We Got Beat

When you lose something — a wallet, an election, money, a lover — you ask yourself this question: did I lose it, or was it stolen?

Last night, we lost.  No one stole it from us.  We lost it.

Some thoughts:

1. It goes without saying — I hope — that Barack Obama, as painful as it is to admit, is the President of the United States for the next four years.  I wish him well.  He’s my president, too.  

2. Let’s face facts:  Nate Silver, the polls, the “establishment media” — they were all right.  It wasn’t about weighting or poll skewing.  They were right.  We engaged in wishful thinking.  We were in a bubble.  Last night, that bubble was popped.  The major polls called it close, and it was close.  Barack Obama won about one half of one percent more of the popular vote than Mitt Romney.  But that was enough.  Mitt Romney may have won the popular vote, but the Electoral College map tells a different story: it was about population-center votes, not about enthusiasm or which side was more energized.  They outsmarted us.  We outsmarted ourselves 

3.  Last night was a complete and systemic failure of the Republican party — both at the national and the state level.  The DC-based Republican establishment couldn’t deliver a victory — couldn’t deliver Florida.  The state-level Republican operation failed, too.  For example: in Missouri, a state that should be solidly Republican, the state operation nominated an ill-prepared, out-of-touch clumsy gaffe-machine for the Senate — Todd Akin.  Romney carried the state.  But Claire McCaskill won a major victory.  We forced our side to split the ticket.  We muddied our message.  The Republican party failed.  

4. More facts to face: the media is liberal.  The news organizations are liberal.  They protected their candidate.  And it worked.  But that’s part of the hand that we conservatives have been dealt. That ain’t gonna change.  We need to figure out a way to win despite the fact that we’re swimming upstream in the culture.  Whining about it isn’t going to get us to a solution.

5. Latinos and women voted big for the other side.  Either we figure out a way to connect with those groups, or persuade them to our side, or we’re going to be a very small part of the national political scene and getting smaller all the time.  

6.  Our side drinks too much Kool Aid.  We watch Fox News and think we’re winning the rest of the country.  But Fox News is at most a 3 million viewer proposition.  Last night, each side garnered about 48 million votes.  Each side. 

7. We can’t rely on the establishment Republicans.  We can’t rely on Fox News.  We can’t rely on talk radio.  We can only rely on ourselves.  We need — all of us, especially here on Ricochet — to connect with each other, keep each other informed and energized, and persuade our neighbors and friends.  We need to evangelize the rest of the country that doesn’t agree with us.  We need to win the country back.

8.  We need to win the country back.  Not take it back.  Win it back through argument and engagement and debate.  Win it back by articulating our key principles, persuading more Latinos and women to our side, and evangelizing the rest of the country.  

9. Forgive me for this plug, but I really mean it: the conversations and engagement on Ricochet, and the passionate and articulate members here, are the future — maybe the only future — for our side.  

10.  If you’re not a member of Ricochet, today is a very good day to join.  The slow march back begins now.  And it begins here.

  1. Mimi

    Why throw in the towel?  As we are a strong opposition, we should continue to hold the Dems feet to the fire.  We can’t stand by while they attempt to overreach themselves and as they try to sink us fiscally.  We will only get more unified as we resist.

    I am so disappointed to know that four more years of those crazies in power are ahead of us.  Four years ago, I didn’t know how bad Obama’s governance could be.  Now I do.  We have to keep fighting.  We didn’t lose by much and we will have great candidates in 2016.  Let’s support them and not fuss over their religion, color, gender, or whether or not they are veterans of war.  

    We have to support our guys and ourselves.

  2. Cutlass

    You got it, Doc. I’m about to sooth myself with chocolate cake, a Guinness and an episode of Sons of Anarchy.

    DocJay: To the man cave.

    Cutlass

    Judithann Campbell: 

    There are serious problems in the conservative movement, but instead of taking a step back and re evaluating, many prefer to give up on America. No genuine patriot would ever, ever give up on America. I am just amazed by the stuff I am reading tonight: I can’t believe that people who claim to love America would give up on America so easily.

    We didn’t give up on America, Americans have given up on America.

    Look, this was a profound loss and many of us are in mourning. Just because we’re venting now it doesn’t mean we’ve completely given up.

    When a guy gets dumped by his girlfriend and takes a few days off to mutter “Ugh, I’ll never meet anyone again??” it doesn’t mean he’s really through. · 2 minutes ago

    6 minutes ago

  3. Mafuta Kizola

    I just woke up to the news here in the UK, this is awful. Besides Obama winning, Scott Brown is out, Mia love looses and Allen West is out too ?

