Posted by: Ann Corcoran | November 8, 2012

Reflections on the Republican loss…

I’m not planning on doing anything quite so ambitious as sum it all up in one neat package because I don’t want to spend hours at this and frankly that is way too much thinking for me.  But, here is some of the commentary I’ve been reading that makes some sense.

First though, ponder thisRomney got over 2 million LESS votes than the old man John McCain and his ‘crazy conservative’ VP pick Sarah Palin got in 2008  Think about how the establishment Republicans looked down their noses at Palin and wanted to be sure to go with a nice guy, a nice establishment middle-of-the-roader like Mitt Romney.   McCain had roughly 59 million votes to Romney’s 57 million—what happened to the 2 million?  They didn’t go to Obama because he had a turnout that was short by about 8 million from his 2008 voter base.  (Obama ended up this time with around 60 million votes).

I liked what Rush Limbaugh said yesterday, here.  (In a Nation of children, Santa Claus wins!)  Perhaps the biggest shock to most of us is that there are now more people who want the government (taxpayers!) to give them stuff then those who don’t.   Four years of expanding food stamps bought some votes!  By the way, in my mind this includes many new immigrants, most coming from countries that don’t have our heritage of self-reliance and limited government.  They are used to at least demanding stuff where they came from (even if they didn’t get it).

An editorial aside:  Krauthammer says Republicans need to look at supporting amnesty, here.  I don’t buy it for one minute—they aren’t going to switch to the Republican Party when we become even more like the Democrats!  It is the Dems promising stuff that interests them!  By the way, Mark Krikorian of the Center for Immigration Studies has a good answer for Krauthammer, hereRepublicans this year LOST more conservative voters than they would have gained by adding a larger percentage of so-called “Hispanics.”

Mark Levin was very good, here (there are still 57 million of us who didn’t want Barack Obama as our President):

MARK LEVIN: We conservatives, we do not accept bipartisanship in the pursuit of tyranny. Period. We will not negotiate the terms of our economic and political servitude. Period. We will not abandon our child to a dark and bleak future. We will not accept a fate that is alien to the legacy we inherited from every single future generation in this country. We will not accept social engineering by politicians and bureaucrats who treat us like lab rats, rather than self-sufficient human beings. There are those in this country who choose tyranny over liberty. They do not speak for us, 57 million of us who voted against this yesterday, and they do not get to dictate to us under our Constitution.

We are the alternative. We will resist. We’re not going to surrender to this. We will not be passive, we will not be compliant in our demise. We’re not good losers, you better believe we’re sore losers! A good loser is a loser forever. Now I hear we’re called ‘purists.’ Conservatives are called purists. The very people who keep nominating moderates, now call us purists the way the left calls us purists. Yeah, things like liberty, and property rights, individual sovereignty, and the Constitution, and capitalism. We’re purists now. And we have to hear this crap from conservatives, or pseudo-conservatives, Republicans.

And, here is one more, and perhaps the best comment I’ve seen so far.  It’s from Daniel Greenfield* writing at Frontpage magazine (hat tip:  Judy).  The Tea Party was right and Mitt was wrong; or more accurately Mitt’s advisors (I’m pointing at you Benjamin Ginsberg) were wrong!

In this election the Republican Party ran two wholly inoffensive blue state Republicans on a platform of jobs at a time when the economy was everyone’s chief concern and the incumbent had absolutely failed to fix the economy. And they lost.

The Monday — or Wednesday — morning quarterbacks will have a fine time debating what Mitt Romney should have done differently. The red Republicans will say that he should have been more aggressive and should have hit Obama on Benghazi. The blue Republicans will blame a lack of outreach to Latinos. Some will blame Sandy, others will blame Christie and many will point to voter fraud. And they will all have a point, but the makings of this defeat did not happen in the last two weeks; they happened in the last two years.

Mitt Romney won the primaries because he was electable. But, as it turned out, he really wasn’t electable after all. Not when the chief criteria of electability is having no opinion, no point of view and no reason to run for office except to win. Not when the chief criteria of being a Republican presidential nominee is being able to convince people that you’re hardly a Republican at all.

The Tea Party started the fire and the Republican establishment put it out!  Remember Tampa where they also threw out the Libertarians.

The Republican comeback did not begin with innocuous candidates; it began with angry protesters in costumes and Gadsden flags marching outside ObamaCare town halls. The 2010 midterm election triumphs were not the work of a timorous establishment, but of a vigorous grassroots opposition. And once the Tea Party movement started the fire, the Republican establishment acted like the Tea Party had sabotaged their comeback and cut the ties with their own grassroots movement. Separated, the Republican grassroots and the Republican Party both withered on the vine.

This (next point) happens in Maryland all the time—classic case was the last Ehrlich campaign for governor.  With their ham-handed handling of the 2010 Republican primary and in their desire to be in the political middle, the Ehrlichians went out of their way to kill off grassroots activists.  What makes the Republicans think they can win without their conservative activists?  How many of the squishy middle goes out door-knocking and sign-waving?

