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Bizarro World 2004 – Mitt Romney as the John Kerry of 2012

by Speranza ( 76 Comments › )
Filed under Barack Obama, Elections 2012, Mitt Romney at December 10th, 2012 - 8:00 am

An interesting comparison of the 2012 election to the 2004 election. In my opinion Romney after winning the first debate went into a “prevent defense” strategy and enabled Obama to rally and recover.

by Robert Tracinski

The best analogy I have heard for the election is that it was Bizarro 2004. It’s a reference to an old plotline from Superman cartoons about a kind of alternative Earth where everything is the opposite. The idea is that this is just like the 2004 Bush vs. Kerry contest, but with the parties reversed.

Here is how Sean Trende describes the analogy.

“One of the more intriguing narratives for election 2012 was proposed by political scientist Brendan Nyhan fairly early on: that it was ‘Bizarro 2004.’ The parallels to that year certainly were eerie: an incumbent adored by his base but with middling approval ratings nationally faces off against an uncharismatic, wishy-washy official from Massachusetts. The race is tight during the summer until the president breaks open a significant lead after his convention. Then, after a tepid first debate for the incumbent, the contest tightens, bringing the opposition tantalizingly close to a win, but not quite close enough.”

The analogy to John Kerry’s campaign highlights something that a lot of pundits and politically active people on the right managed to forget during the campaign: exactly how unappealing a candidate Mitt Romney really was. Republicans knew he was unappealing because they tried to find somebody, anybody else, nominating him only after all of the other candidates rendered themselves unacceptable. (It is still hard to project which of the other major candidates could have succeeded. If far-out views on rape and abortion helped sink two Republican Senate candidates, for example, imagine what this would have done to Rick Santorum.) But once Romney was clearly the nominee, Republicans had months to come to terms with that fact, to look through Romney’s record and find good things about him, and to remind themselves that he was better than the alternative. By the time they were done, Republicans had pushed to the back of their minds most of the reasons why they had disliked him in the primaries.

But a lot of voters who are not so politically engaged did not go through that process. They still instantly disliked Romney, and his campaign never overcame that. This is what I take to be the meaning of all of those voters—including a couple hundred thousand rural conservatives in Ohio—who stayed home rather than vote for him. The final numbers on this, by the way, show that Romney did ultimately exceed John McCain’s 2008 vote total—but just barely. Which confirms that Republican voters were about as unenthusiastic about Romney as they were about McCain.

Jay Cost sums up voters’ general dissatisfaction.

“If a single question on the exit poll captured the country’s lack of enthusiasm for both candidates, it was, ‘Who would better handle the economy?’ Only 48 percent chose Obama. One would think that would sink the president’s reelection chances, but of the 49 percent who chose Romney, only 94 percent voted for him, with the rest backing Obama or a third-party candidate. The same thing happened with the deficit: slightly more voters picked Romney (49 percent) than Obama (47 percent) to handle that issue, but Romney won only 95 percent of voters who trusted him more. That is Election 2012 in a nutshell: voters did not trust Obama to handle the tough issues, but even less did they trust Romney to represent them in the Oval Office.”

Why did voters dislike Romney? For the same reason Republicans initially disliked him, and for the same reason voters disliked Kerry.

[......]  It was because he is a serial flip-flopper who has changed his position on just about every issue.

That is the real heart of Bizarro 2004. Mitt Romney was the Republican John Kerry. Remember that Kerry, too, emerged as the “electable” candidate after more ideological, conviction-driven candidates like Howard Dean flamed out in the primaries.

We should acknowledge that Kerry is a much worse person than Romney. Kerry launched his political career by volunteering as a mouthpiece for the far-left “anti-war” movement and slandering his fellow Vietnam War veterans as war criminals. (They would repay him with the “swift-boat” ads that helped sink his campaign.) Yet Kerry was not remembered by the public primarily as a former Communist sympathizer, but rather as the guy who admitted, about a military funding bill, that “I actually did vote for the $87 billion, before I voted against it.” He was a flip-flopper who tried to stand on both sides of every issue.

[.......]

Mitt Romney, too, has a history of ideological flip-flops on abortion, immigration, and most notoriously Obamacare, which was patterned on a health-care program Romney himself had championed in Massachusetts. But it’s wasn’t just the negative aspects of Romney’s record that made this image stick. It was the lack of any positive message.

On a broad, non-ideological level, Romney really does believe in success, in achievement, and in American greatness. This is why he was at his best responding to President Obama’s “you didn’t build that” comment. For a while, I thought that might be enough to carry him through the campaign and steer him toward the big issues he needed to champion. But he focused instead on small, narrow policy ideas and avoided big ideological issues. He whiffed chances to explain and defend the Reagan legacy or free-market ideas, and instead edged farther and farther toward the bland, uncontroversial political center.

