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Three Ways of Explaining Defeat
National Review: The Corner ^ | November 7, 2012 | Victor Davis Hanson

Posted on 11/08/2012 12:31:05 AM PST by beaversmom

Conservatives are divided, acrimoniously so, over three schools of explaining The Defeat.

1. The Near Fatalists. Some are terrified that we are witnessing the final establishment of the long-feared dependency majority, where half the country is not paying federal income taxes and are on the receiving end of government largess and expect “them” to pay their fair share to pay for it;

2. The Should’ve, Could’ve, Would’ve What If-ers. The disappointed tacticians believe that should/would/could Romney have run differently (e.g., hit harder on Benghazi, mixed it up in the second and third debates, organized a Contract with America as a broad-based conservative crusade, etc.) he could have gotten the necessary 1 to 2 million extra votes in the swing states. Similarly, had the storm not arisen, or had Christie just been civil rather than going gaga over Obama/Springsteen, Romney’s momentum would not have been lost the last week;

3. The Big Tenters. The strategic centrists will now call for compromising on social issues, abortion, illegal immigration, fiscal policies, etc., to widen the tent in order to bring in young women, blacks, Latinos, gays, etc. and build “a new conservative majority.”

Not all these three positions, of course, are mutually exclusive. But I am not convinced by explanation (2): Romney was a good, and good enough, candidate to win. None of the other primary candidates would have done as well, and would have been far more easily Axelrodded. An especially well-informed Romney did well in the debates and spoke better each week. He raised lots of money, and he seemed presidential in comparison with a shrinking, Big Bird Obama. Similarly, while there were lots of Benghazi, Hurricane Sandy, and Chris Christie what-if moments that might have been better massaged, so were there for Obama as well: He blew the first debate; he needlessly lost his cool with stupid comments like bulls**tter, “revenge,” “you didn’t build that business,” etc. Biden was an unhinged disaster on the campaign trail. All these foul-ups would have been cited as what-ifs had Obama gotten 2 million votes less in key places and lost.

The problem with diagnosis (3) is that there were plenty of good minority kingpins in the party –Condoleezza Rice, Marco Rubio, and an entire new generation of Hispanic and Asian governors and senators. Allen West lost despite being black and because he was conservative. An independent, successful Michele Bachman or Sarah Palin is hated more than stay-at-home liberal housewives. Race matters, but not without ideology. For now, voting conservative is considered “acting white” or “docile,” and minorities and young women will only be considered legitimate when they vote for big government, which for many brings logical dividends.

Moreover, if Republicans would deal on illegal immigration, and propose paths to citizenship for the law-abiding who were brought here as children, the Latino leadership would still not, in turn, allow deportation for the felons and those not working and entirely on public assistance, or agree to close the border with finishing the fence, fining employers, and cross-checking federal documents. And why should they? A forever-blue California is their model, and many activists think it soon can be replicated in the American Southwest with sufficient cycles of open borders and cyclical euphemistic amnesties. As far as young unattached women, or the youth vote in general, the argument was made to them on economic terms (e.g., you are unemployed or underemployed and crushed by student loans in an ossified economy), and it went largely nowhere. Moreover, what does one do with a lily-white and well-off place like Washington, or the Connecticut suburbs, or the California coast, where blue counties of upscale yuppie married couples went overwhelmingly for Obama?

Instead, I fear exegesis (1) is, with each year, more telling. We have never quite had the present perfect storm of nearly half not paying federal income taxes, nearly 50 million on food stamps, and almost half the population on some sort of federal largess — and a sophistic elite that promotes it and at the same time finds ways to be exempt from its social and cultural consequences. For an Obama, Biden, Kerry, Pelosi, or Feinstein, the psychological cost for living like 18th-century French royalty is the promotion of the welfare state for millions of others who for now will be kept far away, in places like Bakersfield or Mendota.

