Early Wednesday morning on Nov. 7, following his re-election as president of the United States, Barack Obama graciously attempted to call Republican Speaker of the House, John Boehner, and Republican Senate Minority Leader, Mitch McConnell, to assure them of his desire to constructively work with the new Congress in addressing many pressing concerns facing our nation. In both instances, the president was told Boehner and McConnell were sound asleep with instructions not to be disturbed.
I initially found this more than a bit puzzling -- Perhaps even an unpleasant echo of last July's refusal by Boehner to return three presidential phone calls near the conclusion of the divisive and completely unnecessary "debt ceiling crisis" instigated by Tea Party purists last year. This debacle eventually resulted in adoption of the infamous "Budget Control Act of 2011," which then led Standard and Poor to downgrade the credit rating of the United States government from AAA to AA in early August and set the stage for the "Fiscal Cliff" looming before us on Dec. 31 -- A challenge which really isn't news at all to anyone who's been paying attention.
But Boehner and McConnell weren't the only ones displaying strange behavior in the wake of final election results. A number of sources report Governor Romney was absolutely "shell shocked" and "dazed" as the reality of his dramatic defeat became more and more undeniable, particularly since he had only written an acceptance speech, disdaining the need for preparation of any concessionary language.
Romney also had authorized a "Transitional Website" depicting him as president-elect, a decision causing further embarrassment when it accidentally went on line. Plans were scrubbed at the last minute by the campaign for an eight-minute display of fireworks over Boston Harbor. Meanwhile, things were even more publicly humiliating over at FOX News.
Karl Rove is a leading Republican operative and fleecer of several hundred million dollars in political action committee (PAC) funds from billionaires who should have known better and won't be getting their money back. Mr. Rove is also on the payroll as a "News Commentator" on "Fair and Balanced" FOX and was right there in the thick of things Tuesday night when he freaked-out on the air before millions of stunned viewers who had been promised a landslide Romney win of historic proportion. Ohio was his Waterloo.
At 8:13 p.m. Oakhurst time, FOX News analysts declared that President Obama had carried Ohio, a win that virtually assured him a second term in office. Karl Rove instantly insisted that couldn't possibly be true, claiming that he was on the phone with a senior Romney official who was furious that the network had blown the call.
After 20 minutes of heated confrontation between Rove and FOX's team of voting analysts, anchor Megyn Kelly took matters in her own hands and stormed 30 yards down the hall on camera to confront Arnon Mishkin, leader of the decision team. In no uncertain terms, Mishkin more than satisfactorily proved his position before everyone watching, adding that President Obama had not only placed first in Ohio, but had conclusively carried the day nationally.
With all this in mind, my own suspicion is that Senator McConnell and Speaker Boehner were "sleeping" when the president called following his victory because they just didn't know what to say. Without reservation or qualification, they honestly had become thoroughly convinced that Romney would crush his opposition and commence the initiation of an irresistible ideological fantasy -- A Republican permanent majority in Congress and the presidency -- A reign faithfully promised by Rove and his ill-starred ilk. Few things can leave one feeling so alone and vulnerable as failed group-think.
As a people, we cannot afford to be represented by those who only believe what comforts convictions and conforms to preconditioned mindsets. Open hearts are a prerequisite for congenial debate and wide-awake leadership is essential for just governance.
I'm trusting my friends of conservative persuasion will note the emerging consequences of choreographed, talking point, echo chamber rhetoric.
And won't get fooled again.