More commentary to complement what I wrote yesterday about the GOP's seemingly impossible task of rebranding itself after the 2012 elections:
At his Daily Dish site, Andrew Sullivan publishes feedback from one of his readers who reports that his 81-year-old father, "a lifelong straight-ticket Republican," voted for Obama this election. He had defended McCain's choice of Sarah Palin, a "fighter," as his running mate. When Obama was elected in 2008, he railed against his lack of experience and his nonexistent plan to "take everybody's guns away."
This election, he not only voted for Obama, he voted a straight Democratic ticket, donating to both the Obama campaign and Claire McCaskill's. His son tells Andrew Sullivan:
As we would drive by homes where Akin or Romney yard signs were displayed, he’d say, "There’s a lot of crazy people in this neighborhood". A month ago my mother called me, worried that my father had become too militantly Democratic and wished he would settle down just a little bit in his zeal. We can sit down as a family and intelligently discuss politics, and I can’t express how wonderful it is to share this with him for the first time in my life.
To what do we attribute this change? I believe it started with having multiple children, grandchildren and in-laws who didn’t have health insurance due to self-employment and the difficulty with getting an individual policy.
And he concludes,
If they are losing someone like him, how many more must there be?
I think the Republican party would be well-advised to listen to testimony like this. They, at least, are not burdened with the gift of infallibility that stops the ears of the elderly white men running the Roman Catholic church.