Republicans are, unsurprisingly, trying to figure out who to blame and what to do next. Obama's victory can be understood as a victory of the future over the past, suggesting his campaign slogan "Forward" was both appropriate and effective. The Republican problem is obvious, they are fighting a Sisyphean demographic battle, not just because of changing demographics but because of the complete collapse of support for the Republican Party among voters who are not white, straight and Christian. At first glance, it seems that a party that wins 59 percent of the white vote, even in today's America, should win a national election handily. However, Romney did not only lose among African American, Latino, Asian, LGBT, Jewish and Muslim voters, but he lost all of these groups by margins of more than 2-1. In some cases, the margin was significantly larger than that. Additionally, Romney's support from white voters was skewed towards older voters as, among whites under 30, Romney's margin was only six points.
Although it may not be what the convention organizers wanted, the image of an older white man rambling often nonsensically about politics, President Obama, and, at times, nothing in particular, while responding to every heckler, and recycling lines from movies from a generation ago, is pretty fitting for today's Republican Party. Eastwood's speech underscored that the biggest problem facing the Republican Party is not Mitt Romney's obvious weakness as a candidate, Paul Ryan's tenuous relationship with the truth or even the presence of candidates like Todd Akin who offer a toxic combination of misogyny and ignorance. Rather, the biggest problem facing the Republican Party is that they are a backwards looking party in a country that has always been oriented toward the future.