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One Big Failure
Townhall.com ^ | November 9, 2012 | Mona Charen

Posted on 11/09/2012 6:28:14 AM PST by Kaslin

Of all sad words of tongue or pen, the saddest of these: It Might Have Been." --John Greenleaf Whittier

The pundit world will now eviscerate Mitt Romney, a man who, had he garnered just a few hundred thousand more votes in a few key districts, would have been hailed as political genius. Instead, his every fault will be examined, his mistakes magnified and his defeat decreed to be, in retrospect, inevitable.

Romney was not my first choice. I had been hoping for Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels. But in the course of the long campaign, I had come to admire Romney immensely. Everyone who is now picking over his bones should remember that he was a conquering hero after the first debate. I grieve mostly for the country in the wake of Obama's victory, but also a bit for Romney. He deserved to win. He would have been a good president. And this much is certain -- the assassination of his character by the Obama machine was disgusting. Obama won ugly. We should never forget that. This too is likely: If Romney had won and Republicans had carried the Senate, the United States would be poised for an economic boom, a return to world leadership, a workable reform of health care and a mature and responsible resolution of the entitlement crisis.

Such an economic success story would have set the stage for further Republican victories. Or would it?

One of the mysteries of this election -- and one factor that misled me into predicting a Romney victory -- is that voters said they regarded the economy as the most important issue in the race and majorities reported that Romney would be better than Obama for the economy.

Some on the right are succumbing to the temptation to explain the Obama win as the "tipping point" -- the takers outvoting the makers. Those who get government hand-outs, the suspicion goes, are content to tax the other 50 percent, happily collecting benefits rather than working for a living. I think this is wrong. Government dependency is a problem, yes, and Obama has made it much worse. But the notion that 47 percent of Americans choose to be idle moochers is misleading. Among the 47 percent are the retired (who voted in large numbers for Romney), parents who get a child deduction and the unemployed who cannot find jobs in the Obama economy. Besides, as Ramesh Ponnuru has observed, in 2010, many of these voters shifted toward the Republicans, even as dependency increased.

No, the margin of victory for Obama came from Hispanic voters. "A big reason I will win a second term," he told the Des Moines Register just before the election, "is because the Republican nominee and Republican Party have so alienated the fastest-growing demographic group in the country, the Latino community."

It gives me no pleasure to say that I've been warning of this for many years. Conservatives and Republicans simply must address Hispanic voters in terms that do not sound hostile. As Sen. Marco Rubio put it to Juan Williams, "It's very hard to make the economic argument to people who think you want to deport their grandmother."

Hispanics comprised 10 percent of the electorate this year. If Mitt Romney had received the 44 percent of the Hispanic vote that George W. Bush obtained in 2004, he'd be moving into the White House in January. In key swing states, the Hispanic vote was crushing: 58 to 40 in Florida, 87 to 10 in Colorado, 80 to 17 in Nevada, and 66 to 31 in Virginia. Republicans were clobbered among Hispanics because the Republican primary electorate rewarded candidates for bellicosity regarding illegal immigration. In the midst of discussions of border guards, moats, and "self-deportation" during the Republican primaries, there was precious little appreciation for the contributions of legal Hispanics to American life and culture. The Republican convention showcased some of the talented Hispanics in the party, but it wasn't enough to overcome the harsh negativity of the primary season. Even Asian voters appear to have been alienated by the Republican tone, giving Obama 73 percent of their votes.

The irony, for those Republican primary voters who demanded tough stances on immigration, is that this is one problem Obama has inadvertently solved. The economy is so lousy under his stewardship that immigrants have stopped coming.

Obama failed at everything except pandering to his base. Republicans failed at only one thing -- but it was devastating.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Editorial
KEYWORDS:

1 posted on 11/09/2012 6:28:15 AM PST by Kaslin
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To: Kaslin

Romney did a fantastic job in the face of pure evil and cheating


2 posted on 11/09/2012 6:30:04 AM PST by yldstrk (My heroes have always been cowboys)
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To: Kaslin

3 posted on 11/09/2012 6:30:56 AM PST by Travis McGee (www.EnemiesForeignAndDomestic.com)
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To: Travis McGee

One
Big
Awful
Mistake
America

is now

Two
Big
Awful
Mistakes
America


4 posted on 11/09/2012 6:35:34 AM PST by Pilgrim's Progress (http://www.baptistbiblebelievers.com/BYTOPICS/tabid/335/Default.aspx)
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To: Travis McGee

Do we have keep having that hideous cover shoved in our faces? Please, some decency.


5 posted on 11/09/2012 6:37:29 AM PST by all the best (`~!)
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To: Travis McGee

Do we have keep having that hideous cover shoved in our faces? Please, some decency.


6 posted on 11/09/2012 6:37:29 AM PST by all the best (`~!)
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To: all the best
The thought of Obama in any semblance of a military uniform is repulsive and would elicit a visceral reaction from anyone who has been there.
7 posted on 11/09/2012 6:40:01 AM PST by morphing libertarian
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To: Kaslin

Short of an even deeper recession in 2016, which may happen, maybe having a Hispanic as the standard bearer (Rubio) is the only way to win. Motivating a lot of non-liberal whites who stayed home to turn out and vote Republican could possibly do the trick. But I’m not sure anyone in the Republican party knows how to do that. It’s possible the Obama caricaturing of Romney as an evil rich guy was the reason they didn’t turn out - so just having someone else might be enough.


