Dick Morris, Michael Barone, and Karl Rove all got it wrong. They thought Romney would win. Let us tell you why we never thought Obama would lose.
Republicans are too nice. In contrast, spending hundreds of millions of dollars, Obama set out to destroy the character of Mitt Romney. While telling stories about how Romney killed people and shipped their jobs abroad, Obama’s team never once could find a trait they liked about Mitt Romney. The Republicans never reciprocated. We nearly choked when we heard speakers at the GOP convention talking about Barack Obama’s good qualities as a father and man.
The leadership of the Republican Party is living in an alternate reality. Barack Obama isn’t a good man. He is evil and corrupt. Romney didn’t have the guts to say it. He didn’t want to talk about Obama’s associations with communists and socialists. He didn’t want to talk about Obama’s associations with Islamists and the Muslim Brotherhood. Romney never wanted to talk about Obama’s sketchy past, his fictional birth story, and his possible ineligibility to serve as president. Romney didn’t want to talk about Obama’s receipt of corrupt and foreign election funds.
Yes, the economy is bad, but there needed to be more. What about Obama’s support for infanticide? What about his support for death panels? Whoops, Romney couldn’t talk about them because he has been all over the map on these issues. First, Romney was against abortion, and then he was for it, only to be against it again when it was politically expedient. Romney had the same problem on Obamacare. Romneycare passed with his support in Massachusetts, and it is a close cousin to the corrupt healthcare program of Obama.
But let’s put Romney aside; there are significant problems inside the Republican Party that handicap any candidate.
The overly zealous foreign policy of the neoconservative movement is hurting the Republican brand. Americans were worried Romney might get us in another Mideast war. Americans are tired of spilling blood in Islamistan. As a result, Obama scored better than Romney on the question of dealing with a foreign crisis.
This doesn’t mean that we support a pre-1940 style of isolationism; but Americans want our troops to come home after a decade of fighting, and they believe Obama will bring them home.
Americans are not pacifists, but they are realists in the mold of Ronald Reagan. Reagan kept the peace through strength, but he also reached out to his enemies with constructive proposals. The modern Republican establishment is too bellicose, and Romney adopted their militant ways, lock stock and barrel.
We cannot fashion the world in our own image. And we especially cannot do it if our only persuasive tool is advanced weapons falling on others heads.
Next, the Republican Party has truly become corporatist. The next Republican to win the presidency must be a populist. He or she needs to know Americans distrust big banks as much as they distrust big government. A Wall Street-allied financial engineer like Romney was not the best candidate when the last big scandal to rock the nation was in banking. To be the party of America, the GOP must stop coddling big business. Free trade is important, but it isn’t so perfect as to be worshiped. Transnational corporations that care less about America than profits must be reined in.
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