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Say what you want about Mitt Romney, but at least he was smart enough to try to move to the left
Like clockwork:
Evangelical leaders and conservative activists have a simple message for establishment Republicans about Mitt Romney’s failed presidential bid: We told you so.

After nearly two weeks of listening to GOP officials pledge to assert greater control over the party and its most strident voices in the wake of Romney’s loss, grass-roots activists have begun to fight back, saying that they are not to blame for the party’s losses in November.

“The moderates have had their candidate in 2008 and they had their candidate in 2012. And they got crushed in both elections. Now they tell us we have to keep moderating. If we do that, will we win?” said Bob Vander Plaats, president of the Family Leader. Vander Plaats is an influential Christian conservative who opposed Romney in the Iowa caucuses 10 months ago and opposed Sen. John McCain’s candidacy four years ago.

Actually, this is nonsense. Mitt Romney lost because he failed to win enough voters outside of the GOP's base coalition—not because he failed to energize the GOP base. For example, in 2008, John McCain won white evangelicals by a 50-point margin. In 2012, Romney won those voters by a 57-point margin—a seven-point gain. (As a share of the total vote, white evangelicals were 26 percent in both years.)

Contrast Romney's seven-point gain in support among white evangelicals with his much smaller gain in support among everyone else: In 2008, President Obama won those voters by 26 points. In 2012, he won them by 23 points. Romney gained, but not by enough. The GOP's base wasn't enough to deliver victory.

Nonetheless, many Republicans have convinced themselves that their ideas and positions would have triumphed if they had only been given a chance. For example:

Ted Cruz, a tea party favorite, trounced Texas’s establishment candidate in a primary on his way to becoming the second Hispanic Republican in the Senate, and the battle he waged in the Lone Star State epitomizes the fight between the two sides. Although he is considered a rising star with a personal biography that GOP leaders wish to promote, Cruz falls squarely in the camp that thinks Romney was not conservative enough and did not fully articulate a conservative contrast to President Obama, except during the first presidential debate.

“It was the one time we actually contested ideas, presented two viewpoints and directions for the country,” he said at the Federalist Society’s annual dinner in Washington. “And then, inevitably, there are these mandarins of politics, who give the voice: ‘Don’t show any contrasts. Don’t rock the boat.’ So by the third debate, I’m pretty certain Mitt Romney actually French-kissed Barack Obama.”

I don't know what debates he was watching, but in the debates that I saw, Mitt Romney did everything he could to Etch A Sketch his way into the middle. The biggest difference is that in the first debate, President Obama didn't push back on Romney's effort to reinvent himself. As a result, Romney started gaining in the polls. But by the second debate, the Romnesia pushback was in full swing, and Romney wilted because he couldn't credibly distance himself from the conservative baggage he'd picked up during the primary. His short-lived polling surge had ended—and the reason is that his Etch A Sketch ultimately couldn't erase the image of Severely Conservative Mitt.

And let's not forget, the biggest moment in the second debate was when Romney stumbled over Benghazi—an attack straight from the conservative playbook. It may sound like a great attack inside the right-wing bubble, but confronted with reality, it blew up in Romney's face.

If being more conservative would have won the race for Mitt Romney, he would have been winning the race during the primary season. But the one time that he appeared to potentially have a shot of making this a competitive campaign was when he veered to the left. So the real lesson here for Republicans is that they should look to Democrats—not conservatives—for how to appeal to more Americans, at least when it comes to presidential elections. After all, it's been Democrats—not conservatives—who have won more votes in five out of the last six presidential elections.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Dorks (33+ / 0-)

    It's so nonsensical just on the most basic of levels -- if people wanted a more conservative politician, then why did Obama do so well?

  •  I so want this to become the brawl to end (24+ / 0-)

    all brawls ... Nothing could be sweeter than three years of "GOPers in Disarray" punditizing.

    Does that make me a bad person?

    •  No, it just means (14+ / 0-)

      you enjoy watching a train wreck where no actual blood is likely to be spilled.  So do I.

      Really, that argument has always been there.  The tension that was below the surface is simply turning into an open war of ideology.  

      Wars like that tend to involve cries of "heretic!" and (in this case) figurative burning at the stake.  That tends to lead to schism and a reduction in the power bloc of the total group.

      The handwriting's been on the wall since the Reagan era and I'm very surprised this coalition held together that long.  Maybe they needed a lightning rod like a black and very well-liked President to do it.

      If so, that's one more reason to honor President Obama.

