Why We Lost: In a Word, Timidity

I was right about one thing. It was over by 11 p.m. Central. Unfortunately, I was wrong about Pennsylvania, Ohio, Virginia and Colorado. I was really, really wrong, and I was very surprised. It was more 2004 than 1980. Like you, I am disappointed, however, I am not one to dwell on disappointments. After all, life is full of disappointments, and given that the human mind can focus on only on thing at a time, if we ruminate about events that have happened, and that we have no power to change, we waste time and mental energy that we could use to do something constructive. What is constructive in the face of bad outcomes is to learn from them. So what have we learned? Why did Mitt Romney lose? In a word, timidity.

Mitt Romney is not, and never was, a conservative. Be honest. We all knew that. That’s why he wasn’t our first choice during the primaries. Up until that first debate, our support was anti-Obama, not pro-Romney. We all figured he was a much better choice than the current occupant of the Oval Office, and that once he was ensconced in office, we’d ride herd on him to make sure that he wouldn’t backslide into “moderation.” Mitt tried to play the role, but we should have known when he told that CPAC audience that he was a “severely conservative” governor, that, for him,  conservatism was a second language. No true believer would have ever said that. Mitt Romney is a pragmatic, businessman, a problem solver, but not an ideological conservative. He is that dreaded “Massachusetts moderate” that we feared. He had a genuine conservative on the team, Paul Ryan, but the Romney campaign muzzled him because they feared opening a can of worms on the issue of Medicare.

I think that their lack of ideological commitment is one reason that the Romney campaign allowed the demagogic attacks about Bain Capital over the summer to go on. Mitt underestimated the effectiveness of the class-envy card because he doesn’t understand the Left the way authentic conservatives do. It’s also why they didn’t paint a picture for the voters. The average voter, and not just the typical Obama low-information type, doesn’t understand what Bain Capital does, and how what it does creates jobs. It was incumbent on Gov. Romney to explain that. He didn’t.

Perhaps we can trace the loss to that third debate. Remember how we all were waiting for Mitt to take it to the One on his Benghazi coverup? It never happened. Why? I believe because he feared the inevitable bleating from the Lame Stream Media, accusing him of “politicizing” the murders that Obama’s failed policies caused. It’s easy to blame the Jurassic media. Yes, CBS facilitated the coverup by withholding part of the interview that Barack Obama did the day after the attack on the consulate, and yes, Candy Crowley gave her guy cover behind her ample skirts in the second debate, but those things were to be expected. Like those hard-working illegal aliens that many moderate Republicans want to give amnesty, it’s up to the GOP to do the work that the LSM won’t do; specifically, to make sure the people have the truth. His failure to do so on Libya, no doubt fearing antagonizing those precious “independents” and “suburban women” was fatal.

In his concession speech early this morning, Mitt said he put it all on the field. I’m sure he believes that, but in retrospect, it’s clear that that isn’t true. When Republicans are timid, they lose every time. When they articulate a clear conservative vision, they win. Ted Cruz won. Michele Bachman won. It can be done, but you can’t steal home with one foot on third base. Better to lose being bold than to lose with a craven campaign, walking on eggs and hoping people will figure out the reason they should vote for you.

I hope that we’ve learned once and for all that we shouldn’t nominate any more moderates, especially those from Massachusetts. Timidity is a non-starter, and always will be, in politics and in life in general.

More taxes, more debt, means more of the same. So it’s a sad day for our country, and a great day for Putin, the Iranians, those who want something from Obama’s stash, and fans of big government, but it is only one day.  Still, as we always have, we will persevere.


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