    There is really some real electoral reconsideration that must take place.

  4. Michael Kellogg

    The fact that this race was even close tells me that the country has shifted leftward. With the myriad of scandals, missteps, and outright incompetence displayed by Obama as president, Romney should have beaten him by 20 points. We’re fast becoming a European-like country of mice who discover the drug dispenser and keep banging on it to stay high until it finally kills us.  Selling a message of independence, hard work and competitive spirit, in the face of that, will not be easy.

  5. Joseph Stanko
    Corie Schweitzer: That’s all good and well, Rob, and I appreciate the pep talk, but I fear that a clear majority of the country is just not amenable to “arguments.”  Their votes are bought and paid for through bail-outs, entitlements, and pork.  

    This is simply not true.  I live in California, in the liberal Bay Area.  Nearly everyone I know voted for Obama: family, friends, and co-workers.  And they are all hard-working, taxpaying citizens.  In fact, some were effectively voting to raise their own taxes.

    We need to get past this notion that “makers” vote conservative and only “takers” vote liberal.  There are an awful lot of high-income professionals in the deep-blue urban centers of America who voted for Obama.

  6. elprez

    I can’t remember where I read this earlier, but someone talking about the demographic changes said that Ronald Reagan would have had a hard time winning in 2012. Unfortunately, I have to agree. Democrats start each presidential race with California, New York and Illinois in the bag. What big states do we have? Texas is getting tighter and tighter, and now we’re losing Florida, Ohio and Virginia, and we cannot break through in Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin, etc. Why can we win governors’ races, but not the presidency?

    If you thought Obama played a lot of golf in his first term, wait until the second. One area of the economy which should do well—gun sales.

  7. Craig Wallace

    Rob,  this is the latest battle and it is clear that the American people have not grasped the difficulties they face in the coming years. Beat yourself up if you want and many on the left and right will assist you but it is not the correct thing to do. Warnings have been issued, primarily by Paul Ryan, and if that has not convinced the American people then only stark reality will when the consequences of their votes are realised and they find there is no money left. 

  8. Joseph Stanko
    ~Paules: Sorry, Rob, but there is no slow march back.  Tonight the American people voted the republic out of existence.  Politics has now become meaningless.  What you do now is prepare for a collapse.  

    Many folks here are realizing they’ve been living in a conservative bubble, an echo chamber, that fed them false information about the true state of the election.

    Maybe it’s a good time to take a step back and ask if any of the other truisms of the conservative echo chamber might be false, or at least exaggerated?

    Like: maybe our society is not facing imminent collapse?  Perhaps the whole situation is not so dire as we told each other in the run-up to “the most important election of our lifetime.”

    Just a thought.

  9. Gus Marvinson

    Enough of this “center-right” nonsense. To succeed, we are taught, we must aim high. Set great goals, strive toward them and reap the rewards. Yet when it comes to politics we are told center-right is the goal and center-right will be the result.

    Hogwash.

    We on the right have been talked into ceding our values over and over and over again. To what end? According to these election results we are now a center-left nation. 

    To those who insist on the wisdom of the center-right mantra: guess what? A move to the center is a move left and that’s where we are now. Center-right is weak tea.

    I’m a Christian conservative. A right-winger in every category. Maybe that will make me a perennial loser, but I’m losing with you center-right people anyway, so if I’m going to lose I might as well keep my principles intact.

  10. Stu In Tokyo

    Today on delivery to a small, but VERY busy resturant customer of mine he was depresses that O had won. He gets a lot of customers that are higher level businessmen, CEOs of companies that you would know of, top guys for Boeing have eaten there. They have all been telling him that if O wins, the yen will strengthen against the US dollar and exports will drop and the Japanese economy will suffer. He is a small businessman and his sales have been steadily dropping in the last four years. I used to do about $5000 a month with him on avg now it is seldom over $3000 a month. This is real, it will get worse. I agree we have to continue to fight. Rob, I would like to hear what Mr Stategey Mike Murphy has to say? Is he going to blame this on Rush and other Conservatives? Bread and Circuses I believe is where the US is now. Just like Rome, all great empires end. Time to learn Chinese I guess :)

  11. Rob Long
    C
    Pig Man: Mr Long,

    I am the soon-to-be-gone obnoxious liberal shill on richochet so my endorsement means nothing here. But your post shows what a wise and prudent man you are.  I hope your brethren take you thoughts to heart and move forward to make this great country of ours even greater.  The conservative cause is not dead, by the time 2016 rolls around many in the country will be looking for a change.   The question is whether the Republican Party will listen to reasonable voices like yours or regress further into isolated extremism.  If they choose the latter, they will continue to suffer defeats like tonight. · 1 hour ago

    Thanks. And I hope you stick around.  There are about 47 million Americans who voted like you did, and we need to win some of them back.