      (-6.25, -6.77) Moderate left, moderate libertarian

      by Lonely Liberal in PA on Tue Nov 20, 2012 at 09:56:05 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Boy are you correct. (9+ / 0-)

        I. too, have been astounded that the rightwing idiot-logues have survived as long as they have, but they have always seemed to find politicians to appeal to their greediness just when they need them.

        Don't count them out yet, though.  Remember Rasputin.  They poisoned him, stabbed him, shot him and finally had to drown him to get him to die.  The Republican Party shows every sign of being another such zombie.

        "I can't play the game no more, I can't abide
        By their stupid rules which get me sick inside." —Bob Dylan

        by Pragmatus on Tue Nov 20, 2012 at 10:09:16 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  The idiot-logues you refer to (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Justin93

          couldn't organize themselves and survive on their own without the money funneled to their organizations and foundations by the wealthy GOP donors, e.g., the Koch Brothers underwriting the teapartiers' activities and the evengelical churches subsidizing their religious messaging.

          The "severely conservatives" could be shown their political irrelevance a lot sooner if their moneymen cut them off and they decided to form their own political party.

          "In this world of sin and sorrow there is always something to be thankful for; as for me, I rejoice that I am not a Republican." - H. L. Mencken

          by SueDe on Tue Nov 20, 2012 at 10:30:07 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  Blood in the gutter and me without my spoon (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      chrississippi

      One of my mom's favorite sayings when I was growing up.  I sprung it on my kids the other day and they cracked up.  They are used to "grandma had a saying for that", because my mom had a saying for everything!!

      If you took the greed out of Wall Street all you’d have left is pavement ~Robert Reich

      by k8dd8d on Tue Nov 20, 2012 at 10:24:42 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Romney lost because he was flawed and (6+ / 0-)

    Pres. Obama had a record and a vision he ran on

    "Rick Perry talks a lot and he's not very bright. And that's a combination I like in Republicans." --- James Carville

    by LaurenMonica on Tue Nov 20, 2012 at 09:52:43 AM PST

  •  So which wingnuts do we send the flowers to (3+ / 0-)

    for Obama's re-election?

    Face it, if the sham of "Moderate Mitt" had been allowed to get thru the Republican primaries he might've won the election. By forcing Mitt to reveal how heartless and spineless he was the right did us, and the world, a huge service. That they're already lining up to do it again in 2016 is another blessing. But I'll wait to celebrate that in 4 years. Wouldn't want to overdo it you know.

    To me progress is not so much a goal as it is a process and I believe it will not follow a straight course. Remember, the drops of water that form the river may not take the shortest path but they will still reach the ocean.

    by ontheleftcoast on Tue Nov 20, 2012 at 09:53:16 AM PST

    •  My liver can't take any more (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ontheleftcoast

      celebration this year.  It'll be water and perhaps a nice bit of fruit juice for Thanksgiving with dinner.

      (-6.25, -6.77) Moderate left, moderate libertarian

      by Lonely Liberal in PA on Tue Nov 20, 2012 at 09:57:29 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  moderate Mitt (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JeffW

      for all the far right wingers moderate Mitt would have lost, I think he would have gained far more moderate Republicans (and disenchanted Democratic) voters.

      How many people voted for Obama (or perhaps didn't vote at all) because they just couldn't bring themselves to vote for "pandering, all over the map Mitt"?

  •  it is very satisfying (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    FiredUpInCA, JeffW, k8dd8d


    to see the GOP groping around arguing with itself over whether it should moderate or go more extreme.  If we are lucky they will still be having this ideological war in two years when the Tea Party is all but extinct.

    "Kossacks are held to a higher standard. Like Hebrew National hot dogs." - blueaardvark

    by louisev on Tue Nov 20, 2012 at 09:54:01 AM PST

  •  I can only hope/dream (7+ / 0-)

    that the Republicans are on the verge of self-destructing along these lines--that may be the only way we can get back to where we were before 1981. It is so much fun hearing the "conservatism cannot fail, it can only be failed" approach each time something goes wrong on the right. I wonder what will happen when they finally get the candidate they want running?

    "Lone catch of the moon, the roots of the sigh of an idea there will be the outcome may be why?"--from a spam diary entitled "The Vast World."

    by bryduck on Tue Nov 20, 2012 at 09:54:44 AM PST

  •  Shhhh!! (15+ / 0-)

    Don't give them any advice!  I am sure these religious groups are correct, so let them pick the most extreme and conservative candidates for the next few election.  We should be happy to oblige them with that. A few more Akins and Mourdocks please!

