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11 GOP Losers Who Got Spanked By Voters And Their Unlikely Roads To Redemption

As the dust settles from the election results, one thing is clear: a lot of folks who used to call the shots have a lot less power than they did before voters had their say.

Mitt Romney tops the list, of course, but he’s hardly alone. Failure of the magnitude that conservatives suffered means years of having to rebuild reputations and regain power. It will be a long while before these ten losers find themselves commanding the same fawning attention from the media and their peers. In the meantime, they won’t have the clout that they used to, which is another noteworthy result from Election Day. Here’s a list of the biggest losers—and their 2013 comeback plans.

Frank Schubert

The Loss: Four years ago, Frank Schubert was the mastermind behind one of the worst anti-gay electoral victories ever: the defeat of marriage equality in California. This year, Schubert took the same campaign themes to four states—Maine, Maryland,  Minnesota and Washington—and suffered embarrassing defeats in all three.

He even recycled the same ads he used in 2008, promising voters that a vote against marriage equality didn’t make them homophobes (although it didn’t mean they weren’t, either), a tactic we suspect was designed because Schubert himself has an openly lesbian sister. To no avail. Schubert blew through $12.5 million dollars and a good portion of his bogus reputation as a brilliant political strategist. Joining him with a well-earned spot on the marriage equality loser list is Maggie Gallagher and her elves at NOM.

The Redemption: Marriage equality will likely be on ballots for years to come, so Schubert will recycle his ads for a while longer. There will always be ant-gay zillionaires ready to throw him some cash. He may even do better in off-year elections, when younger voters don’t turn out with the same force they do in presidential years. But given demographic realities, Schubert’s best hope is finding a way to grant immortality to the shrinking ranks of religious right voters.

Allen West

The Loss: The Florida congressman is a favorite of the Tea Party, which meant that he was prone to outrageous—even nonsensical—statements. West was the guy who compared being gay to ice cream and scooter riding in a single metaphoric meltdown. He also called the gay community “intolerable,” which is pretty rich from someone who said he “heard” that 80 Democrats in Congress were card-carrying Communists.

The Redemption: West lost reelection by just a few thousand votes, so he may try again in 2014, unless he gets sidetracked by a rich gig speaking inanities to other true believers.


Karl Rove

The Loss: There’s a lot of competition for the title of Biggest Loser. At least from a financial perspective, Karl Rove can’t be beat. The man who exploited anti-gay sentiment to get George W. Bush reelected lost some serious cash for some very rich conservatives used to a good return on investment.

His super PACs, Crossroads GPS and American Crossroads, spent $170 million on campaigns. Only 13% of all of that money resulted in a winner, giving Rove the distinction of the man who spent the most money for the worst results in 2012.

Coupled with his implosion on live TV on election night, it will be a long time before Rove regains his luster as the political wizard who oversaw George W. Bush’s reelection—if ever.

The Redemption: Rove still has the ability to rake in beaucoup bucks for his super PACs. Plus, he has an unswerving commitment to rewriting history in his favor, so in a few years Rove will likely be citing 2012 as the pinnacle of his success.


Peter Thiel

The Loss: The somewhat openly gay co-founder of PayPal and Facebook billionaire almost single-handedly underwrote the Ron Paul campaign, dropping more than $2.7 million on the loony libertarian’s quixotic campaign. But Thiel wasn’t content to let his losses rest there. He ponied up an additional $2 million for the Club for Growth Action super PAC, which spent millions on Tea Party candidates, many of the decidedly anti-gay variety.

Thiel is reportedly angered by the president’s reelection, musing openly about leaving the country to avoid what might be a tax hike for the wealthy next year. (No wonder he once questioned women’s suffrage: They voted 56 percent for Obama.) One would think he’d be honored to pay his share of taxes in a country that  that venerates entrepreneurs and made his extreme wealth possible, but nooooo.

The Redemption: Thiel views his campaign contributions as a long-term investment, saying that he’s looking to the 2016 cycle (when the demographic trends among voters will be even more challenging for Republicans). Let’s hope he has as much luck then as he did this year.


