TPM Reader JB says they shouldn’t be surprised …
Following up on JT’s email, I think there is one point to remember when Republicans keep saying that they are so surprised that core groups in the Obama electoral coalition, like African Americans, young voters, etc., were able to match or even exceed their 2008 turnout: Republicans did some pretty unbelievable, disrespectful and frankly unconscionable things to this President that JT’s cites: shouting “You Lie!” to him during the middle of his State of the Union address (something that was frankly never contemplated to be done to Clinton or Bush, despite rapid opposition), challenging his birthplace and religion, or Governor Brewer pointing her finger in his face on the tarmac, much of which was repeated nightly on places like Fox News.
Regardless of whether these things were done because of the President’s race (and I think that a pretty convincing argument could be made that a lot of what happened was at least partially due to his race), the fact of the matter is that Republicans who engaged in this type of behavior honestly shouldn’t be surprised now that there was some consequence to their actions, and by this I mean that the President’s supporters, who felt and understood this disrespect, would be extra-motivated to support him in response to these antics.
I’m not sure Republicans realize or understand this, but it seems pretty clear that people who admire and look up to this President, particularly those who share the same race as him, were not going to take this disrespect lying down. The lesson here may be is that there is always some consequence for actions in politics; it may not be readily apparent immediately, but there was always going to be a price to be paid for indulging and encouraging the most outrageous and irresponsible voices on the right. It just wasn’t until Election Day that it was clear how dear a price that was.
Josh Marshall is editor and publisher of TalkingPointsMemo.com.