    "When a nation goes down, or a society perishes, one condition may always be found; they forgot where they came from. They lost sight of what had brought them along." --Carl Sandburg

    by Mote Dai on Tue Nov 20, 2012 at 09:55:22 AM PST

  •  By all means nominate an even more right-winger (6+ / 0-)

    that will be even easier to beat than Romney. Maybe West or Bachmann. Bring them on.

  •  The quote (10+ / 0-)

    "I’m pretty certain Mitt Romney actually French-kissed Barack Obama.”

    Boy, those guys are ALWAYS fantasizing about man-on-man action, aren't they?

    America, we can do better than this...

    by Randomfactor on Tue Nov 20, 2012 at 09:56:43 AM PST

  •  SSHHHHH! Don't go *telling* them this! (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    demongo, geejay, TKO333, JeffW

    I'm not all that interested in a moderate Republican winning the presidency in 2016!

  •  "The Moderates" in 2008 and 2012 (7+ / 0-)

    ...won the nomination because "The Batshit Crazies" couldn't agree on a single person to carry "The Batshit Crazy" mantle.

    Too Folk For You. - Schmidting in the Punch Bowl - verb - Committing an unexpected and underhanded political act intended to "spoil the party."

    by TooFolkGR on Tue Nov 20, 2012 at 09:58:08 AM PST

  •  Keep going right GOP...you will see the real cliff (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    demongo, JeffW

    Romney and the current GOP went more right than McCain and the 2008 GOP with the result that...the GOP lost ground, no matter how they want to spin this election!

    Want to veer yet more to the right? Hey, suit yourselves...cause you guys will need to take the public tour to see the interior of the White House for years to come!

  •  A demoralized bunch, them cons (7+ / 0-)

    Here's from a Freeper:

    I switched to Independent several years ago because the Republicans weren’t doing their job. Now it has become even more apparent that, for the most part, the Republicans are just Democrat-lite. They have had so many opportunities to DO something, to upset the apple cart, but they have done nothing. They just sit back and ALLOW the Dems to destroy our country at every turn. I’ve had it! Unless Sarah and Allen West start their own REAL conservative party, I’m not putting my time or money into any further elections. And what is the point of voting if the Dems steal the elections and the Republicans turn their heads and pretend it didn’t happen? What happened to the Tea Party? Didn’t hear much from them this election either! I’m just so discouraged and feel so impotent and hopeless.

    Evolution IS Intelligent Design!

    by msirt on Tue Nov 20, 2012 at 09:58:32 AM PST

  •  Conservatives, birthers, baggers, bigfoot hunters (7+ / 0-)

    are simply too delusional to take part in adult conversations anymore.

    Their phone is off the hook.

    They are - really, truly, seriously, I'm not just being foul - amazingly stupid.

    Stupid, specifically, in that they think they know better than anybody else, they get their asses handed to them and they STILL babble about the same stupid shit.

    No conservative idea is worth the time wasted discussing it.

    I am afraid I must demand all the nutbags shut the fuck up.

    There's no  more time to waste on their stupid shit.

    The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the inequities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men.

    by xxdr zombiexx on Tue Nov 20, 2012 at 09:58:39 AM PST

  •  Good! (0+ / 0-)

    Keep moving to the right. See what happens. Run on a platform of granting 14th amendment rights to fetuses, forcing rape victims to have their God given rape child, supply side economic theory, the glory of unilateral war.
    It makes great TV.

  •  This never gets old (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ontheleftcoast

    "It is never too late to be what you might have been." -- George Eliot

    by paulitics on Tue Nov 20, 2012 at 10:01:39 AM PST

  •  I sincerely hope they nominate Santorum (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    msirt, skod, demongo, TKO333, JeffW

    or someone like him in 2016.  Go on, fellas!

    •  Bring on the froth! (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      TKO333, JeffW

      (actually, don't think I can stomach any more of that)

      Evolution IS Intelligent Design!

      by msirt on Tue Nov 20, 2012 at 10:09:34 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Please proceed... n/t (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JeffW

      Join Soulforce-seeking Justice for God's GLBT children.

      by its simple IF you ignore the complexity on Tue Nov 20, 2012 at 10:16:59 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  You know. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Orcas George

      I understand the sentiment but I will not root for the worst of all options.  I'd rather face a GOP candidate that has a legitimate chance of winning and who I would not agree with nor like than one that would only get elected by some twist of fate or fluke or what have you.  

