Cool Party You've Got There, Republicans

[Content Note: Privilege.]

Newt Gingrich is still talking:
Salon: The pre-election polls were pretty clear in showing Obama had a decent advantage. Why do you think you and so many Republicans were so confident? What did you get wrong about the campaign?

Newt Gingrich: First, there was a belief in economic determinism, that you couldn't have that level of unemployment and have a president get re-elected. So people just sort of had a bias that as long as the economy stayed bad, he would lose. And of course they proved that in many ways identity politics beat economic politics, which I think is a considerable achievement.

Second, I think we underestimated the degree to which they were winning the argument. There's an old Margaret Thatcher phrase I use over and over: "First you win the argument, then you win the vote." If you look at the attitudes of the country, they ended up blaming George W. Bush, not Obama. They ended up thinking that ObamaCare actually was a net plus by the election. None of that seemed at all obvious to us.

And third, I think conservatives in general got in the habit of talking to themselves. I think that they in a sense got isolated into their own little world. So our pollsters, many of whom were wrong about turnout. No Republican pollster thought you could get 87 percent turnout in Milwaukee. You just sort of have to say that to some extent the degree to which we believed that the other side was kidding themselves, it turned out in fact in the real world – this is a part of what makes politics so fascinating – it turned out in the real world we were kidding ourselves.
There's a lot to unpack there, but I want to focus on this bit: "And of course they proved that in many ways identity politics beat economic politics, which I think is a considerable achievement."

This is the same garbage Mitt Romney is selling, in a (barely) different package. And I've already written about this nonsense fully one million times, so I won't do it again, but I do want to point out that when your party is pitching wholly discredited economic policies that disproportionately favor rich, straight, cis, white men, it isn't President Obama who's playing identity politics. It's you.

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