Skip to comments.The Conservativesí Obama Delusion
Posted on 11/07/2012 10:00:33 PM PST by Kevmo
The Conservatives Obama Delusion
Jonathan S. Tobin | @tobincommentary 11.07.2012 - 1:05 AM For most of the last two years, if not the last four, many conservatives and Republicans assumed that Barack Obama could not be re-elected. A poor economy, an unpopular liberal agenda shoved down the throat of the country, and a largely uninspiring presidential leadership style combined to create a widespread belief on the right that the 2012 election would be a layup for them. We now know what some of us suspected for a long time: Republicans drastically underestimated the presidents appeal as a historic figure.
The postmortem on the Republican failure to defeat the president will go on until 2016, but the finger pointing within the party will largely miss the point. Their big problem was not Romneys moderation (likely to be the right wings favorite theory); the influence of the Tea Party (the standard liberal interpretation); the failure to do outreach to Hispanics (though they need to address this problem); Romneys inability to run against ObamaCare; the GOP standard bearers decision not to talk more about himself and letting the Democrats define him; the decision not to hammer Obama more over the Benghazi fiasco or even Hurricane Sandy.
The main obstacle to a Republican victory was that they were seeking to defeat the first African-American president aided by a supportive mainstream media, buttressed by the power of incumbency and what turned out to be a tremendously efficient campaign organization. Contrary to the delusion that Obama was a loser waiting to be knocked off, beating him was always going to be a long shot. Though the GOP will spend much of the coming weeks, months and years beating each other up as they assign blame for the defeat, the fact is, Romney did well to come as close as he did. Rather than wonder about what Republicans could have done better, conservative analysts would do better to look at the presidents strengths.
Most conservatives were prepared to acknowledge that the majority of Americans were still pleased with the idea of righting some historic wrongs by electing an African-American in 2008. But they failed to understand that even though Obamas administration was not widely viewed as a great success, at least half of the country was not prepared to toss him out of office after only one term.
As an incumbent, Obama was able to claim credit for things for which he did not deserve many plaudits, like the killing of Osama bin Laden or even the response to the hurricane in the last days before the election. He also could count on the unfailing support of much of the media even when he was embarrassed by events, such as in Libya.
These were strengths that many Republicans continually discounted or disregarded entirely.
The close nature of the loss at a time when the national economy is still stagnant will naturally cause many on the right to speculate on what Romney and his campaign could have done differently. They will be right when they point out he should have fought back immediately against the slurs against his character that were the focus of much of the Obama campaigns early efforts. Maybe a perfect GOP effort could have gotten that extra one percent of the vote that would have turned a few close states and elected Romney. Thats something that will torment conservatives as ObamaCare is implemented and Obama continues to govern from the left.
But even his sternest critics must admit Romney ran quite a creditable campaign and was able to use the debates to make the race closer and even take a lead in some polls in the last month. They must also acknowledge that the conservative assumption that the electorate in 2012 would be very different than it was in 2008 was wrong.
The good news for the GOP is that contrary to those who will predict that there is a permanent Democratic majority, the circumstances of 2012 wont be repeated in four years. Obama will be gone in 2016 and anyone who thinks that Joe Biden, Andrew Cuomo or even Hillary Clinton will have an easy time against the deep Republican bench that is ready to run next time misunderstands the nature of American politics.
The bottom line is that Barack Obama won the 2012 election far more than the Republicans lost it. Obama may be a remarkably unsuccessful president (hes the first to win re-election by a smaller margin) but he was never the patsy most conservatives imagined. Conservatives spent the last two years since their 2010 midterm victory operating under a serious delusion about the presidents political strengths. Thats a terrible indictment of their political acumen, but it wont affect their chances in four years when Obama is no longer on the ballot.
Here is where they went, 2,186,986 strong and vowed to not vote for Mitt, so they had rather have Satan. Here are the numbers you are looking for.
Well, forming a PAC sounds like a good idea. I agree with you that the MSM has slipped the bounds of bias and has gone straight into outright advocacy.
I do not understand why there aren’t some rich dude conservatives who see this as a huge opportunity. Warren Buffett already saw it as an opportunity & bought up a bunch of media outlets & newspapers and will prop them up for liberalism. With so many failing newspapers, a conservative could pick them up for pennies on the dollar and have his own conservative network. There’s a ready made market for it.
This still doesn’t explain how Romney got 2 million fewer votes than McCain did in ‘08.