The solution, I fear, may be near-insolvency along the Wisconsin model, and self-correction after some dark Greek-like years, or, in contrast, in extremis blue politicians having to deal with the consequences of their own policies. In the manner that an Obama can vastly expand drones and renditions without a whimper of liberal angst, so too someone like him will have to deal with bounced Medicare reimbursements or free cell phones that can’t be replaced when they break, or long lines in federal health clinics emptied of doctors who have gone elsewhere. The laws of physics ultimately prevail.

In Michigan in September I had a talk with a retired auto worker who did not care that the bailout cost $25 billion, was not sustainable, shorted the legal first-in-line creditors, shorted politically incorrect managerial pensioners, or ensured the Volt debacle. He simply said to me, “Obama saved my son’s job and I don’t care about much else.” That’s the rub in the short term that seems to the norm in at least the past and future few years. It means that the Republicans, without a once-in-a-lifetime Reagan-like perfect candidate — or some sort of national crisis in the manner that Iran once derailed Jimmy Carter, or Ross Perot once caused incumbent George H. W. Bush to implode — can’t quite get that extra 2 to 3 percentage points they need on the national scene to succeed.


TOPICS: Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS:

1 posted on 11/08/2012 12:31:10 AM PST by beaversmom
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To: beaversmom

(weep)


2 posted on 11/08/2012 12:35:21 AM PST by jimfree (In Nov 2012 my 12 y/o granddaughter has more relevant&quality executive experience than Barack Obama)
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To: beaversmom

“— and a sophistic elite that promotes it and at the same time finds ways to be exempt from its social and cultural consequences.”

THIS is the part that sends me into a fury-but no worries, they can’t hide from the consequences forever. I hope they reap the full fruition of their acts.


3 posted on 11/08/2012 12:42:20 AM PST by mrsmel (One Who Can See)
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To: beaversmom

I think the main reason was vote fraud. There were so many reports of peoples voting more than once & of Romney votes getting flipped for Obama. I really think that the main reason for the outcome of this election was vote fraud.


4 posted on 11/08/2012 12:47:14 AM PST by Republican1795.
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To: mrsmel
I hope they reap the full fruition of their acts.

Oh what a happy dream. Wouldn't that be so nice and even sweeter to be able to witness it.

5 posted on 11/08/2012 12:48:49 AM PST by beaversmom
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To: Republican1795.

I think that definitely played a part, but we will never know the numbers. Only God knows to what extent. What a demonic party.


6 posted on 11/08/2012 12:50:55 AM PST by beaversmom
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To: beaversmom

“Romney was a good, and good enough, candidate to win”

No, no he wasn’t, and that’s the analysis that is strangely left out. Run a conservative and you win a low turnout election by bringing out the base.


7 posted on 11/08/2012 12:56:50 AM PST by JCBreckenridge (Texas, Texas, Whisky)
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To: JCBreckenridge

“No, no he wasn’t, and that’s the analysis that is strangely left out. Run a conservative and you win a low turnout election by bringing out the base.”

OK but he’s going to need money. You can’t expect to wing it on a shoestring budget by having a great debate here and there.


8 posted on 11/08/2012 1:00:02 AM PST by ari-freedom (Election Day should be after Thanksgiving, not right after Halloween)
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To: Republican1795.

Read freeper jackmercer. He nailed this election several days before the vote using science & data. Can’t do that if there was some great voter fraud going on. RCP polls also got the true vote down. We lost cause we got outvoted, period.


9 posted on 11/08/2012 1:00:30 AM PST by LongWayHome
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To: ari-freedom

McCain had no money and he did just as well as Romney. Money is irrelevant - principles are everything.


10 posted on 11/08/2012 1:04:23 AM PST by JCBreckenridge (Texas, Texas, Whisky)
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To: beaversmom
self-correction after some dark Greek-like years, or, in contrast, in extremis blue politicians having to deal with the consequences of their own policies.

...still waiting for that "self-correction" in Detroit or California or anywhere else dominated by Democrats.

11 posted on 11/08/2012 1:07:23 AM PST by Meet the New Boss
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To: JCBreckenridge

The only evidence that this was a low turnout election is the number of recorded votes.

