Thursday, November 8, 2012

Thoughts on the 2012 Defeat

I had a plan on Tuesday.  Get home from work, set up shop in my bedroom (laptop, iPad, TV) and watch the election unfold.  We've been living under the rule of Barack Obama for four years and it's been a disaster.  From a terrible economy, to international disasters like Benghazi, Barack Obama has been a failure.  For me Mitt Romney was the best guy we had in 2012 AND in 2008.  Mitt Romney is a good and decent man, and the Left could not find a single bit of dirt on him.  A year ago I thought that Obama would be a one term President.  Over the summer I had my doubts that we were going to beat him, followed by hope after the debates and better poll numbers.  By eight o'clock on Tuesday, I knew we'd lost.

So just what the hell happened?  Honestly, I don't know.  I've heard from all over the web, radio and TV from all manner of different commentators.  Mitt was too far to the Right, Mitt wasn't far enough to the Right.  The Republican Party needs to be "more inclusive" or it needs to double down on deportation.

Looking at the election results I noticed that TEA Party favorites, Richard Mourdock, Todd Akin, Allen West and Mia Love were all defeated.  Granted West's race is likely going to get recounted, but it doesn't look good.

With that in mind, my first thought was this: "The Conservative Revolution is over."  How is that possible as Mitt Romney wasn't the most conservative candidate?  It's true he was the establishment candidate.  But, despite Romney not being the first choice of the TEA Party, he was successfully portrayed to BE the TEA Party by the Left and media.  Add in the defeats of real TEA Party candidates.  Regardless of what policies were going to be the choices were successfully portrayed as such: option 1) smaller, less intrusive government, lower taxes, less spending, more use of natural resources, but you are going to have to work; or option 2) larger, more intrusive government, higher taxes, more spending, and you may or may not work, but you're going to get yours, because Obama's going to give it to you, don't worry about where it comes from.

America took the blue pill.  That's what's saddened me the most.  The idea that America rejected its own founding and its own dream for Obama Phones and EBT cards and the thanks of cool celebrities.

Republican turnout this time around was less than 2008.  I didn't see that coming.  There are a lot of people on the Right who refused to vote for Romney for various reasons (Mormon, not Right enough, Ron Paul supporters, etc.) who lodged protest votes by voting for others or just staying home.  Congratulations!  You got Obama re-elected, how's that going to work for you.

Here are what I consider to be some lessons learned on how we lost and what to do, if anything.

Character Assassination.  Obama ran his entire 2008 campaign off of blaming Bush.  He ran his first term off of blaming Bush.  He ran his entire 2012 campaign off of blaming Bush and characterizing Mitt Romney as Bush incarnate.  It has long been held by Republicans that it is best not to get dragged into the mud over these attacks.  Bush has allowed his name and presidency to be slandered for 12 years, without a response.  Mitt Romney allowed himself to be slandered for four years.  The lesson learned, the mud sticks.  What can we do?  Respond, don't let it become the story.  There is a fine line between responding to libel and slander and letting it become the story.  It's too late now, but Bush should have defended himself and we should have defended him.  Bush presided over 6 years of growth, 5% unemployment and increased government revenue.  But no one knows it.

The Record.  All of these guys have records.  It amazes me how many people give Obama a pass on the 2008 recession.  He was a Senator, he helped block the audits of Fannie and Freddie that Bush wanted and could have prevented a lot of this damage.  Obama ran this time on how he couldn't get anything done because of obstructionist Republicans.  Never mind that for two years Obama got everything he wanted because he had a House majority and filibuster proof Senate.  He got everything he wanted to two years, and things got worse.

The Ground Game.  The Democrat Party are the masters of the ground game.  There are a couple of things about this.  Democrats are the owners of the dependency class, think Obama phone lady.  They are getting their needs met by Democrats, getting paid and they don't have a job to go to.  On top of that, Democrats pay protesters, organizers and other "volunteers."  Republicans on the other hand don't get that free volunteer force.  We don't have union thugs paid, indirectly by the government, to campaign for us either.  We need to get the vote out.  The Republican Party needs to start paying people on the ground and you need to volunteer.

The Cheating.  I have no doubt there was plenty of cheating going on.  Between thousands of voter registrations being shredded, and GOP election judges being assaulted and thrown out, intimidation, wonky machines switching votes, and precinct workers allowing unregistered people in to vote there is no doubt some votes were stolen.  My advice to everyone, and get this out to your friends.  Don't register to vote via voter registration drives.  Period.  Be proactive, make sure you are registered.  If you are not, register.  You can do most of this online.  Work in a precinct and be watchful.  Call it in if you see something.

The Digital Game.  We are losing the war on Facebook and Twitter.  We need to be more aggressive and get more content out there.  It's an uphill battle simply because mindless celebrities get more attention online and they all fall Democrat.  They're so cool.

The Pandering.  Conservatives don't pander.  Conservatism knows no race.  But that's not what people want to hear.  While there is no homogenous "white" identity, there is one for blacks, latinos, etc.  We need to start pandering and letting them know, for example, how Democrat policies hurt blacks, exclusively and how Republican policies will help blacks, exclusively, and so on.  This does not mean the big lobby groups.  Republicans will not get traction there.  They need to go into the communities.

Unite.  Democrats unite behind their candidate no matter what.  The Republican Party has been splintered for some time now, even dating back to Reagan.  This is because Republicans value their principles more than winning.  The hard question is do you want to compromise on some of your principles or all of them.  That's the choice.

The Media.  This is the gorilla in the room and the biggest threat.  If there was any doubt before, there should not be any now.  The news organizations have been covering for Barack Obama since 2004.  He is a media darling and he will not be the last.  From the economy to Benghazi, the media has been propping Obama up.  Not only will they not report on Democrats, they will amplify the most bogus things against Republicans.  Periodically, the media will take on a pet Republican, for the purposes of dutifully being the "voice of reason" only to crush them when they get too ambitious.  I call this the "McCain Rule."  We are in an uphill battle here.  Yeah, Fox News is a Republican cheerleader channel, but it gets a fraction of the viewers as the alphabet networks.

In closing I thought that there was no way America would re-elect this President.  I thought that we were fooled the first time and that we would wake up.  But alas we did not.  We have the President we deserve.  I have friends and family who voted for Obama, they will not get my pity when their lives get worse.

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