Mandate, Schmandate: The Republican View of Elections

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Paul Ryan, echoing perhaps the most popular GOP talking point of the week, says President Obama doesn’t have a mandate because the American public returned a big Republican majority to Congress. As he told ABC News, if the public had really given Democrats a mandate, “they would have put Nancy Pelosi in charge of the House of Representatives.”

Yeah, yeah. In 2008, the American public handed Barack Obama a huge victory and gave Democrats massive majorities in both the House and Senate. If you believe in mandates, that was as big as they come. And Paul Ryan didn’t care. He opposed everything Obama did from day one. Ditto for the rest of the House Republican caucus.

In other words: who cares? Like everyone, Republicans believe in mandates when they win and they don’t believe in them when they lose. Can we please stop talking about this nonsense?

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