8 posted on 11/09/2012 6:41:06 AM PST by lasereye
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To: Kaslin
It's very hard to make the economic argument to people who think you want to deport their grandmother."

So is the author saying we ought to pander to those who are either openly breaking the law or those who know of people who are openly breaking the law?

If so, I say "NO!" Law breakers need to suffer the consequences of their actions, not be coddled and stroked and told it is ok to break the law.

But unfortunately, we might never see a good outcome to this problem because the Latino population HAS been coddled so long they think breaking the law IS ok and no one wants to pull the right trigger and deport them all back to wherever they came from.

9 posted on 11/09/2012 7:03:33 AM PST by ducttape45
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To: lasereye

Look here is the reality ..., as a Californian I am ahead of the curve as I have seen face to face the demographic shift and it has rendered my vote useless in the state and county. Immigrants today, legal or not are not EVER going to relate to the rich and wealthy, white haired guy from an upper class background living the mega quality life. THEY JUST RELATED NOR ASSIMILATE. THIS IS NO LONGER THE AMERICAN IDEAL and until we get that through our heads we are toast come election time. California just went SUPER MAJORITY this term! It is a different electorate, a different evolving country.


10 posted on 11/09/2012 7:09:53 AM PST by Republic Rocker
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To: Kaslin
Uninspiring! Simply Uninspiring!! Neither McCain nor Romney could capture the imagination of a nation drifting toward moral and financial Armageddon.

For McCain, it was "his turn" at the golden ring, that was his attitude, plus when he said "Obama would be a good president if he wins..". How exciting was that?!... that made us feel content and comfortable.

For Romney, it was, "I turned the olympics around, I've been in business my whole life... Obama's a nice man but he's in over his head". Yah, that's the ticket, that'l grab the masses... it set my mind thinking of the wonder of it all -NOT-.

Nevertheless, I cast my vote for the R-candidates. In retrospect I think, why the hell bother... Let's see, there's always 2016... who will the the Pubbies put up then, Mitch McConnell, John Boehner, or how about ol' Jeb, Jeb Bush, he's as well reasoned as any Bush I ever saw... AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH...

Tell the Republican party to go to Hell. Then through a third party or no party at all, lets put up a bright conservative candidate.

11 posted on 11/09/2012 7:13:02 AM PST by dps.inspect (rage against the Obama machine...)
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To: Kaslin

It still comes back to the dichotomy being fought out here in many threads. Since it is obvious that the Republicans LOST this election rather than the Democrats won it, did we lose because
1- we didn’t hew to true conservative principles, run a solid social conservative -pro life, anti homosexual, anti socialized healthcare; IOW embrace Tea Party values or
2- is the American electorate now firmly in the pro abortion, pro gay marriage and pro government subsidized healthcare side of things to a degree that those will NEVER change (any more than we would go back to segregation and depriving women of the vote) and ‘conservatism’ is going to mean strictly fiscal and foreign policy?

As I have always loathed the two party system, I am curious as to what happens; what is obvious is that running flip flopping RINO’s isn’t going to work. People will vote for the Democrat over the RINO, every time.

My personal prognostication is that some form of universal health care is inevitable and that abortion is never going to be illegal in all or nearly all circumstances, regardless of anything that subsequently happens.


12 posted on 11/09/2012 7:15:04 AM PST by RedStateRocker (Nuke Mecca, Deport all illegals, abolish the IRS, DEA and ATF.)
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To: Kaslin

Sorry, Mona....don’t buy your argument one bit...
Mitch Daniels would have been a loss too.
And it’s the ILLEGALS that I have a problem with and AMNESTY is not the answer....


13 posted on 11/09/2012 7:18:04 AM PST by matginzac
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To: Kaslin

“It’s very hard to make the economic argument to people who think you want to deport their grandmother.”

If she’s here illegally, she should be deported. Besides, Hispanics vote for Democrats for the handouts, and always will. They are determined to turn the USA into the same corrupt hell holes they came here to escape.


14 posted on 11/09/2012 7:19:06 AM PST by KansasGirl ("If you have a business, you didn't build that. Somebody else made that happen."--B. Hussein Obama)
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To: Republic Rocker

[ Immigrants today, legal or not are not EVER going to relate to the rich and wealthy, white haired guy from an upper class background living the mega quality life ]

Doesn’t California have a rich, white, old guy as Governor. Why yes they do. Difference is—he promises to steal money from the producers and give it to the moochers.


15 posted on 11/09/2012 7:25:59 AM PST by KansasGirl ("If you have a business, you didn't build that. Somebody else made that happen."--B. Hussein Obama)
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To: Kaslin

I think many Freepers deserve Obama after watching literally years of anti-Romney ads and editorials on the Free Republic. Many probably didn’t even vote I imagine, out of some misplaced sense of righteous indignation. You couldn’t click on one topic without seeing a Romney bashing ad and statement. The only really bad thing about an Obama win for many Freepers is that they won’t be able to complain about Romney anymore.


