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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We've never been very good at being conservative.

And usually, that serves us well in doing the ambitious, hard-hitting journalism that you turn to Mother Jones for. But it also means we can't afford to come up short when it comes to scratching together the funds it takes to keep our team firing on all cylinders, and the truth is, we finished our budgeting cycle on June 30 about $100,000 short of our online goal.

This is no time to come up short. It's time to fight like hell, as our namesake would tell us to do, for a democracy where minority rule cannot impose an extreme agenda, where facts matter, and where accountability has a chance at the polls and in the press. If you value our reporting and you can right now, please help us dig out of the $100,000 hole we're starting our new budgeting cycle in with an always-needed and always-appreciated donation today.

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