Well, the votes have been counted (if you want to call it that), and it appears that we will have another four years of destruction and despair courtesy of our commander in chief. The lamenting within the conservative movement and the GOP is ongoing, which isn't unexpected. Fingers are being pointed in every direction. The establishment is blaming the tea party, the liberal media is saying Republicans are too conservative to govern, some even suggest that the balance has tipped and those taking from the government now out-number those paying the taxes, but I suppose I have a different view of the landscape. Here is my summary of the debacle of the GOP in this year's presidential race.
What was missed by all the political elites in this election cycle is just how poorly Romney was playing within the conservative base of the Republican party. I am sure the talking-heads chalked up all those nasty speeches about Romney emanating from Gingrich as Santorum as pure political bluster. Could it actually be that those messages had a ring of truth to them? Was the GOP establishment ignoring the cries from the conservative base because they just wanted to continue to believe their own lies?
So what exactly was so bad about nominating Romney as the standard-bearer for the GOP? He was, after-all, a really nice guy. Romney had the cash, the organization, the GOP birthright by being the 'next in line'. He was well groomed, articulate, handsome. He had the business credentials that would appeal to the Wall street execs. He had a lovely family, a beautiful wife .. and honestly the Romneys looked just like those family portraits you see adorning the frames in the gift-shops. Well I am sure I'll incur the wrath of all establishment types and their minions, but I am not about to shut up now. If we don't learn from our mistakes, we are doomed to repeat them. Oh wait, I forget.. the GOP nominated McCain in '08. Perhaps Republicans will never learn.
Here are the top 5 reasons Mitt Romney was destined for failure as the GOP nominee:
Nobody trusts a serial flip-flopper
When a person changes positions on one or two issues, that is evolving. When they change positions on every core issue, sometimes in mid-sentence, that is called spineless. Romney was everything to everyone .. which means he was nothing to everyone. You have to have a set of core principles that guide you. If voters don't sense that, they don't trust you. Even with Obama's incessant lying, he still beat Romney on trust, because regardless of what actually happened during the last four years of the Obama administration, no one doubted that Obama deep down was an uber-liberal. I'm still not sure what's at Romney's core.
Nominating Mr. 1% plays into the liberal narrative
When the liberals talk day and night about how the Republican party is nothing but a bunch of uppity elite super-rich white men, it isn't exactly genius to nominate a man who fits that model exactly. Romney is very white, very rich, and very out of touch with the average Joe. He also was a great target for incessant ridicule online. The constant stream on Google + and twitter about how "Romney only cares about his rich friends" was repeated day and night for months. No matter how Romney might have felt in reality, his resume' provided all the liberals needed to keep that story front and center. Democrats did a good job making sure that was the message heard most often about Romney.
Isn't Mormonism a cult?
The fact that Mitt is a Mormon is a touchy subject. Even bringing up the topic is like throwing a grenade. Well, the election is over, and Mitt lost. I can't help but believe that there were Christians who were very uncomfortable voting for a person who is not a Christian. I know of few (actually none) of my Christian friends who believe Obama is Christian. But, at least Obama professes that he is one. I am not sure how these individuals who had an issue with Mitt's faith voted; perhaps they stayed home. Not having the enthusiastic support of evangelical Christians is a disaster for any GOP nominee. Evangelicals make up one of the largest block of campaign workers. Now, there were plenty of evangelicals working on Romney's campaign, for sure, but there are reports that up to 21% of evangelical Christians voted for Obama. One has to wonder how Mitt's faith played in the hearts and minds of Christian voters.
Nobody wants to drink a beer with Romney .. er coffee... er ..?
Romney isn't a pal. He comes across as very sophisticated and 'proper' .. but that means he comes across as stuffy and unapproachable by the average voter. The sad truth is, few voters actually vote for leaders based on issues, they choose who they like and trust. The race for the presidency is the biggest popularity contest of them all. If you don't look good, sound good, and seem like a person who is 'fun' to be around, there is a large block of voters who will never vote for you regardless of your stand on the issues. We live in an 'American Idol' culture where everything is based on who is likable.. not who is most talented. We have to face it, the only way a Republican is ever going to win, is if they are liked by people who have no knowledge or interest in politics. Hmm, I wonder if Tim Tebow is interested in running?
Ignoring the Tea-Party is really NOT so smart
The final nail in the coffin was dissing the tea-party. Sarah Palin was not invited to speak at the GOP convention in Tampa. Some say.. "well, there were other tea-party types speaking so the GOP embraced the teaparty in Tampa", well.. I say hogwash. There is little doubt the elites inside the GOP have great disdain for the teaparty. They continue to blame Sarah Palin for the loss in 2008. They believe (wrongly) that the teaparty is dragging down the GOP. What about 2010? Did they forget how the teaparty brought in new faces and brought the GOP back into power in the House of Representatives? The teaparty increased the GOP margin in the Senate? And this is how the GOP thanks them? ..being dismissed, dissed, disrespected? The teaparty was railroaded at every turn by the GOP establishment during the nomination process to get the 'anointed' Romney into position while continuously ridiculing those candidates who would challenge him. Did the GOP party bosses honestly believe these people who had been treated so poorly would turn around and campaign for their candidate? Sadly, many did, and, in my estimation, some of those people lost a lot of the passion that once made the teaparty movement so powerful. But, many more decided to reluctantly go along, or just stay out of the Romney campaign altogether (I was in the latter group). If the elites think they can win without us, then by all means, they should be given the opportunity to try. I guess we see how well that worked out. The teaparty is all that is left of Reagan's conservative coalition. If the GOP succeeds in stamping out the movement, it will be the end of the GOP. The elite succeeded on one front. They have definitely soured much of the teaparty on the GOP.
This election is over. I am sure the pundits will be talking about this race for many years to come. Calls to 'moderate' and be more 'reasonable' will be the talking points to the GOP inside the beltway. Hopefully someone with good sense can break through the elite narrative to knock some sense into these people before we lose the whole country. Perhaps it is already lost.