Those numbers might have been tampered with (the classic method is to destroy votes from rural areas).

We already know the PA vote was fixed (all those GOP poll watchers were kicked out at the same time, allowing vote stuffing) and we know that 1 in 5 Ohio registered voters were FAKE. Why would the fraud stop with those states?

The chain of custody of voting all over America absolutely stinks. You could drive a truck through all the loopholes. And electronic voting allows no recourse.

Move to a paper ballot marked with an ‘X’. Count & witness the number of votes before they leave each precinct. Check this against the final vote tally.

True the Vote.


12 posted on 11/08/2012 1:08:31 AM PST by agere_contra ("Government creates nothing" - Romney, 2012)
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To: JCBreckenridge

“McCain had no money and he did just as well as Romney. Money is irrelevant - principles are everything.”

McCain had principles? He was the RINO of RINO’s


13 posted on 11/08/2012 1:15:04 AM PST by ari-freedom (Election Day should be after Thanksgiving, not right after Halloween)
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To: agere_contra

Yet somehow Freeper jackmercer was on FR several days before the election & he NAILED the numbers to perfection and called the election without missing a state using his home computer & some data. You think he was in on the plot, lol. Even Real Clear Politics ran polls and hit it right. It was there for all to see. Damn Ras & Gallup were playing numbers games. jackmercer explains this all in his posts. Go check it out.


14 posted on 11/08/2012 1:19:02 AM PST by LongWayHome
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To: agere_contra

Nonsense - the only thing we do know is that this election was low turnout and that Mitt failed to deliver the republican votes from before.


15 posted on 11/08/2012 1:19:47 AM PST by JCBreckenridge (Texas, Texas, Whisky)
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To: beaversmom

Amnesty for illegal aliens isn’t a solution. Americans want our immigration laws enforced.

And they want our country to stay out of Islamic hellholes like Libya and Syria.

On both of those important issues, Romney actually was to the left of Obama! And he was supposed to be the Republican.


16 posted on 11/08/2012 1:28:05 AM PST by goldstategop (In Memory Of A Dearly Beloved Friend Who Lives In My Heart Forever)
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To: LongWayHome

Exactly so. My call had Romney winning VA + FL. 48/50. And I only lost very late this morning.


17 posted on 11/08/2012 1:29:49 AM PST by JCBreckenridge (Texas, Texas, Whisky)
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To: ari-freedom

Mccain Had Palin— without Palin, Mccain would have lost BIG


18 posted on 11/08/2012 1:35:31 AM PST by chicken head
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To: beaversmom
It is not complicated...people who want free stuff exceed those who want to work hard. When people figure out they can vote in politicians who will give them more free stuff, seeds of destruction of the republic are sown & fertilized.
19 posted on 11/08/2012 1:38:05 AM PST by entropy12 (Get ready for 3 SCOTUS appointments like Kagan, Sotomayor & Ginsburg...abortion on demand is here)
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To: JCBreckenridge

I should have looked at the internals of Ras & Gallup....what a joke. I still thought Mitt would take it in a close call. Nate Silver & many others were dead-on the money as was our own freeper jackmercer.


20 posted on 11/08/2012 1:38:05 AM PST by LongWayHome
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To: LongWayHome

Yeah, I figured this election was lost in March. I was surprised to not be packing things up at 8pm CST like I did with McCain.

My table shows RMoney loss with three standard deviation confidence at 12:07 am CST early yesterday morning. So he did manage to make it until midnight. I left the bar at 930pm, and within another half hour, it was pretty clear that Romney was going to lose.


21 posted on 11/08/2012 2:19:53 AM PST by JCBreckenridge (Texas, Texas, Whisky)
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To: LongWayHome

After listening quietly to the mnay resons folks have put forth for the Romney loss, I can’t help but wonder why an obvious thing is overlooked. Why the GOP couldn’t seat Paul delegates and let Ron Paul give his view in the convention I do not understand. That was a fatal mistake that no one has mentioned. GOP deserved to lose for that. There was the youth vote for us. Blown. And further trampled is the Bill of Rights because of stubborn leadership that is very short-sighted. Like them or not, Paul supporters have much more in common with GOP than the Democraps. I’m not debating it, I’m just throwing it out there because these people are for liberty too! Interestingly, the Bill of Rights’ nickname was “the Massachusetts Compromise”. No compromise this time though, it seems.


