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Best Foot Forward? ^ | November 16, 2012 | Mona Charen

Posted on 11/16/2012 7:00:13 AM PST by Kaslin

Our large cruise ship sailed within view of Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, as a gathering of conservatives sponsored by National Review magazine considered the wreckage of the 2012 election. Most of the writers and commentators on board agreed with Ralph Reed of the Faith and Freedom Coalition that the last thing conservatives need to do now is to form a "circular firing squad." But lessons must be learned.

Was Mitt Romney, as some suggested, "our best foot forward" -- a highly intelligent, photogenic, generous, public-spirited, articulate man of great integrity whose loss can only be chalked up to the poor judgment of 2012's voters? Or was he, as Midge Decter described him, "the sort of person you'd love to have as your next door neighbor," but who couldn't inspire political passion?

Certainly Romney lacked the common touch. Exit polls showed that voters gave him high marks for "leadership" and for having a vision for the future. Yet on the question "cares about the problems of people like me," he was crushed by 81 to 18. Even Republican-leaning voters were influenced. The secretly recorded "47 percent" video will likely go down in history as the most consequential tape since Watergate -- sealing as it did Romney's image (already unscrupulously distorted by the Obama team) as a cold elitist.

The Romney campaign, moreover, seemed dazed and deflated by the 47 percent episode, unable to recover and offer damage control. Romney might have responded, for example, with a speech emphasizing that in Obama's economy, dependence on Food Stamps and disability insurance had reached all-time highs, while good jobs with benefits were disappearing. Or he might have showcased actual Americans who got off welfare due to the business promotion of Bain Capital. Surely among the thousands of employees of Office Depot and Staples, some could be found who fit that profile.

Democrats, many in attendance on the NR cruise, noted bitterly, suffer no penalty for being wealthy. Teddy Kennedy, John Kerry, Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, and Obama himself, among many others, aren't penalized politically for being rich because they favor broadly redistributionist policies. There are two ironies here. First, the very rich, which includes all the previously named, along with Warren Buffett, who did so much to propagate the falsehood that "the rich" pay fewer taxes than their secretaries, can easily afford an increase in tax rates. But the definition of those who must, to satisfy Mr. Obama's sense of "fairness," surrender more of their incomes, includes everyone earning more than $200,000. For them, a tax increase can be personally painful, especially if they have children in college.

The deeper irony, however, was touched on by National Review's Jay Nordlinger, namely that the redistributionist policies so beloved of Democrats actually make the middle class poorer. The rich don't need better jobs, schools that actually teach and Social Security and Medicare that do not go bankrupt. The Kennedys of this world don't send their kids to the neighborhood school or look for work at the oil and gas company in town. The reforms so essential to the well-being of the broad middle-class in America were championed by Romney and Ryan. Obama stood firmly against reform and for a status quo that already has diminished the welfare of the poor and middle class and threatens to further immiserate the nation.

"Was Romney a throwback to another era?" one panelist asked. Too reticent and dignified for the emotionally exhibitionistic world we inhabit? It's possible, and no political party that fails to change with the times will survive. But Romney's reluctance to offer arguments instead of personal credentials ("I'm a business guy.") was probably more important.

Conservatives and Republicans do not object to tax increases because they favor the rich, but because they believe strongly that the government already spends way too much. The election has settled the issue, for now, in Obama's favor. Republicans who still hold national power in the House might want to consider one idea that will help their image and expose Obama's deception in a single blow -- agree to raise taxes only on the truly rich, those earning more than 5 million annually. That's a tax that will be shouldered almost entirely by Obama donors and supporters -- those insulated from the real economy.

TOPICS: Culture/Society; Editorial; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: 2012election; barackobama; campaign2012; economy; mittromney; redistribution; taxes

1 posted on 11/16/2012 7:00:18 AM PST by Kaslin
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To: Kaslin
I don't think there has ever been an election where the candidate mattered so little in the outcome.

1. The balance between those who believe government is the answer and those who think it is the problem has shifted heavily in favor of the pro government crowd.

