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The Conservativesí Obama Delusion
Commentary Magazine ^ | 11.07.2012 | Jonathan S. Tobin

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 president’s 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 Romney’s moderation (likely to be the right wing’s 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); Romney’s inability to run against ObamaCare; the GOP standard bearer’s 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 president’s 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 Obama’s 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 campaign’s 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. That’s 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 won’t 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 (he’s 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 president’s political strengths. That’s a terrible indictment of their political acumen, but it won’t affect their chances in four years when Obama is no longer on the ballot.

TOPICS: Politics
KEYWORDS: vote2012
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To: Little Pig

Re: “Several million Republican voters disappeared.”

Saw an interesting appraisal on that.

The thinking is that virtually the entire GOP campaign was run in just 10 or 12 states.

For instance, here in Washington state I didn’t see one Romney ad after the primaries.

The best way to check this?

Compare 2008 GOP turnout in swing states to 2012 turnout.

If it’s the same or higher for Romney, then we know that turnout collapsed in solidly Red states, perhaps because no one was campaigning there.

If anyone can link me to a database on this, it would save a lot of time.


41 posted on 11/08/2012 1:08:41 AM PST by zeestephen
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To: zeestephen
“Several million Republican voters disappeared.”

It's really that simple. "Conservatives" did not vote. I was one who had stated previously I would NEVER vote for another rino again, but changed my mind to try to save us from the inevitable destruction surely to come from another 4 years of Obama. Others obviously stuck to their principles.

There is no question now nationally RINOS are LOSERS! The Milquetoast RNC/GOP have they should.

42 posted on 11/08/2012 3:41:15 AM PST by sirchtruth (Freedom is not free.)
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To: Kevmo

Good analysis going forward, but something about the tallies is very suspicious. How did Romney lose every close one in the Swing States?

43 posted on 11/08/2012 4:18:40 AM PST by 1010RD (First, Do No Harm)
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To: zeestephen
“The thinking is that virtually the entire GOP campaign was run in just 10 or 12 states.”

I read one analysis yesterday, forget from whom that gave this as one of the major screw ups of the Romney team was that they allowed Obie and his minions to incessantly run negative ads all through the early campaign without countering, saving their ad buys for the final two weeks. Problem is, they had to pay 10 times as much for the ads they did run, and had already allowed the DemonRATs to poison the little minds of the voters with the rich white guy don't care about us mantra.
Second nail in the coffin was allowing the lefties to get away with the “war on women” bs. While I'm certainly appalled at how far down the road to hell the DemonRATs have gone, dancing vagina's and embracing deviants and all,
it was devastatingly painful to watch candidates twist while defending being pro life. It allowed Obama to shift the story off his dismal record.
Finally, the point was made that embracing Paul Ryans budget plan allowed Obie to poison the old folks with the tired old “Romney's gonna take away your benefits” routine, which is guaranteed to work every time it's used.
We do have a problem with an electorate that is more takers than givers. We have an electorate that has a larger percentage of low information / intelligence that are unwilling or unable to understand the depth of the short and long term catastrophe that the politicians have brewed for all of us. And we have allowed the MSM and RINO’s to demonize and dismiss the very folks that tried to restore some sanity to the process, i.e. conservatives in general and the tea party specifically.
We have lots of work to do.

44 posted on 11/08/2012 5:01:20 AM PST by bitterohiogunclinger (Proudly casting a heavy carbon footprint as I clean my guns ---)
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To: RichInOC

It also gets you an advocate media. That’s worth far more than one latte at Starbucks. It’s worth a presidency. Just ask Mitt Romney. If we had run our own historical candidate, a woman, we’d have won.

45 posted on 11/08/2012 6:15:11 AM PST by Kevmo ("A person's a person, no matter how small" ~Horton Hears a Who)
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To: annieokie
2M vowed to vote for Jesus. BECAUSE they did not want either Satan

We could have a hundred years of bad economy, but that pales in comparison to some eternal miseries.

46 posted on 11/09/2012 12:27:12 PM PST by Smokin' Joe (How often God must weep at humans' folly. Stand fast. God knows what He is doing)
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To: Kevmo

As is typical after a disappointing loss, there is finger-pointing galore, and I’ve been as guilty of it as others. But that fact is, there is a large “cult” following for Obama — for whatever reason, because I just don’t “get” it — and that it’s unlikely that whoever runs on that side of the ticket is going to have the same cult status.

There’s still the blatantly partisan media, of course, but it’s not a given that the next ‘rat nominee will be able to match Obama’s turnout.

But there’s also no guarantee that (s)he won’t, either.

47 posted on 11/09/2012 12:31:19 PM PST by kevkrom (If a wise man has an argument with a foolish man, the fool only rages or laughs...)
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To: Kevmo

All the votes haven’t been counted yet. Expect Romney to surpass McCain by the final count. Obama will still be down about 10% of his 2008 total. He was so beatable, and we missed, for reasons that will be debated for ages.

48 posted on 11/09/2012 12:33:19 PM PST by kevkrom (If a wise man has an argument with a foolish man, the fool only rages or laughs...)
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To: Smokin' Joe
We could have a hundred years of bad economy, but that pales in comparison to some eternal miseries."""""....

Very good point, let em stew on that for awhile, and see if their PRINCIPLES work well in that STEW. Let em eat Rock Soup...........

Again I say some Christians are "SO Heavenly Minded they are of NO Earthly Good"......, but boy do they STICK TO THEIR Principles, ain't that just precious?

Those people will pass up 3 boats who come by to get them off their roof in a flood. "NO, they say, God's gonna save me."......They drown......face GOD and ask HIM WHY HE DIDNT SAVE THEM.........GOD says "I sent you 3 boats".

Idiots and they breed. But hey, they stuck to their Principles, uh hmmmmmmmm.

49 posted on 11/09/2012 1:31:06 PM PST by annieokie
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