The first presidential debate gave Romney his best shot at winning the election, but his strong performance that night (and Obama’s weak one) merely helped obscure Romney’s lack of substance. In retrospect, a warning I offered at the time turned out to be more important than I thought it would be.

“From the perspective of someone who writes and speaks about politics for a living, the torture of this sort of event is that you’re sitting at home coming up with great arguments or comebacks that your guy could use but doesn’t. So I’m going to try to refrain from Monday morning quarterbacking, especially since the quarterback won. That said, there was one consistent omission that really bothered me, both because it indicates a problem with how Romney will govern and because it could hurt him in the election: his tendency to shrink from a vigorous defense of free markets.

“For example, he kept denying that he was going to cut taxes for the rich. Well, why the hell not? Implicitly, Romney conceded that taxing the rich is self-evidently the good and righteous thing to do.

“Note also that when Obama cited Bill Clinton’s administration as an example of the success of his approach, he also cited the Bush years as an example of the failure of Romney’s approach. The obvious rejoinder is: but what about Reagan? It would be the perfect contrast. Reagan came into office at a moment of economic crisis, with high inflation and high unemployment and the nation heading into its second recession in two years. Yet two years later, the economy was recovering sharply and unemployment was plummeting. The boom eventually produced almost three straight years of 7% growth. What a perfect contrast to Obama! And what an opportunity to contrast the success of a pro-free-market philosophy over a government-centered philosophy. Yet Romney tended to shy away from taking on that kind of big-picture philosophical debate.”

And here’s the big problem for Romney. When a candidate doesn’t seem to stand for anything, when he doesn’t seem to be motivated by big ideas or a cause, that invites voters to speculate about what really motivates him. In John Kerry’s case, for example, a lot of voters concluded (correctly) that he was motivated by preening personal vanity.

[......]

This ties together all of the different threads of the election. This is why it wasn’t about abortion or immigration or any of these side issues (regardless of the merits of reforming the Republican position on those issues). It wasn’t about the positions Romney took, but about the positions he didn’t take. It wasn’t about a high-tech turnout operation by the Obama campaign. It was about all of the potential Romney supporters who didn’t turn out because he didn’t give them enough reason to do so. He was the man who wasn’t there.

But if this is Bizarro 2004, then it’s worth asking how the 2004 election result worked out over the long run. The voters didn’t trust John Kerry, so they gave George W. Bush four more years to straighten out the War on Terrorism. When he didn’t do it in two years—when things in Iraq actually got worse—they turned against him so decisively and permanently that voters still blame Bush for everything four years after he left office.

In effect, voters gave Obama four more years to turn around economy—but the impact of Obamacare is already dragging down the economy. In 2014, if unemployment is still high, if the economy still barely moving or has possibly lapsed back into recession—what then?

The failure of the left and its ideals is not a merely speculative possibility. It will happen. It is happening. Republicans’ focus should be on preparing for what happens when that day comes—when we go into a new recession, or teeter on the edge of a debt crisis. This election was a giant demonstration of what happens when we meet that opportunity and aren’t able to offer political leadership that is ideologically capable of offering a better vision. Republicans’ top political priority right now should be to make sure that doesn’t happen again.

Read the rest – Romney the man who wasn’t there

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76 Responses to “Bizarro World 2004 – Mitt Romney as the John Kerry of 2012”
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  1. Speranza
    1 | December 10, 2012 8:05 am

    I never understood how anyone could have predicted a landslide in 2012 -- and that means you Dick Morris.


  2. Speranza
    2 | December 10, 2012 8:07 am

    I still cannot figure out how people not on welfare or dependent on government largesse could’ve looked at the last four years and said “Hey that was great, I’d like four more of that”.


  3. coldwarrior
    3 | December 10, 2012 8:16 am

    “prevent defense”

    exactly!


  4. ferb123
    4 | December 10, 2012 8:29 am

    I never understood how anyone here could have believed that Romney had any chance to win.

    Ann Coulter was so right when saying “if we don’t run Chris Christie, Romney will be the nominee and we’ll lose”

    XDDDDDDD


  5. coldwarrior
    5 | December 10, 2012 8:41 am

    ferb123 wrote:

    I never understood how anyone here could have believed that Romney had any chance to win.
    Ann Coulter was so right when saying “if we don’t run Chris Christie, Romney will be the nominee and we’ll lose”
    XDDDDDDD

    christie will never make it out of the primaries.

    his stand against the second amendment makes him unelectable outside of new jersey…then add his love of islam and he would have a very very serious problem being competitive anywhere besides hos home state.

    christie gets attention becasue he is an anomaly. a mostly fiscon trying to cut the budget in a liberal tax and spend north east state. if he did the same thing in flyover country there would be no notice…for instance, corbet here in pa did exactly the same thing with the budget, but no one knows about it outside the state.


