Remember ABR – “Anyone but Romney?” It was the internet meme that took hold after Romney came in second or worse to the Republican savior de jour in the polls, later continuing that trend in the primaries by coming in second to Gingrich and Santorum.
Is it really a surprise to anyone that America’s voting pattern toward the Republican candidate matched Republicans’ voting pattern toward him over the past year?
Some like Jacob Weisberg at Slate make the point that Romney lost because he couldn’t separate himself from what Weisberg calls “conservative extremists.” How blind. Romney lost because he never aligned himself with those Weisberg calls “conservative extremists.”
I keep reading today that the Republican base wasn’t energized enough and missed an opportunity to defeat a weakened Barack Obama. Again – who is surprised? The Republican base made no secret for a year that Romney wasn’t their guy. Did the RNC actually expect a rally behind Mr. Second Place? Did anyone?
The Tea Party wasn’t asleep. The Tea Party pretended to be asleep. They were never going to awaken for candidate “Etch A Sketch.” Who could trust him? That’s the opposite of the candidate the Tea Party looks for.
More importantly, the way to deal with a mealy-mouthed candidate like Barack Obama is to be as direct and powerful in your speech as you can be. Think of New Jersey’s lessons via Chris Christie. No, he isn’t a perfectly conservative guy. But the directness Christie uses on conservative issues like taking on unions excites the conservative base. Or think of Gingrich (without the baggage). We needed smash mouth football and instead we got a preppy game of croquet.
Conservatives are proud to be conservative. Did Romney ever sound so? Did the man who said “I’ll keep the good parts of Obamacare” really put the base in fighting spirit for the campaign?
Conservatism and its ideas didn’t lose. The base didn’t lose.
Romney lost, and he was neither conservative nor part of the base to begin with.
That’s two in a row, RNC. Hopefully you get the point now. Next time, rely upon Conservatism to get you to the win column.
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