Darn You Mike Murphy

I’m going by memory, and paraphrasing a podcast from earlier this year where Mike Murphy made a persuasive case that it was almost impossible for a conservative candidate to win a national election.  If I recall correctly, Mike made the argument that a nominal conservative, such as Mitt Romney, would probably lose.  The country had changed so much, both attitudinally and demographically, since Reagan’s victories that a conservative victory would never happen.  Conservatives are a minority.

  1. Douglas
    Michael Cham: I understand that we are all upset right now. But I think that the lesson learned here is not that Romney did things wrong.

    Few Republicans were more opposed Romney in the primaries than I was. But we have to be honest; Romney ran a pretty good campaign in the general. We complain that he didn’t raise this or that issue… Libya for instance… but he didn’t because outside of conservatives, people just didn’t care about Libya. They just don’t. They want “fairness” (read: big tax increases on “those rich guys”) and freebies. I think the horrible truth is that Romney did about as well as any GOP candidate could have done. And for nought.

  2. Beach Baby
    Conservatives are a minority.

    Conservative Fred, I don’t see how you can say that when the election count was Obama: 54,773,837 and Romney: 53,716,689. If we were a minority would the numbers be this close? 

  3. ConservativeFred
    Beach Baby

    Conservatives are a minority.

    Conservative Fred, I don’t see how you can say that when the election count was Obama: 54,773,837 and Romney: 53,716,689. If we were a minority would the numbers be this close?  · 1 hour ago

    Obama is perhaps the worst President in this nation’s history, the economy is anemic, and we had an ambassador murdered (pick one of a 100′s of other issues such as “fast and furious”), and yet the election was lost.  How could it be argued that conservatives are anything but a minority.

  4. ConservativeFred

    I spent a fair amount of time pondering that podcast last spring, and sadly, spent a fair amount of time denying its veracity this fall.

    Attitudinally – Those individuals with a conservative attitude (family, faith, liberty, industriousness, etc…) are a decided minority in the U.S.  Perhaps they always were a minority, BUT, culturally they were emulated by the majority of the population.  There are still vestiges of this mentality, but it died as a dominant theme in America over the past 20 years.

    Demographically – The recent wave of immigrants, on the balance, has a collectivist mentality, and has not demonstrated any affinity for the concept of the “melting pot.”   There is a strong preference for the welfare state.

    These 2 themes will guarantee future conservative losses.

    It is dispiriting, but darnit, Mike Murphy was correct.

  5. Aaron Miller
    Beach Baby

    Conservatives are a minority.

    Conservative Fred, I don’t see how you can say that when the election count was Obama: 54,773,837 and Romney: 53,716,689. If we were a minority would the numbers be this close?  · 2 hours ago

    There is a spectrum of beliefs stretching from liberalism to conservatism. Most voters are somewhere in the middle of that bell curve. But the whole curve has been drifting Left for more than a century.

    Not all voted against Obama for the same reasons. Half of Americans consider themselves conservatives or Republicans, but many of those support big government and the social ills which leave us at its mercy.

    Among those who reject Obama, not all fully understand what or who they are rejecting.

  6. ctlaw

    The interesting thing is that Romney could have done that as a “competent moderate”. His (and “Barack Obama is a decent person” McCain’s) problem was that he failed to highlight how Obama was not a moderate and was not competent.

    Thus we ended up with insane polling results where more people thought our narcissist-in-chief was more sympathetic than one of the most personally charitable politicians in history and more economically competent than a man whose batting average rescuing companies was better than Ted Williams’s actual batting average. 

    The problem is that such Republican moderates generally only turn their claws on conservatives.

    Given what Obama will do to the electorate in the next 4 years, our one chance may be Rubio 2016.

    Doug Scott: Too conservative?…

    Romney should’ve taken it to Obama with everything he had.  I believe his measured response to this radical hack cost him the election.  It’s sickening that the Republican establishment is still, in the end, calling the shots.  Now we’re all, um…nevermind. · 7 hours ago

  7. KarlUB
    Douglas

    This country is not center right anymore. That’s done. And it’s not coming back. This country is in the left on government/fiscal issues, and libertarian on social issues. Conservatism, as defined by Burke and Buckley, is dying out. · 7 hours ago

    I think you misunderstand Burke and Buckley.