Rush Limbaugh

The Loss: During the year-long run up to Election Day, no one held more sway over the GOP than Rush Limbaugh. Even conservative columnist George Will said the party leadership was afraid of Rush. After election day, probably not so much. Rush’s bluster didn’t deliver new votes, despite his apocalyptic claim that an Obama win would mean the end of the Republican party (we should live so long).

Instead, Rush is franticly backpedalling. Influence? What influence? He’s just a poor radio host who shouldn’t  be blamed for the party’s crushing losses. Rush may not be able to duck blame for the losses, but he may have the influence part right. He’ll be likely to have a lot less of it.

The Redemption:

Limbaugh is an entertainer (e.g., a clown), so the more outrageous he is, the more money he makes. Four more years of Obama may have him foaming at the mouth all the way to the bank.

Rick Santorum 

The Loss: He of the sweater vest and man-on-dog analogy, the darling of religious conservatives, the bane of Mitt Romney, hoped to clinch the nomination early. But he’s a truly lousy campaigner who couldn’t lick a stamp, let alone Romney.

Santorum’s entire campaign was embarrassing in its ineptitude, so much so that he made Romney look good, which was no mean feat. Among the highlights of the Santorum campaign: the introduction of a 1950s view of contraception as a campaign issue, the revelation that reading JFK’s speech about separation of church and state made Rick want to throw up, and musings about abolishing public schools. And let’s not forget the time Santorum used a public forum to insult a gay soldier serving in Iraq. The only thing Rick was good for was as the Dan Savage Full Employment Agency.

The Redemption: Santorum may have left the longest-lasting (and worst) legacy from the 2012 campaign: he cemented the dangerous relationship between the Catholic Church hierarchy and the religious right.  Apparently, that’s enough for Rick to believe he can still get into the White House without taking a tour. He recently said that he’s “open” to a run in 2016, which will no doubt gladden the hearts of conservative Christians and dismay the party establishment.

Bob Vander Plaats

The Loss: Just a year ago, Bob Vander Plaats was savoring his power over the GOP presidential field (which was really more of an abandoned lot). As head of The Family Leader, Vander Plaats was the most prominent religious right leader in the crucial caucus state. Vander Plaats reputation was built on his successful effort in 2010 to oust three of the seven state Supreme Court justices who approved marriage equality.

This time out, Vander Plaats flopped. David Wiggins retained his seat on the court, despite Vander Plaats’ efforts. Coupled with Obama’s win in Iowa, the loss means Vander Plaats and the religious right in the state have a lot less sway at the ballot box than they used to.

The Redemption: With its early caucus, Iowa will still play a big role in the 2016 presidential primary season. Republican candidates will be scrambling for any votes they can get, so they’ll still be treading carefully around Vander Plaats, even with his diminished stature.

Franklin Graham

The Loss: The son of legendary evangelist Billy Graham was pulling hard for a Romney win on election night. The elder Graham’s endorsement of Romney had sanctified the candidate for religious conservatives wary of Romney’s Mormonism. Franklin clearly wants to assume his father’s old role as preacher to presidents, but that won’t be happening with Obama in the White House. Perhaps that’s why Franklin insists Obama won because the “majority of Christians” didn’t vote.

Putting aside Graham’s definition of Christian, the statement is just flat wrong. Turnout was the same as 2008, but Graham’s followers don’t carry the same weight as they once did.

The Redemption:

Franklin could take a page from his Dad’s book. Billy Graham says that one of the things he wishes he had done differently was to have “steered clear of politics.” Words for preachers to live by.


Bryan Fischer

The Loss: As anyone who follows him knows, Bryan Fischer is impervious to reality, so it’s hard to know whether he recognizes how much power he squandered on election day. Sure, he’ll still get some powerful politicians on his radio talk show to make absolutely off-the-wall statements, because Fischer represents a key constituency in the GOP, the nutburger wing. But that wing took a big hit on Nov. 6.