      GWB was a horrendous candidate.  Some were eager to have Gore face him.  Gore beat him yet Bush became President - twice.  

      For me I would rather have a President who is the least worst option over even a scintilla of a chance that a Santorum would get in.

      "You have attributed conditions to villainy that simply result from stupidity"

      by newfie on Tue Nov 20, 2012 at 10:31:26 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yes, I am torn as well (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        newfie

        I would rather a choice between two candidates rather than between "life goes on" and "doom" -- but I don't trust anybody who puts an (R) after their name at this point.    Not that all Republicans are bad -- far from it -- but running as one means that you are endorsing all of the crazy stuff that the party has been for the last few years.

        If a genuiunely nice competent person decided to run on a Nazi or white supremacist ticket than their mere choice of party should disqalify them from consideration by any reasonable person.    The Republican brand is headed down that road to political irrelavance since they do not dare to stand up against the really extreme elements of their party.    

    •  no, really, let's not go there (0+ / 0-)

      something goes wrong and we could have him as president?  It's not worth the risk to put someone so obviously batshit crazy that close to winning.

      that's what scared me sooooo much about Palin.

      Let's hope they nominate another flawed candidate, yes, but not someone where their batshit craziness gets false equivalency throughout the media.  That kind of doctrine does not deserve our national attention.

      We need serious people, really, really smart people.

      If you took the greed out of Wall Street all you’d have left is pavement ~Robert Reich

      by k8dd8d on Tue Nov 20, 2012 at 10:35:28 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Since the GOP doesn't have serious, smart (0+ / 0-)

        people anymore, that's a vain hope.  Keep in mind that Mitt was the best they could do this year.  And he really was the best of the bunch that had a prayer of being nominated (Paul and Huntsman had no chance, ever).

        A Romney victory would have been disastrous for our country--as disastrous as a Santorum win, in all likelihood.  Maybe even more so, in terms of the influence of the plutocrats.  

        So I see no downside in hoping they nominate a far-right wingnut, because then we're much more likely to win in a landslide.

  •  Shhhhh! (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    demongo, geejay, Yoshimi, JeffW

    Don't tell them.  Might want to scrub this diary as they might stumble upon it and realize the real reason they lost wasn't they "weren't conservative enough" rather they were too conservative.

    Don't do anything that will pierce the bubble!  Kicking the crap out of them is too much fun!

  •  Santorum/DeMint 2016!!!!!!! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    milkbone

    Don't let me get in the way!

    -1.63/ -1.49 "Speaking truth to power" (with snark of course)!

    by dopper0189 on Tue Nov 20, 2012 at 10:06:27 AM PST

  •  Conservatism has changed so much. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JeffW

    There's nothing particularly "conservative" about the Bengazi attack.  If it was true, it would make as much sense coming from the left as from the right.

    Except the right has claimed ownership of Islamophobia, and the attack hinges on "not hating Muslims enough."  But there's nothing particularly conservative about xenophobia - we've had it on our side plenty of times.

    Does it follow logically that the Republican party is now simply the party of hate?  Oh, and made-up stuff, too.  I wonder sometimes if every sane Republican has already given up and joined the Democratic party.

    Early to rise and early to bed Makes a man healthy, wealthy, and dead. --Not Benjamin Franklin

    by Boundegar on Tue Nov 20, 2012 at 10:06:27 AM PST

  •  they're dim, Jed (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Randomfactor, JeffW
    Actually, this is nonsense. Mitt Romney lost because he failed to win enough voters outside of the GOP's base coalition—not because he failed to energize the GOP base. For example, in 2008, John McCain won white evangelicals by a 50-point margin. In 2012, Romney won those voters by a 57-point margin—a seven-point gain. (As a share of the total vote, white evangelicals were 26 percent in both years.)
    Contrast Romney's seven-point gain in support among white evangelicals with his much smaller gain in support among everyone else: In 2008, President Obama won those voters by 26 points. In 2012, he won them by 23 points. Romney gained, but not by enough. The GOP's base wasn't enough to deliver victory.

    yksitoista ulotteinen presidentin shakki. / tappaa kaikki natsit "Nous sommes un groupuscule" (-9.50; -7.03) 政治委员, 政委‽ Warning - some snark above ‽

    by annieli on Tue Nov 20, 2012 at 10:06:39 AM PST

  •  Hey, Akin and Mourdock proved them right... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JeffW

    What America really wants are right-wing lunatics in high office....er, whoops.