  6. coldwarrior
    6 | December 10, 2012 8:43 am

    ferb123 wrote:

    I never understood how anyone here could have believed that Romney had any chance to win.

    after he won the primaries i held my nose and did all i could to get him elected. be sure of this tho, that was the last time i will ever hold my nose and be a good party member again.

    i am finished. i will never ever hold my nose and vote again.


  7. Storagemanager
    7 | December 10, 2012 8:52 am

    Stick your head in a sewer in the Colombian city of Medellin and you’ll find the cozy home of Miguel Restrepo and his wife, two happy underground squatters, and their dog Blackie.

    Their digs are too small to stand up in, and it measures just three by two meters (10 by 7 feet). But somehow they have fitted it with a kitchen, a TV and a tile floor.

    It’s been home sweet home for 20 years. Restrepo, 62, says he would not give it up for anything because living above ground would mean paying for public services, taxes and other kinds of hassle.

    http://www.jewishworldreview.com/1212/sewer_dwellers.php3


  8. Storagemanager
    8 | December 10, 2012 8:54 am

    Jimmy Carter nods and smiles

    Hamas TV: Death to the Jews and to America

    The new Hamas-Fatah unity further exposes the Palestinian Authority’s failure to live up to pledges to stop incitement.
    http://www.israelnationalnews.com/


  9. 9 | December 10, 2012 8:57 am

    @ ferb123:

    Chris Christie is hated by Republican voters. Many will support Cory Booker against him next year.


  10. 10 | December 10, 2012 8:58 am

    Speranza wrote:

    I still cannot figure out how people not on welfare or dependent on government largesse could’ve looked at the last four years and said “Hey that was great, I’d like four more of that”.

    Because Obama is viewed as cool and hip. Plus he’s Black and that creates a media shield wall.


  11. Storagemanager
    11 | December 10, 2012 8:59 am

    Rodan wrote:

    @ ferb123:
    Chris Christie is hated by Republican voters. Many will support Cory Booker against him next year.

    But…he is loved by Muslims everywhere.


  12. Storagemanager
    12 | December 10, 2012 9:03 am

    Actor Jamie Foxx thinks it’s “great” that he got the chance to “kill all the white people” in his new movie, “Django Unchained.”

    Foxx was the featured guest on NBC‘s “Saturday Night Live” this week, and his opening monologue was based almost entirely on race.

    He referenced his movie, in which he plays a slave, something he considered “whack.” But he told the SNL audience not to worry because he gets free and kills “all the white people in the movie.” He then took his jokes to a whole new and disturbing level when he asked, “How great is that?” The audience laughed and clapped.

    This distasteful remark was part of a larger sequence of jokes about how “black is the new white.”
    http://weaselzippers.us/


  13. Speranza
    13 | December 10, 2012 9:24 am

    ferb123 wrote:

    I never understood how anyone here could have believed that Romney had any chance to win.
    Ann Coulter was so right when saying “if we don’t run Chris Christie, Romney will be the nominee and we’ll lose”
    XDDDDDDD

    Thanks for your insightful analysis Oberst.


  14. Speranza
    14 | December 10, 2012 9:24 am

    Storagemanager wrote:

    Jimmy Carter nods and smiles
    Hamas TV: Death to the Jews and to America
    The new Hamas-Fatah unity further exposes the Palestinian Authority’s failure to live up to pledges to stop incitement.
    http://www.israelnationalnews.com/

    Hamas hates Jews. Tell us something we don’t know.


  15. MikeA
    15 | December 10, 2012 9:30 am

    @ Storagemanager:

    With these stories I always like to change the words black to white and vice versa, then read it. I hate that the racism can be one way but never the other.


  16. mawskrat
    16 | December 10, 2012 9:46 am

    Good Mornin All….make it a great day!


  17. 17 | December 10, 2012 9:47 am

    @ MikeA:

    What they have decided is that racism isn’t bad. Only white racism is bad. Any other type of racism is being “authentic” and standing up fo ryour people. Thay’d like nothing better than to have Jom Crow back, but with white people in the down position.


  18. theoutsider
    18 | December 10, 2012 10:02 am

    @ Rodan:
    I don’t think Booker is going to run, if Christie’s favorable numbers stay at 70 or above.


  19. Speranza
    19 | December 10, 2012 10:06 am

    Christie may very well be re-elected abut no way does he have a national future.