The Redemption: Fischer is already positioning himself outside the party consensus on key issues, like immigration. GOP party leaders know that changing demographics mean they have to soften their stand on immigration, but Fischer is pushing for a clamp down “because Hispanics are socialist by nature.” Fischer may lose what little sway he has in the party, but he’ll always be the spokesperson for a particular fringe of it.

Michele Bachmann

The Loss: Old Crazy Eyes did win re-election (barely), but she had to spend about $65 per vote to do so and pulled fewer voters than Romney did in her Minnesota district. That’s hardly a stellar accomplishment. Voters apparently felt that Bachmann is spending too much time in the national limelight and should be paying more attention to district issues.

Her abysmal performance in the Republican presidential primary didn’t help either. Probably nothing can stop Bachmann from making her usual nutty comments, but the national media may have decided her day is past and pay her less attention.

The Redemption: Bachmann could put her head down and actually focus on her constituents for a change. It would be a smart thing to do because the party is already looking for ways to block her future presidential plans. Bachmann’s big win in Iowa was at the Ames straw poll, which Iowa Gov. Terry Brandstadt now wants to abolish.


The Loss: They’re proudly gay and conservative and they’re also a bunch of losers (at least in electoral terms—you can extend it if you wish). GOProud rushed to embrace Mitt early on and then ticked off a list of candidates it endorsed.

On the Senate side, the results were pretty lousy. First, there was that questionable decision to endorse old Bush-ite Tommy Thompson over out lesbian Tammy Baldwin in Wisconsin, as well as supporting candidates who have consistently anti-gay voting records.

Of the 10 Senate candidates the group endorsed, only three were elected, including Orrin Hatch in Utah, who could only have lost if he was running against Mormon founder Joseph Smith. Btw, thanks, GOProud, for helping to send Dean Heller and Jeff Flake to the Senate, where they can continue to press their anti-gay agenda at our expense.

The Redemption: Some sins are beyond redemption.


Images by Gage SkidmoreRoveCo.TechCrunch50Palm Beach Sheriff OfficeGage Skidmoreimagefactory101Southern Poverty Law CenterGage SkidmoreGOProud

    • Little-Kiwi

      woohoo! more proof that Gay Republicans are the stupidest wimps in America.

      they’re the type that would look at the anti-gay bigotry that was a big part of the GOP 2012 campaign and say “i don’t feel discriminated against by republicans, i feel discriminated against by GAY LIBERALS!”

      which means, of course, “i can’t find anyone to f**k me”

      the GOP is becoming nothing more than the go-to party for every piece of s**t bigot in America, and over and over again gay republicans make themselves look like complete cowards by refusing to defiantly stand up and speak out against the ongoing anti-gay prejudice that the GOP promotes.

      they’re too busy pretending to be the victims of “liberals” to ever man up and actually tackle the GOP’s bigotry head-on.

      oh well.

      take a look at this collection of 11 fools on here. every single one destined to be a bigoted footnote in history.


      Dec 10, 2012 at 9:23 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • BJ McFrisky

      Michele Bachmann’s win is a “loss”? That certainly is odd logic (but not so odd considering it’s liberal logic).
      And for God’s sake, Mr. Gallagher, will you please go back to grammar school and learn the difference between “their” and “they’re”? Or at least let someone else review your columns before posting them? You certainly gain no points as an intellectual when your prose resembles that of a second-grader.

      Dec 10, 2012 at 10:24 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • MikeE

      The richest among Americans SHOULD pay more taxes than the poorest. They are the ones who most benefit from governmental spending of said taxes.

      The rich couldn’t get rich if the government didn’t spend money on infrastructure, roads, railways, sewers, etc… tax money pays for all of that. The rich are the ones who use them the most. how so? They own the companies that USE these infrastructures. If those infrastructures didn’t exist then the rich and their companies couldn’t get their product to consumers. So in the final analysis, they ARE the ones who profit most from government spending of taxes. Ergo, they should be paying a proportionately higher share.

