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Identity politics triumph

Welcome to the U.E.S.A., the United European States of America. If you like the European debt crisis and austerity riots, you are going to love Obama 2.0. If our politics were a video game, it would be rated “R” for repugnant.

It is hard to exaggerate the depth of the crisis America now faces on many levels. The Democratic Party is now officially and irrevocably committed to a poisonous identity politics, having built a winning coalition based on race, sexual orientation, ethnicity and class warfare.

What’s worse, the beltway gurus who pass for Republican leadership appear to want the Republican Party to travel that same road.

So, yes, there are many reasons to be not only disheartened but alarmed by the election results and what they say about our culture and the health of our institutions. Yet, despair is not an acceptable response to adversity. Whether the nation can survive four more years of Obama’s policies is an open question, but it will certainly not survive if patriots desert the field of battle.

In my lifetime, the nation has experienced the crushing Goldwater loss of 1964, Nixon’s thumping of McGovern in 1972 and Reagan’s landslide of 1984. None of those victorious coalitions survived the first scandal following a “historic” election.

On the other hand, there is something deeply troubling about the emerging character of the Obama coalition that transcends any single issue and is fundamentally different from any previous political coalition.

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The new development that portends deep problems for our republic is the emergence of an openly and shamelessly partisan mass media. On the evidence of the 2012 election cycle, our mainstream media must now be viewed essentially as an extension of the Democratic Party. This means that any illusion Republicans have had about a level playing field are gone.

Clear thinking about our options begins with some skepticism about the “lessons learned” now emanating from the pundits and Bush-era experts who ran the Romney campaign. They assured us Romney had a superior “ground game” that would defeat Obama’s voter-turnout operation. Oops.

The conventional-wisdom mantra coming from these beltway gurus is that the Republican Party must improve its “messaging” to women, minorities and the gay community. How you improve messaging when the messenger is working for the opposition has not yet been explained by these mavens of moderation.

And, of course, it was predictable that the Latino vote for Obama would be used as leverage to push hard for a broad amnesty for illegal aliens. The fact that polls consistently showed that immigration issues ranked way down the list of Hispanic concerns is conveniently forgotten. Also overlooked in this rush to enshrine the Hispanic vote as the new king-maker is the fact that the Hispanic vote is only 3 percent of the electorate in Ohio, and Obama got only 53 percent of that vote, so it was clearly not the reason for his victory in that pivotal battleground.

My own list of “lessons from 2012” is the same list of concerns and alarms I had two months before the Obama Machine burst Karl Rove’s balloon. The handwriting was on the wall for anyone who was not drinking Rove’s Kool-Aid: Our political problems are rooted in our deteriorating entitlement culture and the mass media’s cheerleading for the trajectory.

We must not submit to another year of insufferable sermonizing about civility from people who have pushed political ethics to new lows and hypocrisy to new highs.

Our constitutional republic is not lost, but it is on life support and desperately in need of clear thinking by its most ardent defenders. Certainly, we must be open to new ideas, new technology and new “messaging.” But our principles are not available to the highest bidder. They are our compass in this violent storm.