By Dustin Hurst | Watchdog.org
BILLINGS — Tuesday night’s shellacking of the Republican Party by Democrats will certainly induce some serious soul-searching among the nation’s conservative types.
Not only did Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney flame out rather quickly, GOP candidates failed to flip some Senate seats that should have been easy victories, notably in Indiana and Missouri.
Democrats even went on offense, with Massachusetts electing Elizabeth Warren over Republican incumbent Scott Brown.
In short, Tuesday served terrible night for the conservatives.
More than that, it may have ushered a new era of American politics — if pundits are to be believed.
Buzzfeed’s Ben Smith excitedly argued that a genesis of sorts occurred Tuesday night, a movement of the country to the left.
“Welcome to Liberal America,” headlined Smith’s piece.
“This is the country and Republicans have to adapt,” he underscored.
Throughout the coming days, week and months, shell-shocked Republicans likely will wonder if they simply fielded poor candidates or if it’s time to reassess the core message of the conservative movement.
Almost immediately after the Democratic triumph Tuesday night, pundits across the country said the GOP needs to adopt the new normal — a reality that’s less Caucasian, increasingly Hispanic and more liberal in its attitudes toward social issues.
“Republicans face a crisis: the country is growing less white and their coalition has become more white in recent years,” wrote Politico’s Jonathan Martin.
That points the GOP finding ways to make inroads into minority voting blocs. Gone might be the days of Republican candidates engaging in brutal primary battles to see who can stand as the anti-immigrant choice.
Democrats have asserted themselves strongly as the party of immigrant rights and it certainly paid off at the polls Tuesday night. President Barack Obama routed Romney among Hispanics, a key demographic win on his road to victory.
Race certainly plays an enormous part in the chasm between the GOP and the American people, but social issues also divide Republicans from voters. Keep in mind that two states, Maine and Maryland, legalized gay marriage, while another pair out west, Colorado and Washington, approved of recreational marijuana use — votes directly contradicting federal law.
It’s hard to picture the average Republican standing with the stoners and tokers of the world. Talk about trying to shove a square peg into a hazy round hole.
If Republicans shift and give ground on ideological strongholds, they certainly wouldn’t be the first to take that route.
Obama himself stood against gay marriage as recently as late April when he reversed course. The president’s critics asserted that he only flipped his position for political reasons. After all, during the 2008 election, Obama opposed gay marriage, instead favoring civil unions.
After a majority of poll results showed a Democratic rout Tuesday night, Montana Watchdog queried Facebook followers to get their their thoughts on the situation. Some voters expressed exasperation, others conveyed utter desperation.
Some traveled extreme routes, calling for secession, rebellion and revolution.
“Mark your calendars,” Ed Kugler darkly prognosticated. “This date is the official beginning of the end of America.”
“The America we know will be gone in four years,” Deonne Hosea warned. “Come quickly, Lord Jesus.”
Erik Goyette all but declared a state of emergency. “Fly the American flag upside down and start our own country,” he wrote, a comment that garnered two “likes.”
Some were much less dire in their analysis, calling on displeased voters to tone down their over-the-top ranting.
“Please stop,” pleaded Dave Anderson. “We’ve heard it all before — four years ago. I’m surprised anyone here still has gun; Obama should’ve taken those away already, shouldn’t he?”
While a few generally tossed the country’s future aside for partisanship’s sake, some said the GOP does have a path forward.
A handful of folks suggested Republicans sway neither right nor left, but track back to constitutional principles.
“How about return to the Constitution and stop following neocons,” suggested David Milak.
Jean Jaques Sherman proposed developing a friendlier face for the evolving GOP.
“They look for reality and put aside the hate-filled rhetoric,” he offered.
For Kat Thompson, pushing farther right might serve as the healing medicine for an ailing country.
“We get tougher, yell louder and join the NRA and the Tea Party and take our country back,” she wrote. “We have been sitting back conservatively for too long!”
In the wee hours of Wednesday morning, the Drudge Report, a top conservative news source, posted this headline, genuflecting on Obama and Romney nearly splitting the popular vote: “The Divided States of America.”
Considering that Democrats control the White House and Senate, while Republicans hold the House of Representatives, Valerie Broyles delivered perhaps the most accurate assessment of the country’s status.
“Four more years of gridlock,” she bemoaned.
Isn’t the republican form of government wonderful?
Contact: [email protected] or @DustinHurst via Twitter.