      And Rethuglicans have the GALL to say that the poorer in our society are “parasites” who “leech” from the government teat. The true “welfare abusers” are the rich, who do not contribute financially to the country, yet expect the government to support them in their “industry”.

      Dec 10, 2012 at 11:14 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Caleb in SC

      @BJ McFrisky: Maybe you should also go back to school, study Greek history and learn the meaning of the term “Pyrrhic victory.”

      Dec 10, 2012 at 11:38 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • BJ McFrisky

      @Caleb in SC: I believe you’re a bit confused as to the meaning of Pyrrhic victory, which is a victory offset by a larger loss. In case you missed it, the Republicans still have the House majority, so Bachmann’s win is, well, the exact opposite of what you perceive. It contributed to Republicans keeping the House.
      I’d suggest it’s you who needs to go back to school, but in South Carolina I doubt it would do much good—it’s not exactly known as the birthplace of intellectualism (though you DO have a kick-ass governor).

      Dec 10, 2012 at 11:56 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • jwrappaport

      @BJ McFrisky: Why don’t you go back to middle school and learn what an ad hominem fallacy is? I’m one neurotic SOB with language and often lament the questionable editing in these articles, but mechanical errors have literally nothing to do with their substance. In the words of the esteemed Herman Cain: “You’re comparing apples and oranges.”

      What do you object to with respect to the substance of the article?

      Dec 10, 2012 at 12:05 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • DarkZephyr

      @jwrappaport: He objects to anything even remotely pro-gay. All the while pretending to be gay. He is always saying things like “we” and “our” in reference to gays, but I have yet to see him say even 1 thing in favor of gay rights or anything gay at all. I only see him bash gay rights and defend homophobes.

      Dec 10, 2012 at 12:10 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Caleb in SC

      @BJ McFrisky: No, I understand it completely. She barely won re-election but it came at a record cost for her jurisdiction and she lost a lot of political capital in the process. Yes, I think I know what I’m talking about. If you want to compare educational backgrounds, I have an AB from Duke, an MPA and a JD. By the way, Governor Haley is an abortion as governor and will not be re-elected, even assuming she can survive the anticipated primary challenges from within her own party.

      Dec 10, 2012 at 12:32 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • jwrappaport

      @DarkZephyr: But why? His name is BJ McFrisky? I would expect more wit and, erm, spunk.

      @BJ McFrisky: Caleb used Pyrrhic victory exactly right. Now get to the substance of the article or how you can say SC has a kick-ass governor.

      Dec 10, 2012 at 12:41 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • BJ McFrisky

      @jwrappaport: “Mechanical errors”? Is that what you call it when a blogger writes like a third-grader? I suspect you have a very different opinion when a non-liberal does the same. And what I objected to was the headline “GOP Losers Who Got Spanked By Voters,” when one of the “losers” was in fact a winner. That goes beyond hypocrisy—it’s being downright childish and churlish.
      @DarkZephyr: I’m pro-gay on a lot of issues. Employment, wages, all the basic rights we deserve as U.S. citizens. Not anti-gay, not a defender of homophobes, as you suggest. And I’m not a fan of Michele Bachmann, but I find it funny for Queerty to label her an election loser when she, in fact, won. What stream of unreality did that drift down from? I’m guessing . . . Liberaland, where success is punished and slackers are rewarded, the land where common sense has no place, where food stamps are the unit of currency, and where a Republican who wins a congressional seat is considered to have lost that seat (just because, you know, you don’t like her).

      Dec 10, 2012 at 1:16 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • LandStander

      @BJ McFrisky: Yes, those darned liberals and their food stamps to help feed the poor! Feeding poor people is exactly what is wrong with this world, why cant the socialists see that?!

      On a more serious note, I hope that you never find yourself living paycheck to paycheck on a low-wage job, which lays you off due to company downsizing. I hope that you never know what it is like to suddenly have no income and be unable to pay your mortgage or feed your family. But if it does happen to you, I hope that on that day you will think about the vitriol you spew about food stamps.