  20. Speranza
    20 | December 10, 2012 10:09 am

    coldwarrior wrote:

    after he won the primaries i held my nose and did all i could to get him elected. be sure of this tho, that was the last time i will ever hold my nose and be a good party member again.

    i am finished. i will never ever hold my nose and vote again.

    There was no need to hold your nose. Romney was a fine man and would have made a far superior president to Obama. If we had a chance to win it was with Romney. The fault was with the nation.


  21. 21 | December 10, 2012 10:11 am

    @ Speranza:

    The Leftists want us to run him because they know his positions on the Second Amendment and Islam are poison to the base. If you watched how Obama ran his campaing, he ran Left to pump up his base, and he ran hard to depress the Republican base. It didn’t help that Romney basically took his base for granted and ran hard to the middle. You can not, can not pull enough from the middle to win if your base doesn’t turn out. You have to turn outhyou rbase. Obama understood this and won. The Republicans never seem to miss an oppertunity to tel ltheir base to piss off, and then wonder why they are losing elections.


  22. 22 | December 10, 2012 10:11 am

    @ Speranza:

    The fault was also a dysfunctional Republican Party. Romney was weighed down by a party whose image the media turned Akins and Santorum into the face of the GOP.


  23. theoutsider
    23 | December 10, 2012 10:11 am

    @ Speranza:
    Would you pick Christie or Hillary?


  24. 24 | December 10, 2012 10:12 am

    @ Iron Fist:

    The GOP base is fractured as well. That is something that needs to be taken to account.


  25. 25 | December 10, 2012 10:13 am

    theoutsider wrote:

    @ Rodan:
    I don’t think Booker is going to run, if Christie’s favorable numbers stay at 70 or above.

    The media will turn on Christie if Booker runs. They easily will knock his approval into the mid 40′s.


  26. 26 | December 10, 2012 10:13 am

    theoutsider wrote:

    @ Speranza:
    Would you pick Christie or Hillary?

    I would vote Libertarian.


  27. MikeA
    27 | December 10, 2012 10:14 am

    Speranza wrote:

    The fault was with the nation.

    And that is why I fear for the future of this nation. At a basic level, this countries values have changed. Most people want the govt to take care of them. Personal responsibility is an anacronism.


  28. theoutsider
    28 | December 10, 2012 10:22 am

    @ Rodan:
    The media won’t turn on Booker if he runs. He’s pretty popular actually. Why would they?


  29. 29 | December 10, 2012 10:26 am

    theoutsider wrote:

    @ Rodan:
    The media won’t turn on Booker if he runs. He’s pretty popular actually. Why would they?

    They will turn on Christie and support Booker. Christie will not be so popular.


  30. 30 | December 10, 2012 10:27 am

    @ theoutsider:

    You are pretty reading comprehension challenged, aren[t you? By the way, have you come up with a plan to tackle the debt once it gets to $21 trillion dollars? You man Obama is goin gto get it there well before the end of his second term. Any idea what to do when our creditors are no longer content to loan us money at effectively 0% interest? You do realize that with $16 trillion in outstanding debt any increase in interest rates could be catastrophic, don’t you?


  31. Speranza
    31 | December 10, 2012 10:27 am

    Rodan wrote:

    theoutsider wrote:
    @ Rodan:
    The media won’t turn on Booker if he runs. He’s pretty popular actually. Why would they?

    They will turn on Christie and support Booker. Christie will not be so popular.

    and you can bet Obama and Bruce Springsteen will campaign for Booker.


  32. Speranza
    32 | December 10, 2012 10:29 am

    MikeA wrote:

    Speranza wrote:
    The fault was with the nation.

    And that is why I fear for the future of this nation. At a basic level, this countries values have changed. Most people want the govt to take care of them. Personal responsibility is an anacronism.

    A nation filled with folks dependent on the government and a nation loaded with “low information” voters.


  33. 33 | December 10, 2012 10:30 am

    @ Speranza:

    and you can bet Obama and Bruce Springsteen will campaign for Booker.

    The precious irony!


  34. Speranza
    34 | December 10, 2012 10:31 am

    Iron Fist wrote:

    @ Speranza:
    The Leftists want us to run him because they know his positions on the Second Amendment and Islam are poison to the base. If you watched how Obama ran his campaing, he ran Left to pump up his base, and he ran hard to depress the Republican base. It didn’t help that Romney basically took his base for granted and ran hard to the middle. You can not, can not pull enough from the middle to win if your base doesn’t turn out. You have to turn outhyou rbase. Obama understood this and won. The Republicans never seem to miss an oppertunity to tel ltheir base to piss off, and then wonder why they are losing elections.