2. There is no longer a difference between registered voter and likely voter. Computers and communication have created GOTV efforts that insure the party can target exactly where it needs to get out the vote and focus efforts there. Early voting and easy absentee voting makes it simple. In the battleground states, there is no longer the individual just to uninvolved to bother. The party does the work to register them and get their vote on record. This category of voter is so heavily Democrat it is tragic.

3. Voter fraud is rampant. Aided by easy absentee voting, electronic voting and electronic tabulation, computers model where and how to effectively alter the voting.

4. Systemic exlusion of the military, in violation of the law. Call for discipline of those involved.

In a traditional political sense, this was an election Romney couldn't lose. In a real world sense it was one he couldn't win.

There are only two ways for Republicans to get back in the game.

1. Identify groups that are pro government and why. The eliminate the why. An example is that Hispanics who are basically conservative vote pro government because the government is the only one that can make the illegals legal. Solve the immigration issue and gain 10% more of the Hispanic vote.

2. Go after voter fraud with a vengeance. There are voting precincts in Florida, Pennsylvania and Ohio that voted 100% Obama. Start there. Identify registered voters in those districts who would likely vote Romney. Start interviewing them. If any indication of foul play show up. get affidavits. Use computer modeling to identify any district where fraud was likely. Get the voter logs and start canvasing. Find the discrepancies. It's grunt work, but the grunts are the ones who fight and win wars.

2 posted on 11/16/2012 7:31:03 AM PST by CMAC51
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To: Kaslin

Let’s say a rich person is someone who has more money than he needs. There’s a reason for not taking the “money he doesn’t need” away from him, namely, because it’s the money he’s willing to put at risk to start or support a business. Taking away that money will take away our economy.

3 posted on 11/16/2012 9:25:58 AM PST by cymbeline
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To: Kaslin

Romney was the wrong candidate for the election. I think he would have made a fine President, and would have micromanaged our country to better days, but he wasn’t a good candidate, especially not in this match-up.

BTW, for all his flaws, I believe Rick Perry would have matched up much better against Obama than Romney. At least, it would have required Obama to take an entirely different tact, one that would have been less harmful to our down-ticket races.

Romney couldn’t fight Obamacare. Romney was really rich, so even when he DID talk about the middle class, it seems perfunctory. People didn’t see Romney as “one of us”, because the democrats have demonized really rich people for years. Romney had a “strange” religion, so he got no real gain there, except among a subclass of voters who would have voted for a republican in any case.

Perry would have won significantly more hispanic votes, because Obama painted Romney as the enemy of hispanics, and Perry’s record would have prevented that (it’s one of the things that made him so “unacceptable” to the conservatives here). Perry wasn’t a rich man, had less money than Obama in fact.

Perry also, while not nearly as “intelligent” speaking as Romney, did manage to speak more about conservative principles making america great, and about states rights, which was a major part of the Obamacare fight.

Romney had Bain capital for Obama to exploit to pretend Romney didn’t create jobs. Perry had nothing like that on him, only a record of job growth in his state.

Maybe Obama would have gotten all sorts of OTHER arguments to beat a Rick Perry. But they would have been more fun to fight about than having to defend Bain capital and rich people and a guy who was known to have changed all his positions to our side over the past 15 years.

I’m not saying Rick Perry was the best person to run. I did think that, of the people who actually CHOSE to run, he was our best shot at winning the election. Even though he was a disaster at a few debates, I think Romney proved that being really good at a debate isn’t much help, if your message doesn’t resonate.

4 posted on 11/16/2012 9:50:17 AM PST by CharlesWayneCT
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To: Kaslin
Was Mitt Romney, as some suggested, "our best foot forward" -- a highly intelligent, photogenic, generous, public-spirited, articulate man of great integrity whose loss can only be chalked up to the poor judgment of 2012's voters and massive vote fraud?

Slight correction.

5 posted on 11/16/2012 10:24:35 AM PST by JimRed (Excise the cancer before it kills us; feed &water the Tree of Liberty! TERM LIMITS, NOW & FOREVER!)
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To: JimRed

massive vote fraud?

It’s that ‘new normal’ thing, yaknow.

like GoP-e leaders who are ball-less wonders..

except on the golf course with O.

6 posted on 11/16/2012 11:50:20 AM PST by NormsRevenge (Semper Fi)
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