      Yes, there is a Liberaland, a fact-free universe where all Republicans are evil. But there is also Conservativeland, another fact-free universe where all Democrats want everyone to be on food stamps and “success in punished”. Both of those places exist, but neither are reality.

      Dec 10, 2012 at 2:52 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • the other Greg

      @BJ McFrisky: A year ago Bachmann was the front-runner for president (hard to believe now!), and there was talk of her at least running against Al Franken for the Senate in ’16. Now she’s stuck with the boring (for her) drudgery of merely being a House member, and NEVER having a shot at higher office. Definitely a loss, for her. And she’ll probably be so bored with having to actually work in Congress (eek) that she’ll take the first Heritage-type job offer like DeMint did.

      But I’m surprised you missed this in the article: “This year, Schubert took the same campaign themes to four states—Maine, Maryland, Minnesota and Washington—and suffered embarrassing defeats in all three.” Heh heh. I’m in a good mood so I’ll leave the joke for you, BJ.

      Dec 10, 2012 at 3:09 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • 2eo


      I was drinking tea and I dropped my monocle I was so scared. Wouldn’t it be great if there was a series of, lets call them “murders” and these people were the victims. That would be an awesome christmas present to humanity.

      Also before you comment, I completely and wholeheartedly hope they are murdered, to clear up any confusion. I condone this happening completely and absolutely.

      Dec 10, 2012 at 3:38 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • BJ McFrisky

      @the other Greg: Bachmann was never the front-runner for president, she wasn’t even close (and if you believe she was, undoubtedly you’ve been watching MSNBC). But you certainly have an interesting spin on winning a seat in the U.S. Congress, using words like “boring,” “drudgery,” and “merely.” I’d be willing to wager a dollar or two that “merely being a House member” would be the single highlight of your life—or the life of anyone you know. Or ever will know. So don’t believe it when Matthews or Maddow or Queerty tell you that Bachmann is curled up and sobbing due to her career ending. We should all be so miserable as to be a U.S. Congressman in 2012.

      Dec 10, 2012 at 3:39 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • the other Greg

      @BJ McFrisky: Sure, many people obviously enjoy it. I added the caveat, “for HER.” She seems to think it’s boring enough that she’s always gallivanting off on her other projects. And, fulminating about gays. (How many gay people even live in her district? – besides her husband, I mean.) Her constituents gave her a warning to pay more attention to the district.

      Re: president, well if you’re so sure she “was never the front-runner for president” and was off on a hopeless, quixotic quest, that actually reinforces my point.

      Dec 10, 2012 at 4:24 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • brent

      You forgot Tom Barrett and the public employees union’s. Certainly they qualify as losers.

      Dec 10, 2012 at 4:27 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • brent

      @MikeE: You have been listening to Eliabeth Warren too much. Her theories are nothing more than warmed over views from Karl Marx. Waren’s idea of a great society is the soviet union.

      Dec 10, 2012 at 4:31 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • brent

      @Caleb in SC: Governor Haley is an abortion as governor. What?

      Dec 10, 2012 at 4:35 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • brent

      @Little-Kiwi: Little-Kiwi you are still at it, blaming republicans for things that in the past liberals are just as guilty of. When did liberals criticize blacks and latinos for voting for prop. 8? I know with you i;m beating a dead horse. Oh yes they voted for it in Maryland, so we can all forget the past.

      Dec 10, 2012 at 4:45 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Larry McD

      Maggie doesn’t have elves. She has gNOMes.

      Dec 10, 2012 at 5:09 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • darkmoonman

      @Little-Kiwi: Bravo. Could not have said it better,

      Dec 10, 2012 at 5:17 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • darkmoonman

      Let me know when gay Republicans start seeking treatment of their rabid self-hate.

      Dec 10, 2012 at 5:19 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • BJ McFrisky

      @brent: I think Caleb meant “abomination,” not “abortion.” But if you read his comment, No. 8, you’ll see he happily brags about having an AB, an MPA, and a JD (which indicates to me that an AB, an MPA, and a JD aren’t worth the parchment they’re written on when it comes to possessing a communicable vocabulary).