    Any so called “base voters” who sat this one out with a Marxist in the White House can go to the devil. I am sick of hearing about the sacred “base”. The “base” is so important that we have lost 5 out of the last 6 popular votes. This is not 1950′s America.


  35. Speranza
    35 | December 10, 2012 10:31 am

    Rodan wrote:

    @ Speranza:
    and you can bet Obama and Bruce Springsteen will campaign for Booker.

    The precious irony!

    Serves the fat bastard right!


  36. eaglesoars
    36 | December 10, 2012 10:32 am

    Iron Fist wrote:

    It didn’t help that Romney basically took his base for granted and ran hard to the middle.

    I think it was not so much the middle as the independents (not sure if they can be classified as ‘middle’ or not). Apparently the problem was basic analysis -- too many people thought the 2008 model was an outlier. Turns out it wasn’t.

    Chris Plante is talking about a 20 yr old woman who graduated from Montgomery County MD (aka Cuba on the Chesapeake) with honors, did the Jack Keroac thing coast to coast, came home and is bitching the food stamps in Mont. Co. are so much harder to get than in Oregon or San Fran. The shelters in San Fran even had rice krispies!

    I assume she voted -- and not for Romney.


  37. 37 | December 10, 2012 10:35 am

    @ eaglesoars:

    Apparently the problem was basic analysis — too many people thought the 2008 model was an outlier.

    Bingo, the Romney campaign did not think it needed to do better with younger voters, single females and Hispanics. They miscalculated and paid the price.


  38. 38 | December 10, 2012 10:36 am

    @ Speranza:

    The Republican base is fractured anyway. Romney in the primaries tried to appeal to a certain element of the base. It came back to haunt him in the general election.


  39. 39 | December 10, 2012 10:38 am

    Speranza wrote:

    The “base” is so important that we have lost 5 out of the last 6 popular votes.

    And we have ran agiainst our base in 6 of the last 6 elections. Longer than that really. Reagan was the last Presidential Candidate that reached out to the base. Why should we vote for people who oppose us? How much did Romney campaign with the Tea PArty? None. Do you really think that was smart politics? This wasa base election. The candidate that was best getting his base out won. So you can say to the base “Fuck off”, and never win another election if that is what you want to do, but I don’t want to hear nan more preaching from you about “Purity Tests”. YOu have your own, and it isn’t a winning hand.


  40. 40 | December 10, 2012 10:40 am

    @ Rodan:

    The woman the Eaglesoars describes wasn’t reachable. That is her point. It doesn’t matter how much outreach you do to these people. They want their free shit, ad the Republicans are never going to be able to out-bid the Democrats on free shit because the Democrats are trying to bankrupt this nation.


  41. 41 | December 10, 2012 10:41 am

    @ Iron Fist:

    What is this GOP base? There is no monolithic base and Romney did kiss up to elements of the base in his attacks on Newt and Perry.

    Can you describe who is the base and what they want? From my perspective, there is no unified GOP base.


  42. 42 | December 10, 2012 10:44 am

    @ Iron Fist:

    No everyone who voted for Obama wants free stuff. Some voted for him because they are scared of the image of the GOP the media has portrayed. A good part of Obama’s vote was fear of the Republican Party. I know this because I encountered these people.

    The whole free stuff excuse is just a cop out in admitting,m the GOP needs to compete more for voters.


  43. 43 | December 10, 2012 10:44 am

    @ Rodan:

    The base are the core GOP voters. Evangelical Christians are abou t40% of this base, and they turned out to vote for Romney. You have fiscal conservatives in there as well. White, middle class married people are part of the Republican base as well. I want to kno wwhat segment of the base you think Romney reached out to, because I didn’t see it. He campaigned almost exclusively for the middle, and he lost because of that.


  44. Speranza
    44 | December 10, 2012 10:47 am

    Iron Fist wrote:

    Speranza wrote:
    The “base” is so important that we have lost 5 out of the last 6 popular votes.
    And we have ran agiainst our base in 6 of the last 6 elections. Longer than that really. Reagan was the last Presidential Candidate that reached out to the base. Why should we vote for people who oppose us? How much did Romney campaign with the Tea PArty? None. Do you really think that was smart politics? This wasa base election. The candidate that was best getting his base out won. So you can say to the base “Fuck off”, and never win another election if that is what you want to do, but I don’t want to hear nan more preaching from you about “Purity Tests”. YOu have your own, and it isn’t a winning hand.

