We know all the northeastern storm victims were not Republicans – we’re talking about New York and New Jersey, so the possibility of large numbers of GOPers in the area unable to vote, isn’t a factor, so where did all the voters go? Who didn’t go to the polls? Evangelicals? Was it the Mormon Factor? Who did go to the polls? Unions and unions and unions. Blacks voting the revenge Obama called for, Hispanics for the promise of amnesty and free education, and women lured with free abortions and birth control. Was Romney’s refusal to go for the jugular a too-tender reminder of the McCain candidacy?
Those considered in line with Taxed Enough Already (TEA) philosophies voted, even though the jugular was important to them, to me, but we showed up. So who didn’t?
We didn’t vote for Romney in the same numbers we voted for John McCain, yet the vote was about 50-50, and Barack Obama will nominate and seat at least two Supreme Court nominees – which changes this country as nothing else will other than a brutal and heavily armed coup. A guest on Greta tonight, a business owner (sorry I can’t remember his name) said that he will now have to begin reporting the value of his employee’s health care to the IRS which in turn will show up on our (your) W-2 forms. Make no mistake, it’s downhill from here.
That Mitt Romney got fewer votes than John McCain is dismaying on any number of levels. We were told, by strategists and by what seemed like common sense, that the McCain coalition was a floor for Romney to build up from. The possibility that it was in fact a ceiling is pretty awful to contemplate. It is also pretty infuriating when you think about what the Romney campaign was telling us about their path to 270.
I’ll be blunt: I do not think Mitt Romney ran a good campaign. Don’t get me wrong, I think he worked his heart out as did many who worked for him. I think he made himself into the best candidate he could (which is different from saying he was a great candidate). But I also think that Romney’s theory of the contest was wrong. As I wrote at the time, the Republican convention was a mess. I think Romney strategist Stu Stevens’s contempt for ideas — never mind conservative ideas — was absurd. I think the failure of the Romney campaign to offer a compelling explanation of any kind (at least until the second debate) for how it wasn’t a third Bush term was fatal (as I discussed here and elsewhere). Politics is about persuasion. And persuasion requires making serious arguments. Stevens, by all accounts, has contempt for serious arguments.
None of this means that all of the talk about changing demographics and long-term structural challenges for the GOP is without merit. I have strong views about all of that as well.
In fact, I have a different view from some about the coming wave of recriminations: I welcome it. I don’t know that things need to be vicious or personal, but they do need to be honest. And honesty requires we say things that may feel personal to our friends. This is one of the great and abiding strengths of the conservative movement and the thing I love about it most. Contrary to the conventional wisdom among liberals, conservatives are actually far more willing to examine their dogma and their first principles than liberals or “centrists” are. This has been the source of conservatism’s lasting strength.
As I write, Mitt Romney has 57.4 million votes. John McCain ended up with 59.9 million. It’s a little noticed fact that in two weeks following every presidential election, votes continue to be reported…by the millions. As I recall, Barack Obama got something like four million more votes in the weeks after election day, while John McCain got two or three million. It’s likely that by Thanksgiving, the final vote tally will show Romney very close to or even slightly exceeding McCain’s total.
So there are probably no missing voters. The idea offers a certain degree of cold comfort for conservatives and Republicans, because it would suggest the problem was with Romney’s candidacy in particular and not with the movement or the party. But it’s false, and they will not be spared the reckoning about the party’s future.
Tonight Bernie Goldberg on O’Reilly said that Republicans need a candidate with “charisma.” Hitler had charisma. Can we become shallower than we are today? Photo courtesy of baba.yaga H/T I Own The World.