  12. indymb

    I am glad to have renewed  my subscription on Ricochet prior to The Election.  Regarding #8, I wonder about the self-imposed “slavery to ideals” of “reasonable” Obama voters. I think of a one case: smart, socially conservative, Christian, son of a minister, number-crunching researcher type, and a seemingly reasonable person, until it came to supporting Obama. There was no reasoning with him, and every argument could be “Bush”-countered or attacked through ad hominem. “Yes,” he might sum up, “everyone should be *made* to support the less fortunate.” I worked in a non-partisan research role for our state legislature for a decade: started as ideals-liberal, emerged Friedman-conservative. I learned there was no logically connecting to some legislators. On a visit to maximum security state corrections facility and their 24-hour lockdown wing (for the most recently offending of commited serious offenders), a matronly, now former, state senator twaddled, “If only we could talk to them, I think we could help them to change…” I don’t get WWF attraction nor blind acceptance of ideals mongering, but I *want* to think there is decency, common, underneath.  Ideally,  free market, Constitutional superheros need apply.

  13. Joseph Stanko
    elprez: I can’t remember where I read this earlier, but someone talking about the demographic changes said that Ronald Reagan would have had a hard time winning in 2012. Unfortunately, I have to agree. Democrats start each presidential race with California, New York and Illinois in the bag. What big states do we have? 

    Barry Goldwater carried no big states at all, he lost the electoral vote 486 to 52.  If you think this narrow loss was demoralizing, I can only imagine what 1964 must have been like. 

  14. J. D. Fitzpatrick
    Cutlass

    Judithann Campbell: 

    There are serious problems in the conservative movement, but instead of taking a step back and re evaluating, many prefer to give up on America. No genuine patriot would ever, ever give up on America. I am just amazed by the stuff I am reading tonight: I can’t believe that people who claim to love America would give up on America so easily.

    We didn’t give up on America, Americans have given up on America.

    How many Americans are left in America? Seems like it’s full of people who meant to go to Europe and then decided that this place was just as good. 

  15. Frozen Chosen

    It’s 3 am where I live.  I can’t sleep.  I can’t remember ever being this upset

    I’m glad I have my Ricochet brethren to pass the night with.

  16. Kermadec

    My fellow, Ricocheteers you are the nicest most civilised bunch of people a chap could hope to meet. As the sun goes down on us, I draw strength by reflecting that a gentleman only supports losts causes.

  17. Animositas
    Howellis: We narrowly lost.  If we had narrowly won we would feel exhilarated and would not feel that the country is beyond saving.  So, we dust ourselves off and get back into the fray.  There are more people out there who are open to argument than there were 4 years ago, and after 4 more years of progressive nightmare even more will be ready for the message. · 2 hours ago

    We narrowly lost because there were more people who wanted free stuff from the government than wanted personal responsibility and freedom. That’s not going to get better over the next four years. In 2016 there will be far more people who want free stuff then there are today because there will be far more people getting free stuff. Also, all the dead people who voted yesterday will still be dead and won’t mind voting Democrat again.

    Paules is right, yesterday America was voted out of existence. We had a republic but we couldn’t keep it.

  18. N.M. Wiedemer
    Gus Marvinson: Enough of this “center-right” nonsense. To succeed, we are taught, we must aim high. Set great goals, strive toward them and reap the rewards. Yet when it comes to politics we are told center-right is the goal and center-right will be the result.

    Hogwash.

     

    I think your sentiment will be echoed through many of the various wings of the republican party. We’re probably looking at conservatives, moderates, libertarians and classical liberals tearing each other apart and blaming each other for sometime. Many sub parties will be formed they’ll mostly have small segmented platforms and small demographics and big talk. Meanwhile the democrats will continue to garner more influence, more power, and more status as there will be no viable voice of opposition to them. The Democrats stand to be essentially a super party for some time if the right coalition decides to eat itself.

  19. AusDoug

    To be honest, I don’t think it’s as bad as you’re making it out to be. The overall loss was within 1-2 percent of the vote. Some good people lost (e.g., Mia Love), but most of the losses were predictable (e.g., Scott Brown in liberal Massachusetts, that idiot in Missouri). 

    At the end of the day, Obama will keep blowing up terrorists and Guantanemo  Bay will stay open. The economy will struggle along and eventually people will realise that different measures are necessary.

    It’s just another loss. We’ll win and lose many more elections before the US is eventually overcome by an emerging Lichtenstein.