes. When you're selling snake oil, no matter how you wrap it or dress it, it's 'a ruse, if you will' and genuine people see through it.

Now. Time to roll up our sleeves and see what we can do about campaign finance reform. All the conversation revolves around the $$ spent, not the suffering tv and radio listners who were inundated. It's time to poll all those poor voters in swing states and environs: 'So, how'd you like all those negative ads?' If they knew there were a way to eliminate them, wouldn't they? Send out petitions, call representatives , contact the local tv and radio stations. If Montana can do it why can't everyone else?
0 # Rich Austin 2012-11-11 19:35
Billy Bob – No fair including Canada in your population estimate. I know you did not intend to insult our neighbors to the north, but....
+6 # Kmbassoon 2012-11-11 21:34
Re: Noonan's comments about all the Romney signs in FL, I live in a county where the Democrats comprise only 1/3 of registered voters. Truth be told, I saw VERY few Obama yard signs this year vs. 2008. My husband and I (both Democrats) were afraid to put out yard signs for Obama because in the political climate was so toxic, we truly believed at the very least our signs would be stolen and at the worst our property would be harmed. It is very frustrating and suffocating to feel as if dissent from the majority will not be tolerated. I feel like so many Republicans have their heads in the sand. I do not understand their complete disregard for facts. I am really frustrated that factual news is now referred to slanderously as "liberal bias" to discredit it, and yet other media outlets such as FOX news are allowed to use insinuation and skewed logic to influence and scare people. I am relieved Obama won, but I do not think that the Republicans will "get it" and realize that they are the ones who have veered off the beaten path. Just today a letter to the editor in my local paper claimed that we as a nation are in grave danger because those that voted for Obama "don't get it." Excuse me, we the MAJORITY don't get it? I'm tired of the minority thinking they are in charge.
+4 # kyzipster 2012-11-12 06:34
I know that the culture war is still playing a role but it's very possible that the failure of the Bush years along with Romney and Ryan offering $5 trillion more in tax cuts and mysterious cuts in spending to fix this mess might have had something to do with the success of the Democrats in this election.

They have no other strategy, they've been pushing this same trickle down/Ayn Rand economics for the last 30 years since Reagan. They used to be able to point to the economic bubble to justify it all, when it all collapsed they have desperately tried to re-write history to blame it all on the progressive accomplishments of the last century, they even labeled Bush a progressive. They're desperate and don't know what else to do. Clinging to Reaganomics like they cling to their fundamentalist Christianity. No evidence to back any of it up.
+2 # David Starr 2012-11-12 12:05
It has to be inevitable that the "lesser of two evils" tactic falls by the wayside. Meanwhile, we have a GOP living in Wonderland (and kicking out Alice)associati ng with the Mad Hatter and the Cheshire Cat. I just hope that most Democrats, anyway, no longer tag along, attempting instead, with sincerity, real ideological opposition, rather than continuing to be loyal opposition.

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