But look at Representative John Boehner. On Wednesday, the House speaker gave a speech in which he vowed to be cooperative. “Mister President, this is your moment. We’re ready to be led,” he said. Except for a few no-go areas, such as any tax increases on “small business.” You may remember from previous crises that the House Republicans oppose raising income taxes on the wealthy because it would impact struggling small businesses such as a hedge fund manager with an eight-figure annual income.
Boehner also raised a whole new specter of political peril: “going over part of the fiscal cliff.” That sounded less dire, as long as we all stay inside our dangling cars and refrain from making any moves until help arrives. But, by the end, it sounded as if the only cliff-avoidance Boehner was really interested in was one that raised new revenue through “fewer loopholes, and lower rates for all.”
We have already seen that plan. It was proposed by a man who, on Tuesday, lost the state in which he was born, the state in which he was governor, and the three states in which he owns houses. Thanks to a blog by Eric Ostermeier in Smart Politics, I am able to point out that the only candidate for president who lost his home state by a larger margin than Mitt Romney was John Frémont in 1856. And Frémont was coming out of a campaign in which the opposition accused him of being a cannibal.
By the end of his campaign, Romney seemed to have a sense of peace about the type of race he had run. But the man who loves data also has to accept that he was rejected by young voters, by minorities of every kind, and even by his home town of Belmont and his home state of Massachusetts.