      Dec 10, 2012 at 5:31 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • brent

      @darkmoonman: When will liberals seek help for they’re lack of tolerence for difference of opinion?

      Dec 10, 2012 at 5:57 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • TrekBear

      @BJ McFrisky: When an incumbent has to spend as much as Bachmann did to overcome (by a small margin at that) a little-known opponent, it speaks volumes as to the office-holder’s unpopularity.

      Dec 10, 2012 at 6:12 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Joel J

      @BJ McFrisky: Not a loss; an embarrassment. And who are you, the class scold. Oh, my.

      Dec 10, 2012 at 6:58 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Joel J

      @BJ McFrisky: Any woman who marries Marcus Bachmann is a loser by definition.

      Dec 10, 2012 at 7:03 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Joel J

      @BJ McFrisky: You may be gay, but you have all the charm of Phyllis Schafly.

      Dec 10, 2012 at 7:15 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • BJ McFrisky

      @Joel J:
      In case you guys missed it, on two separate comments above I clearly stated that I am not a fan of, nor will I defend, Michele Bachmann. Personally, I think she’s a joke. My point was very simple: Queerty labeled her as an election loser, when in fact she won. Won. That means didn’t lose. Yet this blog qualified her winning as a loss. Politics be damned, I cannot possibly spell it out any clearer how contradictive that statement is.
      Aaaaand goodnight.

      Dec 10, 2012 at 7:28 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • BJ McFrisky

      @Joel J: Actually, it’s Schlafly, with two L’s. And nor am I a fan of hers.

      Dec 10, 2012 at 7:31 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Joel J

      @BJ McFrisky: Let’s put a finer point on this. Michele prides herself on being the leader of the Tea Party Republicans in the House of Representatives. Her poor showing in the Republican primaries and in her own reelection dimishes her influence and credibility in her Republican caucus, and in that respect she is a loser.

      Dec 10, 2012 at 8:29 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Joel J

      @BJ McFrisky: Well at least I spelled Phyllis with two “l’s”. So give me credit for that.

      Dec 10, 2012 at 8:41 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Joel J

      @brent: When conservatives learn how to spell tolerance.

      Dec 10, 2012 at 8:42 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Joel J

      @brent: By shining a spotlight on fraud and insider trading on Wall St., Elizabeth Warren is saving capitalism from itself. The common citizen will finally have a voice on the Senate Finance Committee. Everyone with a credit card or consumer loan should thank Warren for cleaning up the predatory practices of lenders.

      Dec 10, 2012 at 8:50 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • 1EqualityUSA

      GOP = embarrassment. Switch parties, hold your head up again.

      Dec 10, 2012 at 9:13 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • brent

      @Joel J: Predatory practices of lenders, i assume you mean lenders who loan money to people who can’t pay it back. If that is what you mean then one of the great villains is Barney Frank. It is Frank who pushed for these loans to be made.

      Dec 10, 2012 at 10:22 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • ginger5010

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      Dec 10, 2012 at 10:34 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • tjr101

      The GOPricks and Peter Thiel are definitely the biggest losers this election cycle. Nothing is worst than a self-hater.

      Dec 10, 2012 at 11:58 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Donald

      @BJ McFrisky: Form over substance??? How Republican!!!

      Dec 11, 2012 at 12:03 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • FStratford

      You forgot Linda mcMahon. Lost gazillions of money. Lost face. She lost before bu was hoping she could buy CT votes. Well, that falsi hope is lost too. She will never run again – lost dreams.

      Total loss.

      Dec 11, 2012 at 2:03 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Joel J

      @brent: I am referring to the tricks and traps embedded in those long unreadable consumer credit and some mortgage contracts. To say Barney Frank was responsible for the credit practices of those predatory lenders is pure Republican sophistry.

      Dec 11, 2012 at 4:04 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Joel J

      @FStratford: Don’t count on it. These people have egos the size of their bank accounts.