16 posted on 11/09/2012 7:28:33 AM PST by Rockwarf (Wally)
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To: Kaslin
Conservatives and Republicans simply must address Hispanic voters in terms that do not sound hostile.

yeah here we go, the establishment's answer to this election will be to make the republican party even more liberal. It won't be long before Conservatives no longer have any representation in America.

17 posted on 11/09/2012 7:29:09 AM PST by Cubs Fan (Under Obama, American constitutional rights are now subject to muslim approval)
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To: dps.inspect

The ones that should be criticized are the ones that stayed home. Perhaps you was one of them? Otherwise we could have gotten the Senate majority back and would have a chance to remove that arrogant pos from office.


18 posted on 11/09/2012 7:29:49 AM PST by Kaslin (STILL THE ARROGANT LAZY, LYING POS: One Big Ass Mistake America)
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To: Rockwarf
The only really bad thing about an Obama win for many Freepers is that they won’t be able to complain about Romney anymore.

Naw, Romney is already running for 2016.

The GOP didn't learn anything, he will lose again.

The GOP needs to run a Conservative, but that is anathema to their goals.

They would rather lose.

19 posted on 11/09/2012 7:34:14 AM PST by Syncro (The Tea Party is Dead-->MSM/Dems/GOP-e -- LONG LIVE THE TEA PARTY!)
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To: yldstrk

Romney couldn’t beat Obama?

Romney didn’t beat McCain.

Disgraceful. A billion dollar campaign? What did Republicans get for their money?

McCain, 2008 popular vote: 58,319,442

Romney, 2012 popular vote: 58,163,978

That is the biggest fact of this election and no one is talking about it.


20 posted on 11/09/2012 8:18:39 AM PST by gandalftb
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To: Kaslin

A party that addressed the circumstances that make immigration (legal or not) a “problem” would not have to address the “problem” of immigration. These circumstances include, but are not limited to, government education system (primary through postgraduate), welfare support, the minimum wage, mandated employee benefits, unionism, and restrictive environmental regulation.

Above all, a genuinely free market for labor would make the employment of illegal aliens pointless, because there would be no cost advantage over employing a citizen.


21 posted on 11/09/2012 8:28:30 AM PST by Tax-chick ("Build the America you want to live in at your address, and keep looking up." ~marron)
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To: gandalftb

I am in no mood to put up with your garbage buzz off


22 posted on 11/09/2012 8:29:36 AM PST by yldstrk (My heroes have always been cowboys)
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To: Kaslin
If Romney had won and Republicans had carried the Senate, the United States would be poised for an economic boom, a return to world leadership, a workable reform of health care and a mature and responsible resolution of the entitlement crisis.

Pish-tosh. Nobody has a proposal for a "workable reform of health care," because, just as with education, the only workable system in the long term is pay your own way, private-pay-or-private-charity. Rep. Ryan's concepts for addressing the issues of Social Security and Medicare would never have made it past the entrenched interests.

The bureaucratic welfare state cannot be reformed. It has to crash. It's an experiment that has failed, but nobody in the system can accept the obvious conclusion.

23 posted on 11/09/2012 8:34:29 AM PST by Tax-chick ("Build the America you want to live in at your address, and keep looking up." ~marron)
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To: yldstrk

My “garbage” is not mine, it’s yours and all of ours and now it’s for 4 more years of garbage for you to buzz about.

Perhaps the next 4 years of Obama garbage will motivate you to offer adult conversation and informed opinion instead of insults.


24 posted on 11/09/2012 9:10:10 AM PST by gandalftb
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To: Kaslin

If your read what I said, I voted... Sorry my friend, I’ve had it with the R Party. You and I are likely still on the same side, I’m just going to be taking a different tack. The GOP keeps trying to convince us of what we do not want or believe... done with ‘em... but I’ll be standing with you on the conservative side of the line, you can count on that...


25 posted on 11/09/2012 11:15:42 AM PST by dps.inspect (rage against the Obama machine...)
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To: Republic Rocker; KansasGirl; Kaslin

Oh please. Hispanics already HAVE a rich “role model”: Carlos Slim Helu (Mexican) is the world’s #1 Richest Man.

So don’t give me this ‘Hispanics can’t relate to wealth creation or the work ethic (Republican) message.’

That is complete nonsense, collectivist sociology speak, BS, and defeatist nonsense.


26 posted on 11/09/2012 3:37:34 PM PST by 4Liberty (Some on our "Roads & Bridges" head to the beach. Others head to their offices, farms, libraries....)
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To: Kaslin
Looks like Mona took away exactly the wrong lesson.

"Addressing" the immigration issue means softening the rules, lets be honest. But in order to cash in on that move republicans will have to compromise any principle involving the size of government, too, or risk losing all of these new voters to the democrats.

If Mona thinks that by such a softening will cause any significant portion of the potential hispanic voting block to suddenly be receptive to arguments for smaller, less intrusive government then I want some of whats in her hooka.

27 posted on 11/09/2012 4:51:54 PM PST by skeeter
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