    The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness. -- John Kenneth Galbraith

    by richardak on Tue Nov 20, 2012 at 10:08:16 AM PST

  •  There is a sense in which they are right. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Darmok, JeffW

    I don't think it's worth any of my (or our) energy thinking about this, but it's a slow day so what the heck.  The problem is that Romney wasn't conservative enough in the first place, such that his more recent conservatism wasn't seen as sincere.  I think that the Romney we got, who was moderate before and generically conservative later, would have been bested by a purely hypothetical Romney who was more-than-generically conservative before and later.  Such a candidate would have lost, just as Bachmann or Santorum would have lost, but it's not outlandish to say they might have done better than Romney.  But it's all a fantasy discussion because any "more conservative" Romney would only have magnified the disconnect between what he was and what he became out of convenience.

    You know, I sometimes think if I could see, I'd be kicking a lot of ass. -Stevie Wonder at the Glastonbury Festival, 2010

    by Rich in PA on Tue Nov 20, 2012 at 10:09:22 AM PST

  •  Palin-Rubio. Now there's a dandy ticket. With West (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    annieli, TKO333, brae70

    as Secretary of Batshit.

    Just doing my part to piss off right wing nuts, one smart ass comment at a time.

    by tekno2600 on Tue Nov 20, 2012 at 10:11:00 AM PST

  •  good thing they're so stupid (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    demongo, Aquarius40, JeffW

    It'll keep them out of power.  And since they're a disaster for the country, it's good that they don't learn anything.

    Romney only started gaining in the polls when "Moderate Mitt" showed up.  Before that, he was tanking.  And if "Moderate Mitt" had never showed up, he'd've lost even bigger than he did.

    Mitt was a lousy candidate, but, honestly, the Republicans still picked their best bet out of their primaries.  They probably would have made more ground with Huntsman, except the hard-right wouldn't have gotten behind him.  But Santorum, Gingrich, etc. would have failed in the general even worse than Mitt did.

    "Glenn Beck ends up looking like a fat, stupid child. His face should be wearing a chef's hat on the side of a box of eclairs. " - Doug Stanhope

    by Front Toward Enemy on Tue Nov 20, 2012 at 10:13:57 AM PST

  •  He veered back TOWARDS the center... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TKO333, milkbone, Orcas George

    he never got anywhere close to "left"

    I would suggest an edit - as that framing matters.

    A world in which 1980's Heritage Foundation mandate plans are considered commie socialism and single payer isn't even on the table comes from talking about the center as "left"

    Here, of all places, I would like to see that not happen.

    Join Soulforce-seeking Justice for God's GLBT children.

    by its simple IF you ignore the complexity on Tue Nov 20, 2012 at 10:15:26 AM PST

  •  If they moderate their positions, (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Yoshimi, JeffW

    they will win.   If not, they will loose.    Just saw this on Facebook.

    Going to church doesn't make you a Christian anymore than standing in a garage makes you a car."

    I like it.

    If money is speech, then speech must be money.

    by dkmich on Tue Nov 20, 2012 at 10:16:28 AM PST

    •  but standing in a car elevator makes you rMoney (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JeffW
      After all, it's been Democrats—not conservatives—who have won more votes in five out of the last six presidential elections.

      yksitoista ulotteinen presidentin shakki. / tappaa kaikki natsit "Nous sommes un groupuscule" (-9.50; -7.03) 政治委员, 政委‽ Warning - some snark above ‽

      by annieli on Tue Nov 20, 2012 at 10:18:57 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  You seem really hung up on this Romney guy. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JeffW

    He's gone, Jed, you gotta move on with your life.

    You can call it "class warfare" -- we call it "common sense"

    by kenlac on Tue Nov 20, 2012 at 10:20:56 AM PST

  •  Let us also not forget (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JeffW, schnecke21

    that during the campaign when Romney was running as a conservative he polled well behind Obama.  But during the first debate, he shifted to the center and gained in all the polls.

    This seems to indicate that maybe Romney should have campaigned from the center during the whole campaign.

  •  I actually disagree... (0+ / 0-)

    I am as convinced as ever that voters simply look for strength and consistency.   The parties are so close these days in the minor things that move votes, that the swing votes simply use the American Idol instincts.  And as much as we dislike it, they tend to get things right.   Bush was a disaster, but look at how in both cases he beat two candidates that were busy calibrating instead of campaigning.  Blame Bob Shrum and Donna Brazile to an extent.