      Dec 11, 2012 at 4:12 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • BJ McFrisky

      @Joel J: Normally, I’d just let you folks go on with your irrational rationale on how a Republican who wins an election is actually a loser, but I have to point out the obvious: If Bachmann’s win is a “loss” because she only won by a slim margin which “diminishes her credibility,” then doesn’t that likewise make Barack Obama a loser with less credibility? I mean, it’s not like he won in a Reagan-style landslide, and he didn’t have nearly the voter turnout that he did in 2008, so he, like Bachmann, must also be a loser. Even though he won. But because he’s not as popular, he’s a loser. But he’s still president. Though he lost.
      Liberal logic. Got it.

      Dec 11, 2012 at 8:37 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Joel J

      @BJ McFrisky: Using your narrow definition of loser, the Republican party is full of presidential hopefuls who lost: Gingrich, Santorum, “Mr. 9,9,9” and others too numerous to recount. All rejected by the base of their own party. As for Michele Bachmann, she had aspirations of playing on a larger stage and failed in her attempt. What a loser. Let’s just call her Queen for a Day (in Iowa of all places). Lately, the punditocracy has been going on about how Obama is the first president in a long time who has won both his election and reelection with an outright majority of the vote. Win or lose, I guess it’s all in the eye of the beholder.

      Dec 11, 2012 at 9:27 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • stokes30

      @BJ McFrisky:

      There’re is common in speech, at least in certain dialects, but you’ll rarely see it written. If I were being pedantic, I’d advise you to use there are in your example, because there is is definitely wrong, so there’s could be considered wrong as well. But a huge number of English speakers, even those that are well-educated, use there’s universally, regardless of the number of the noun in question, so you will probably not receive any odd looks for saying or writing there’s, and if you do, just cite the fact that it can’t be incorrect if a majority of people use it. As for me (a native New Englander), I use both, but may use there’s in place of there’re if I’m speaking quickly.
      5 down vote

      I don’t think “there’re” is ever going to fly — it’s not so much a contraction as a simple elision. The only thing being dropped is a glottal stop, which isn’t a “real” sound in English.

      From a strict prescriptivist grammar and usage standpoint, “there’s” used with a plural is wrong. But in spoken language (which is the real language, squiggles on pages and screens are no more than an approximate rendering) we need to be careful with prescriptivist tendencies. It may offend the grammarian’s ear, but the fact that a very large number of native speakers — likely a preponderance of them — make exactly the same “mistake” indicates that there is something else going on.

      Remember that the rules of English, as we received them in school, are only an approximation of the real rules of the language, and that many of those rules were imposed in the 18th and 19th centuries by well-meaning scholars who aimed to make English a respectable, consistent and properly-documented language. It has never been such.

      A colleague has just asked me if it is correct to contract “there are” in the phrase “if there are any questions”.

      His phonetic instinct was to use “there’s” but he correctly deduced that this was a contraction of “there is” and wouldn’t match the plural object.

      The contraction “there’re” does not officially exist but is sometimes used informally. I guess the reason it isn’t used more is it’s a tricky word to say in certain accents, including my own. In my northern-English brogue it’s harder to form the re’re sound than it is to say “there are”. Not much use as a contraction then is it?

      Try it out loud; if you can say it, I think it’s OK for you to write it in an informal setting.

      “There’s” and “There are”
      by Maeve Maddox

      An odd-looking contraction I’ve noticed recently is “there’re” for there are.

      Haiti Airport Baggage Handlers, There’re Just Too Many!
      There’re too many kids
      There’re Just A Few Days Left
      If There’re Seasons…(song title)

      Contractions are supposed to be easy to say. For example, they’re for they are is easy to utter, but adding another re to there to create “there’re” produces a word difficult to pronounce.

      I wonder if this nearly unpronounceable contraction may have something to do with the proliferation of there’s to begin sentences in defiance of the rules of agreement between subject and verb: There’s ten members on the council.
      Perhaps the speaker knows better, but is in “contraction mode” and at the last minute decides that ungrammatical there’s is a better choice than unpronounceable “there’re.”

