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?

DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily bluster—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

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DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily bluster—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

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