    Yes, President Obama was extremely calculated, but that was never his key message.  It never seeped in.  From Reagan to Clinton to Bush to Obama, they all had a core message that aligned with their party's core.  Now, some decided that it was only for campaigning. Fair enough.   Kerry, Dole, Bush Sr, McCain, Romney....their positions weren't the issue in my opinion...it was more about can we trust that they will be strong, because they are not being strong when the lights are off.

    Trying to be someone you are not, will lose everytime.   I don't care if that is when you are coming up, or running for POTUS.  Consistency seems to be the message that voters are sending, and not screwing up when a big decision was on the table (Iraq, Auto Bailout, TARP which any conservative could have been on the right side of history by simply using basic conservative principles).  

    So given the choice of a true "Conservative" (not a wacko, but a principled conservative, or a tea party crazy), I bet the conservative has a better chance than a moderate trying to take all sides.

    Jon Huntsman probably fits the bill from a position standpoint.  But you also need a good candidate.

    So I think when the base says, be consistent, that shouldn't be underestimated.  Sure, we have it easier because our principles actually work.  But politically, a conservative can beat our better principles in a down economy or another bad environment.

    That being said, no one was going to beat the President in 2008.  No One. And it would  have taken juggernaut to be the President this time.  Thy name was not Mitt Romney.

    "Small Businesses Don't Build Levees" - Melissa Harris Perry

    by justmy2 on Tue Nov 20, 2012 at 10:21:55 AM PST

  •  Two things (0+ / 0-)

    1)  They disliked Romney SO much that they voted FOR him.
    2) I encourage their desire to move even MORE to the right.  As far right as possible!

  •  Don't mistake the conservative playbook (0+ / 0-)

    with the RW Wacko Fox Rating Driven Playbook..

    And let's not forget, the biggest moment in the second debate was when Romney stumbled over Benghazi—an attack straight from the conservative playbook.

    "Small Businesses Don't Build Levees" - Melissa Harris Perry

    by justmy2 on Tue Nov 20, 2012 at 10:23:09 AM PST

  •  Palin/Akin 2016 (0+ / 0-)

    let them go full-out right wing and see how they do.

    "I'm not a member of an organized political party - I'm a Democrat." Will Rogers

    by newjeffct on Tue Nov 20, 2012 at 10:26:19 AM PST

  •  Don't tell them a thing, let them be great (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JeffW

    once you acquire a schadenfreude dependency like mine, you need massive infusions of the kind of WTF FAIL that only "true conservatives" can deliver.

  •  I have a pretty good memory of how the Democratic (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JeffW

    Party reacted to the defeats of 1988 and 2004 as well as the congressional defeats of 1994 and 2010 and the GOP seems intellectually stilted by comparison.  Democrats questioned everything.  We didn't like what everyone had to say but we had a very open discussion where all assumptions, policy positions, candidates and tactics were questioned.  We evolved from each defeat and came better prepared the following election.  

    We made key adjustments on issues like fiscal responsibility, women's rights, the Iraq war, welfare, crime, immigration.  I see no such substantive changes coming from the GOP.  They are so controlled by their financiers and evangelical leaders that I don't think change from within is possible yet.  We will see fewer people identifying as Republicans in the next 2 election cycles.

    Alternative rock with something to say: http://www.myspace.com/globalshakedown

    by khyber900 on Tue Nov 20, 2012 at 10:27:00 AM PST

  •  If he's not in prison in 2016, they should (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    realwischeese

    consider a Tom Delay-Pat Robertson ticket. That way, they would have Satan AND God on their side, and we wouldn't stand a chance of keeping the White House ;)

  •  Shorter Cruz (0+ / 0-)

    Romney too liberal, therefore real conservatives voted for Obama instead.

    That's the only way the electoral math works under this scenario, or is this just the latest manifestation of the conservative war on math, science, and reason?

    The Bush Family: 0 for 4 in Wisconsin

    by Korkenzieher on Tue Nov 20, 2012 at 10:27:48 AM PST

  •  Out of the woodwork (0+ / 0-)

    There are silent conservatives who will come out of the woodwork and elect Barry Goldwater NEXT PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES.
    Careful, now. The Right Wing that loves to hate President Obama got under way in 1964. They do have stamina.

    Censorship is rogue government.

    by scott5js on Tue Nov 20, 2012 at 10:28:19 AM PST

  •  overcome (0+ / 0-)
    As a share of the total vote, white evangelicals were 26 percent in both years.
    This means more than one quarter of American voters don't believe in evolution--and we expect them to make logical choices?

