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Archive for November 19th, 2012|Daily archive page

Programming Note.

In Television on November 19, 2012 at 4:22 pm

I’ve been following the program Homeland on Showtime closely. It came out of nowhere last year and floored me with its first season. It provokes the audience with its takes on terrorism, surveillance, mental health, political expediency, and national loyalty, to name a few. Its second season is well underway, and has taken some unexpected turns.

The awesome and erudite June Thomas graciously invited me to join her for a discussion of last night’s episode on Slate. It’s obviously more engrossing if you’ve been watching the show, but hopefully there are some nuggets worth extracting even if you haven’t. If you’re up for it, check it out here.

Party Afoul.

In Politics on November 19, 2012 at 9:45 am

In case you didn’t hear, Barack Obama was reelected as president. (I’m not sure how I would feel if you actually hadn’t heard until now. Simultaneously flattered and abhorred that Brief Wit is your only source of news?)

The postmortems have come hard and fast since Obama’s victory, like that scene in The Avengers where the Hulk punches Thor in Grand Central.

In his own dissection of the loss, Romney inelegantly echoed the “47 percent” version of himself by saying Obama bestowed “gifts” on demographic groups. What you call “gifts,” I might call “rights” or “decencies,” but hey, let’s not parse. (Even Newt gave him grief for it.)

In the end, what looked to be the case became the reality.

Yes, Mitt Romney was so obviously and easily cast as a tone-deaf robber baron at possibly the worst time in 80 years to be labeled that way. But Romney was not just a bad candidate for his own message, he was a bad candidate for the GOP’s message. And, like a riesling paired with a ribeye, the GOP’s message was not very palatable to begin with.

Indeed, the predominant feature of these campaign postscripts has been clear-eyed criticism of the Republican party, chiefly its issue stances and waning appeal to a changing population. The takeaway: the GOP has run afoul of the electorate.

As the analyses have fluttered out, one of the earliest and most succinct was also probably the most palpable portrait, from former Bush reelection adviser Matthew Dowd on Good Morning America. He said that the GOP had become a “ ‘Mad Men’ party in a ‘Modern Family’ America.”

(I’m not saying it’s all over, but Sean Hannity’s already applied for Food Stamps.) Read the rest of this entry »