    The Tea Party people voted for Romney as the desire to defeat Obama was there. What killed Romney is that the appeal of Republicans is limited to a certain type of citizen. Every single person who voted for McCain voted for Romney (Charles Johnson being excluded). The GOP does not have a greater appeal to young people and single women (thank you Santorum/Bachmann). Newt Gingrich would have been slaughtered in the general election. The “base” (largely made up of hard core social cons) is not nearly as large as you think it is. Look at Iowa how the candidates kiss the asses of Evangelicals, yet Iowa votes Democrat. Too many people fall in love with candidates (Herman Cain for one) because they buy into their rhetoric.


  45. 45 | December 10, 2012 10:49 am

    Rodan wrote:

    The whole free stuff excuse is just a cop out in admitting,m the GOP needs to compete more for voters.

    How do you expect to do that? Obama won the Catholic vote, and he is the most anti-Catholic President we have ever had. If you can’t reach people on religion, you probably simply can’t reach them. These people don’t want to hear about oppertunities to get rich. They want to hear Soak the Rich. They want a strong safety net for the unemployed, not jobs. How do we reach such people?


  46. Speranza
    46 | December 10, 2012 10:50 am

    Iron Fist wrote:

    @ Rodan:
    The base are the core GOP voters. Evangelical Christians are abou t40% of this base, and they turned out to vote for Romney. You have fiscal conservatives in there as well. White, middle class married people are part of the Republican base as well. I want to kno wwhat segment of the base you think Romney reached out to, because I didn’t see it. He campaigned almost exclusively for the middle, and he lost because of that.

    Here’s how he reached out to the “base” -- “You want four more years of Obama?” That message was good enough for me. He was a fine man and would have made a decent president. Any one who sat it out deserves to live under Obama. This was not 2008 when Obama was a blank slate to most people.


  47. 47 | December 10, 2012 10:50 am

    @ Iron Fist:

    He went for Evangelicals in the primaries by running to the right of Newt and Perry on some issues. He went against Santorum with kids gloves, unlike Perry and Newt off piss off some of the base.

    What could Romney have done to appeal to the base? As you admit, the base is fractured. What may appeal to Evangelicals or hardcore social cons, may not appeal to Economic Conservatives. Although there is some overlap between the 2 groups as well.

    What position could Romney run on that would have motivated the base?


  48. 48 | December 10, 2012 10:54 am

    Speranza wrote:

    The “base” (largely made up of hard core social cons) is not nearly as large as you think it is.

    It is large enough to make the difference between winning and losing. Do you think the base was enamored of John McCain? They were decidedly not. Bush I, Dole, McCian, and Romney, losers all, we forced down the throats of the base, and the base didn’t turn out for them as strongly as it could have. You don’t seem to get it. You win or lose on the strength of your base. Obama got that, campaigned that way, and won. If you want the GOP to win, you have to first look at strengthening your base. Running a real conservative might just be a winning combination, but we probably will never get the oppertunity to try that.


  49. 49 | December 10, 2012 10:54 am

    @ Iron Fist:

    How do you expect to do that? Obama won the Catholic vote, and he is the most anti-Catholic President we have ever had. If you can’t reach people on religion, you probably simply can’t reach them.

    He only lost the Catholic vote because he got killed with Hispanics who were scared of Romney due to media propaganda. The only taking away freedom of religion was viewed as absract. If Churches are not closed, people do not see their religion being attacked. Instead it got turned into the GOP wants to ban contraceptives.

    The reason we lost was because the Media and the Obama Regime with the help of people like Santorum and Akins, made people afraid to vote Republican. It’s as simple. People fear the Republican Party and that is the problem.


  50. 50 | December 10, 2012 11:00 am

    Rodan wrote:

    What position could Romney run on that would have motivated the base?

    Romney coul dhave made stronger statements on abortion and gun control, both. Both were issues that he had flip-flopped on, and he basically ignored them. Both issues are near and dear to the hearts of many in the base. I know people who would never pull the lever for a pro-choice candidate. Running Romney asnhe was was basically telling the people to stay home. Likewise, Romney could have and should have distanced himself from Romneycare. That was an albatross around his neck, as we all knoew it would be. He refused to back away from it, to admit that it was a mistake even though it is failing in Massachusettes just as ObamaCare is destined to fail in the United States. Above all, he should have fought back against Obama’s protrayal of him a s a vulture capitalist. Obama ran millions of dollars of adds to make the Republican base voter think that Romney was a bad man. That he was unworthy of their vote. And it worked. You and Speranza talk abotut reaching out to new voters, and that is all well and good, but you want to tell the base voters to shut up, hold their nose, and vote! How well do you really think that works?


  51. Speranza
    51 | December 10, 2012 11:01 am

    The Republican Party draggged Romney down.


  52. 52 | December 10, 2012 11:03 am

    Speranza wrote:

    Here’s how he reached out to the “base” — “You want four more years of Obama?”