    Apres Bush, le deluge.

    by melvynny on Tue Nov 20, 2012 at 10:28:34 AM PST

  •  Hopefully, Democrats seize this opportunity (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JeffW

    And try to connect the dots for election year voters to the need to re-take the House in 2014.  The voters that made the difference in 2008 and 2012 will sit home again in 2014 unless Democrats make it clear how they will help them - and the country.

  •  this was almost inevitable... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JeffW

    ...the only difference between this election year and any other is...what took them so long, this time?

    The mantra ushered from the mouths of virtually every Republican after every election defeat (and used after election victories, too), is the automatic, knee-jerk response that the candidate "wasn't conservative enough." It's the default argument they use for everything, almost instantly after an election, especially after a defeat, regardly of data, regardless of the results of the election, regardless of exit polling or anything else.

    It's the most predictable thing that can ever come out of the mouths of Republicans and conservatives whenever they lose: Lost by just a little? Not conservative enough. Lost by a landslide? Not conservative enough. Even when the win sometimes, they still will find ways to say "not conservative enough."

  •  Yea, not conservative enough, yea (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JeffW, VirginiaBlue

    Yea, not racist enough. Yea, not misogynist enough. Yea,  not snobbish enough. Yea, not intolerant enough. Yea, not exclusive enough. Yea, not deceitful enough.

    Thanks, we expected this. Keep it up, baggers, keep the belief. It helps Dems, and thus America.

    Deep Blue in '14!!!

    "Too often we excuse those who are willing to build their own lives on the shattered dreams of others" Robert F. Kennedy

    by realwischeese on Tue Nov 20, 2012 at 10:33:09 AM PST

  •  Shhhh! (0+ / 0-)

    Just let them go on ahead with whatever plan they come up with. Never interrupt your enemy while he's making a mistake.

    "A lie is not the other side of a story; it's just a lie."

    by happy camper on Tue Nov 20, 2012 at 10:37:38 AM PST

  •  Never interrupt your enemy (0+ / 0-)

    when he is making a mistake.

    Napoleon Bonaparte

    If the pilot's good, see, I mean if he's reeeally sharp, he can barrel that baby in so low... oh you oughta see it sometime. It's a sight. A big plane like a '52... varrrooom! Its jet exhaust... frying chickens in the barnyard!

    by Major Kong on Tue Nov 20, 2012 at 10:52:44 AM PST

  •  Wait! (0+ / 0-)
    “The moderates have had their candidate in 2008 and they had their candidate in 2012. And they got crushed in both elections".
    I thought Obama won by 8 votes?

    Medicine is not health care; Food is health care; Medicine is sick care. Grow foods, not lawns.

    by jackandjill on Tue Nov 20, 2012 at 10:54:50 AM PST

  •  Conservative type reasoning... (0+ / 0-)

    With that kind of reasoning ("wasnt conservative enough"), I'm surprised the GOP hasn't come up with this one: McCain was not rich enough in 2008, then they went for richer, Romney, but it was still not enough...

  •  The white, conservative, Evangelical (0+ / 0-)

    base isn't large enough to win elections on their own, and it's shrinking every year as members die off and aren't replaced by younger blood.

    To win elections, you have to attract true moderates -- and those voters aren't all that interested in seeing services cut to provide tax breaks to the richest 1%, or limiting women's health care in the name of religion, or references to "legitimate rape".

    "If we ever needed to vote we sure do need to vote now" -- Rev. William Barber, NAACP

    by Cali Scribe on Tue Nov 20, 2012 at 11:05:24 AM PST

    •  Stupid, white conservative, Evangelical (0+ / 0-)

      These are the same people that stand on the edge of the Grand Canyon and still believe, with no doubts whatsoever, that the earth is 6000 years old.  If they are too stupid to accept scientific reality they are too stupid to accept political reality.

  •  No, No, (0+ / 0-)

    No Palin.  If you think this election cycle was bad; and we were all tired; think how bad it will be with a Palin candidacy.  I cannot take her.

  •  Also The Reason Why Republicans Won In (0+ / 0-)

    2010 was becasue the older population was mad about the cuts to medicare that President Obama supposedly did which we democrats know for the lies that republicans have been telling.  The tea party was full of older white people who saw a threat to medicare.  It is hilarious that republicans believe that the tea party was formed because they wanted to cut government programs.  Also, the older population was mad about ACA because they see it as taking away from medicare.  The republicans won in 2010 on cuts to medicare which is not a conservative position.  LOL.

