Election aftermath: Paltry return on investment

Opinion Column

Carlton Fletcher

Carlton Fletcher

Slap those politicians; if you don’t, your money won’t. Can’t stop givin’, never getting in return.

— Blackfoot

Here’s what’s perhaps the saddest thing about the results of the Nov. 6 presidential election:

The primary response of President Obama’s local supporters has been the unbelievably childish equivalent of “na-na na-na boo-boo,” while the response of local Mitt Romney supporters has been one of bitterness and random conspiracy theories that would make Oliver Stone blush.

(My favorite: The one about how those super sleuths on conservative talk radio and the Internet have uncovered evidence of just how Obama and his demon minions used their evil powers to make enough overseas votes disappear that would have given the election to Romney. People, please, unplug from your computers, turn off your radios and go take a bath or something.)

With sequestration hanging over the country’s head — a random ungodly number in budget cuts that could very well make the recession that started in 2008 look like losing every week in a $5 office football pool (sigh) — you’d think everyone in this country would be demanding that their elected leaders — Democrats and Republicans alike — put the silly rulers away, admit that maybe size doesn’t really matter that much when the future of the country is at stake, and start working together to find an answer.

Because if these cuts that are looming are allowed to take place — all for the sake of maintaining some misguided sense of political pride; a pride it should be noted, that has nothing whatsoever to do with the well-being of the American people — our military and a whole lot of other people who actually matter will be left holding in their hands the objects of these deluded leaders’ interest and not a whole lot else.

In the aftermath of the election, I find it hard to fathom that we as a country are not incensed that someone like Mitch McConnell, who’s supposed to be one of this country’s most powerful leaders, admitted that he essentially spent the last four years focused only on his goal of keeping Obama from winning re-election. Hell, Romney only had a couple of years or so to shoot for his goal. McConnell’s been undermining the president’s agenda — with no regard for the consequences that American citizens would suffer — since the day Obama took office. Isn’t McConnell’s failure much more monumental? Isn’t he much more deserving of our derision?

Conservative pundits who’ve written all these simpering “this is what went wrong for the Republican Party, and this is what the party must do to right its ship” — which, given their bold rhetoric leading up to the election, seems whiny and puling in retrospect — should be demanding McConnell’s removal from office instead of trying to convince gullible readers that they (and, usually, they alone) had the answer to electoral victory if Romney had only listened ... and they didn’t really trust him as a standard-bearer to start with. (Hindsight being 20/20 and all.)

I, too, have some suggestions for the Republican Party in the aftermath of losing yet another winnable election. And these thoughts have nothing to do with trying to convince anyone of my prescience after the fact. Just genuine observations.

First of all, you’re not going to win an election in 21st-century America counting on the sleaze factor that Karl Rove provides. The Right uses Rove’s history as “the mastermind” of George Bush’s presidency in an attempt to keep him relevent, but the fact is the guy’s a convicted weasel whose dirty politics and dirtier money meant stunningly little to Romney or any other candidate whose office he tried to buy.

According to the Sunlight Foundation, Rove’s American Crossroads PAC spent $103 million — and other reports say Rove had a hand in funneling another $200 million or so into Romney’s and seven senatorial candidates’ campaigns — and the return on that money was a paltry 1 percent. How would you like to be one of the Koch brothers on Nov. 7 and realize the guy you gave all that money to had a 1 percent return?

Other big-time conservative players failed just as monumentally, according to Sunlight. The Chamber of Commerce got a 5 percent return on its $31 million given to pet candidates; the American Future Fund PAC had a 5 percent return on its $23.9 million, while the vaunted NRA had a 0 percent return on the $11 million of its members’ money it spent.

Of course, conservatives don’t have to take my word for any of this. Just read the wisdom of one of your heroes, the clueless — but, admittedly, very rich and therefore important — wonder Donald Trump, who tweeted on the day after Obama’s victory: “Congrats to @Karl Rove on blowing $400 million ... what a waste of money.”

Email Metro Editor Carlton Fletcher at carlton.fletcher@albanyherald.com.


Kay523 2 years, 8 months ago

Carlton must have been on vacation when the Herald Editorial Board endorsed Romney. Make them listen to you Carlton - they are lost and should be found.


Sister_Ruby 2 years, 8 months ago

Carlton back to his old tricks after the Who show contact high.


Abytaxpayer 2 years, 8 months ago

Carlton soooo Harry Reid is your # 2 hero,( we all know your #1 hero). And lets not talk about the "Paltry return on investment" the taxpayers are getting from this government. The tax PAYERS are buying more and more "Gimmedats" everyday, wow what a deal, we pay and they play.


chinaberry25 2 years, 8 months ago

This country is in dire straights and you are making fun of it. Everyone is entitled to one vote. There are going to be major changes to all involved. Be careful what you wish for and I do hope you have a good job and not work for a mom and pop company. Hours slashed to 28 hours per week will be tough to get by one. After taxes go back up most will be missing Bush. The taxes are his credit not Obama's. No 99 weeks of unemployment. $20/wk coming out of your check. SS taxes will go back up. Gas will need to be watched closely. Someone will be paying for your free ride of the last 4 years. Medicaid and food stamps will be turned over to the states to manage. Georgia is broke, so there will be major cuts.


waltspecht 2 years, 8 months ago

More needs to be done in investigating the overall use of these funds. Someone or many Media entities are lining their pockets with this money. Just how many signs, newsprint, TV ads, buses, planes and plane tickets were paid for with these funds? I would even wonder just how many votes were bought in a round about way, with this money?


B4it 2 years, 8 months ago

Another slanted and distorted one-sided far left view by Carlton. If he had rightfully compared both the Dem and Repub hard liner approaches, then his article would be worth being taken seriously However, it is again only one-sided. For example, Harry Reid, Senate Majority Learder, had also stated he would not support any Republican ideas for reducing the budget. Pretty clear he did not want to coopeerate with bi-partisan talks.


RedEric 2 years, 8 months ago

Romney talked to the adults in the country and they responded. Unfortunately they were outnumbered by clueless, sophomoric gigglers and all of the Gimmedats.


Sign in to comment