    I also think this post mistakes “conservatism” for “Republicanism.”

  8. Roberto

    Mr. Murphy is a fool and Romney was in no fashion a conservative. 

  9. Aaron Miller

    Romney’s mistake was his love of numbers. Numbers don’t drive people to the polls. Numbers don’t sway swing voters. Romney has had some strong comments and speeches, but he talks too often like a CEO. Most voters want a leader, not a manager.

  10. ChristmasBeard

    As long as there is a liberal media, the Republican candidate will always be “dangerously conservative.”

  11. wmartin

    Rush Limbaugh will be on tomorrow saying “trust me folks, conservatism always wins.” Which it does, except when it doesn’t.

  12. Adam Koslin

    “Conservative” is not an immutable, static ideology.  We create it, we shape it, we carry it out.  We just need to reassess the priorities of the conservative movement, in light of the new coalition that the President has put together.  We needn’t become “Obama-lite” or a bizarro-Clintonian “third-way” party, but we do need to examine the degree to which ideological purity is worth increasing political marginalization, as well as attempting to figure out which elements of conservative thought we most need to carry forward and which can be marginalized, edited, shifted, or ditched outright going into 2014, 2016, and beyond.

  13. Aaron Miller

    Ideology is only part of what defines a candidacy. Another part is style/charisma. Another policy proposals. Another campaigning.

    When a campaign fails or succeeds, pollsters and politicos provide useful statistics. But they stink at analysis.

  14. Pig Man

    The country is still center-right just like Reagan was.  The problem is that the Republican Party has move far to the right of Reagan.

  15. Doug Scott

    Too conservative?  It’s guys like Murphy who “handled” Romney, just as they did with McCain.  And once again we see the results.  This guy shouldn’t have gotten anywhere near a constituent’s tour of the White House, let alone get reelected.

    Romney should’ve taken it to Obama with everything he had.  I believe his measured response to this radical hack cost him the election.  It’s sickening that the Republican establishment is still, in the end, calling the shots.  Now we’re all, um…nevermind.

  16. Michael Cham

    I understand that we are all upset right now. But I think that the lesson learned here is not that Romney did things wrong.

    I believe that the Republican party is in trouble and needs to change quickly. Appeal to women and minorities more. It is the only way.

  17. Raxxalan

    Romney was the only one who could win. 

    Mccain was the only one who could win

    Dole was the only one who could win.

    We haven’t chosen a conservative candidate in the last three losing cycles.  Why is it conservatism that is a loser?  We don’t appear to  be picking conservative candidates.

  18. jetstream
    Pig Man: The country is still center-right just like Reagan was.  The problem is that the Republican Party has move far to the right of Reagan. · 23 minutes ago

    That is the silliest comment of the night!  The Republican Establishment, including Mitt Romney, are far to the left of Ronald Reagan.  I worked for the 1980 Reagan campaign and had a back stage pass which provided an up-close and personal view of Reagan’s principles and philosophy.

  19. Jim  Ixtian
    jetstream

    Pig Man: The country is still center-right just like Reagan was.  The problem is that the Republican Party has move far to the right of Reagan. · 23 minutes ago

    That is the silliest comment of the night!  The Republican Establishment, including Mitt Romney, are far to the left of Ronald Reagan.  I worked for the 1980 Reagan campaign and had a back stage pass which provided an up-close and personal view of Reagan’s principles and philosophy. · in 1 minute

    This.

  20. Larry Koler

    More hardball or more “reaching out” ? What does Murph suggest?

    Murphy isn’t a conservative but he advises us all about what the problems are in our approach. 

    Murphy is a close friend of Romney’s. What suggestions of Murphy’s did Romney not follow? Romney followed Murphy’s points to the letter, I suspect.

    Murphy helped out in California with Meg Whitman, too. Huge loss there. 

    Who was telling Romney not to go after Obama? Obama went after Romney in an ugly way — with lies and lies. Romney didn’t respond for months. Sounds a little like George W, too, doesn’t it? Would Newt have sat back and been a punching bag?

    Really, it just didn’t make sense that the debate performances could have been part of the plan. Was it? Who could have let things go  so long?

    The debates were a fluke. They gave us us false help and temporarily vindicated Murphy-type advice. Look where it got us. 

    Is Murphy working for the other side?

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