22 posted on 11/08/2012 2:23:56 AM PST by Ymani Cricket ("It is my experience that Senators focus only on pleasing those who fund their campaigns" Obi-Wan)
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To: JCBreckenridge

What kills me is that from June until September Obama trashed Romney on TV in the midwest everyday & Rove & Co did nothing....no ads.


23 posted on 11/08/2012 2:26:33 AM PST by LongWayHome
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To: Ymani Cricket

The Romney people were a mixed-bag. They did some things really well & some things, well, lol, very poorly. They pushed the Paul people around for sure. In retrospect they should have been more open to letting them have their say.


24 posted on 11/08/2012 2:30:11 AM PST by LongWayHome
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To: LongWayHome

I think the fix was in by the powers that be to ensure a Romney/Obama election and to preserve Obamacare by nominating two candidates who supported it.

Obama knew he could beat Romney easily - Romney would lose to him in the blue states and depress turnout in the red states ensuring that Obama would win, and there wasn’t much Romney could do about it. And that’s pretty much what did happen :(


25 posted on 11/08/2012 2:41:49 AM PST by JCBreckenridge (Texas, Texas, Whisky)
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To: JCBreckenridge

Just a footnote: I’ll bet Obama creates that new cabinet post of “Business czar” and offers it to Romney. And I bet that’s what he wanted to talk in private to Romney about. If that’s an act of “reaching across the isle”, it will do nothing for freedom.


26 posted on 11/08/2012 3:07:10 AM PST by Ymani Cricket ("It is my experience that Senators focus only on pleasing those who fund their campaigns" Obi-Wan)
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To: Republican1795.

Let’s examine the factors:

1. Voter turn-out was less than 2008...John McCain had more votes than Mitt Romney, and around ten million less voted for Obama. That says something about the general public.

2. The general plan for Team Obama was to split everyone off into their focus group: women, blacks, Latinos, university students, unemployed, anti-capitalistic folks, environmentalists, etc. The plan worked.

3. Look at county-by-county voting. It’s urban areas that went for Team Obama. Lesser populated counties/areas voted straight toward Romney. Go to voting districts and look at Republican Representative wins....because that was the only message that the lesser populated area could send. They knew they couldn’t compete state by state with high density urban areas.

4. You could invent a catastrophic event in some faraway land where some US ambassador is denied protection and is killed, with three others trying to help or rescue him. Then you could write a fantastic script about the various sources of protection that could have come to save the day, but all were denied. Nothing comes from this because sixty percent of America still don’t know that such a event actually occurred.

5. The economy is stagnant and lacking growth. People are naive enough to believe anti-business concepts aren’t the root cause of our current trends.

6. Finally, it might be possible to determine that 1k dead folks voted Tuesday, and 500k illegals were registered into the system, and that 20k folks voted in two states/districts. But unless you go out and make these determinations, and have them brought in front of a judge...nothing is going to stop the practice. And you might want to think about the terrible injustice you would cause....if you denied dead people the right to vote.


27 posted on 11/08/2012 3:10:21 AM PST by pepsionice
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To: beaversmom

Romney’s defeat is a lot easier to explain than all of this. The obama voters I know all come from a perspective of Romney as a very wealthy person with nothing in common with them. It’s all about defeating “The Man.” GOP likes running those rich guy candidates.


28 posted on 11/08/2012 3:23:30 AM PST by gotribe (He's a mack-daddy http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AV415yit7Zg)
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To: Ymani Cricket

Not only did the RNC/Romney push the Paul folks out, remmeber how they acted after Romney withdrew in 2008.