      Besides being difficult to pronounce, “there’re” looks peculiar. In writing intended to be read by others, it’s probably best to avoid such ungainly contractions as “there’re” and “where’re.”

      Dec 11, 2012 at 11:42 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • manjoguy

      Obama is nuts if he thinks taxing the rich is the solution to increased revenue and job creation. Someone on this board said “The richest among Americans SHOULD pay more taxes than the poorest. They are the ones who most benefit from governmental spending of said taxes.” I don’t understand how they benefit the most. With the free Obamaphones and service and all the entitlements it would appear it’s not just the rich who are getting the “most” from “said taxes.”

      Dec 11, 2012 at 1:57 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • brent

      @tjr101: How can they be self-haters and OUT of the closet.

      Dec 11, 2012 at 2:11 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • brent

      @Joel J: Wellyou know i was talking about the Freddie Mac scandal. If Warren is the same as Frank she will look the other way as Freddie Mac is going bankrupt, and then blame Bush fo it.

      Dec 11, 2012 at 2:23 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Joel J

      @manjoguy: Those who benefit the most in this society are those who have the power and influence to obtain legislation on taxes and spending that most benefits them. And who are they? The wealthiest 1%. When George Bush and the Republicans reduced taxes on capital gains and dividends to 15%, he handed the wealthy a huge financial gift. And what about all those special tax provisions that allow the wealthy to escape taxation by parking their money abroad? The middle class enjoyed no increase in median incomes during Bush’s term it should be noted.

      Dec 11, 2012 at 3:40 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Joel J

      @brent: According to their charters as Government Sponsored Enterprises, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac can only invest in mortgages and mortgage-backed securities. The two GSE’s were late to the game in investing in subprime mortgages. The private mortgage lenders were selling risky subprimes with no regulation and then packaging them and selling them to Wall St. The GSE’s made the mistake of investing in Wall St’s AAA-rated mortgage-backed securities. They were not originators of those mortgages until very late in the game. I know the history of the scandal conflicts with your talking points agenda, but that’s what it was. The scandal was so huge and so endemic in the industry that those who didn’t get on the train headed for a wreck feared losing out on the big fees and big profit. CRASH!

      Dec 11, 2012 at 3:49 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Joel J

      @brent: Because of their largesse is spreading around campaign cash Freddie and Fannie were widely supported by both Democrats and Republicans in Congress. They used their influence to obtain lax regulation from the feds.This was legal corruption on a grand scale and business as usual in Washington, D.C. We deserve better.

      Dec 11, 2012 at 3:53 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Joel J

      @brent: Oh, I forgot. Warren has criticized Dodd/Frank legislation for not going far enough in regulating derivatives trading. Sunlight is the best disinfectant for eradicating the worst abuses on Wall St.

      Dec 11, 2012 at 3:56 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Redpalacebulleaglesox

      Of all the losers, Bachmann may be the only one to salvage anything. She still has her seat in Congress, tenuous though her hold on it is. She actually has some ideas on parental choice in education, such as the idea of rolling zones and a resumption of the Princeton Plan of pairing elementary schools to achieve integration (at least she has said that in the past). Should she concentrate on what she actually knows rather than what she thinks she knows, she might end up a formidable presence. then again, with those helter-skelter eyes, I’m probably overly optimistic.

      Dec 11, 2012 at 6:07 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • brent

      @Redpalacebulleaglesox: Does this mean that you are a liberal who supports school choice. If so are you not afraid that you’re liberal friends might be mad if they knew you support school choice.

      Dec 12, 2012 at 12:45 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Redpalacebulleaglesox

      @brent: I support parental choice but under no circumstances do I support vouchers. Don’t read meanings into plain statements. Parental choice in public education is enshrined in the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), sometimes known as No Child Left Behind (NCLB). I object to education authorities such as the NYC Department of Education, claiming to provide greater choice, take it away through totally phony programs like de-zoning. Vouchers take vital funding away from public ecucation and are unconstitutional in New York due to the Blaine Amendment, which prohibits public funding of private and parochial schools.

      Dec 12, 2012 at 2:43 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·

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