When the Republican Party sold out the Tea Party, it sold out its soul, and the only driving energy that it had. And there was nothing to replace it with. The Republican Party stopped being the opposition and became a position that it was willing to reposition to get closer to the center. Mitt Romney embodied that willingness to say anything to win and it is exactly that willingness to say anything to win that the public distrusts.

The elevation of Mitt Romney was the triumph of inoffensiveness. Romney ran an aggressive campaign, but it was a mechanical exercise, a smooth assault by trained professionals paid to spin talking points in dangerous directions. But, what if the voters really wanted a certain amount of offensiveness?  [This voter wanted to see the offense on the Benghazi cover-up—ed]

Greenfield continued (sorry to quote so much but it’s important)—relearn the lessons of the Tea Party movement!

The establishment had its chance with Mitt Romney. The former Massachusetts governor was everything that they could possibly want. Moderate, bipartisan and fairly liberal. With his business background, he could make a perfect case for being able to turn the economy around. They had their perfect candidate and their perfect storm and they blew it.

The Republican Party is not going to win elections by being inoffensive. It is not going to win elections by going so far to the center that it no longer stands for anything. It is not going to win elections by throwing away all the reasons that people might have to vote for it. It is not going to win elections by constantly trying to accommodate what it thinks independent voters want, instead of cultivating and growing its base, and using them as the nucleus for an opposition that will change the minds of those independent voters.

The Republican Party has tried playing Mr. Nice Guy. It may be time to get back to being an opposition movement. And the way to do that is by relearning the lessons of the Tea Party movement. The Democratic Party began winning when it embraced the left, instead of running away from it. If the Republican Party wants to win, then it has to embrace the right and learn to get angry again.

As a good soldier, I did my duty and campaigned for Romney, but no more…

* I’ve written about Greenfield on these pages before.  As an anti-Islamist writer he brought the wrath of the Southern Poverty Law Center down on his head (and on his cat’s head) in a very funny post, here.

Update:  I forgot to report that Obama won the Catholic vote, so much for Obama’s war on religion.


Responses

  1. Well stated summary. Excellent points. However, I would just point out that the Republican party is the best mechanism we have to “fix” to make it work as a committed, loyal patriot voice for the people. That means, get involved, and active in the basic operation. It’s pretty easy to do, because there’s a lot of positions available.
    Another key point is the unbelievable “low” number of people voting for Romney in comparison with McCain. What happened to those “fairweather” patriots? Do you really believe they saw no difference between the two candidates this time?
    That’s the real issue — why so few of our guys voting for Romney. Logically, you would think there would be 2 million more, instead of less. What happened there? That’s the real story.
    I think you make too much of Romney’s “failures” — I think he was an excellent choice, even though not my top guy. He made excellent points, even if he was a bit too eager to emphasize his ability to “work with” the Dems. Maybe that’s what turned off the people who didn’t vote from the conservative side. It’s what worried a number of us in the primaries. but I can imagine that we would have followed through on his excellent ideas. We know the alternative, so let’s don’t even go there.
    But yeah! We fought hard for our favorites during the primaries, and there was a strong voice of truth and conviction to principles from others. But, each one lost steam. Who’s to blame for that?
    No one is “perfect” There was a million miles between Romney-Ryan and the other guys. A blind man could see it. Reasonable people knew what will happen if the current usurper stays in power.
    I would also give a little complaint to the Romney campaign for spending so much time and resources in the handful of swing states. We in Maryland were disarmed, abandoned, and defenseless to a large extent. The MD leaders of the campaign just abandoned the state to run away and fight in other states — and lost anyway.
    All that said, we MD patriots need to take over the GOP in Maryland, and that’s what is happening – also we need to increase the numbers of active members of each local party organization – canvasing and personal meetings to build up active members. We can’t just try to pull together when the candidate shows up and asks for “volunteers” We can and must do change this history — that’s the main lesson of the recent elections for me.

  2. Someone I know said the best thing for the country would be for the GOP to unilaterally disband itself. Then, the Democratic Party would naturally split into two factions. One would be the college professor/homosexual/enviro-whacko/HollyWeird/globalist elites plus all the oppressed minorities they love to dote over. The other would be the working, tax-paying, traditional American middle class that shares our values but rejects the GOP as the party of the rich. Socially liberal country club Republicans could join the first party, and conservatives could join the second.

    • Heh! I’ve got an idea. I’ll declare myself dictator in chief, and shuffle the deck MY way, so everyone who disagrees with me is put into the other party — let’s call it the “discard” or “reject” party. Everyone else is welcome in the big tent I will set up. How does that sound?

  3. In my opinion its all that, but it is also so much more than that. When the RNC dumped on the TEA party they, apparently, offended about 3 million conservatives that repaid the favor at the voting booth by not bothering to vote. If you are going to ignore us, we’ll ignore you back.

    It is unfortunate in the sense that their actions (or in this case inactions)gave the presidency back to the most un-American president…probably ever.

    I suppose that, sooner or later, the statement had to be made that we will no longer put up with compromise, no longer put up with reaching across the aisle, no longer put up with you (the dems) getting your way. I just think that those 3 million picked a very bad time to make that statement.

  4. Your right………………you didn’t think very much!

    • So Larry, let’s hear what you have to say.


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