    I’m not Obama is not good enough. That is a replay of Dole’s “I’m not Clinton” campaign, and it lost as well. You kleep saying that we’ve lost 5 out of the last 6 elections, but you don’t look at the candidates that we ran. The only one that even gave lip service to the base was W, and, wonders cease, he won.


  53. 53 | December 10, 2012 11:08 am

    @ Rodan:

    We are never going to have the media. Never. That is always going to be a cross we bear. Yes, Akin’s comments were unfortunate, but Romney didn’t have to let himself be defined by them. He stood mostly silent on the issue of abortion, and all that did was piss everybody off. Obama was able to tie him to Akin for the Left, and the Right didn’t believe his Road to Damascus the White House conversion on the issue. You don’t show leadership by running away from the issues. As the article states:

    And here’s the big problem for Romney. When a candidate doesn’t seem to stand for anything, when he doesn’t seem to be motivated by big ideas or a cause, that invites voters to speculate about what really motivates him.

    By not speaking to social issues, Romney gave both his base and undecided voters reason to distrust him on them. In point, I wasnnever thirlled by Romneys positions or lack thereof. It was his selection of Paul Ryan as a running mate that had me enthusiastic.


  54. 54 | December 10, 2012 11:08 am

    @ Iron Fist:

    The only one that even gave lip service to the base was W, and, wonders cease, he won.

    He barely won and he did long term damage to the party because of his stances.


  55. 55 | December 10, 2012 11:11 am

    @ Iron Fist:

    Abortion is not a political winner. Sorry, that is the reality. In fact abortion issue has hurt the GOP’s image. Many single women are scared Republicans will make them carry rapist’s babies.


  56. Speranza
    56 | December 10, 2012 11:14 am

    Iron Fist wrote:

    Speranza wrote:
    Here’s how he reached out to the “base” — “You want four more years of Obama?”
    I’m not Obama is not good enough. That is a replay of Dole’s “I’m not Clinton” campaign, and it lost as well. You kleep saying that we’ve lost 5 out of the last 6 elections, but you don’t look at the candidates that we ran. The only one that even gave lip service to the base was W, and, wonders cease, he won.

    The base turned out this election, the problem is that the base is not as large as a lot of people here think it is. Btw nobody was beating Clinton in 1996.

    There was nothing wrong with Mitt Romney -- he had the qualifications to be POTUS, he was an upright man, and had a flawless character. If we had any chance of beating Obama this year it was with Romney (and he lost by 2.8% of the popular vote). Hey the base loved W.’s bullshit social con rhetoric yet he left office with such low public opinion approval ratings (and his father ws a one-termer). The Republican brand is soiled because of asswipes such as Akin, Mourdock (two shmucks who cannot answer intelligently a question about rape/incest/abortion) and that ditz from Delaware. When you have Rick Santorum jumping on the nation about the government restricting contraceptives — how do you think that is going to play with the public? That is unfair but it is as it is.


  57. 57 | December 10, 2012 11:15 am

    @ Speranza:

    Republicans lost because media propaganda and idiots like Santorum have made people afraid of them.


  58. Speranza
    58 | December 10, 2012 11:17 am

    Rodan wrote:

    @ Speranza:
    Republicans lost because media propaganda and idiots like Santorum have made people afraid of them.

    A lot of people I know (many of them upper class) also got spooked by Paul Ryan, In effect they bought into the Democratic propaganda machine.


  59. Speranza
    59 | December 10, 2012 11:19 am

    The only one that even gave lip service to the base was W, and, wonders cease, he won.

    Umm his father pushed the “culture wars” theme and he got beat by Clinton in 1992.


  60. 60 | December 10, 2012 11:21 am

    @ Speranza:

    Many Economic Conservatives went with Perot in 92 because of Poppy’s Murphy Brown crap. We are still feeling the effects of that election.


  61. 61 | December 10, 2012 11:23 am

    @ Speranza:

    Bill Clinton took less than 50% of the vote in 1996, so I don’t buy your “Nobody was beating Bill Clinton” line. Dole couldn’t beat Bill Clinton, but, like McCain, Dole didn’t really try to win. It is interesting that you say the Republican brand is soiled by two people who lost their Senate run, but the Democrat brand isn’t soiled by the traitorous Dick Durbin (D-al Qaeda) or Maxine Waters? Why is that possible? Simple, the Republicans aren’t playing to win. The Democrats are downright nasty all of the time, and the Republicans try to play the nice guy. Nice guys lose. Yes,m the Democrats have the media, but we need to simply take that as a given, and assume that any reporter is hostile. That means refusing to even give them the time of day.


