It has become increasingly clear that the republicans - on all places of the political right spectrum - are engaging in a massive circular firing squad. They blame the pollsters, they blame the media, they blame Sandy and Governor Christie and, of course they blame their candidate, Mitt Romney. Some are even intelligent enough to recognize that their platform had some planks that were, in a word, disastrous. They also blame "weak candidates" (that their base selected in a primary) for their losses in the senate. Blame is becoming the foundation of today's GOP.
However, in all of their assignment of blame, they miss, IMHO, the one single factor that contributed to their loss - Fox News. Roger Ailes has managed to create the perfect storm for the republican party and, as is usually the case, the plutocrats that actually own the asset (Murdoch and family) are the ones that benefit while the consumers of their tripe suffer.
Let me explain my reasoning.
To begin with there is the much talked about "bubble" that Bill Maher so effectively skewered every Friday night. That bubble incorporated not only the blovators and republican policy makers, but also the republican base. The bubble is in effect the information that the base gets and the source of that information is none other then Fox. By encapsulating them so effectively in this bubble, they - the base- were/are effectively isolated from the real world and news of that world. Of course, the real world news IS delivered by the so-called and rightwing lampooned, lame stream media and we all know how the "base" feels about them!
Secondly, since so much of the base is made up of the religious right, they got a significant amount of their input from their religious leaders who overemphasized the social, issues to the detriment of what the real world issues were in the election, as proven by the exit polls. This emphasis, pitching Obama against the Christian world, seriously underestimated the backlash from a voting public that recognizes there is, and should be, a clear separation of church and state. This was all force fed to them by Fox and other rightwing pundits such as Coulter, Savage, etc and of course the biggest of them all - in girth, ego and megalomania Rush Limbaugh. The bottom line is that, to quote Joe Biden, they got handed a lot of malarkey. Interestingly, at the same time, they, especially Fox, underestimated the positive power of the church, especially in minority communities, to GOTV based on issues of equality, opportunity and basic civil rights; all, of which were threatened by the GOP platform and multifarious candidates around the country. I would bet that there are not a lot of Africian-American, Hispanic, Asian or millennial generation viewers of Fox.
Thirdly, lying became an essential part of this campaign and fact-checking was positioned by the Romney camp and right wing media as some liberal plot to confuse voters. No one excelled at spreading this canard like Fox News or actually practicing it. Journalistic integrity is an oxymoron for Ailes and his staff. Thus, Fox significantly worked to reinforce the lies told by candidates, as well as spreading lies of their own. This concerted effort by Fox included both policy lies and lies that attacked the character of Obama. Their goal was, as we know, to not only discredit him and all he stood for, but to also minimize him, degrade him and debase him anyway they could. This was clearly demonstrated by the way Fox interviewers handled the limited (rightly) access they got. Their disrespect for the office of president, because it was/is held by a black man, was to me, beyond the pale and something they never would have done if Obama was white. Fox News policy was, as evident, to pursue this course of action when dealing with the President. If it had been anything other then policy, then the interviewers would have paid a price for their flagrant disrespect of the man and office. At the end of the day this was done because it was what the republican - Fox viewers - expected, no craved, and Fox gave it to them, reinforcing the strength and impenetrability of the bubble. Sparing Fox viewers, once again, real world information, while at the same propagating, distributing and reinforcing racial dog whistles.
My point is that the real problem that republicans are going to have in reconstructing their party, and attracting new people to their base is Fox News - because there is no news there, only propaganda - and the republicans can never have an educated, informed base if all they have is Fox News.
If the key ingredient in the makeup of a democracy is an informed, educated voter. with Fox News as the primary, if not only source, of information for republicans, the GOP is doomed to extinction. Hopefully the republic will withstand, and survive, a huge segment of the population that is so grossly misinformed and mislead.