29 posted on 11/08/2012 3:25:55 AM PST by iopscusa (El Vaquero. (SC Lowcountry Cowboy))
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To: entropy12

The dark skies of coming times

What would de Tocqueville make of our current fix?

“A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves largesse from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates promising the most benefits from the public treasury with the result that a democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy, always followed by a dictatorship. The average age of the world’s greatest civilizations has been 200 years...”


30 posted on 11/08/2012 3:27:30 AM PST by TigerClaws
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To: beaversmom

The dark skies of coming times

What would de Tocqueville make of our current fix?

“A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves largesse from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates promising the most benefits from the public treasury with the result that a democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy, always followed by a dictatorship. The average age of the world’s greatest civilizations has been 200 years...”


31 posted on 11/08/2012 3:45:25 AM PST by TigerClaws
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To: agere_contra

How the Hell are we supposed to make that happen?

If the dems committed fraud and won the election, they would not give up on that winning formula.

If, because they cheated, you do not have the votes to change who is in charge, then how can you change the way they rigged and won the vote? They’re not going to let you change to a paper ballot maked with an X. Anyone who suggest they do so will be mocked and ridiculed as a conspiracy theory wingnut, but most importantly they won’t ALLOW that change.

Face it, if what you say is true, and they won due to fraud, we’ve already lost—maybe forever.


32 posted on 11/08/2012 4:37:46 AM PST by Alas Babylon!
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To: Republican1795.

Another thing, not discussed here, is the one-two punch of the Democratic ground game and expansive voting laws. As in 2008, the former was much vaster than the Republican effort and able to get people to the polls. It was aided by the “early voting” window, which gave people weeks to vote instead of a single day. This vastly helps anyone with the $$ for a good ground organization. If the election were on a single day, then the task of getting people (especially lazy ones) to the polls would be far tougher. As would be voter fraud. Having weeks to vote gives people an opportunity to show up at multiple polling places under different names. I bet when the smoke clears there was a lot of that too.


33 posted on 11/08/2012 4:37:56 AM PST by rbg81
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To: TigerClaws

It’s really a variant on #1, but somewhat darker: the Democratic strategy for the last couple of decades, greatly intensified under Obama, has been to lock down minority votes through demagoguery of various victimization tropes, mainly immigration, but also gay marriage, abortion, etc., and then just wait for the white majority to die off. And that’s exactly where we are. I was at a loss to explain where the 2.5 million McCain voters that Romney didn’t get had gone to, until someone on another thread pointed out that a lot of them probably died. When you consider that the House and full control of the Senate will still not be in the hands of the Democrats until a few more million white people die off, and that the Dems control health care, it’s starts to look a little frightening to say the least.


34 posted on 11/08/2012 6:27:42 AM PST by Behind the Blue Wall
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To: Behind the Blue Wall

Voting takes effort and people must be motivated to do it. Half don’t vote at all.

Motivation for Dems = fear.

1. Young women. Republicans want it back like the 50s. No
Equal pay. No abortion “choice”. Fear.

2. Blacks. Put y’all back in chains. 9 year old boy told he’d be back in the fields. No more free phones. On your own.

3. Latinos. Kick y’all out of the country. No amnesty. Leave and get in line.

4. Young in general. Another war (Iran). End student loans. Most are completely indoctrinated by tv movies daily show teachers universities.

5. Gays. Gay marriage was the carrot. DOMA was the fear.

By specifically targeting up these groups with fear Dems built a coalition Republicans can’t answer.

If we go for amnesty, that’s even more Dem voters on the roles.

If we abandon social issues (abortion, marriage defense), we lose evangelicals - a key base.

Romney got more votes than any of the other primary candidates would have. It wasn’t fraud. Was a better game from Dems and their street level local organizing beats ours. The tv money burn money should go to permanent local organizing. Need our own ACORN.

But, as Pat Buchanan said last night on Hannity, if you look like California in terms of demographics you have the same politics. We’re headed that way and really no way to stop it.


35 posted on 11/08/2012 7:03:35 AM PST by TigerClaws
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