That’s what is really puzzling to me.
it is a good idea to buy more media outlets. But in the meantme, it must be scorched earth war against the liberal media. Their personal lives, their families personal lives, their friends personal lives, everything and anything must be exposed with these people. They must be subjected to the same horrid treatment that they give all our voters and candidates.
It wasn’t just 2M, it was 6M votes he lost.
Looks like a whole lot of voters stayed home.
So, Romney got 6M votes LESS than McLame did, in a poor economy. Was McLame was a better candidate? No Freepin’ Way. Palin was the one who propped up McLame. If she were the candidate she wouldnt have had a gender gap & would have sent the bass turd packing.
This election was about turning out the base. Bronc0bama turned out his; Romney didnt. What exactly was Romneys base, since he was never a conservative? He was trying to steal independents, middle-of-the-road liberals, stupid people, etc. from 0bama. He was trying to be a big tent republican. From my home page:
Im a big tent republican.
Heres an analogy to work with. Take a small box and fill it with some rocks. Then add some rice, filling it to the top. Now take all the same stuff, but in a different order. Put in the rice first, then add the rocks. What youll find is that if you put in the big stuff first, the small stuff will fit around it. But if you put in the small stuff first, the big stuff wont have room. The republican tent is the box. The Big issues are the socon issues, to be put in first. The little issues are things that can be accommodated around the bigger stuff. A candidate who tries to focus on the smaller issues first and leave out the bigger issues has no way of getting all of us into the tent. He splits the party. The candidate who gets the big stuff right and as much of the little stuff that will fit, he can fit more into the tent. Were often amazed at how much rice can keep fitting in. Folks such as Rudy or Romney flunk some of the big issues, and on some of the little issues it looks to me like anyone elses rice would do just as well. All that remains for us to agree on is which are the bedrock principles and which are not. Why would there be so much invective aimed at rudy or romney from the right? Because there are some bedrock principles that he is leaving out. Bad move. I see rudybot and romneybot postings all the time saying that they would vote for Hunter or Palin, and I see socon postings that say they would not vote for rudy or romney. Thats a BIG indicator of a few bedrock principles that are being left outside the tent in order to let in some rice.
“The only politician like that today is Palin. She drives the media into a frenzy, generating her own free press and accessing middle americans who see her as one of themselves, so whats the problem?”
Palin is only Fox News.
The MSM goes way beyond the news. Watch a typical TV show and they’ll throw in a subtle dig against republicans. They turned Palin into a joke. Again, I’m talking about regular TV shows and not news.
“Here is where they went, 2,186,986 strong and vowed to not vote for Mitt, so they had rather have Satan. Here are the numbers you are looking for.”
I guess they can pay for Sandra Fluke’s abortions.
Again, Im talking about regular TV shows and not news.
***I know. The only way to combat that is with your own media outlets. Rush Limbaugh regularly lambastes those kind of blatant digs, but he’s just one man. Rich socon dudes need to step up.
Wow, this is the first time I have read this old and tired shibboleth. Do you have any proof or are you just one of those "stabbed in the back" wing-nuts?
If you continue to use this as an excuse for not assessing what went wrong and making the necessary adjustments, you better get used to losing.
Hey Kevmo, I just googled it; latest popular vote for Romney is 57,468,000.
But, gotta give it to them, "THEY VOTED THEIR VALUES", and nothing was going to stop them from making their point, yep atta way to go for sure, voted their principles down the drain.
Strong wrong minded people/s
2M vowed to vote for Jesus. BECAUSE they did not want either Satan. Check it out, there is your answer. Insanity? Yes, but they "voted their values, but voted their principles down the drain"
Ok, I just pulled the numbers from Townhall.com for 2012
If Jesus got that many votes this election, maybe He can qualify for federal matching funds ;-)
Hitler was an historic figure. Stalin was an historic figure. Why should Obama be any less?
Speaking of Hitler, I was sure bumbed out last night when Ohio’s results came in. I was so looking forward to a “Hitler finds out he lost the election” video.
Having an historic president and five bucks will get you a latte at Starbucks.
Trying to find a candidate or person who fits their paradigm is impossible. There is NO Republican who can survive within their world. They must be destroyed, killed, pulverized by any and all means necessary. They have betrayed this country. I am really considering forming a PAC that does nothing but advertise against the MSM and is in permanent campaign mode. Kill the media and the democrats lose 5% of the vote, easily.
Post of the day! Probably quite a bit more than 5 percent. The entire "Republican war on women" was made up of whole cloth. The Obama campaign was all lies and deception, and the MSM aided and strengthened it.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.