Comments: Week of November 26, 2012

1. “Truth has been destabilized in America,” wrote Frank Rich last week in his essay (Fantasyland,” ­November 19) kicking off New York’s parsing of the presidential election. Rich took the GOP to task for the party’s persistent attack on facts, polling stats, and even arithmetic, and launched a mostly liberal 637-comment jamboree on “Your insights are a treasure,” wrote one reader. “Pity the GOP doesn’t read them, even for opposition research. Doing so might have saved them from sending $1 billion down the drain.” “Good angry take on the Republicans’ postelection psychosis,” said a commenter. “It’s real hard for these creeps to be on the wrong side of history and demographics. Thanks for rubbing Obama’s win in their scowling, hateful faces.” “Unlike a lot of other liberals and progressives, I am not celebrating the ‘death’ of the GOP,” said another. “How­ever, I think it will be much harder for the Republicans this time around considering how the attitudes of the country are changing, and changing for the better.” Dissenting voices bravely entered the fray. “I feel that Rich has no idea that 58 million people voted for Romney,” wrote one. “Yes, Obama’s team was better and they won, fair and square, but we still have 23 million people unemployed and $16 trillion in debt.” And another noted, “I predict that the interim elections will bring all of you back down to Earth. The low-information voters who helped reelect Obama aren’t aware that there are any elections aside from presidential ones, and voters’ remorse will have set in for those who fell for the Obama campaign’s deception.” One reader offered this note of cautionary perspective: “To be fair, no political party has a monopoly on ‘excessive’ optimism. I remember vividly in 2004 when virtually everyone I knew was shocked—shocked!—that Bush had won a second term when, quite frankly, all indications seemed to show that he was going to win handily.”

2. “This is probably the best ‘big picture’ analysis of the election I have seen,” wrote Jeff Harding at the Daily Capitalist website of Jonathan Chait’s column (We Just Had a Class War,” ­November 19). “His criticism of the Republicans is that they failed to see class shifts in America … He’s right.” “It’s worth remembering that thanks to Obama and to his opponents the president is indeed clearly associated with a more progressive set of tax rates,” added Ed Kilgore at Washington Monthly’s Political Animal blog. “Without much question, there is more than sufficient public support to break Grover Norquist’s death grip on this country’s fiscal policies. It can be accomplished with or without Republican cooperation; ‘without’ remains far and away the most likely scenario.” Others focused on the election’s reinforcement of the status quo. “[You] think that the class war has been won because of a hairline victory in the election which left the Republicans in control of the House,” noted one reader. “The ‘victory’ is unlikely to lead to much progress, since the same people are in the House obstructing everything.”

3. Benjamin Wallace-Wells’s sympathetic meditation on Mitt Romney’s failed candidacy (So Long, Mitt,” ­November 19) sparked discussion as to how much the presidential hopeful of the past will affect the future of his party. “Good observation about Romney’s ­legacy,” wrote Jonathan Capehart on the Washington Post’s PostPartisan blog. “What Romney did during his six years running for president was change his mind on everything … That’s why there’s no discernible Romney philosophy that will define the Republican Party for ­decades to come.” And while some readers marveled at the GOP’s enduring nostalgia trip—“Mr. Romney and many Republicans seemed to pine for the 1950s. I lived through that time, and, although simpler, it wasn’t always that nice!”—one ­commenter took issue with the fairness of such framing: “I went to one of Mitt ­Romney’s rallies in Ohio. There was something good and noble about it … It’s not an ­‘antique’ position as your piece suggests. It’s what keeps communities working throughout America.”

4. Commenters on put aside political sniping while reading about social-media-savvy, unmarried, and extremely tired Newark mayor Cory Booker (46 Minutes With … Cory Booker,” by Jada Yuan, ­November 19). “This made me love him so much more,” gushed a commenter. “There’s plenty of room in my bed where Cory can take that nap,” offered another. “When all this is over, I’ll send Cory Booker a prank tweet,” promised yet another admirer. “Only ‘this’ is never over for him: If it’s not a storm, a kid needs a ride to school.” But the mayoral heartthrob’s habits didn’t charm everyone: “Wait, he doesn’t drink!!?? There goes our romantic compatibility.”

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Comments: Week of November 26, 2012