  62. 62 | December 10, 2012 11:25 am

    @ Iron Fist:

    but the Democrat brand isn’t soiled by the traitorous Dick Durbin (D-al Qaeda) or Maxine Waters? Why is that possible?

    That is due to the Media-Entertainment Industrial Complex.

    The Democrats are downright nasty all of the time, and the Republicans try to play the nice guy. Nice guys lose.

    Yup, the only way to win is to be brutal with the Dems.


  63. 63 | December 10, 2012 11:28 am

    Rodan wrote:

    Many Economic Conservatives went with Perot in 92 because of Poppy’s Murphy Brown crap.

    I disagree with yuou on that. Two things cost George HW Bush the Presidency: his betrayal of his “NO New Taxes” plefdge and his executive order banning the importation of semi-automatic rifles. Gun control doesn’t sell, not just to the Republican base but to the country as a whole. Bush tried to placate the Manhatten crowd at the expense of the rest of the country. And his raising taxes was worse. That was a complete betrayal of the Republican base, and they left him in droves. Many of them went to PErot, but many went to Clinton as well. Remember, Clinton campaigned as a centerist, a “New Democrat”, not the Left-wing ideaologue that he governed as for his first two years of the Presidency. He wasn’t seen as as big a threat as Bush, who had just spend four years telling the base to piss off.


  64. 64 | December 10, 2012 11:29 am

    @ Iron Fist:

    And let’s not forget that candidacy of H. Ross Perot -- I think he drew more votes away from the GOP than he he did from the Dems.


  65. 65 | December 10, 2012 11:31 am

    @ Carolina Girl:

    There’s no question that he did. Remember, too, that Clinton never won 50% of the vote. He was 43% of the vote in 1992 and 48% (give or take) in 1996.


  66. 66 | December 10, 2012 11:35 am

    @ Iron Fist:

    I don’t think what you wrote and what I wrote contradict each other. By reneging his no new taxes pledge and his Progressive economic policies pissed off Economic Conservatives. Then went he decided to run in 92 on Family values and a culture war, Many economic Conservatives went to Perot.

    By banning the importation of automatic weapons, he pissed off the Pro Gun element of the Party. They broke and went for Perot or even Clinton.

    So what you and I wrote do not contradict.


  67. 67 | December 10, 2012 11:36 am

    @ Carolina Girl:

    My first Presidential vote in 96 was for Perot. Dole sucked and came across as a angry grouch.


  68. RIX
    68 | December 10, 2012 11:53 am

    I still contend that it was not our candidate that
    cost us the election.
    Neither Abe Lincoln or Reagan would have won.
    The voters have shifted & they now demand snake oil.


  69. 69 | December 10, 2012 11:57 am

    @ RIX:

    I think you are probably right. I don’ treally see any good path going forward, but if we’re going to go down I’d rather go down fighting.


  70. The Osprey
    70 | December 10, 2012 11:59 am

    Speranza wrote:

    Rodan wrote:

    @ Speranza:
    Republicans lost because media propaganda and idiots like Santorum have made people afraid of them.

    A lot of people I know (many of them upper class) also got spooked by Paul Ryan, In effect they bought into the Democratic propaganda machine.

    What “spooked” them about Ryan?


  71. The Osprey
    71 | December 10, 2012 12:02 pm

    Romney lost because he did not appeal to working class whites in the rust belt states.
    He didn’t get the Reagan democrat vote because of his reputation as an outsourcer.
    These people just stayed home.


  72. 72 | December 10, 2012 12:03 pm

    New Thread.


  73. Speranza
    73 | December 10, 2012 2:02 pm

    The Osprey wrote:

    Romney lost because he did not appeal to working class whites in the rust belt states.

    Correct.

    These people just stayed home.

    I don’t believe that.


  74. Speranza
    74 | December 10, 2012 2:03 pm

    The Osprey wrote:

    Speranza wrote:
    Rodan wrote:
    @ Speranza:
    Republicans lost because media propaganda and idiots like Santorum have made people afraid of them.
    A lot of people I know (many of them upper class) also got spooked by Paul Ryan, In effect they bought into the Democratic propaganda machine.

    What “spooked” them about Ryan?

    Entitlement reform. Recall the guy pushing the granny over the cliff in her wheel chair commercial.


  75. Speranza
    75 | December 10, 2012 2:04 pm

    RIX wrote:

    I still contend that it was not our candidate that
    cost us the election.
    Neither Abe Lincoln or Reagan would have won.
    The voters have shifted & they now demand snake oil.

    You are probably right about that.


  76. darkwords
    76 | December 10, 2012 3:19 pm

    Things were never wrong to me in Iraq. Except that Americans were dying there. But the longer we stayed there the more moderate the ME becomes. Illusions are dispelled. Future wars avoided.


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