    "Don't Let Them Catch You With Your Eyes Closed"

    by rssrai on Tue Nov 20, 2012 at 11:25:15 AM PST

  •  They actually have a small point (0+ / 0-)

    Someone that was a true conservative wouldn't have had to lie to win the primary, although they might need to lie to win the general election.  Romney sort of being a moderate meant that he had to lie twice and was accurately branded as someone without convictions.  Personally I will take someone with convictions I don't like over someone with no convictions.  It may have cost Romney some votes, but surely not enough to change the outcome.

  •  Party faithful (0+ / 0-)

    To watch the likes of McCain, Graham, McConnell, Jindall and even Christie coming out for the party now against Mitt is hilarious.  these are the same guys who held their nose, tied their hands behind their backs and signed the platform...and now all of a sudden they are now denouncing others as being out of touch?  Mitt may have fkipped flopped, but he was flipfloping to please them, and he was following the Limbaugh/Rove/Morris script down to a T.  Money was rolling in, life was good, and reality was going to be lily white again ... so all the trashtalking now about minorities and women are just more trash, lies to follow the first lies.  If you truly believe what you are saying now, you should have spoken up ... much earlier.

  •  They'll never learn. (0+ / 0-)

    This was predictable.

    They did exactly the same thing after President Obama kicked John McCain's wrinkled ass in 2008.  There was a couple of weeks of near-self-examination, which was quickly abandoned in favor of the simple, feel-good conclusion that Republicans were just not being conservative enough.

    When you bind yourself to an ideology with such cultist fervor, as so many conservatives do, admitting you've made mistakes is nearly impossible.  These people are still trying to process the fact that the President soundly whipped them a second time, even though the CW inside the RW bubble told them Romney had it in the bag.

    So, rather than deal with the hard truths that often accompany reality, conservatives are reassuring themselves of their righteousness and telling each other that the solution to their problems is to become even more extreme.

    On some level they must know they're wrong, because if conservative ideas are so great, they wouldn't have to lie about them, concoct phony scandals (e.g., Benghazi, birtherism, etc.) to keep people from talking about them, gerrymander congressional districts, suppress voter turnout, or rig elections.

    "I never meant to say that the conservatives are generally stupid. I meant to say that stupid people are generally conservative." - John Stuart Mill

    by Kevinole on Tue Nov 20, 2012 at 12:04:59 PM PST

    •  Cons brains simply do not work the same as ours (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Kevinole

      I'd argue, "Their brains just do not work", but something in evolution must select for this lack of critical thinking that exists in roughly a third of the population.  Perhaps an "Us and not The Other" tribal selfishness exists in those that are Conservatives.  Think about the definition of "Liberal", and then think about the Liberals that you know.  Liberals tend to care about those around them, even those that they don't know, and those that volunteer for their communities and dedicate themselves to social work are almost always liberals.  Conservatives, on the other hand, tend to be active only in their tribal communities--church associations and church charities, for example.  They aren't actively helping "The Other" without another goal, religious conversion of The Other, for example.  If they run for the school board, it is to further the goal of returning "tradition values" to education. Conservatism, by its nature, lacks altruism.  In their minds, Liberals are "Bleeding Hearts", and they are the "Realists".  When you believe yourself to be righteous and enlightened, guided by God, you become impervious to the entry of ideas from outside the bubble in which you have placed yourself.

  •  The Conservative Delusion at work (0+ / 0-)

    They are convinced they are the Real Majority. They are covinced that The Truth is on their side. They believe they have The Answers.

    And at the same time they believe they are an unfairly persecuted minority.

    Self awareness - they has not gots.

    "No special skill, no standard attitude, no technology, and no organization - no matter how valuable - can safely replace thought itself."

    by xaxnar on Tue Nov 20, 2012 at 12:06:08 PM PST

  •  this (0+ / 0-)
    Mitt Romney lost because he failed to win enough voters outside of the GOP's base coalition—not because he failed to energize the GOP base. For example, in 2008, John McCain won white evangelicals by a 50-point margin. In 2012, Romney won those voters by a 57-point margin—a seven-point gain. (As a share of the total vote, white evangelicals were 26 percent in both years.)

    Contrast Romney's seven-point gain in support among white evangelicals with his much smaller gain in support among everyone else: In 2008, President Obama won those voters by 26 points. In 2012, he won them by 23 points. Romney gained, but not by enough. The GOP's base wasn't enough to deliver victory.

    is the single best way to view the results of the election and the difference between the parties, and it should be teased out and explored further

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